SNU Celebrates 45 Years of Missions

BETHANY, Okla. (December 8, 2011) - This December, Southern Nazarene University is celebrating the 45th anniversary of their first official mission trip.


Over Spring Break of 1966, a team of SNU students traveled to Musquiz, Mexico and built a church.  Later that year, part of that team and a few other students journeyed back to Musquiz on an evangelistic outreach.  The impact of that trip is still felt on both sides of the Rio Grande River.


“That first trip was an adventure which denominational leaders weren't sure would succeed.  But it did, and today an estimated million or more people from all denominations annually go on short-term mission trips,” comments Dr. Howard Culbertson, an SNU missions professor and avid promoter of student missions.


Like a pebble dropped into a pond, the ripples keep widening and widening.  The 1966 trip opened the door for what Nazarenes now call “Work and Witness” trips. Today there is a thriving congregation in Musquiz and SNU continues the legacy through their annual “Commission unto Mexico” trip during the winter break.

Commission Unto Mexico is an annual SNU-sponsored work and witness trip held over the New Year.  Participants from Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana come together to witness through building churches and developing relationships with the people of Mexico.  The trip will be held December 27th 2011 – January 3, 2012.

 This year’s Commission Unto Mexico is celebrating the anniversary of the first trip over four decades ago as well as all the fellow mission trips sponsored by SNU since then. The team will work in six different mining towns, including the original SNU missions’ site of Musquiz, Mexico. Three members of this year’s team are members of the 1966 group: Stephen Heap, a missionary to Brazil, John Beadles, a retired pastor, and Dr. Howard Culbertson, SNU Professor of Missions.

“The 1966 trip inspired Work and Witness trips and became a model for so many trips today. We were just a group of guys wanting to use our spring break doing a good thing. We honestly didn’t think it would have such an impact,” said Richard Spear, ’66 Musquiz trip participant.

For more information about Commission Unto Mexico or other SNU Missions, visit or contact Dr. Howard Culbertson, SNU Professor and Garner Chair of Missions at

Southern Nazarene University's mission is to transform lives through higher education in Christ-centered community. As a Christian community of scholars, we model the hospitality of grace, the pursuit of truth and the practice of discipleship, all within the Wesleyan-holiness tradition, as we prepare graduates who THINK with clarity, ACT with integrity and SERVE with purpose.