In 1992, the Rev. Dr. Edward Bradley had a vision for a strategic organization that could encourage and support indigenous ministries in the developing world. Dr. Bradley’s experience as a pastor and church planter as well as his ministry among the world’s poor had convinced him of the gospel’s power to break the chains of poverty. Together with his wife, Donna, Dr. Bradley took a leap of faith to begin Oakseed Ministries International as a way to serve indigenous ministries among the urban poor in the megacities of the third world.
Oakseed began by supporting two ministry partners: a pastor serving in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and a ministry to churches working in the slums of Mumbai, India. In 1994, Oakseed established the first Oakseed Associates, senior church leaders who had a heart for the urban poor, understood Oakseed’s vision, and were willing to help identify and facilitate new ministry partnerships in their regions.
From the beginning, Oakseed valued an incarnational approach to missions. Oakseed sought out indigenous ministry partners who were committed to being the hands and feet of Jesus in their service to the urban poor and who could serve as a model for other ministries. As Oakseed grew, the organization identified four ways it could assist ministry partners: financial and project support, on-site staff training, strategic consultation and capacity building, and prayer.
Oakseed has always understood the value of prayer in the task of ministry and evangelization. In 1996, Oakseed Ministries began sponsoring an annual day of prayer for children at high risk to be held each year on the first Sunday in June. In conjunction with the annual day of prayer, in 2004 Oakseed launched an international essay contest for youth to help educate and engage young people with the issues highlighted during the day of prayer. Oakseed also began a new type of ministry partnership in 2005 by establishing relationships with ministry networks in the Philippines, Uganda, and Costa Rica.
Dr. Bradley led Oakseed until he went home to be with the Lord in 2012. He was succeeded as director by Charlie Jarvis. Dr. Bradley’s daughter, Tiffany Crosley, became the current director of Oakseed Ministries International in 2016.
Today, Oakseed serves nineteen ministry partners in twelve countries around the world. Oakseed Ministry Partners serve children with special needs living in an orphanage in China, girls struggling to survive in the garbage dumps of Cairo, men and women grappling with drug addiction in Brazil, and children living on the streets of the world’s largest cities. Oakseed Ministry Partners reach out to child laborers, victims of human trafficking, those living with HIV, the disabled, the homeless, prisoners, orphans, widows, and many more. To those whom the world has crushed, forgotten or abandoned, Oakseed Ministry Partners bring Christ’s hope, life, and peace. Through prayer, support, and training, Oakseed Ministries International helps indigenous ministries break the chains of poverty with the power of the gospel.