Gospellife International was first founded in 1994 under the name of Robert Baker Ministries Gospel & Life International. This was abbreviated in 2002 to RBM-Gospellife International. In January 2013, the ministry was adopted into charity status under the name of Gospellife International, of which it is now known.
Despite the name changes, the organisation has always existed with the purpose of taking God’s Word and humanitarian aid to wherever God leads. This began with Robert’s trips to Romania, which continued on a yearly basis until 1996. During 1989 to 1996, Robert drove approximately 40 tons of aid over the Transylvania Mountains to provide desperately needed aid following the fall of Ceausescu. He and his team were devastated to see orphaned children confined to cots in appalling conditions and other children living in sewers. They brought them much needed clothes, medicine and provisions.
Gospellife International took its first trip to Uganda, Africa in 1997, where Robert established links with pastors, churches and schools in Kampala through local church missions and leadership seminars. The connections that were made then still exist today and are flourishing as the work in Uganda continues. Robert also ventured to the remote villages of the Sibanga Subcounty, Manafwa District, Mbale Eastern Uganda. To his surprise and delight, Robert was told that he was the first white missionary to preach that Gospel in that district. At that time, there were only two small churches in that area.
In 2002, Rev. Gerri Di Somma of Carmel Ministries International joined Robert on a mission trip to Mbale, Uganda, where many local people accepted Jesus as their Saviour. Through his on-going connection with Rev. Gerri Di Somma, Robert was appointed as the Missions Director of Carmel Ministries International and became a lecturer at Carmel Bible College. This started a new season of taking Bible College students on mission trips as part of their diploma course. From 2003 to 2006, Robert returned to Iasi, Romania with groups of students. The students were shocked to find communities of Romanian gypsies living in derelict ex-communist flats and shacks without windows, running water, electricity or sewage and barefoot children with worn-out clothes and diseases. The teams took provisions for local families and organised fun events with the children, showing them the love of God they desperately needed.
In 2006, Robert took a group of students from Carmel’s Leadership Academy to Philadelphia to work with Pastor Jean Claude Lukuso who had planted a church in a deprived area of the city.
In 2007, Robert took the first group of Bible College students to Uganda for their annual mission trip. Initially, the missions were based in the capital, Kampala, where ministry focused on church seminars, leadership training, school outreaches, street evangelism and open-air Gospel crusades. In 2008, the team’s involvement was an integral part in the establishment of a 2,000 member church.
Ministry in Kampala was successful, but Robert’s involvement in Mbale had become an integral part of the work of Gospellife International in Uganda and from 2010 to the present day, the Bible College missions have been based in this beautiful area. Robert works alongside the Pastors and has strengthened the churches through his ministry. The result speaks for itself: from just two small churches in 1997 there are now over 50 vibrant churches, whose leadership work together in the local villages.
Every year, a Gospel crusade has been held in one of the villages and has seen many people saved and numerous others healed. One such healing happened to an old lady whose back had been bent over for a very long time; it was physically impossible for her to stand straight. But after members of the team prayed for her, the lady’s back straightened and she was able to walk up-right! Two children from the same family both deaf from birth God restored their hearing. Many miracles have been witnessed during ministry.
Each trip included the purchase of Bibles, educational resources, food, clothes and cooking utensils for the local communities. Having identified that the Pastors in this area have had no formal training, very little teaching material and very few Bibles, Gospellife International has undertaken a programme to equip Pastors into their potential, supplying them with Study Bibles and teaching materials. Equally, congregations of hundreds often share one Bible between them, so the programme also supplies Bibles to the churches.
Robert retired from his position of Missions Director at Carmel Ministries International in 2012 with the purpose of developing Gospellife International through missions to Uganda and Eastern Europe, particularly to teach Pastors in rural areas.
There are currently 5 key workers who assist Robert in Uganda, 3 of whom Robert and Mary encouraged and supported to attend Carmel Bible College. In total, 24 Ugandan students have graduated from Carmel Bible College thanks to the help of Robert and Gospellife International.
In 2014, an exciting new development took place: Gospellife International was established as an NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation) in Uganda, giving Robert a recognisable status in the country thus enabling him to operate independently in his mission for Christ.