Otis Jean Gibson has written and published in more than thirty languages millions of copies of his seven books and Bible training manuals for church use.
He has helped train more than two hundred leaders in discipleship, evangelism, leadership, preaching, and counseling.
At least 40% of them are on the international mission field.
Others are church-planters, elders, deacons, youth leaders, and key teachers worldwide.
The Discipleship Intern Training Program (D.I.T.P.), which was begun in association with author and teacher William MacDonald, is responsible for most of this training.
Mr. Gibson has called Mr. MacDonald “the most influential man in my Christian life.”
The author was a baptized, active member of a mainline Protestant denomination.
He was president of his youth group and an altar boy.
He attended a Christian university, yet he never remembers a single person inquiring about his soul or questioning the reality of his salvation hope.
He had a Bible, knew its stories, recited the creeds, sang the hymns, but had no comprehension of the message of the Gospel.
This has resulted in a life-long concern about false professions and improperly grounded hope for eternal salvation.
He is a believer in salvation by grace alone, through faith in the Gospel offer, apart from works.
He accepts no labels such as Calvinism (reformed), Armenian or other labels.
When asked what kind of Christian he is (a label), he replies, “plain vanilla.”
He was converted in June 1946 after years of vainly seeking satisfaction in pleasure, travel, religion, and glory which he sought when joining the U.S. Marines as a volunteer immediately after the attack on
After serving in the South Pacific, he was released from duty, still feeling an emptiness in the “God-shaped vacuum” within.
After being led providentially to the San Francisco Bay Area to visit a friend and former Marine colleague, he was guided by the Lord to a Bible believing church which had an evening class for inquirers established by the Navigators ministry.
There he learned the Gospel.
Shortly thereafter, in a solitary room which he occupied as a single man, he knelt and surrendered his life to the Lord Jesus Christ without any reservations.
Thereafter, he worked for the
Then he entered service with the US Veterans’ Administration.
From there he entered the pharmaceutical industry and became Western Sales Manager and Assistant National Sales Director.
While in business, he witnessed to business associates and preached at Christian business organizations, Bible conferences, and youth camps throughout the nation.
In 1973 he gave up his position in business to become a full-time preacher who lived by faith alone.
MacDonald’s urging to do this was a decisive influence.
He helped plant a church, establish training ministries, and co-taught the Intern Program with MacDonald.
He was an elder for almost fifty years, then gave up this position to be an elder emeritus.
He is still active, however, in preaching, writing, and discipling.