This ministry began in the fall of 1998 when Dr. Jim Wilson, then pastor of Hope Evangelical Free Church in Madison, Alabama, mobilized a team people from the church to investigate opportunities for long-term ministry in Nicaragua. Following research and prayer, it was clear to the leaders of Hope that pastoral/leadership training was a real and felt need in Nicaragua. The initial vision for Hope was to INFLUENCE THE INFLUENCERS and INVOLVE HOPE PEOPLE. This strategic initiative was intended to have maximum impact by targeting leaders, who would then be better equipped to equip their people. There was also a significant positive benefit for the local church in that this ministry would provide opportunities for individuals to deploy their gifts in a cross-cultural setting as well as providing the church with an on-going ministry in a focused location. The underlying foundation for this long-term focus is the development of trust through long-term relationships.
Through discussions with pastors in the Chinandega/Corinto area of Nicaragua, plans were made to begin the first course in 2001. A six-year commitment between Hope EFC and the local pastors council was forged and the ministry began. God blessed the work of the initial Bible Institute and the work has spread to presently (April 2014) include 9 Bible Institutes in Nicaragua, 4 in Costa Rica, and 1 in Panama. These Bible Institutes are currently supported by several churches and a network of individuals from the United States and Central America. Dr. Wilson, and his wife, Melanie, currently live in Costa Rica in order to devote more time and attention to the effectiveness, impact, and spread of IBAC throughout Latin America.