Founders Joe and Tammie Friberg launched Equip Disciples with the simple vision of making disciples everywhere they go. As Paul once said, we never look at people the way we used to before knowing Christ. We know that either they are in God's Kingdom, or they are ones who have still not found the way. Yet, it does not stop there because there is also the need to assess where they are in their spiritual walks with Christ so that they can be brought to be more and more like Jesus. So our goal is to be intentional wherever we go, and build upon the foundation of Christ to strengthen believers and to bring others into the Kingdom. We believe discipleship begins in the home, extends to the church, and then to the world. Our ministry teams are made up of people who share our common purposes, being of the same mind, heart, and spirit, and bound together as a team for God's glory. We all bring our spiritual gifts to the table, and see how God would use each team to minister and build up the body of Christ where we are serving. In truth, we are all disciple makers-teachers, and profoundly, we are also all being discipled all through our lives-being learners, as we teach and serve together in God's field. Really, discipleship is happening every minute of every day, wherever we are people are learning from us in one way or another. And that statement is enough to challenge even the most committed Christians!
From Ephesians 4, we learn that our purpose should be that every Christian become mature and to use the spiritual gifts God has given them to serve others and to build them up for the purpose of ministry. This includes both laypeople and ministers who, through a lifetime of walking with Christ, have vast reservoirs of life experience, knowledge of Scripture, and perspective that can be shared with others.
In many parts of the world, church leaders don't have the benefit of many of resources that we take for granted. While we are far from perfect as individuals or as churches, still, our Christian, Bible-based heritage offers many benefits we can share with others.
Whenever we cross boundaries to preach the gospel, teach the Scriptures, disciple others, encourage the work of ministry--we invariably find that we ourselves are encouraged, challenged, and strengthened in our own faith and obedience.
As iron sharpens iron,
so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27.17)
Tammie and Joe have three children ages 21-28. Each of them has come to know and love the Lord, and are actively and enthusiastically serving the Lord in their own ways.
Tammie serves as Executive Director of Equip Disciples and oversees much of what we do, so if you contact us, she is likely to be the person you'll hear from first.
Joe serves as President of Equip Disciples, gets involved in many of the mission projects, and helps out with many assorted details.
Founder | President
Joe is one of the founders of Equip Disciples, and serves on the Board of Directors and as President.
Joe has long had a passion for studying and teaching the Word of God. Beginning with his First Grade Bible, he began reading and valuing God's Word. At children's camp at age nine, he became a Christian, with a clear understanding from Scripture of God's grace and forgiveness that are available through faith in the work of Jesus.
He has not dealt with us as our sins deserve
or repaid us according to our offenses.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is His faithful love
toward those who fear Him.
As far as the east is from the west,
so far has He removed
our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:10-12, HCSB)
Even from those early days of faith, Joe felt a strong burden for reaching those who had never heard the gospel. Then, while attending a high school discipleship Bible study with his sweetheart (now wife) Tammie, the need for Bible translation for thousands of minority languages in the world became clear. Jack Clifford, the Bible study leader, taught from the Greek and Hebrew, challenging the students to grow and to persist in their faith. Out of these studies, many strong believers are continuing to serve the Lord in a multitude of ways.
Joe's undergraduate studies were in math and physics at the University of Texas at Austin. Yet more significant than the academics of those college years was the experience and challenge of sharing the name of Jesus in a secular world. Bible studies in the dorms, preaching on campus, sharing in the cafeteria, and consistent Quiet Times with God led to the decision to pursue Linguistics in graduate school.
After college, Tammie and Joe married and continued ministering alongside each other. They taught youth and young adults together, played violin duets and played in church orchestras, and went on mission trips together. Joe also led Bible studies with students when he taught high school, and in his office place when he became an actuary.
Joe continued his studies in linguistics at the University of Texas at Arlington, gaining much practical training from Wycliffe Bible translators on the faculty there and at the nearby Summer Institute of Linguistics campus. After earning a Master of Arts in Linguistics, he also earned a Masters of Arts in Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. After graduation, Joe served on the Holman Christian Standard Old Testament translation committee.
Joe serves as a deacon at First Baptist Church of Arlington, Texas, and also teaches adult Bible study along with Tammie. He has served in several mission ministries, taught children's classes, and enjoys being a counselor at children's camp each year. He is also a founding member of the Broken Cords band, where he sings and plays "fiddle".
Joe also runs a pension actuarial practice serving many small business clients.
Founder | Executive Director
Tammie helped to launch Equip Disciples and serves as Executive Director and on the Board of Directors. When you contact us, she is likely to be the person you'll hear from first.
She has been motivated from her youth up to be a disciple of Jesus and to disciple others in the faith. A gifted teacher, she carefully considers her audience and regularly motivates men and women, laypeople and church leaders, to follow and serve Christ more faithfully.
Tammie became a Christian when she was in high school, and immediately pursued a path of growth and sharing her faith. In college, she led Bible studies for fellow musicians and international students. After graduation, she married Joe, her high school sweetheart, and individually and jointly they have taught classes of youth and adults both in and outside of church. She has taught and written materials for women's discipleship groups, Sunday School, missionaries with Wycliffe Bible Translators who are on furlough, Bible classes at Christian Women's Job Corps, classes of internationals, home Bible studies, and more.
Since high school, Tammie has participated in and led mission trips involving youth and adults in cross-cultural ministry. Her passion is to see participants engaged in spiritual ministry, enlarging God's Kingdom and building up the Body of Christ. She has served in Minnesota and Wisconsin, Brazil, Honduras, Mexico, Costa Rica, Kenya, Rwanda, and DR Congo.
Tammie is also a talented violinist with an undergraduate music education degree from West Texas State University, and continues to use her musical talents in church orchestras, playing violin duets with Joe, and on occasion on the mission field.
Tammie has a Masters of Divinity with Biblical Languages from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. She values the foundation this background provides in all her teaching opportunities.
Tammie and her family are members of First Baptist Church of Arlington, Texas. She has served in a variety of ministries, including women's discipleship, children's choir, and various mission ministries.
Our founders, Joe and Tammie Friberg were ordained to the Gospel Ministry by the Baptist Convention of Kenya in 2011.