The idea for a Baptist missionary training school was born as a result of an initial missionary trip into the Tlapaneco Indian area of Guerrero, Mexico, made by Missionary George Anderson and Pastor Paul Henderson.
When Brother Anderson tried to live among the Indians and teach them, he discovered that their understanding of Spanish was very limited. He also realized that he had no idea how to learn their unwritten language. He wrote to his Bible college and to several other Baptist schools asking this question: "Do you teach missionaries how to learn languages?" They all replied, "No."
George and his wife, Sharon, left the field and enrolled in a linguistic training program with the purpose of starting a similar school for Baptists. Thus, in 1973, the Baptist Bible Translators Institute began in Ft. Worth, Texas. The following year the school was moved to its present location near Bowie, Texas.
Brother Anderson left BBTI to pastor a church in 1991, and veteran missionary Charles Turner became the director. Rex and Mary Cobb joined the staff in 1999, and Rex was appointed director in 2005.
Since the founding of BBTI, graduates have gone to Indonesia, the Philippines, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Bolivia, Mongolia, Cambodia, Papua New Guinea, Chile, the Chippewa Indians, Tanzania, Colombia, Thailand, Costa Rica, Uganda, Hungary, Ukraine, Vanuatu, Venezuala, Cameroon, Lithuania, South Korea, and some closed countries.