John’s lifelong passions include discipleship, short-term mission trips, evangelism, teaching, and coaching.

John came to know Jesus as a 13-year old boy and gave his life to full-time ministry at the age of 16. He and his future wife, Penny, met at Baptist Bible College in Pennsylvania and were married in 1975.

They have four grown children who are actively serving the Lord. It is their particular delight, as “Oupa” and “Ouma” to their ten grandchildren, to be able to come alongside the parents to disciple the next generation to love and serve the Lord.

John began his ministry career as a youth pastor in Ohio. He and Penny and their infant son then left for missionary service in South Africa and were there for 14 years under an international missions agency as missionary-church planters.

During this time, they planted four churches and hosted numerous short-term teams and ministry interns.


On their return to the states in 1995, John served as Director of African Ministries with an international missions agency and coached his two sons’ high school soccer teams.

This 7-year phase of ministry included multiple short-term trips to Africa as well as pastoring all of the agency's missionaries in Africa.

At the home office, he and Penny also counseled and trained both pre-field and seasoned missionaries.

It was during the next phase of his ministry, where John served as Missions professor and soccer coach at Bible Colleges in Iowa and in Pennsylvania, that the ministry plan of Compass 28:19 was born. Its purpose has been, and is, to equip churches and their para-church partners to do short-term missions Biblically and well.

Since then, John has led Compass-trained teams from both colleges and local churches to countries in Africa, Europe, and South America. Compass teams have also ministered in Australia and Asia.

John and Penny and the rest of the Compass home office are looking forward to seeing all that the Lord will do during this next, virtual season of Compass as they continue to entrust the whole Gospel to faithful people who will be able to teach others also.

 - 2 Timothy 2:2.

Short-term missionaries, John and Hope Murdoch

The Murdochs have a rewarding and strategic ministry with the Civil Air Patrol, the Indiana State Police, the Howard County Sheriff’s Department, and the United States Service Command.

John has ongoing assignments with the International Association of Evangelical Chaplains and was previously Director of Chaplaincy Ministries with the Regular Baptist Chaplaincy Ministries (GARBC).

Prior to becoming a full-time chaplain to military and law enforcement officers, John had leadership roles (pastor, music minister, youth pastor) in  local churches  in Indiana, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

To learn more about this unique ministry (John is an experienced and entertaining speaker),  please email John and Hope at