Rio Grande Bible Institute

The information on this page was last updated 2/20/2023. If you see errors or omissions, please email: [email protected]


Rio Grand Bible Ministries develop Christ-centered leaders with a biblical worldview for the global church.

To the Latin American students who study here, Seminario Bblico Ro Grande is the place where they prepare to serve the rapidly growing but needy Latin American church. The Rio Grande Bible College began in 1947 and continues to be the core of this ministry.

Bibleville, established in 1975, is a Bible Conference Center with about 500 residents. It also hosts hundreds of other Winter Texans and local friends at its Bible conferences and music concerts throughout the winter months. Desiring greater missions involvement, Bibleville became a part of the Institute in 1993, adding a whole new group of prayer and ministry partners to the growing Rio Grande family.

Radio Esperanza has over 35 years of experience serving the community and broadcasting the Gospel in Spanish; 2 FM stations and 1 AM station, with 24/7 programming, concerts, over 150,000 listeners worldwide, and a potential audience of millions in the broadcast area. Our signal reaches across the Texas border, into northern Mexico, and around the world via the internet.

Rio Grande Bible Ministries publishes the RIO GRANDE MAGAZINE three times a year. This publication provides insights about various facets of its ministry as well as a devotional to encourage and stimulate its readers in their walk with Lord Jesus Christ.

Contact information

Mailing address:
Rio Grande Bible Institute
4300 S Business Hwy 281
Edinburg, TX 78539-9650


Phone: 956-380-8100

Email: [email protected]

Organization details

EIN: 746066216

CEO/President: Lawrence Windle

Chairman: Marty Von

Board size: 15

Founder: Rev. M.C. Ehlert

Ruling year: 1948

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 06/30

Member of ECFA: Yes

Member of ECFA since: 1983


The student who comes to Seminario Bblico Ro Grande will find an institution where the development of his spiritual life is considered the highest priority. Classes will challenge you academically, but their focus is obedience to the Word of God and not mere knowledge. It emphasizes the believer's union with Christ and the impact of this on his life. Leadership is focused as a "service" to the Lord and to His church, which is accomplished through good preparation and steady guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Our goal is an integral preparation, seeking excellence in ministry, which is seen as "service" in the church for Christ our Lord.

Mission statement

The mission of the Seminario Bblico Ro Grande is to "develop Christ-centered leaders with a biblical worldview for the global church."

Statement of faith

The general doctrinal position of Rio Grande Bible Ministries may be described as adherent to the view of man's universal depravity, his free will, and the security of the believer; dispensational in interpretation and biblically fundamental in doctrine. We hold to the pre-tribulation rapture of the saints and the fullness of the Holy Spirit as the heritage and inheritance of all believers in Christ. We do not hold the "Pentecostal" interpretation of the work of the Holy Spirit, nor tongues as the evidence of the fullness of the Spirit, nor an "experience-related" Christian life. Each worker and board member is required annually to subscribe to the Statement of Faith without mental reservations.


We believe that the Holy Bible as originally written was verbally inspired in all its parts and is the product of Spirit-controlled men, and therefore is truth without any admixture of error. We believe the Bible to be the true center of Christian unity and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds and opinions shall be tested.
II Tim. 3:16, 17; II Peter 1:19-21; Mt. 1:22; John 10:35; Isa.8:20.

We believe that there is one, and only one, living and true God, an infinite, intelligent Spirit, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth; infinitely glorious in holiness, and worthy of all worship, honor, confidence and love; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.
Ex. 20:2; Mt. 28:19, 20; I Cor. 8:6; Rev. 4:11.

We believe that the eternal Son of God became incarnate as the Lord Jesus Christ, who is true God and true Man, having been begotten of the Holy Spirit and born of Mary, a virgin.
John 1:14; Isa. 7:14; Mt. 1:18-25; Luke 1:27,35.

We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine Person, equal with God the Father and God the Son and of the same nature; that He was active in the creation of the universe; that He convicts of sin, of righteousness and of judgment; that He bears witness to the truth of the Gospel in preaching and testimony; that He is the Agent in the new birth; that He baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ; and that He seals, indwells, guides, teaches, witnesses, sanctifies and helps every believer. We also hold that believers are admonished to be filled with the Spirit.
Gen. 1:1-3; Mt. 28:19; Mark 1:8; Luke 1:35; 4:14; 24:49; John 1:33; 14:16, 17, 26; 16:8-11; Acts 5:30-32; 11:16; Rom. 8:14-16,26-27; I Cor. 12:12-13; Eph. 1:13-14; 5:18.

We believe in the personality of Satan, that he is the evil god of this age, that he directs and energizes all the powers of darkness, and that he is destined to the judgment of eternal justice in the lake of fire.
Mt. 4:1,3; II Cor. 4:4; Rev. 20:10.

We believe the Genesis account of creation and that man came by direct creation of God and not by evolution.
Gen. 1, 2; Col. 1:16, 17; John 1:3.

We believe that man was created in innocence in the spiritual image of God, but by voluntary transgression fell from his sinless state, in consequence of which all men are now sinners by nature and by choice; and that, therefore, all men are under the just condemnation of God, without defense or excuse.
Gen. 3:1-6; Rom. 1:18-32; 5:10-19; Eph. 2:1-3.

We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly by God's grace through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God, who by the appointment of the Father, freely took upon Himself the nature of men, yet without sin; that He honored the divine law by His perfect, personal obedience, and by His death made a full and vicarious atonement for the sins of all men; that His atonement did not consist of setting men an example by His death as a martyr, but was a voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner's place, the Just dying for the unjust, Christ the Lord bearing the sins of men in His own body upon the Cross; that having bodily risen from the dead, He is now seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven, and, uniting in His wonderful Person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfection, He is in every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate and an all-sufficient Savior.
Isa. 53:4-7; Mt. 18:11, 28:6-7; Mark 16:6, 19; Luke 24:26, 51; John 3:16; 20:27; Acts 1:9-11; 15:11; Rom. 3:24-25; I Cor. 15:3-4; II Cor. 5:21; Phil. 2:7; I Tim. 1:5; Heb. 2:14, 17; 5:9-10; 8:6; 12:2; I John 2:1; 4:10; Rev. 3:21

We believe that in order to be saved from the guilt and penalty of sin and to enter the Kingdom of God, the sinner must be born again of the Spirit of God; that the new birth is an instantaneous act of creation, not a process; that in the new birth the sinner dead in trespasses and sins is made a new creation, a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life as the free gift of God; that the new creation is brought about in a manner beyond our comprehension solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with the Word of God, so as to secure the voluntary obedience of the sinner to the gospel; that the proper evidence of the new birth appears in the holy fruits of repentance and faith and newness of life.
John 3:3, 7-8; Acts 16:30-33; Rom. 6:23; II Cor. 5:17, 19; Eph. 2:1, 8-10; Col. 2:13; I Pet. 1:23; II Pet. 1:4.

We believe that the great salvation blessing which Christ secures to those who believe in Him is justification, which includes the pardon of all sin and the imputation of the righteousness of Christ. This justification is given, not in consideration of any works of righteousness which man renders to God, but solely through faith in the Redeemer's blood.
Isa. 53:11; Zech. 13:1; Acts 13:31, 38-39; Rom. 3:21-26; 5:1, 9;8:1; Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:4-7.

Of The Local church -We believe that a local church is a congregation of born-again believers, associated by mutual faith for fellowship, edification and service; observing the ordinances of baptism and the Lord's Supper as instituted by the Lord Jesus Christ; governed by His laws; and exercising the gifts, rights and privileges invested in them by His Word; that its officers are pastors or elders and deacons whose qualifications and duties are clearly defined in the Scriptures; we further believe that the true mission of the Church is the faithful witnessing of Christ to all men as we have opportunity.
Mt. 28:19-20; Acts 1:8; 2:42, 47; 6:1-7; 14:23; 20:17, 28; I Cor. 11:23-32; Phil. 1:1; I Tim. 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; Heb. 13:15-17; I Pet. 5:1-3.

Of The True Church -We believe that the true church consists of all believers on the Lord Jesus Christ and is the Bride of Christ which will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air at His return, Christ being the Bridegroom.
I Cor. 12:12-13; I Thes. 4:13-17; Eph. 5:22-32; Rev. 19:7-9.

We believe that all who are truly born again are kept by God the Father for Jesus Christ, having been sealed by the Spirit until the day of redemption.
Eph. 1:13, 14; 4:30; John 10:28-29; Rom. 8:35-39; Phil. 1:6; Jude 1:24.

We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that only those who through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and sanctified by the Spirit of our God, are truly righteous in His sight; while those who continue in impenitence and unbelief are in His sight wicked and under the curse; and this distinction holds among men both in life and after death in the everlasting felicity of the saved and the everlasting conscious suffering of the lost.
Gen. 18:23; Prov. 14:12; Mal. 3:18; Mt. 25:34-41; John 3:31; Rom. 6:17, 18, 23; I John 5:19; II Thes. 1:7-9.

We believe that civil government is of divine appointment for the interests and good order of human society; that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed, except in things clearly opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ who is the only Lord of the conscience and the coming Prince of the kings of the earth.
Ex. 18:22; 2 Sam. 23:3; Dan. 3:17-18; Mt. 22:21; Acts 4:19-20; 23:5; 5:29; Rom. 13:1-7; Titus 3:1-2; I Pet. 2:13-14.

A. We believe in the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ in the clouds to rapture His church. I Thes. 4:13-18; James 5:8; Heb. 9:28.
B. We believe in the resurrection of the righteous dead. I Cor. 15:42-44,52; I Thes. 4:13-18.
C. We believe in the transformation of the bodies of the living believers in Christ at the rapture. I Cor. 15:51-53; I Thes. 4:13-18; Phil 3:20-21.
D. We believe in the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus to the earth to occupy the throne of David. 2 Sam. 7:8-16; Isa. 9:6-7; Zech. 14:4,9; Luke 1:31-33; Acts 2:29,30; 15:14-17.
E. We believe in the millennial reign of the Lord Jesus Christ. Psa. 72:8; Isa. 32:1; 11:4-5; I Cor. 15:25; Rev. 20:1-6.

During September each year, or as soon thereafter as practical, each Board member, Faculty and Staff member and Officer shall be required to subscribe in writing, to the official articles of Faith. Any new member of the Staff or Board shall be required to sign the Articles of Faith upon appointment.

Donor confidence score

Show donor confidence score details

Transparency grade


To understand our transparency grade, click here.

Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Colleges/Universities

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating718 of 109798 of 130
Fund acquisition rating366 of 109938 of 130
Resource allocation rating833 of 1099100 of 130
Asset utilization rating743 of 1097105 of 130

Financial ratios

Funding ratiosSector median20222021202020192018
Return on fundraising efforts Return on fundraising efforts =
Fundraising expense /
Total contributions
Fundraising cost ratio Fundraising cost ratio =
Fundraising expense /
Total revenue
Contributions reliance Contributions reliance =
Total contributions /
Total revenue
Fundraising expense ratio Fundraising expense ratio =
Fundraising expense /
Total expenses
Other revenue reliance Other revenue reliance =
Total other revenue /
Total revenue
Operating ratiosSector median20222021202020192018
Program expense ratio Program expense ratio =
Program services /
Total expenses
Spending ratio Spending ratio =
Total expenses /
Total revenue
Program output ratio Program output ratio =
Program services /
Total revenue
Savings ratio Savings ratio =
Surplus (deficit) /
Total revenue
Reserve accumulation rate Reserve accumulation rate =
Surplus (deficit) /
Net assets
General and admin ratio General and admin ratio =
Management and general expense /
Total expenses
Investing ratiosSector median20222021202020192018
Total asset turnover Total asset turnover =
Total expenses /
Total assets
Degree of long-term investment Degree of long-term investment =
Total assets /
Total current assets
Current asset turnover Current asset turnover =
Total expenses /
Total current assets
Liquidity ratiosSector median20222021202020192018
Current ratio Current ratio =
Total current assets /
Total current liabilities
Current liabilities ratio Current liabilities ratio =
Total current liabilities /
Total current assets
Liquid reserve level Liquid reserve level =
(Total current assets -
Total current liabilities) /
(Total expenses / 12)
Solvency ratiosSector median20222021202020192018
Liabilities ratio Liabilities ratio =
Total liabilities /
Total assets
Debt ratio Debt ratio =
Debt /
Total assets
Reserve coverage ratio Reserve coverage ratio =
Net assets /
Total expenses


Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$76,047$344,444$66,509$94,710$172,644
Short-term investments$5,570,706$4,474,310$3,233,989$2,586,102$3,122,186
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$6,156,233$5,129,475$5,049,349$4,025,946$3,616,572
Long-term investments$0$0$0$0$0
Fixed assets$7,287,207$7,164,239$6,076,542$4,130,707$3,325,354
Other long-term assets$1,272,054$722,054$722,054$722,054$722,054
Total long-term assets$8,559,261$7,886,293$6,798,596$4,852,761$4,047,408
Total assets$14,715,494$13,015,768$11,847,945$8,878,707$7,663,980
Payables and accrued expenses$287,012$160,560$381,596$94,964$129,244
Other current liabilities$654,005$761,229$788,902$713,851$730,602
Total current liabilities$941,017$921,789$1,170,498$808,815$859,846
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$645,092$661,762$694,449$312,102$357,494
Total long-term liabilities$645,092$661,762$698,106$312,102$357,494
Total liabilities$1,586,109$1,583,551$1,868,604$1,120,917$1,217,340
Net assets20222021202020192018
Without donor restrictions$11,125,058$10,193,224$8,306,378$6,523,810$5,665,493
With donor restrictions$2,004,327$1,238,993$1,672,963$1,233,980$781,147
Net assets$13,129,385$11,432,217$9,979,341$7,757,790$6,446,640
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$4,285,765$3,127,350$4,579,159$3,519,651$2,283,362
Program service revenue$1,039,265$881,535$883,672$965,002$990,409
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$1,263,248$112,448$102,025$113,716$92,374
Other revenue$112,568$77,959$115,494$95,717$141,879
Total other revenue$2,415,081$1,071,942$1,101,191$1,174,435$1,224,662
Total revenue$6,700,846$4,199,292$5,680,350$4,694,086$3,508,024
Program services$3,313,711$2,747,765$2,738,862$2,842,918$2,870,818
Management and general$759,643$595,262$596,436$590,981$585,852
Total expenses$4,392,979$3,648,559$3,629,660$3,756,100$3,830,830
Change in net assets20222021202020192018
Surplus (deficit)$2,307,867$550,733$2,050,690$937,986($322,806)
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets$2,307,867$550,733$2,050,690$937,986($322,806)


Lawrence WindlePresident$67,107

Compensation data as of: 6/30/2022

Response from ministry

No response has been provided by this ministry.

The information below was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 2/20/2023. To update the information below, please email: [email protected]


The Rio Grande Bible Institute, Inc. was founded in 1946 by Rev. M.C. Ehlert, a Baptist pastor and evangelist, who came to the Rio Grande Valley in 1937 to do tent evangelism. He saw a great need to train Hispanic believers and new converts because there was very little Bible training available for them.

Mr. Ehlert's vision led to the purchase of 40 acres of land in Edinburg, Texas, the heart of the lower Rio Grande Valley. The first buildings were erected and classes began in the spring of 1947. The school was unique in that it was bilingual, offering three years of comprehensive Bible training in either English or Spanish.

In 1955, the English Bible Institute was discontinued and the Spanish language school was begun in its place. Later the Bible Institute program was lengthened to four years, and more recently the one- and two-year programs were made available to college graduates.

God has prospered both schools. More than 6,000 people from mainly Latin and North America have come to study. The most recent enrollments in the Bible Institute have been in excess of 120 day students with another 20 enrolled in the Language School.

In 1999, Rio Grande was accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE), but it was not until 2008 that the State of Texas recognized the accreditation, monumentally giving their certificate of authorization for the Seminario Bblico Ro Grande to grant the Bachelor in Biblical Studies degree.

Throughout the past 73 years, God has blessed Rio Grande with a forty-nine acre campus and expanded the ministry beyond its perimeters. Within the last 36 years, God has added the ministry of broadcasting through Radio Esperanza.

In 2008, the third radio station was acquired, resulting in one AM and two FM stations, with the signal reaching the lower and mid-Rio Grande Valley and deep into northern Mexico. Through the Internet, Radio Esperanza can be heard all around the world, touching lives with God's Word.

Video Esperanza is an extension of Seminario Bblico Ro Grande through video and audio materials, making it possible for those who are unable to attend the Institute be trained in God's Word.

In 1993, Bibleville, a non-denominational Bible Conference Center near Alamo, Texas, became the latest addition to the growing Rio Grande family. There "Winter Texans" host Bible conferences and music concerts during the winter months, and have become important prayer and ministry partners to Rio Grande Bible Ministries staff and students.

The mission of the Seminario Bblico Ro Grande is to "develop Christ-centered leaders with a biblical worldview for the global church." An ongoing reality is that most of our enrolling students cannot afford to pay anything remotely near the actual costs of their education.

To address this reality, Rio Grande Bible Institute, Inc., right from its inception, decided that its members would be asked to depend completely on the Lord to meet their personal financial needs. The vast majority of our approximately 100 staff personnel do not receive a salary but, through deputized fund-raising, seek ministry partners who will support them financially. For this reason our Bible College ministry, for example, can continue to offer a complete education for our students at a fraction of the cost that they would have to pay if they attended any other USA-based college offering a similar type of degree.

God continues to sustain each of our Rio Grande Bible Ministries through the prayers and financial gifts of His people who share our passion for fulfilling the mission the Lord has given us.

Program accomplishments