Merritt Island-Based Teen Missions International Founder Robert Bland Passes Away at 92

By  //  April 15, 2021

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went peacefully to be with the Lord on April 2, 2021

BREVARD COUNTY • MERRITT ISLAND, FLORIDA – Robert Miles Roscoe Bland, 92, of Merritt Island, Florida, went peacefully to be with the Lord on April 2, 2021.

Bob as he was known by all was the youngest son of Jay and Blanche Hatfield Bland of Alma, Ohio. From his humble Appalachian roots, he founded and directed the worldwide ministry of Teen Missions International.

For 50 years he led this ministry with great vision and clarity with his loving wife, Bernice Mae Bland, who preceded him in death.

Being a Depression Era baby, Bob was no stranger to hard work. While his father and three brothers served in WWII, Bob ran the family farm and looked after his mother. His strong work ethic and desire to serve the Lord would later help to form his idea Teen Missions International.

Teen Missions training camp was known as “The Lord’s Boot Camp.” It was here that teens would give up their summers, strap on their eight-inch boots, and “Get Dirty for God, Go Lay a Brick.” Deep in the Florida jungles, teenagers from all over the United States and Canada were brought together to the Lord’s Boot Camp where they learned how to build hospitals, orphanages, airstrips, and medical rescue units in the neediest and most remote corners of the world.

As his ministry vision grew, Bob’s developed a heart to reach widows and orphans in Sub-Saharan Africa, and he created another branch of ministry: Aids Orphans and Street Children.

This ministry built medical rescue units in the African bush, brought tens of thousands of shoes to orphans, and also built matron units for vulnerable young women, so they could have a safe place to stay while traveling. Another vision of Bob’s was the Motorcycle Sunday Schools, fashioned after the famous circuit riders.

Bob was preceded in death by his loving wife, Bernice, of 62 years, as well as his sweet grandson, Joel Ray Bland. Surviving are his daughter Cathy Bland Stringer and her husband, Dr. Randy Stringer. His son, Robin Ray Bland and his wife, Maxine Muriel Boyle Bland.

His grandchildren include grandson, Joshua Robert Stringer, and granddaughter Tara Bland Brozman and husband, Robert Paul Brozman III, granddaughter Catherine-Noel Bland Schultz and husband, Brian James Schultz. Four great-grandchildren: Joel Robert Brozman, Sophia Noelle Schultz, Bella Mae Brozman, and Lily-Grace Bernice Schultz.

Celebrate Mr. Bland’s life with his family at Mt. Tabor Church, 6043 Mt. Tabor Road, Chillicothe, Ohio 45601. A viewing will be held Friday, April 9, 2021, from 6-8 p.m. Funeral service on April 10, 2021, at 11 a.m. The church will be open at 10 a.m. Both services will be held at Mt. Tabor.

In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully suggests making a donation to Aids Orphans and Street Children, P.O. Box 238651, Cocoa, FL 32923.

The family wishes to express their gratitude to Boyer Funeral Home and the church family of Mt. Tabor Community Church.

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