Andy is the founder and Board Chair of BESTWA. Andy and his wife Teresa have 6 children and 17 grandchildren. They live in Grand Prairie, Texas and attend Midlothian Bible Church. Andy first traveled to Liberia in 1998 to help with a pastors' conference, and has been returning ever since. After working in various capacities to meet the practical needs of the Liberian people, Andy founded BESTWA.
Andy was born in Warsaw, New York and spent his first 10 years in Castile, New York, a town that was largely planned and built by his great grandfather, D. Center Perkins. His grandfather, Rev. Donald M. Perkins, Sr., founded Elohim Bible Institute there in the early 1940's. Andy's parents, Rev. Jim and Shirley Perkins, trained for the ministry at Elohim Bible Institute. Andy was exposed early and often to missions work, because Elohim Bible Institute hosted many wonderful missionaries as speakers, and Andy's Uncle, Don Perkins, was a missionary to Ethiopia.
In 1959, Andy's parents were called by God to move their family of 7 across the country. They packed up all they owned and left Castile (and their large extended family) for parts unknown, stopping and setting down roots in Dubois, Idaho. Rev. Perkins later pastored in Montana and Idaho. Andy's earliest jobs in these rural communities included bucking hay on a ranch, moving irrigation pipes, and working at a feed lot.
Andy was blessed to attended High School at Prairie Academy in Three Hills, Alberta, Canada, from 1964 to 1966. While there he dormed with students from all over the world, many of them missionary kids.
In 1970, Andy was drafted into the U.S. Army. He met his wife Teresa at Fort Knox, Kentucky and they were married in 1975. During his time in the military, Andy served one tour of duty in Korea and two in Germany. He achieved the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 2, and was Law Office Manager in the Judge Advocate General's Corps. On his separation from the military in 1980, Andy and his wife Teresa moved with their 3 children from Germany to Dallas, Texas, where Andy attended Christ For The Nations Institute. As a student he edited the yearbook, and later became the Managing Editor of CFNI magazine.
After leaving CFNI, Andy spent over 20 years in print sales in the DFW metropolex, and then sold advertising for the digital version of the Fort Worth Star Telegram from 2001 until 2004. From 1998 to 2004, he visited and gave of his time and money to do all he could to help his friends in Liberia in a personal capacity.
In January 2005, Andy was diagnosed with terminal cancer and told to get his affairs in order. Through that Winter and the following Spring he went through surgery, chemotherapy, and drastic dietary changes to fight the cancer. Happily, Andy has been cancer free since then.
Andy's passion for the wonderful people of Liberia is what drives him. He currently works full time as the Founder and Board Chair for BESTWA in the U.S. with multiple trips each year to Liberia.