OWM was established as a Non-Profit Organization in November of 2001. Previously, since 1990, the ministry had been a small business operating as a high adventure and evangelism outreach led by JT and Sheryl Turner. Its beginnings can be traced back to June 1982 at midnight in Sells, Arizona on an Indian reservation. After sharing the Gospel with a young boy and hearing the words, "...will you forgive my sin and come into my heart to be my Savior," the vision for OWM was birthed.

After several years on staff at churches in Georgia and Alabama, JT was led to "step out of the boat.” Trusting God for every aspect of life, the Turners formed an official evangelistic association for the express purpose of boldly sharing the message of Jesus with impoverished, forgotten and desperate people groups.