Rolland and Heidi Baker began Iris Ministries, Inc., an interdenominational mission, in 1980 and have been missionaries for the past twenty-five years. They were both ordained as ministers in 1985 after completing their BA and MA degrees at Southern California College in Biblical Studies and Church Leadership. Rolland is a third-generation missionary born and raised in China and Taiwan. He was greatly influenced by his grandfather, H.A. Baker, who wrote "Visions Beyond the Veil," an account of the extended visions of heaven and hell that children received in his remote orphanage in southwest China two generations ago.
Heidi was powerfully called to the mission field when she was sixteen and living on an Indian reservation as an American Field Service student. She was led to the Lord by a Navajo preacher. Several months later she was taken up in a vision for several hours and heard the Lord speak to her and tell her to be a minister and a missionary to Africa, Asia and England. When she returned home to Laguna Beach, California, she began ministering at every opportunity and leading short-term mission teams. Rolland and Heidi met at a small charismatic church in Southern California and married six months later after realizing they were united in their calling and desire to see revival among the poor and forgotten of the world.