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Aug. 28, 2013
Liberty Baptist Church
1021 Big Bethel Rd.
Hampton, VA 23666

Nov. 10, 2013
Hickory Grove Baptist Church
6050 Hickory Grove Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28215

Feb. 26, 2014
Great Hills Baptist Church
10500 Jollyville Rd.
Austin, TX 78759

May 13-14, 2014
First Baptist Spartanburg
250 East Main Street
Spartanburg, SC 29308

Aug. 27, 2014
The Heights Baptist Church
17201 Jefferson Davis Highway
Colonial Heights, VA 23834

Nov. 7, 2014
First Baptist Church Olive Branch
9235 Pigeon Roost Rd.
Olive Branch, MS 38654



Missions director links small churches for big projects

By Ken Walker

MADISONVILLE, Ky.–Even the smallest of churches can make a huge difference by working with other congregations to do missions, according to Bob Morrison.

Morrison is director of missions for Little Bethel Baptist Association, where a third of the 49 churches have fewer than 100 people in Sunday School each week. Most others have fewer than 200.

But together the churches have seen more than 5,000 professions of faith in the past decade through overseas missions.

Working through the Kentucky Baptist Convention’s partnership missions program, Madisonville-area Baptists have helped build churches in Tobago, a church and seminary in Russia and a school in Tanzania.

“We’ve seen a marked increase in missions giving,” Morrison added. “This has made people bolder to share their faith. People have answered the call to prayer, and young people have surrendered their lives to missions. We’ve seen all of that.”

The association’s trips put smaller churches on equal footing with larger congregations, he said. For its most recent mission trip to Tobago, 27 people from nine churches participated.

“Small churches tend to stand back and be reluctant to get involved,” Morrison said. “But this way, they can do as much as a big church. Small churches with limited resources have found a productive venue.”

Even with the association’s success, Morrison said he still encounters objections to missions, primarily those who say, “we ought to take care of things at home first,” or who question the expense of overseas travel.

But he said he usually can explain the reasons for going on mission, and how those who go tend to be more involved when they return home.

Morrison also believes in association trips because it helps define the character of an association and draws churches closer together. In many associations, churches are linked by name only, he added.

Missions also helps direct a church’s vision outwardly, he said.
“One of the positive aspects of partnership missions is it helps them get a vision for missions,” Morrison said. “We take people overseas, and it helps them to be comfortable sharing their faith.”
Second Baptist Church of Madisonville is one of the congregations that has participated in Little Bethel’s mission trips.

Over the past four years, 16 members have been on trips to Trinidad and Tobago. Ten teens traveled to Raleigh, N.C., last summer to participate in the Southern Baptist Convention’s World Changers housing renovation program.

Pastor Roy Finley said the church volunteers are invited to report on their activities when they return.

“When people come back and share reports about what they’ve done, they stir the congregation to be involved in something like that,” said Finley, who has been at the church since 1996. “It keeps people up to date and aware of what’s going on. That really makes our people feel like they’re part of it.”

Second Baptist, which averages just over 100 people in Sunday School, helps members overcome financial barriers by establishing a mission fund.

The fund currently contains $10,000, the maximum level set for the revolving fund. It is replenished by budget contributions and other donations after members go on mission projects.

The net effect of this effort has been an increase in giving and more participation in missions, Finley said.

“The church was always missions-minded, but this is more consistent,” Finley said. “Now it’s a regular, ongoing thing. We’re already looking at going to Tobago next year.”

Reprinted with permission from the Western Recorder

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