Georgia Baptists lead the way

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Every Baptist wants to know that the money he/she places in the offering plate goes to worthwhile causes. Georgia Baptists can express gratitude for the way their Cooperative Program dollars are being allocated through the Georgia Baptist Mission Board.

The Executive Committee gets to hear periodic reports on the Cooperative Program Allocation Budget, but many of you are not aware of the leadership position Georgia Baptists hold in gifts to missions.

Baptist state publication editors get the monthly reports from the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee regarding the various state conventions’ contributions to the Cooperative Program as well as to designated missions.

In May 2017 Georgia Baptists led the way in giving to the Cooperative Program with $1,520,236.14. The Texas (SBTC) Convention was second with $1,290,911.36. Alabama was third with $1,228,751.66 and Tennessee was fourth with $1,129,426.54.

Georgia also led the way in designated missions giving in May 2017 with $1,490,028.33. It is quite remarkable that Executive Director J. Robert White was able to forward $2,997,114.50 on to the SBC Executive Committee in just one month.

Georgia was also the leading state in Cooperative Program gifts for May of 2016 with $1,476,878.36.

These giving records are notable in that Georgia Baptists have significant missions and ministry responsibilities opportunities, which must be funded in the state – more than many of the other state conventions.

University of Georgia-Athens sophomore Kenneth Brock, left, believes BCM is a vital part of his academic and spiritual development at college. JOE WESTBURY/Index

For example, one of the most extensive and expansive ministries the Georgia Baptist Mission Board has been able to develop over the years is our Baptist Collegiate Ministries, touching the lives of thousands of students on nearly 50 campuses. Joe Graham recently reported that for every three students involved in the BCM, one unbeliever is won to faith in Christ.

Under the direction of Butch Butcher, the Georgia Baptist Mission Board is engaged in an ambitious church planting effort, currently assisting scores of churches by providing a church planting school, church planting development, start-up funds ,and financial support to church plants that qualify.

Additionally, the Intercultural Church Planting and Missions Ministry of the GBMB, under the leadership of Jerry Baker, is endeavoring to connect with the growing ethnic population of Georgia.

Current population statistics indicate that 41 percent of the people in Georgia are not white. The Atlanta Journal Constitution published an article on Feb. 12, 2015 projecting that by 2040 white voters will no longer be a majority. Georgia Baptists are working hard to show the love of Christ to the black and ethnic population of the state.

The Georgia Baptist Mission Board also has a team of missionaries under the direction of Larry Wynn prepared to help churches in need of revitalization. Statistics tell us that 8 1/2 out of every ten churches have either plateaued or are in decline. Near the end of his ministry, the great expositional preacher Stephen Olford stated, “The churches in America are hemorrhaging at the rate of 50,000 souls per Sunday at the hands of a watered down Gospel that fails to enliven its hearers with a steadfast, Spirit-wrought faith.”

With so many churches struggling, the church revitalization ministry of the GBMB is prepared to help assist leaders in seeing the potential for revitalization, assess where they are, help them dream again, and help them determine where they want to go.

Georgia Baptist missionary Stuart Lang provides leadership in GBMB’s Disaster Relief ministry and says, “The purpose of disaster relief is to serve Christ in crisis. Did you know that 95 percent of the meals that the American Red Cross serves are prepared by Southern Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers? Georgia Baptists have been at the forefront of this ministry for years. The ultimate goal of disaster relief is to point people to Jesus Christ; and every year souls are saved through this ministry.

Georgia Baptist have a mobile health ministry designed to bring “help now and for eternity”. The mobile health care unit travels all across the state to help churches and associations reach out into their community through health care. However, this ministry provides not only health services, but a Christian witness to the underserved persons of Georgia.

It would be impossible to communicate in one article all that the Georgia Baptist Mission Board is doing to serve the churches of the state. However, you may be assured that the leadership of the GBMB is committed to the principles of good stewardship and spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ in our Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth.

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