Pastor rides across state to raise GOTM funds
By Lonnie Wilkey
Baptist and Reflector, Editor
MOUNT PLEASANT — For a small congregation, First Baptist Church in Mount Pleasant has always given generously to missions.
Pastor Frank Webb, who also is a F.A.I.T.H. Rider, recently completed a motorcycle ride across Tennessee from Memphis to Mountain City to raise money for the Golden Offering for Tennessee Missions. Several church members pledged an amount per mile for the 1,000-plus mile ride. About $1,600 was pledged for the GOTM.
F.A.I.T.H. Riders is a national ministry developed in 2002 at First Baptist Church at the Mall in Lakeland, Fla. According to the F.A.I.T.H. Riders website, what began “as a four-person step of faith has grown into a team of many dedicated believers committed to the cause of Christ and to share the gospel of Jesus Christ on and with their motorcycles to anyone who will listen.”
The ministry has expanded to more than 350 churches in 29 states, including Tennessee.
Webb’s ride began with a 200-mile ride to the starting point at Faith Baptist Church in Bartlett, a suburb of Memphis. He then rode 530 miles to First Baptist Church, Mountain City. He then rode another 385 miles back to his home for a total of 1,115 miles in two days.
“The weather was wonderful for the first two days of fall. As I rode across the state twice, I prayed for the two out of three people in our state who are spiritually lost,” Webb said.
“I also prayed for the four out of five people who do not attend church on Sunday, making it more difficult to reach the lost. We do have a mission field all around us in Tennessee. May God send out laborers into the harvest,” the pastor said.
The motorcycle ride was not the first time Webb has challenged his church members to raise money to support the state missions offering.
Four years ago (2017) the church gave a record amount to the GOTM.
That year, Webb did a memorial bicycle ride across Tennessee from north to south on Hwy 231. The ride was in memory of a church member, Martha Hull, who had led the church in missions giving for years.
In fact, the $4484 given that year to GOTM earned the award for the No. 1 church in Tennessee per average attendee giving to the GOTM. Webb said the funds came from pledges from his ride plus memorial gifts given in memory of Hull, who died that year.
Webb said he decided to ride his motorcycle this year because “I did not think I could bike from Memphis to Mountain City,” he laughed.
Webb hopes other people across Tennessee will be encouraged to do similar things to raise funds for the Golden Offering for Tennessee Missions. “We have a mission field all around us,” he said. B&R