Baptist & Reflector
FRANKLIN — With just over four months to go in the 2017-18 Golden Offering for Tennessee Missions year, gifts are running 4.75 percent behind the same point last year. This leaves the offering about 18 percent short of the $1.925 million goal.
As of April 10, Tennessee Baptists have given a total of $1,577,398 through the Golden Offering which funds ministry needs in Tennessee.
Because Tennessee Baptists are engaged in state missions through giving, praying, and doing, many needs have been met so far in Tennessee this year, observed Vickie Anderson, executive director of Tennessee Baptist Woman’s Missionary Union.
• New Horizon Baptist Church in LaFollette has received funds to help begin a homeless shelter and are helping people find homes and jobs. So far, there have been at least 11 professions of faith as a result of this ministry.
• Western District Baptist Association is using the funds they received from the GOTM towards planting a Hispanic church that just in its beginning stages has already had two people saved and baptized.
• Mountain Creek Baptist Church in Chattanooga received funds to help with their growing English as a Second Language ministry.
• GOTM funds help purchase playground equipment for the Women at the Well Ministry in Athens so children have a place to play when they come to visit their mothers who are recovering from addictions.
• Bethany Baptist Church in Mountain City has been given Experiencing God workbooks purchased by GOTM funds for inmates at Northeast Correctional Facility.
• Eight people have accepted Christ through the food ministry of Midland Baptist Church in Bell Buckle.
• Dozens of new churches have been started across the state to reach the lost in communities and social circles that aren’t being reached by existing churches.
These are just a few examples of how GOTM funds are being used, Anderson said.
She reminded Tennessee Baptists that every dollar given through the Golden Offering is used in Tennessee for things like compassion ministries, church planting, church revitalization, disaster relief, and Baptist collegiate ministries.
Anderson stressed that Tennessee is a missions field. “Tennessee Baptists are the only people who give through this offering to fund ministries in our state.”
The WMU leader is confident that Tennessee Baptists will respond in the next four months because they are quick to meet needs.
One reason for the shortfall in GOTM giving, she affirmed, is because of all the hurricanes that hit the United States last fall at the same time churches were promoting the GOTM.
From September through December, TBC churches gave slightly over $807,500 for hurricane relief. Some of that money probably would have gone to the GOTM, she said.
“Since September, Tennessee Baptists have given more than $2.3 million to GOTM and hurricane relief. We can celebrate that,” Anderson said.
But there are still needs to be met through the Golden Offering, she continued. “It’s not too late to give. We can still meet our goal.”
Churches that have yet to give through the Golden Offering for Tennessee Missions can send their funds by Aug. 31 to: Tennessee Baptist Mission Board, P.O. Box 682789, Franklin, TN 37068.
Anderson noted individuals also can give directly to the GOTM on the offering’s website at www.goldenoffering.com.