In 1902 W.C. and Mildred Golden cast a vision for Tennessee Baptists to pray for our Tennessee mission field and give to the first state missions offering; a total of $800 was given. In 1943, Tennessee WMU named the state missions offering after the Goldens. Today, churches are still encouraged to learn about, pray for, give to and serve in missions and ministries in Tennessee.
The Week of Prayer for State Missions and the Golden Offering for Tennessee Missions highlight and support missions and ministries that make a difference in lives across Tennessee. And while the offering is taken year-round, and the ministries happen throughout the year, in September we spotlight how together Tennessee Baptists support missions and ministries in Tennessee.
The suggested date for churches to observe the Week of Prayer is Sept. 11-18. The 2022-23 Golden Offering for Tennessee Missions goal is $2,400,000 and will be collected from Sept. 1, 2022-Aug. 31, 2023.
Our theme this year is “Do a New Thing” and the emphasis Scripture is: “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up, do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland” (Isaiah 43:19 NIV).
Tennessee Baptists are being encouraged through this emphasis to look at what the Lord is doing; ask the Lord to surprise you/your church; surrender your will to God’s will, invest your time, treasures, talents – your life in the new thing God is doing; and give God the glory.
The American Belief Study of 2021 highlights the spiritual lostness and decline of our state:
• 73.4 percent of the population of Tennessee rarely or never attend a church.
• 40 percent of Tennesseans indicated they had a personal relationship with Jesus!
• 60 percent of Tennesseans indicated they are unsure or don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus.
• Only 35 percent of Tennesseans agree that Jesus is the only way for human salvation from sin.
Other stats that help drive home that Tennessee IS a mission field:
• 13.9 percent of Tennesseans have incomes below the poverty line.
• One in eight people in Tennessee face hunger; one in 6 children face hunger.
• 5,029,476 opioid painkiller prescriptions were written in 2020.
• At least three people die every day from opioid related overdoses.
• Tennessee is in the top five states in drug overdose deaths.
• An average of 6,500 alcohol related traffic accidents occur every year.
• Tennessee has 14 state prisons in Tennessee, 26 juvenile detention centers and 112 jails in 95 counties.
• Tennessee has an incarceration rate of 838 per 100,000 people, meaning that it locks up a higher percentage of its people than any democracy on earth.
• About half of the state prisoners Tennessee releases each year return to prison within three years.
• Every county in Tennessee has reported cases of human trafficking.
• Human trafficking is the second-highest rising crime in the state.
If we are going to reach Tennessee for Christ, it will require the efforts of all Tennessee Baptists working together, looking beyond the walls of our churches, meeting needs through the love of Christ, having gospel conversations and being ready to do new things to reach our communities.
Through GOTM, our contributions provide invaluable financial support for Tennessee ministries like disaster relief, Baptist Collegiate Ministries, compassion ministries, church planting, literacy missions, Christmas Backpacks and church revitalization.
Thank you, Tennessee Baptists, for your prayers, gifts and involvement in state missions. Visit GoldenOffering.org for promotional materials, videos, and more information. B&R