ANDERSONVILLE — First Baptist Church, Andersonville, has a simple goal for every Southern Baptist or Tennessee Baptist offering.
“We ask our members to give as God gave,” said Steve Lakin, who has served as pastor of the Clinton Baptist Association-affiliated congregation for 18 years.
“We remind people that God gave His best — His Son. Our people respond every time,” Lakin said. “Our people have a heart to give and they have a concern for people,” the pastor continued.
“When they know their money is going to help people and will help spread the gospel, they give.”
First Baptist has long been known for its generous missions giving. The church was featured by the International Mission Board five years ago for its giving to support a missionary couple while still giving generously to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and through the Cooperative Program.
The church had not given to GOTM for several years before contributing $6,412 in 2021 and $14,297 in 2022. This year, they took up their GOTM offering in September and by the end of the third week had collected slightly more than $17,000, Lakin said.
The next week the church received a $5,000 check from a donor by mail who designated it for the state mission offering, the pastor said. The gift increased the offering to more than $22,000, tripling their gifts in just three years. “We were really surprised but grateful that the Lord provided,” he said.
Lakin did note that for the first time in the past three years, the church asked for a mission speaker to tell the church about GOTM and what it was used for.
Joe Sorah, Harvest Field team leader for the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board, spoke and shared how Tennessee Baptists are trying to win the state for Christ. “Our people loved it,” Lakin said.
He also was complimentary of this year’s Golden Offering videos produced by the TBMB’s communications team.
“They were really good and professionally done. I feel the videos were anointed by the Holy Spirit,” he added.
“The more our people realize where our offering is going and what it is accomplishing, they give like crazy. I can’t explain it other than it is all God,” Lakin concluded. B&R