In 1902, Mrs. Mildred Golden, Tennessee Woman’s Missionary Union corresponding secretary, 1898-1902, 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.
Mrs. Golden reported that “No new method ever adopted by us met with more approval than this. The results, while not financially as large as we had hoped for, were gratifying, as the study of the needs of our state excited an interest not to be measured by statistics.”
For the next 10 years, without the convenience of electric typewriters, word processors, or computers, Mrs. Golden, assisted by her husband Dr. W.C. Golden, TBC executive secretary 1902-1910, wrote and copied the programs for the season of prayer.
Family and neighbors joined in counting envelopes and leaflets, wrapping them in brown paper, tying, addressing, stamping, and praying over each packet before they were mailed to the churches.
In 1943, Tennessee WMU named the state missions offering after the Goldens. Mrs. Golden wrote in her letter of acknowledgment, “This is a great honor and I appreciate it all the more because it has come from the state and the WMU that we love and loved to serve…if my part of the name can pass on to those my love and zeal for all missions, particularly for state missions, it will be the fulfillment of one of my most cherished desires.”
Our Tennessee missions heritage is rich with passion, commitment and sacrifice that helps to motivate and propel our churches today 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 2023-24 Golden Offering for Tennessee Missions goal is $2,700,000 and will be collected from Sept. 1, 2023-Aug. 31, 2024. Through the Golden Offering, our contributions provide invaluable financial support for Tennessee ministries like disaster relief ministries, collegiate campus ministries, compassion ministries, church planting, adoption ministries, missions discipleship ministries, BlueOval City initiative and associational ministries.
The suggested date for churches to observe the Week of Prayer for State Missions is September 10-17. Our theme this year is “All Things Tennessee,” and the emphasis Scripture is: “But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’” Matthew 19:26.
Any way you slice it, Tennessee is a mission field! 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 reaching out to our communities.
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