One hundred years ago, messengers at the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) in Hot Springs, Ark., created a Board of Ministerial Relief and Annuities, which today has become a $15 billion financial services organization known as GuideStone Financial Resources.
At this year’s SBC annual meeting in Dallas, GuideStone will give thanks to the Lord for its first century of service and look forward to the opportunities of its second century, continuing to maintain its founder’s vision of coming alongside retired pastors and their widows in need in their declining years, which it does through Mission:Dignity.
Baptist Press file photo by Marc Ira Hooks
GuideStone Financial Resources President O.S. Hawkins gives the entity’s report to messengers at the 2017 SBC Annual Meeting in Phoenix.
The celebration will kick off on Sunday, June 10, as GuideStone President O.S. Hawkins delivers the sermon in the 10:50 a.m. service at First Baptist Church (FBC) in downtown Dallas. Hawkins, who served as pastor of the historic church, noted that FBC Dallas itself is celebrating its sesquicentennial – 150th anniversary – in 2018.
“The Lord has intertwined the ministries of First Baptist Dallas and GuideStone, especially in our early days,” Hawkins said. “George W. Truett [the church’s longtime pastor] helped make the connection between our founder, William Lunsford, and John D. Rockefeller Sr., who, along with his son, John D. Rockefeller Jr., contributed almost $1 million dollars to help establish the ministry of GuideStone. We are thankful for the ministry of this great church and look forward to giving thanks to the Lord for His blessing on both of these Dallas institutions.”
During this year’s convention, GuideStone again will offer its popular Wellness Center with its one-stop biometric readings. The free screenings – valued at $150 – offer blood-based checks for cholesterol and glucose. Unlike previous years, it is not necessary to fast before these tests this year. Additionally, GuideStone staff will be available during all exhibit hall hours to meet with participants about their retirement plans or insurance coverages.
Also, materials for Mission:Dignity Sunday can be ordered by visiting GuideStone’s exhibit hall booth. Mission:Dignity – the GuideStone ministry that provides financial assistance for retired ministers and their widows near the poverty line – is celebrated on the SBC calendar on the fourth Sunday of June each year. This year it will fall on June 24, though materials are undated and can be used throughout the year.
Mission:Dignity provides support to more than 1,800 retired Southern Baptist workers, ministers and their widows. Materials can be ordered in advance by visiting MDSunday.org.
While supplies last, copies of some of Hawkins’ popular books will be available for a free giveaway. Additionally, GuideStone will have a photo area for participants to capture their image, commemorating GuideStone’s centennial.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Roy Hayhurst is director of denominational and public relations services for GuideStone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.)