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Our Lottie Moon story
BR staff
March 24, 2016
5 MIN READ TIME

Our Lottie Moon story

Our Lottie Moon story
BR staff
March 24, 2016

The Biblical Recorder is sharing some of the stories about the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering (LMCO) from churches across the state. The money raised goes to support the International Mission Board (IMB) and its missionaries around the globe. Other stories were printed in the Feb. 13 issue. This list represents the five churches that have members on the IMB Board of Trustees.

Calvary Baptist Church, Winston-Salem

News of the financial struggles of the IMB, combined with the urgent desire of Calvary members to share the hope of the gospel, led them to give their largest gift ever towards international missions, according to senior pastor Rob Peters.

Calvary Baptist Church has consistently led the churches of North Carolina with the largest LMCO for many years. The church’s gift of $585,366.62 was the second largest gift from all Southern Baptist churches in 2014. The church reported more than $604,000 has been received for the 2015 offering.

“The people of Calvary sense God is doing something good and new as the IMB reset occurs,” Peters said, “and it is our desire to put all of the weight and resources of Calvary behind this effort. Especially encouraging was our young families’ commitment to participate and sacrifice for this year’s offering.” The church leaders are in the process of evaluating the goal for their 2016 LMCO, with plans to raise their commitment to new heights. Peters serves as a trustee of IMB.

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Parkwood Baptist Church, Gastonia

The second largest LMCO gift among North Carolina churches in 2014 was given by the people of Parkwood Baptist Church. That amount was $446,945.39. But the 2015 gift has exceeded the previous year by more than $100,000.

Jeff Long, Parkwood’s senior pastor, said, “We called the church to a day of prayer and fasting on Dec. 16 for the purpose of asking God what He would have each of us to give to the offering, to pray for the workers and partnerships that we are involved with around the world, and to ask Him to send people from our congregation to the nations.”

The challenge to hold such a day came from the Missions Intensive hosted by the IMB and taught by David Platt in mid-October. The IMB website says, “Missions Intensive is a gathering of senior pastors and church leaders prayerfully seeking God concerning His global mission and the local church’s role in that mission.”

“We left the intensive deeply convicted that even though we are heavily involved in gospel work around the world, we were not giving ourselves to Act 13 prayer. We plan to host at least four days of prayer and fasting throughout the year,” Long added.

On Dec. 20, the church launched the LMCO offering. The total offering is approaching $575,000 for the year.

Long said, “The day of prayer and fasting and the generosity through God’s people at Parkwood are evidence of what Hudson Taylor said, ‘God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply.’” Long serves on the board of trustees of IMB.

First Baptist Church, Durham

Eighteen years ago Andrew Davis accepted the call to pastor First Baptist Church in Durham. At that time the typical annual LMCO was $25,000 each year. In 2015 the church’s goal was $150,000. When the offering ended their gifts totaled $153,000.

“Because of the urgency of missions and the need of finances at IMB, the church wanted to respond generously,” Davis said. “I don’t try to put guilt in the people to give, but just to make the need known and let them respond.”

Englewood Baptist Church, Rocky Mount

Last year Englewood Baptist Church gave their largest ever Lottie Moon offering. According to Senior Pastor Michael Cloer the church’s gifts totaled $112,485.08. “However, we did not receive it one month,” he said. “Every Sunday of the year we show a missions video, pray for a different [Unengaged, Unreached People Group], and receive our regular offering including our Lottie Moon gifts. We encourage our people to give to Lottie Moon year-round and they do.”

Two couples are presently serving overseas through the IMB out of the congregation, and the church is in the process of sending an additional couple. They will directly support this couple from the church through IMB as Great Commission Global Connect (GC2) missionaries to South Asia. “While we are directly supporting this family, we did not decrease, but we increased our Lottie Moon giving,” Cloer said.

Coats Baptist Church, Coats

Bobbi Ashford is a member of Coats Baptist Church. She is also serving her fourth year as an IMB trustee. She said the church is in the process of searching for a pastor but set the LMCO goal at $30,000 in 2015. The church gave a little more than $34,000. The Sunday morning worship attendance is 300.

Our Lottie Moon story
BR staff
February 09, 2016
4 MIN READ TIME

Our Lottie Moon story

Our Lottie Moon story
BR staff
February 09, 2016

The Biblical Recorder is sharing some of the stories about the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering (LMCO) from churches across the state. The money raised goes to support the International Mission Board (IMB) and its missionaries around the globe.

Northside Baptist Church, Burlington

Pastor Dale Steele said, “We are a small church of missions-minded people, many are my age or beyond. I am 82. The church averages 35 in attendance on Sunday morning.” Northside’s Lottie Moon Christmas Offering in the past seven years hovered around $2,000 each year. This year the congregation agreed to match the total amount of the LMCO from the church’s savings account.

Keeping a goal of $2,000 the church members gave $4,000 on the first Sunday of the offering. “We finished with $5,795 which we matched with another $5,795 and sent an offering of $11,590,” Steele said. “The Lord both challenges and rewards graciously all who trust Him, love Him and love the challenge of missions, ‘to pray, to go, and to give.’ Thank you for allowing us to thank God for His grace and love.”

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Temple Baptist Church, Fayetteville

Temple’s 2014 LMCO goal was $15,000. In 2015 the church increased the goal to $20,000. Pastor Kelly Bullard said although Temple gathers the offering during December, they also budget a percentage of the year’s receipts for the international missions offering. The December LMCO offering was $21,757.34, surpassing the goal. They added $14,613.68 from the percentage of regular offering receipts throughout the year. The total amount Temple sent to IMB for the LMCO is $36,371.02.

Bullard said in July the church commissioned one of their own families to serve in Bulgaria through IMB. That was a major factor in the increased offering, he said. “The Lord really used this family to put a face to missions for our church. Temple has always been a giving church, but when you become a sending church it really changes the church’s perspective on missions and giving.”

One Sunday in December the church arranged a live Skype call with the couple in their new field assignment. Bullard added, “As their sending church we desire to support their ministry in every way possible, and we believe the best way we can do that is through our prayers and by giving sacrificially to the LMCO. It really makes a difference when you have a personal connection to a missionary family.”

Dublin First Baptist Church and The Lake Church, White Lake

The mission strategy at Dublin FBC and the second campus at the Lake Church is “Here, There and Everywhere,” based on Acts 1:8. Although the church has been strongly involved in mission work in New York and Moldova, the Lottie Moon offering has not increased, “For the past decade we hovered around the $5,000 per year mark in LMCO gifts,” said pastor Cameron McGill. “However, this year God moved in a great way upon the hearts of our people.”

It began when they partnered with Temple Baptist in Fayetteville to commission the Williams* family as IMB missionaries to Bulgaria.

“This commissioning service was a powerful time of reflection and a turning point in the life of our church,” McGill said.

“Sheila Williams* said to our congregation, ‘We are going. … But how long we will stay is up to God and the faithfulness of God’s people.’ We committed that Sunday morning to get serious this year about the Lottie Moon offering and international missions.”

The connection to the Williams family coupled with the “heartbreaking stories of so many of our missionaries coming home prematurely,” led the people at both campuses to dig deep and give sacrificially. The churches gave more in 2015 than the last seven years combined. The total of their offering is $34,685. *Name changed

First Baptist Church, Cary

Jay Huddleston, pastor of First Baptist in Cary, reported this year’s total LMCO gifts are $154,246, an increase of almost $50,000 above the 2014 total gifts of $105.882.47. He said the church has always been a strong missions-giving church.

“We communicated to the church the IMB shortage which was reported in September and the immediate impact this would have on our missionary personnel of losing 700+ missionaries,” Huddleston said.

“Our people sacrificed and reached much deeper this year in an attempt to make up the difference. I believe the feeling throughout the congregation was that if everyone in all of our Southern Baptist churches will sacrifice and cooperate together, then we can make up the difference.”