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North America

mission: north america offering

by David Crowe


Find out more about the ministry of Free Will Baptist Home Missions at



Free Will Baptists have always understood that in order to spread the gospel to the ends of the earth, we must develop a strong base of support in North America. Benjamin Randall understood this when he planted 51 Free Will Baptist churches in New England in 28 years of ministry (1780-1808). Paul Palmer and Joseph Parker understood this as they planted many Free Will Baptist churches in North Carolina, beginning in 1727.

The first official Free Will Baptist Home Missions Department was called the Freewill Baptist American Missionary Society. A meeting was held Thursday, July 31, 1834, at 10:00 a.m. for the purpose of organizing a Home Missionary Society. Many gathered in the meeting house in Dover, New Hampshire, and amid prayers and tears, the Home Missionary Society was organized. Their stated purpose was, “the dissemination of the Gospel in North America.”

Free Will Baptist theologian John J. Butler wrote, “One of the greatest means of usefulness presented to the Christian world is the cause of Missions, both foreign and domestic. For thousands of years the earth has been lying in wickedness, and sin has held almost unlimited dominion over it. But Christ, by the sacrifice of Himself, has provided a way whereby all may be saved, and commanded his servants to preach the Gospel to every creature. We are too apt to despise small things, so because we cannot perform some great work, we do nothing.”

Throughout most of the 1800s, Free Will Baptists promoted a National Home Missions Sunday, one Sunday each year devoted to Home Missions. The name eventually changed to the Home Missions Thanksgiving Offering. Later, the name changed to the Benjamin Randall Offering.

After many years, the offering has undergone another change. Starting in 2008, the offering will be called Mission: North America. We continue that great tradition and provide an opportunity one Sunday each year for Free Will Baptists across North America and around the world to give to help support the total program of Home Missions. On November 23, 2008, let’s all do something. If we all do what we can, then great things can and will be accomplished. Let us not be found guilty of doing nothing.

Help us continue in the footsteps of many great men and women before us who understood the importance of planting churches and winning souls in North America. It was important 200 years ago, and it is still important today. Remember—MISSION: North America Offering! n

About the Writer: David Crowe is director of development for the Home Missions Department. Learn more about the Mission: North America Offering at



©2008 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists