AFTER PASTORING THE EAST SIDE FREE WILL BAPTIST CHURCH in Elizabethton, TN, for twenty years, my wife Carolyn and I moved to Nashville in 1990 to serve at the Home Missions Department. I had served on the board for nine years, and General Director Roy Thomas asked me to accept the position of director of development. God had been working in my heart about the job long before Brother Roy asked me about the position. I loved my church and hated to leave, but I felt that God definitely wanted me to come to Home Missions.
The International Missions Department and Free Will Baptist Bible College already had capital stewardship campaigns in place, and now the time was right for Home Missions. I agreed to coordinate the new effort, and the Build My Church Campaign was launched with the goal of raising $1 million. Rather than using this money to build a handful of churches (and spending all the money in the process), we decided to set up a perpetual fund. The interest accrued by the fund will help our missionaries while the principle will continue to work until Jesus returns.
One million dollars was placed in an irrevocable trust so the money would never be spent. Thus far, twelve home missionaries have benefited from the interest.
In 1999, Tom Jones, Pittsburgh, PA, and Bill Phillips, Salt Lake City, UT, became the first recipients of the funds. Rue Dell Smith, Monroe, LA, and Terry Hardison, Waukesha, WI, received the money in 2000. Mark Braisher, Overland Park, KS, and Rick Morris, Phoenix, AZ, benefited from the fund in 2001. In 2002, Ron Wallace, Fairbanks, AK, and Jerry Rayburn, Sierra Vista, AZ, were chosen to be recipients. In 2003, Randy Puckett, Sugar Land, TX, and Roger Raper, Ft. Collins, CO, received the benefits from the trust. Last year our board chose Eric Thompson, Bend, OR, and Bill Reynolds, N. Kingstown, RI, to be the recipients.
As you can see, the money has helped missionaries from one side of the country to the other. Those who helped raise the first million are partners with these missionaries. Some congregations are already in their own buildings and self-supporting. Today, they are winning souls to Christ and, in turn, helping others across our denomination.
To have students attend our colleges, missionaries go around the world, and people to fund their ministries, we need to plant more churches and work to strengthen the ones in place already.
With this in mind, the Build My Church Campaign is raising a second million. To date, the campaign has raised $800,000. Only $200,000 is needed to reach our goal. This can happen if 200 churches or individuals give $1,000. Our “Carpenter’s Helpers” give $10 per month and have been a big part in raising these funds. We ask our “Helpers” to continue sending their money each month.
North America is an immense area, starting in Alaska and stretching across the large expanse of Canada down the east coast to the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico to Mexico and west to Hawaii. Home Missions is trying to reach millions of people with our North American ministries. Will you join us? Jesus left us with the Great Commission in Acts 1:8. He instructed us to reach Jerusalem, Judaea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the earth. We are responsible for two thirds of this Great Commission. Please help us reach our goal by giving to the Build My Church Campaign.
Dr. Richard Adams is director of development for the National Home Missions Department. He is instrumental in arranging building loans for home missionaries and other FWB churches. He also works with the Build My Church program and raises general funds for the Home Missions Department. Contact Richard at email@example.com.