MEET THE MISSIONARIES: Crenshaw locals meet missionaries at recent On Missions Celebration
By: Shayla Terry
Baptist churches throughout the Crenshaw County community joined together last Saturday to kick off Alabama-Crenshaw Baptist Association’s On Mission Celebration at South Luverne Baptist Church.
“We are a part of a larger organization call the Southern Baptist Convention,” ACBA Director of Missions Ben Chandler said.
“Over the last several decades, Southern Baptists have a hosted a Rural Mission Conference. It is now called the On Mission Celebration, and it happens about every five years.”
Along with eight congregations, missionaries from countries like Brazil and Russia set up booths to discuss their experiences with attendees.
“When I came on board a year ago, I encouraged the people of the association to conduct this On Missions Celebration, and hear from our missionaries from across the world,” Chandler said.
For each church presented, one missionary was matched. With eight total missionaries in attendance, congregations were able to hear many missionaries speak at their respective churches during services the following day.
“Today was outstanding,” New Ebenezer Baptist Church Pastor Kenny Horn said.
“We have a young congregation, and a lot of them aren’t used to seeing real live missionaries. One of these missionaries may come to our church, and plant a seed for a 10 year old who may wanted to travel and teach the word of God.”
Chandler says the event is to encourage members to be more mission-minded.
“We want them to understand that we have a mandate from Jesus Our Lord to go into all the world and preach the gospel,” he said. “We want to encourage our churches to have more mission education, mission praying, and mission giving.”
Support for mission’s programs is offered through the convention’s Cooperative Program, founded in 1925. Money is donated from churches within the convention through the program’s channel for missions efforts.
Missionaries are trained and screened before going into countries to spread the gospel.
“There’s a huge vetting and training process that they go through,” Chandler said. “It’s just not whimsical. They have to be trained in seminary and language.”
Chandler says the overall goal is for churches to partner with a missionary somewhere, and go into a mission program.
“This way they can see that we have been blessed abundantly,” he said. “We want to be able to share what the Lord has blessed us with.”