Rick and Betty Hall, who live in a modest mobile home in central Alabama, have a multitude of stories about the small churches they served throughout the eastern part of the state over the course of three decades.
In the Halls’ last church, five people attended on the first Sunday. No one had lived in the parsonage for 36 years, and there were only 34 people within a mile of the church. Attendance grew to nearly 40 during the eight years the Halls were there. The members learned how to give to missions, and it became the top per-capita giving church in their local association to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.
The couple both worked a variety of jobs to pay their bills. Rick shared, “Most country churches expect a pastor to do everything — visitation, hospital calls, turning the lights on. But most of them can’t pay much, if anything.”
When they retired, Rick and Betty had no savings to fall back on but heard about Mission:Dignity. It has made a huge difference in their lives. MissionDignity provides financial assistance to Southern Baptist ministers, workers and their widows in need of additional resources to cover housing, food and medical expenses.
“This month, there was $3.27 in the bank when the Mission:Dignity check came in,” Rick said. “Our Social Security pays the bills, but the Mission:Dignity gift pays for our groceries. We can’t tell you how many times we have thanked the Lord for your help. Many months, we would not have bought food without your assistance.”
Mission:Dignity Sunday is June 23. It’s a day to remember and honor retired ministers, workers and their widows living on low retirement incomes. It’s also a time to give generously to help the nearly 1,700 individuals and couples assisted by the ministry.
More than $7 million is distributed annually, with most of the funding coming from the direct gifts of individuals, Sunday school classes and churches. One hundred percent of gifts provide monthly grants with nothing used for operating expenses. An endowment established many years ago covers the administrative costs of the ministry.
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Source: Baptist Press