CommUNITY Church of Salem, VA, in gratitude to the SBC of Virginia, made an $8,000 donation to Vision Virginia in December 2016. The gift stemmed from an incredible story of God bringing life from death.
One year ago, Tabernacle Baptist Church, meeting on Main Street in Salem, chose to close its doors due to a declining and aging congregation. With the help of the SBCV, the church chose to give its property to another SBCV congregation—CommUNITY Church, pastored by Tom McCracken. Today, that area of Main Street bustles with activity as CommUNITY Church reaches people with the Gospel. God has truly brought life from death.
Pastor Tom McCracken shares, “This Easter will mark our one-year anniversary at our new location, and we have already seen over 75 new members. The most satisfying aspect of this relocation is to see the former Tabernacle Baptist Church members, who were in tears when I first met them, now so excited about God using them to advance His Kingdom and grow His Church.”
All of this took place because the mission of the SBCV is to strengthen and mobilize churches to make disciples and plant churches for Jesus Christ through Gospel partnership. Pastor Tom explains:
The passion the SBCV has for revitalizing churches is very evident, especially to our congregation. Thanks to our SBCV regional missionary serving as a consultant through the dissolution of Tabernacle Baptist and facilitating the relocation of CommUNITY, we now have the potential to go where we have never gone, do what we have never done, and be who we have never been! Since moving, our congregation has filled our 500-seat sanctuary to capacity more than once, and the baptistery waters are constantly being stirred by both the young and older. Additionally, once our former building is sold, we will be debt-free, freeing up thousands of dollars a month for missions and ministry in this community and around the world!
Gifts like this to Vision Virginia allow interns to serve our churches, impacting both the interns and the churches where they serve. Vision Virginia funds also help churches assist the less fortunate through hunger ministries. Gifts to Vision Virginia help students receive seminary training in order to fulfill their calling. Funds go to churches to be ready to serve their communities through Disaster Relief, Ready Church, and Baptist Builders ministries. They help fund ministry in Appalachia—which touches the Commonwealth—and through Virginia Global Response—which impacts the world through global Gospel partnerships. Gifts to Vision Virginia also help evangelize those who are learning English as a Second Language (ESL). They help provide worship equipment and land grants for church plants and other new churches, where the Gospel can be shared with those who may have never heard it.
While the gift came from CommUNITY Church, Tabernacle Baptist Church gave the gift of Gospel legacy, and its impact carries on. To God be the Glory!
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