by Gary Horton, SBC of Virginia Regional Missionary
Situated in southwest Virginia’s rural Carroll County, Freedom Baptist Church didn’t let its small size interfere with giving to the Vision Virginia State Missions Offering. Led by Pastor Charles Bunn, they decided to discuss creative ways to increase their offering.
While first considering yard sales, bake sales, or special meals, “We decided to think of something we could do that would reach out a little farther and put some fun into this project,” says Pastor Charles. “Knowing how popular cruise-ins are in this area, we decided to go that route.
“We also had concessions, gave away Bibles (provided by the Gideons), and played bluegrass music for entertainment. To provide fun for the children while their parents viewed the cars, trucks, motorcycles, and classic tractors, we gave out school supplies and utilized the playground. The concessions, along with a donation box, were the means of fundraising. We found people do like to eat and donate to a good cause.” People came from all around, enjoyed the show, and helped Freedom raise money for missions.
Freedom Baptist Church was prompted last year to starting giving to Vision Virginia after receiving promotional materials from the SBCV and reading Proclaimer stories of how the offering is used. “We wanted to be part of this work and decided to participate in this offering. We want to make a difference in our community, our state, and around the world for Christ,” shares Pastor Charles. The members of Freedom were challenged to give above and beyond their tithe to support missions through Vision Virginia.
After not reaching their goal at the August 2015 car show, they decided to host another one in October. “I am pleased to say we surpassed our goal,” says Pastor Charles, “and we give God all the praise.”
Because of Freedom’s participation in the Vision Virginia State Missions Offering, Pastor Charles testifies, “We have a renewed outlook on missions and giving…and are now also supporting a local mission center called Hope House.” The mission of Hope House is to provide a Christ-based recovery program for the homeless and hurting to help them be healthy, happy, productive, and self-sufficient.
“We feel that starting [the car shows] has also brought a witness to our rural community,” says Pastor Charles. “There is joy in serving the Lord. We were given many opportunities to speak with people and to share the message of God with them.”
Will you challenge your church to participate in the Vision Virginia State Missions Offering? It may be the catalyst the Lord uses to inspire your church to be more involved in missions!