Wright Word December 2020 – February 2021
Thomas Wright, Associational Missionary
Emphasizing Biblical Prayer, Evangelistic Ministries, Church Development, Church Planting, Partnership Missions
An Extraordinary Year
Our Creator God is faithful (Ps. 119:90). He loves us so much He sent His Son Jesus to die for us while we were yet sinners (Jn 3:16, Rom. 5:8). The enemy of our soul is Satan. His tactic since creation has been to undermine trust in the Creator God (Gen. 3).Twenty-twenty has brought a lot of inconvenience and struggle. God is still faithful and we can trust Him. We have to prevent our tendency to impose on Him our timeline and our preferences. We can trust His timeline and His preferences.
Farewell to Jimmy Tucker and Family
Camp Whispering Pines (CWP) director Jimmy Tucker has accepted a position with another camp effective November 30, 2020. He arrived at CWP in March of 2020 just as the pandemic crippled our camp income and activities. The uncertain future of CWP necessitated a move to a stable environment for his family.
Please pray MBA churches will provide needed support to allow CWP to remain open until the summer schedule can again underwrite expenses. Please pray as the Personnel Committee begins the process of seeking a new director in these uncertain times. God is faithful and we can trust Him.
EMERGENCY CWP Relief Fund to Offset Crippling Pandemic Losses
Thank you to the 19 churches that helped raise $33,326 to keep CWP open through year-end. Please continue to pass the word. We know reaching the needed $100,000 is a God-sized task.
Unfortunately, CWP lost over $102,000 due to Covid-19 related cancellations. That amount is added to another $150,000 loss from campers who chose not to register or attend. The majority of our CWP income comes in the summer and helps us remain solvent the rest of the year.
The shortfall is dire and the need to help is urgent. The Camp and Finance Committees approved a Camp Relief Fund to communicate to churches the emergency need for intervention to keep CWP open. CWP already would have closed without a PPP loan and MBA underwriting from savings. Those MBA accounts are nearly depleted.
With Jimmy’s departure, we now only have one person on the CWP staff. We hope to have a part time interim in place by January 2021. These changes mean we desperately need volunteers and teams to do yard work, daily maintenance and repairs.
Camp Whispering Pines is open for retreats, class meetings and worship options. The staff has done a heroic job including new sanitizing precautions. However, we have to recover the lost income to survive. God is faithful and we can trust Him.
Future Focus Committee (FFC) November Update
Please pray for the FFC and the location to combine our two current facilities.
- Please pray for the current full price contract to be approved by the Mobile County Planning Commission and local council rezoning in December.
- As you recall, the FFC has a unanimously approved assignment from the October 2014 Annual Session to sell and combine the IMC and MBA office buildings. Expenses will stay within the amount received from the sales.
- The efficiency at the Port of Mobile now allows some ships to unload and load in as little as 8 hours. Some ships are in port for as long as three days.
- We are awaiting the Lord to provide a donation of the 3.5 to 5 developed acres, or an existing 8,000-10,000 sf facility. The income from the sale of both buildings is not adequate to build on undeveloped property.
- Myers Memorial Baptist Church is generously allowing us to store furniture from the IMC until the new building is ready.
- Chaplains continue to go to the ships with social distancing. Evangelistic ministry continues and we need more volunteer chaplains.
- We will wait to sell the MBA office until a new location is completed using proceeds from the IMC. MBA Finance and Executive Committees have approved a possible bridge loan from the MBA until the MBA office is sold.
- Committee members continue to approach individuals, MBA and other congregations to help find an existing 8,000-10,000 sf building. Options so far have not been viable due to location or refurbishing needed.
Please continue praying, looking and talking to find the person who will be the answer to the prayers for a new location.
Saturate Mobile October 2019 – October 2021
Churches continue to participate and new churches are registering even with the delays due to the pandemic. The Evangelistic Ministries Committee is challenging MBA churches to saturate Mobile County with prayer and gospel witness. Registration provides a map of your zip code and enough free materials to saturate that zip code. Churches in the same zip code will work together to pray for and share literature with every home in that zip code. Free materials include a door hanger bag, Jesus Movie CD and a tract. Churches also should include information about their church and perhaps a New Testament. Visit saturate.mobilebaptists.org for more information.
2020 Budget Year Challenges
The MBA budget ends 2020 with income meeting expenses, largely due to the retirement of our Church Development Director and the approved PPP loan. We need your help please to communicate with Finance Committees the need to continue the tithe to missions during the Covid-19 pandemic response and limitations.
We have reduced the MBA Budget $229,969 since 2008. As you recall we lost $54,000 in subsidies from NAMB for International Ministries and Church Development Director positions. Health insurance costs have increased significantly. We have reduced insurance costs by having a part-time Director of International Ministries. We have not been able to provide raises for the last ten years. We have reduced office days to four. We are praying and working to sell both facilities and combine them into a more efficient facility with lower overhead expenses.
We would be severely challenged if so many churches had not faithfully increased their missions giving to the MBA. We need additional churches to consider redistributing their missions tithe to the MBA. We average 1.09% of church missions’ gifts coming to the MBA. Please discuss with your church Finance Committee to increase the MBA percentage of its mission’s tithe.
Intercession for the MBA Staff on Your Prayer Lists
Jesus gave the example of praying for other believers in John 17. Your associational staff face challenges every day as we consult with church leaders and members. We need wisdom and direction as we consult in church conflict, staff changes, growth options, building needs, disaster relief and every other component of church life. Please add us to your Wednesday night prayer list. Please pray that financial needs be met.
Churches Seeking Pastors and New Pastors
Churches seeking a pastor: Faith (Mobile), Fulton Road, FBC Satsuma, FBC Semmes, International Baptist, Manor, Shiloh, Spring Hill, Turnerville, Woodridge, and Vietnamese Obedience. Pastor Lance Nicholson announced South City Church has merged with Government Street Baptist Church.