John Morgan followed in the footsteps of his father as
a Baptist pastor – understandably, he has a heart for pastors and their
And what touches his heart most is the plight of retired
ministers and widows across the Southern Baptist Convention who live near the
John Morgan followed in the footsteps of his
father as a Baptist pastor – understandably, he has a heart for pastors
and their families.
And what touches his heart most is the plight of
retired ministers and widows across the Southern Baptist Convention who live
near the poverty line.
Several years ago, Morgan decided to act on his concerns.
He led Sagemont Baptist Church in Houston to reach out and minister to the needs
of aged ministers and their widows living in the surrounding area.
The church began gathering the names of individuals
with specific needs and responded by sending them $100 to $400 each month.
The number grew to 13.
“As our church began to invest in the lives
of these dear people, we were blessed,” Morgan says. “I would receive
monthly thank you notes from these retired pastors with a 10 percent tithe to
my church. The notes of these faithful servants touched my heart.”
Then, Morgan heard about the Adopt An Annuitant program
of the Southern Baptist Annuity Board.
“The … Adopt An Annuitant program is a wonderful
ministry that identifies ministers and widows in need across the convention
and responds with a monthly $75 check to supplement their income,” Morgan
The Adopt An Annuitant ministry currently assists
2,600 individuals and couples. Nevertheless, thousands of annuitants still live
on $200 or less in monthly benefits from their retirement income, Morgan points
“I shared this need and the ministry with my
congregation this spring – and the people responded,” the Texas Baptist
Indeed, the response was overwhelming.
Individuals, families, Sunday School classes, businesses
in the area, Bible studies and other groups all said “yes” to giving
$75 a month to help those who were facing life without adequate retirement funds.
In April, Sagemont sent the first check for $10,650
to the Annuity Board – and committed to adopting 142 individuals during the
upcoming year through the ongoing Adopt An Annuitant program.
“We hope this number will grow,” Morgan
adds. “And I hope others in the church will see the need and get involved.
I would like to see 200 annuitants adopted this year by Sagemont members.”
Morgan readily admits helping pastors is one of his
passions – and he says he knows firsthand how inadequate retirement planning
can leave pastors and their families in need during their later years.
“My father was pastor at First Baptist Church
of Pasadena (Texas) for 33 years,” Morgan explains. “He loved the
church, and they loved him, but planning for the future was not emphasized when
he started in the ministry.”
“My father and others of his generation went
into the ministry with no turning back. Sometimes they received a salary, sometimes
they were paid in food or work. They trusted the Lord to provide for all their
needs and put the needs and ministries of the church first.
“Now they are looking to us to respond and to
show they are not forgotten,” Morgan explains.
It is not as if Morgan and his Houston church were
looking at how they could spend additional funds.
Indeed, Morgan challenged his church members to support
the Adopt An Annuitant ministry in the midst of a $9 million building program
for a new preschool and childrens building.
“I believe anytime is a good time to respond
in love to others,” the Baptist pastor maintains. “People sit in judgment
of the church today. They are not interested in bureaucracy or impressed with
buildings. They want to know how a church is sharing its love.
“I have been in ministry for 40 years and almost
34 years at Sagemont, and I believe that what makes a church a great church
is loving God and loving people. When a church shows love to those in need,
God will pour out a blessing.
“Helping our retired pastors and widows is a
way of showing love and I believe touches the heart of God,” Morgan concludes.
(For additional formation about the Adopt-an-Annuitant
program, individuals may call the Southern Baptist Annuity Board toll-free at