HERNANDO, Miss. (BP) – At the outset, Longview Point Baptist Church opted to give 8 percent of undesignated offerings to the Cooperative Program, Southern Baptists’ global missions effort, and 2 percent to the Northwest (Miss.) Baptist Association for local missions needs.
By Karen L. Willoughby
HERNANDO, Miss. (BP) – At the outset, Longview Point
Baptist Church opted to give 8 percent of undesignated offerings to the
Cooperative Program, Southern Baptists’ global missions effort, and 2
percent to the Northwest (Miss.) Baptist Association for local missions
And in their second year, they bumped CP Missions up to 10 percent, plus 3 percent to the association.
“We thought it was important for our church to build
it into our DNA to give to missions,” said Wade Humphries, pastor of
the four-year-old church in Hernando, Miss., just south of Memphis,
“Whatever financial resources came in, we felt it
was important to be faithful to invest in missions,” Humphries said.
“When we give to the Cooperative Program we are investing in the
Kingdom of God and in eternity, because God uses our resources to see
people saved. What better investment is there than that?”
The pastor described the Cooperative Program as “the
most effective missions-sending system in existence. I’ve been Southern
Baptist all my life. I’ve seen the way we send our missionaries and
train people to be missionaries. The Cooperative Program is a vital way
for churches to cooperate and get more done than one church could ever
do by itself.”
Longview Point Baptist Church began in September
2002, with a core group of 35 people from sponsoring church Longview
Heights Baptist Church in nearby Olive Branch, Miss.
“It’s the power of God working in our midst,” the
pastor said. “We’re careful to give Him all the credit and to get
involved where He’s involved.”
About 125 people attended the first service, which
followed an area-wide media thrust – surveys and distribution of
flyers. Attendance dropped to the mid-90s for a couple of weeks, then
began edging upward week by week.
By April 2003, the 160 or more worshipers were maxing out the space and a second service was added.
Two years later proved to be a banner year for the
fledgling church. By 2005, the congregation was holding three morning
services and seeing around 360 worshipers present. Also during that
year, Longview Point Baptist Church became a self-supporting church.
That year the congregation planted LifePointe Church in Senatobia, Miss.
The rapid growth has happened because God has
blessed the congregation’s Bible-based focus, obedience to spread the
Good News and to commitment to be involved in missions, Humphries said.
More than a dozen Longview Point members spent a
week on a Navajo reservation in Arizona last summer where they worked
in Vacation Bible School and led in evening services. Other members
traveled to Missoula, Mont., to help with a new church. Four mission
trips are in the planning stages for next summer.
In addition to the hands-on involvement in missions
trips, members have heard from several international missionaries on
stateside assignment who have spoken to the church.
Each Wednesday night, Humphries distributes copies
of receipts from the Mississippi Baptist Convention for the church’s
Cooperative Program giving.
“It’s a tangible, visible expression of our priority
as a church,” Humphries said. “If we say missions is important and
preach on the Great Commission and talk about being involved in the
Great Commission – all that takes financial resources.”