By Dr. Aaron Meraz, Director of Mission:Dignity at GuideStone
Having pastored and shepherded young pastors, I am reminded often of the faithful servants who led my own family, friends and even me to Christ. These ministers and their wives dedicated most of their lives to churches that could not contribute to their retirement savings, but they kept serving anyway. After pouring themselves out for the sake of the Gospel, some now find themselves needing help to pay for necessities like food, utilities and prescriptions in their later years.
These retired pastors, workers and their widows blessed others in their care, time and again. And now, we have the opportunity to return that blessing to these unsung heroes of the faith.
The story of the Browns — an SBC pastor and wife — is marked with humble years of service, recognizable to us in so many of the lives who came before, who not only taught us to place our faith in Jesus but showed us how.
Coy and Jean Brown served in ministry together for more than 39 years. Coy was always a bivocational pastor, and they served the people of Greater New Hope Missionary Baptist Church faithfully for many years. In 2012, Coy’s health began to fail, and the Browns officially retired from the ministry.
“We didn’t know a lot about retirement setups back then. Most preachers think they’re going to preach until they die. They have no plans to retire, but my situation proved different,” says Coy. The Browns found out about Mission:Dignity® through GuideStone® and were overjoyed to receive assistance.
The monthly funding they receive from Mission:Dignity gives the Browns a sense of comfort and peace. “Mission:Dignity helps us not only monetarily but also in words and deeds,” Coy says. “I’m not used to receiving, I’m used to giving, and I just wanted to thank you all for being there and wanting to help.”
In the New Testament, we find these words: Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching (1 Timothy 5:17, ESV).
GuideStone’s Mission:Dignity ministry seeks to bestow double honor on retirement-aged Southern Baptist ministers, workers and their widows — whose income is insufficient to meet their daily needs.
Each year across the Southern Baptist Convention, thousands of churches celebrate Mission:Dignity Sunday to raise funds to help these servants of the Lord. As we prayerfully continue to recover from the pandemic’s effects, this year’s Mission:Dignity Sunday will be back in its usual place on the calendar, the fourth Sunday in June – June 27, 2021.
This year — with your help — we hope to reach more recipients like Coy and Jean Brown.
With Mission:Dignity Sunday quickly approaching, would you, your church and/or your small group join us in giving to the more than 2,400 individuals in need?
Participating in Mission:Dignity Sunday is easy. Here are four ways you can join us in making a difference:
- Download or order free promotional resources by visiting MDSunday.org or texting MDORDER to 41444 from a mobile device.
- Use the power of crowdfunding! More information about how you, your church or your small group can participate is available online.
- Join us for a premier video release on June 27 at 4 p.m. CT on the Mission:Dignity Facebook and Instagram accounts! Request early access to this special content — including messages from recipients, donors and GuideStone President O.S. Hawkins — to use in Sunday services or small groups before or on June 27!
- Donate by texting MDSUNDAY to 41444.
100% of every gift to Mission:Dignity helps someone like the Browns. Consider joining us for Mission:Dignity Sunday 2021 — June 27 — giving “double honor” to these recipients who served us so faithfully and sacrificially to spread the Gospel those many years ago.
Dr. Aaron Meraz is the director of Mission:Dignity at GuideStone. Dr. Meraz served Southern Baptists for 30 years as a pastor, church planter, associate director of a large Baptist association and professor at Criswell College before joining GuideStone. He holds a Ph.D. and a D.Min. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and an M.Div. in biblical languages from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.