Virginia Pastor and His Church Make Commitment to Support Retired Ministers and Their Families

Doug Echols, stirred by Mission:Dignity videos at the 2017 SBC annual meeting in Phoenix, has led Bethel Baptist Church to add its support for retired Southern Baptist workers and their widows in financial need. Submitted photo

Bethel Baptist Church in Yorktown, Va., has long been missions-oriented, but a trip to the Southern Baptist Convention put Mission:Dignity on their radar.

With a 179-year history of serving one of Virginia’s most historic areas, Bethel Baptist’s 700-plus members come from all walks of life. Many serve at nearby military outposts like Langley Air Force Base and the U.S. Coast Guard Training Center. Bethel also partners with the SBC of Virginia convention in serving the needs of churches across Virginia.

Upon hearing about Mission:Dignity from O.S. Hawkins, president of GuideStone Financial Resources, at the 2017 SBC annual meeting in Phoenix, BBC pastor Doug Echols made a commitment to support retired Southern Baptist ministers, workers and their widows in financial need.

To get the church involved, he immediately ordered materials when he returned to Yorktown.

The stories on Mission:Dignity videos shown at the SBC prompted Echols to realize he was blessed to serve in a church that could provide a comfortable salary and benefits. He was convinced that Bethel needed to be involved in giving back.

In its first year assisting Mission:Dignity, Bethel Baptist collected more than $10,000.

“I was overwhelmed by the response of our people,” Echols said. “We simply share the videos that are provided and try to tell the stories of how the offering is benefiting retired pastors. We do not set a church goal for this offering. We just ask our people to give sacrificially, and they have responded.”

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Source: Baptist Press