The congregation here at Central needs to be highly commended for its faithfulness in mission work, both in the United States and abroad. A church budget that includes mission works to support is a strong indication that the brethren are a giving congregation which does not turn inwardly to its own needs locally, but to good works throughout the world.
As I was gathering the data for this article it became very apparent that we have a long-term outlook regarding mission work. Currently, we support ten different mission fields on a monthly basis and receive additional requests through the year. We evaluate the impact of the spread of the Gospel when deciding which of these additional works to support.
As we enter into a building program here at Central, we have wisely been advised not to take on any long-term obligations, but we still review and consider one-time contributions, as needs may arise. As shepherds we are committed to continuing the support of those mission works in which we are already involved, and not reducing the monthly amounts during the building process.
Since 2005, this congregation has been involved in supporting mission works to Tanzania, Haiti, Mexico, Jos Nigeria, Costa Rica, Singapore, New Zealand, Honduras, and Zambia. We are currently still involved in the following foreign mission works:
1) India, including Jerris and Juanita Bullard in addition to others who have been assisted on a one-time basis. In fact, since 2005 we have given over $101,150.00 to brother Bullard’s work, which is overseen by the congregation in Manassas, VA. 2) Bristol, England, about which you heard brother Snethen report to us last Sunday. 3) Bibles for China, a mission work distributing Bibles to the people of China. 4) Christians for Kenya, a mission work that our own brother Brandon Kerns began in November, 2010. We have been sending monthly support since January, 2011.We have helped with buildings for meeting places. In 2017 we sent $12,676.00 to help with the drilling of wells. We have also provided support to some of our own members to go and do mission in Kenya.
Increasingly, our own nation is becoming a mission field. Mission works in the U.S. are being supported such as congregations over the years in North Carolina, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia. We have also supported men in preaching schools on a monthly basis, which allowed them to focus on that intense training and not have to work a secular job. Such men as Marcus Stenson, Jesse Phillips, Greg Ryan, Stephen Harr, Caleb Schisler, Jack Gilchrist, Jeff Tucker, and our current associate minister, Jonathan Bennett. We were able to provide financial support to the students at the West Virginia School of Preaching to attend the lectures at Freed-Hardeman University in February of 2018.
We are currently involved monthly with the following works in the U.S.: 1) Southeast Institute of Biblical Studies. Formerly known as the East Tennessee School of Preaching, this institution is actively training young man to preach the gospel. 2) International Gospel Hour. This is among the oldest continuously-running radio programs in the brotherhood, actively engaged in preaching the gospel to thousands of listeners. 3) Fort Gay church of Christ. We initially began to support brother Jim Farley in Crum, WV, then at Fort Gay, WV. Since brother Farley has passed away, we are still providing support to sister Farley toward her medical insurance. 4) Video Bible Institute. This provides support to brother Jody Apple and TheBible.net. 5) Broad Top church of Christ. We provide assistance with the cost of mailing House to House/Heart to Heart to residents in that area of Pennsylvania. 6) Palm Beach church of Christ, in support of Apologetics Press, whose elders oversee that work. 7) Streetsboro church of Christ, to provide assistance for the medical insurance needs of David Kenney and his family. We recently received a letter to suspend that support since he is now working for a congregation in Newcomerstown, OH beginning in July. Since 2005, the total is $710.863.47, which does not include over $185,000.00 for local work! May God continue to bless as we commit ourselves to the Great Commission , Matt 28:18-20.