By: Myriah Synder- IMB
Prestonwood Baptist Church Pastor Jack Graham (second from right) presents a $1 million dollar gift to IMB President Paul Chitwood (second from left) Sunday, Aug. 1. Also pictured: L. Gilberto Corrdera, pastor of Prestonwood en Español (left) and John Brady, IMB’s Vice President for global engagement (right).
Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, gifted the International Mission Board $1 million toward the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering®. The entire donation will go directly toward new mission work overseas.
Prestonwood Pastor Jack Graham presented IMB President Paul Chitwood a check during the church’s Aug. 1 worship services.
Prestonwood’s gift comes from a surplus in the church’s giving during 2020, a year when many churches were struggling, and national giving trends were down.
Because of the members’ generosity, the church’s donation is funding work that was not already being funded through the IMB, Graham shared.
“A part of the reason we’re here today is because Dr. Graham and the Prestonwood family want to be a part of a unique partnership to meet some unmet needs, to get into some places and ministry opportunities that we have not yet been able to get into,” Chitwood explained.
Prestonwood’s gift and partnership with the IMB will fund efforts to reach “fast growing Muslim regions with the gospel,” the church shared.
Chitwood, alongside John Brady, IMB’s vice president for global engagement, shared the four specific ministry endeavors this gift will fund:
- Training local believers as missionaries to the Persian world
- Developing local believers to take the gospel to a Muslim group of 200 million in South Asia
- Supporting five million Nigerian Baptists to reach surging Islamic growth in Africa
- Developing nurses in South and Southeast Asia to serve in hard-to-reach places
“The incredible generosity of Prestonwood Baptist Church is inspiring but not new,” Chitwood said. “God has not only used Pastor Jack Graham to grow one of the largest churches in the U.S., Prestonwood is also a church that, for many years, has been sacrificially committed to getting the gospel to the nations.”
Chitwood continued, “The church’s growing partnership with the IMB is a welcomed blessing in a time when the need for help and hope around the world has never been greater. I look forward to seeing how God will use their investment to not only get the gospel to the lost but also to inspire other churches and believers to join in the mission of the IMB.”
He added, “By working together, we’ll be able to see the Revelation 7:9 vision of heaven come to fulfillment, where every nation, tribe, people, and language will be represented before God’s throne.”
Graham explained that the church, a Southern Baptist congregation, truly believes that more can be done together than individually. This belief is the driving factor behind the church’s steadfast giving and going through the Southern Baptist Convention and the International Mission Board and general support of the Cooperative Program.
“We could not be more appreciative of the opportunity to partner with IMB in supporting the global mission of Christ and the Church,” Graham shared.
“As an SBC lifer and pastor, it gives me great joy to support the leadership of Dr. Paul Chitwood and team and our devoted missionaries around the world.”
“The cooperative mission of our churches sets Southern Baptists apart and gives us the privilege of fulfilling the Great Commission together in our generation and in the generations to come,” Graham continued.
“Our gift is just a small part of the faith collaboration of thousands of SBC churches for the glory of God and the advancement of the Kingdom of God.”
Myriah Snyder is senior writer/editor for the IMB.
The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering® is a registered trademark of Woman’s Missionary Union.
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