I am excited about the 13th Check partnership through Mission:Dignity for Arkansas Baptists for three distinct reasons. First of all, the initial funds were a result of an estate plan drafted by the Foundation’s staff and are reflective of our commitment to providing legacy giving services. Secondly, the repurposing of these funds demonstrates our commitment to stewardship as well as the merit of open dialogue and regular review of financial resources. Thirdly, there is now an opportunity through this new fund for others to invest in the lives of retired ministers, workers and widows in Arkansas. However, the ultimate blessing we have seen through this new partnership is hearing and reading of the impact these funds have had on recipients – so humbling and testaments of God’s provision.
Following is a press release from GuideStone concerning this gift to Mission:Dignity recipients.
Funds from the Arkansas Baptist Organizations Provide Additional Help
Mission:Dignity recipients in Arkansas received a special gift in September this year — a 13th check — thanks to a partnership among GuideStone, the Arkansas Baptist State Convention and the Arkansas Baptist Foundation.
Mission:Dignity, a ministry of GuideStone®, exists to honor retirement-aged Southern Baptist pastors, denominational workers and their widows through advocacy and financial assistance.
“Some time ago, the Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC) had an active process for assisting pastors who might need additional assistance in retirement years, and donors contributed to a fund for that purpose,” says ABSC Director of Convention Business David Bond. “We discovered an inactive fund and realized that, though the ABSC no longer provided this service, Mission:Dignity would be a great way to continue meeting this need for assisting these wonderful retired servants while honoring the intent of the donors from years ago. This partnership with Mission:Dignity is a great blessing to our state.”
This additional support is a special supplement to the ongoing monthly grants these individuals receive to help meet essential needs like paying bills, buying groceries and purchasing much-needed medication. The retired ministers, workers and widows helped by GuideStone’s Mission:Dignity ministry face increasing costs of basic living expenses each and every year.
Through the Mission:Dignity ministry, the ABSC is able to care for their retired pastors, widows and workers in a meaningful way with charitable dollars once again.
Bobby Thomas, President and CEO of the Arkansas Baptist Foundation, echoes Bond when he says, “We are extremely thankful to find a solution in Mission:Dignity that honors the original intent of the ministry supporter who provided the funds initially. This endeavor also furthers our partnership with the ABSC and GuideStone in allowing us to better steward funds for our ministry partners while blessing those Arkansas Baptists in the greatest need.”
By partnering with Mission:Dignity in this way, Arkansas joins other state conventions in Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina and the Baptist General Convention of Texas in giving donors an additional opportunity to help provide for the needs of these lifelong servants of the Lord.
As of the end of September 2021, Mission:Dignity has assisted 58 individuals in Arkansas.
“These extra state convention disbursements assure Mission:Dignity recipients of the love and care of their Southern Baptist family, locally and nationwide,” says Aaron Meraz, Director of Mission:Dignity. “Our goal is to have a 13th Check partnership with every state Baptist foundation so that each recipient in every state could receive the extra support they deserve.”
“And on behalf of those we serve in Arkansas, we thank our friends there for this new partnership and commitment to these faithful servants in need.”
For more information on Mission:Dignity, visit MissionDignity.org.