By Janella Martinez
As Alabama Baptists gear up for the second-annual Week of Prayer for State Missions, which begins this Sunday, hearts are tuned to the important and timely work of disaster relief — one of the featured Great Commission Ministries that directly benefits from the Myers-Mallory State Missions Offering.
In the days before Hurricane Harvey slammed the south Texas coast, Alabama Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers were making preparations for the aftermath. And within days of landfall, the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions (SBOM) had already sent an initial round of relief funding. All of this was possible, in part, because of gifts given to the Myers-Mallory State Missions Offering and through the Cooperative Program.
“Thanks to the generosity of Alabama Baptists from all over the state, last year’s inaugural Myers-Mallory State Missions Offering was well received, and the goal was exceeded,” said Rick Lance, SBOM executive director. “That was one of the contributing factors to our having Disaster Relief people, infrastructure and funds in place for a quick response.”
In years past, Disaster Relief had its own offering each February. Last year, that offering was combined with Alabama Woman’s Missionary Union’s (WMU) Kathleen Mallory Mission Offering and expanded to include other Great Commission Ministries, thereby forming the Myers-Mallory State Missions Offering. In addition to Alabama WMU and Disaster Relief, Church Planting, Alabama Partnership Missions and Church Revitalization are also featured.
Along with the formation of the Myers-Mallory State Missions Offering last year, an annual Week of Prayer for State Missions was begun. “We saw the Lord do amazing things through the Great Commission Ministries featured in the Week of Prayer for State Missions,” said Alabama WMU Executive Director Candace McIntosh. “We continue to see fruit from the specific prayers offered up last year,” she said.
According to McIntosh, some of that “fruit” includes 12 new churches planted in Alabama last year, countless faith decisions at WorldSong’s Missions Adventure Camp this summer and at least 40 professions of faith because of Alabama Baptist Disaster Relief work. “And those are just the ones we know about,” she said.
The 2017 Week of Prayer for State Missions is scheduled for September 10–17, with each day dedicated to concentrated prayer for a different Great Commission Ministry. A prayer guide and three feature videos are available online at Myers-Mallory.org. The Myers-Mallory State Missions Offering emphasis coincides with the Week of Prayer, but gifts may be given throughout the year.
“We already know that Alabama Baptists are a generous and prayerful group. This Week of Prayer and [Myers-Mallory] State Missions Offering are just additional ways of showing how much,” Lance noted.
This year’s Myers-Mallory State Missions Offering goal is $1 million, with a “Hallelujah Goal” of $1.2 million.