Alabama Baptists were among those highlighted as the North American Mission Board’s (NAMB) Send Luncheon celebrated the complex and rewarding journey of life in ministry.
During the June 10 lunch in Birmingham, NAMB President Kevin Ezell introduced Rick Lance, executive director of the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, and Rusty Sowell, pastor of Providence Baptist Church, Opelika, who responded to the March 3 tornado that took 23 lives.
Sowell led his congregation to step up in ways that each volunteer was uniquely qualified to serve.
“It was a tremendous effort on everyone’s part to get to the epicenter and come together to serve the families and churches,” Sowell said. “What a tremendous witness it was to see all the people from the faith community come together to provide relief.”
Out of gratitude for Sowell’s leadership Ezell gifted him and his wife with a scholarship to a Timonthy+Barnabas retreat in Palm Springs, California, and announced that private donors were donating $20,000 toward the church’s efforts to build a permanent memorial to those who died.
Ezell also introduced Mike Perrigin, bivocational pastor of Chapel Hill Baptist Church, Fayette. He and his wife, Kim, are parents to two special-needs children, and while that assignment is challenging the couple is quick to assert parenting their children is one of their greatest joys.
After the couple shared their story Ezell told them the June payment they made on their mortgage was their last payment, as generous donors had stepped up to pay off the remaining balance.
John Killian, associational missions director for Fayette Association, said, “Mike is a good man. They are a good family, a humble family.
“They’ve never been a celebrity at any point in their lives but today they were at the top, standing up there being honored by thousands.” (BP, TAB)