"Cultivating Leaders, Equipping Disciples, Healing Communities"
The America for Christ Offering 2017 theme reminds us that as Baptists, we exemplify a vital legacy of missions and ministry. Through your generous donations is a commitment to cultivating Christian leaders who are spiritually competent, in touch with their churches and communities, and passionate about ministry and helping people. The big question is always, What do leaders need to continue growing and developing? Your AFC Offering reminds us that service is a way of life for Christ’s church. Your generous giving this year to the AFC Offering is helping to reach goals that support missions across the United States and Puerto Rico.
The Gift of Hope “Feeding The Flock” Cookbook is now available. FBC has some of the best cooks in town and this cookbook is filled with their favorites. The cost is $15 per copy. If you would like a copy, they are available in the parlor on Sunday mornings and in the church office through the week. The proceeds from the cookbooks will go to The Gift of Hope Orphan Ministries. This ministry provides assistance to orphan ministries and to families who are adopting a child or children.
Help say thank you by giving to the RMMO
Your simple yet profound act of giving, allows the ABC to share in an act of Grace that reminds the ministers, missionaries and widowed spouses who served so faithfully that they are remembered with love and gratitude. The offering supports those who have dedicated their lives to God’s service by providing emergency assistance in times of need and a thank you check at the end of each year. We hope that RMMO will continue to serve as a joyous tradition for ABC congregations and that you will be greatly enriched this season by The Grace of Giving.
On July 9th, a mission team from FBC was sent to Jamaica to minister to the people. The trip lasted until July 16th, and the following letter describes much of what the team did during their time in Jamaica. The letter was sent to American Baptist Churches USA as thanks for their assistance with funding the mission trip.
Thank you so much for your generous donation through the Matthew 25 Grant. In July of this year, the mission team of First Baptist Church, Murphysboro Illinois, traveled to St. Mary's Parrish, Jamaica. We were fortunate to partner with Brother Bob Weston and Pastor Raphael Thomas in sharing God's word and His love with local residents. This was our first mission trip outside of the U.S. that involved both college and high school students. Our team consisted of 4 adults, 4 college students, and 7 high school students. We spent the year before the trip preparing through prayer and devotion, and meeting to prepare our testimonies, music ministry, and VBS ministry.
During our first full day in Jamaica, our team attended services in 2 churches and took part in the services by sharing our testimonies, worshiping through music and bringing God's word. We were touched by the enthusiasm of the worship services, the boldness in how people spoke of God's working in their lives and the warm welcome that we received. What a blessing to start our week worshiping with our ministry partners and learning about their culture.
The funds from the Matthew 25 grant were distributed in the following ways. We spent one day with Brother Bob Weston and his ministry team in Port Maria, St Mary's Parrish, Jamaica. Every week his team, led in the kitchen by Sister Joy and Sister Cecile, feed at least 50 individuals who suffer from health and physical infirmities and are not able to provide for themselves. The government in Jamaica does not have a 'meals on wheels' program so ministries like Brother Weston's are of vital importance. The ladies were so excited to have our assistance, even though we were more in their way than anything in Brother Bob's small, extremely hot kitchen where the food is prepared! After the food was cooked and packaged, the meals were delivered to those in need and the team ministered to spiritual needs while meeting physical ones.
We were also privileged to provide the very first VBS program to the children of Central Gospel Chapel in the community of Aleppo, St. Mary's Parrish, Jamaica. This very small church is in a rural community and operates with minimal supplies or equipment. The Sunday School attendance was 5-7 children weekly and the Sunday School director, Sister Pat, was very excited to reach out to the surrounding areas through a VBS program. The grant funds were used to provide food and drinks during VBS to the children and families in attendance. We have since learned that Sunday School attendance has almost tripled and some of the children are bringing their families with them to church.
Our team learned so much over the last year and during this trip. We had to place our trust in the Lord that He would lead us to raise the necessary funds, work out the lodging and logistics, communicate with ministry partners living in another country, understand a completely different culture, be able to share the good news of salvation and God's love effectively and boldly, and return home safely. Every step of the way God not only met our needs but exceeded our expectations! It's hard to put into words the bonds that were formed and the love we have for our new friends in Jamaica. We can't wait to see what God has in store for our team in the future.
Again, thank you so much for your support. The grant funds were used to make a difference in the lives of the people in St. Mary's Parrish, Jamaica but most importantly the funds were given in the name of Jesus for the glory of God!
Our PRAY signs were born of a desire to equip Christians with a way to express their common interest in seeing our nation turn back towards God and his principles.
2 Corinthians 7:14 states “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."
The first printing of the 1,000 signs were quickly distributed around the city of Murphysboro. Soon there was a need for more, and a second batch of 1,000 was printed. This time the word PRAY was printed on both sides along with the new scripture reference. They serve as a reminder to Christians of where our strength comes from and our only hope for our country and our world.
Signs can be picked up at the church office at anytime, or a sign can be mailed to you by calling the church office.
906 N. 14th Street, Murphysboro, IL 62966
Donate at: PO Box 671
Contact us at: 618-684-8258
Murphysboro Food Pantry, Inc. is an independent 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
Working to ease the pain of hunger in all of Jackson County
Since moving into our current building, which we’re proud to say was paid for in barely two years thanks to the generous donations of those in the community, we’ve expanded our services tremendously. In 2008, our last full year in the old location, we provided food for 16,646 individuals. As of 2013, those numbers had grown to 36,410 – a 219% increase! But numbers alone don’t accurately reflect the whole story.
Because we enjoy such amazing support from local individuals, schools, churches, organizations and businesses we are not only serving a lot more individuals each year – but we’re able to provide substantially larger boxes of food to each family that visits the Pantry
In 2013, we distributed approximately 254 TONS of food to more than 9300 households. The families we serve come from literally every town and township in Jackson County.
Since our move to our new (and current) location in September 2009, we’ve made even more improvements. Due to a successful grant bid, we were able to install a 144 square foot walk-in cooler that makes inventory management much easier. We’ve grown our volunteer work force from just a handful of volunteers to approximately 50 individuals who always seem ready to help in whatever way needed. Many of those work several days a week to ensure that our clients receive the best possible service. We’ve designed and implemented a one-of-a-kind client computer program that allows us to maintain service records on our clients and also to capture information useful in food procurement planning, future budget planning, and even grant requests. We’ve grown to be the largest USDA food pantry in all of Jackson County and also become known for the outstanding client service as well as for the consistently generous boxes of food that are distributed.
As of Nov. 2014 we are just finishing a year long grant project. Walmart provided funds for us to install a large walk-in freezer in a previously under utilized warehouse space. As the numbers we serve continue to grow, so does our need to be able to receive and store frozen products so that we can better manage and control our food inventory.
A future goal is to collaborate and engage more fully with other area churches throughout the county. We want to educate them on our work and our needs in the hope they will appreciate the services we provide the community and will want to budget monetary support which would allow us to continue to grow the scope of our work.
We’re very proud of our building, our volunteers, and our ability to provide nutritious food to so many needy individuals each year. We thank all who donate for providing us with the means to do this and encourage those who have not yet donated to this worthy cause, to consider sending donations, large or small, as all are greatly appreciated and needed.
(As reported by Jane Williams, President, Board of Directors)
Other Board of Director Members:
Byron York, Vice President
Kathy Blackwell, Secretary
Elizabeth Williams-Fager, Treasurer