When the $2,400 Economic Stimulus payment hit the Wardlaw’s checking account, it did not stay there long. June and Bill Wardlaw immediately made a gift in that amount to the Texas Baptists Pastor Relief Fund.
“We knew there were plenty of pastors of small churches who need the money much more than we do,” explained Bill.
The Wardlaws are retired Baptist missionaries who returned to Texas from Ghana in 2012. They now live in New Boston, located in the northeast corner of the state. Bill participates in the Interim Ministry network of Texas Baptists and has served a number of churches in Texas and Arkansas as interim pastor. Currently, the Wardlaws minister to a mission congregation of about a dozen members.
“Pastors of small churches struggle financially even in the best of times,” Bill said. “We decided before that government check ever came that we were going to give it where it would do the most good. We received a blessing, and we want to be a blessing.”
More than half of Texas Baptists pastors serve small membership churches; many have outside employment simply to feed their families. The impact of “shelter at home” is particularly devastating to these pastors, whose churches often are not set up for online giving. When members face employment uncertainty, giving declines. Without assistance from the Pastor Relief Fund, many of these pastors would be economically unable to continue serving their churches. As a result, churches may face closure and communities will suffer the loss of ministry.
The Wardlaws chose to be a blessing and their gift is at work, blessing pastors and churches and communities. Will you ask the Lord if He is leading you to do the same?
The Texas Baptist Missions Foundation stands ready to assist you in making the greatest Kingdom impact through your gift. If you feel called to give, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (214) 828-5343.
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