The Gloster Baptist Church lives the GBO vision

By Message Contributor Brian Blackwell

GLOSTER, La. (LBM) – For many years, Gloster Baptist Church has helped carry the torch of Georgia Barnette, a missionary with a passion for sharing the gospel who served as the first elected and paid executive director/treasurer of the Woman’s Missionary Union Louisiana Baptists .

Not only does the Church have a presence in its own ward and in other cities throughout Louisiana, Gloster Baptist donates generously to the annual state mission named after “Miss Georgia.” According to Pastor Ron McLellan, the church (with an average of 100 at Sunday service) has donated $14,638 over the past 12 months to the annual donation that honors Barnette’s commitment to spreading the gospel in Louisiana; and they have set a fundraising goal of $16,000 for 2022.

McLellan, who has served as a pastor since 1995, said his congregation’s commitment to doing whatever it takes to spread the gospel locally never ceases to amaze him.

“Our Gloster family amazes me with their willingness to go on missions with God to places like Sulfur after hurricanes devastated the Southwest; to Plaucheville to do a music and arts camp; to a nursing camp in North Monroe; and most recently to downtown Shreveport to support The Hub’s homeless work,” McLellan said Baptist message.

On site, Gloster Baptist serves meals to the teachers; prayer walks and volunteers for events at a local school; supports widows with various needs; helps people with special needs with crafts at the Holy Angels Residential Facility in Shreveport; leads worship for a men’s prayer meeting in the church and regularly serves breakfast at The Hub Ministry for Victims of Human Trafficking and the Homeless in Shreveport.

The church also sends a team once a month to lead the service at 3:18 Church in Shreveport. After the service, members prepare meals that are served to those in attendance.

The 3:18 Church, featured in the Georgia Barnette Louisiana Missions Offering Week of Prayer Guide and led by Matt Tyson, is spreading hope in Christ among people living in downtown Shreveport.

The partnership between the two churches began shortly after McLellan was diagnosed with cancer in December. Tyson learned of the situation and stepped forward to fill the pulpit once a month from January to April.

In June, Gloster Baptist began sending his first team to the 3:18 Church.

“I needed someone like Matt and trusted him in the pulpit,” McLellan said. “I am grateful that he had a servant’s heart to come in, preach the word of God and help us continue to have a vibrant worship experience on Sunday mornings.”

“We understood his vision to reach out to the homeless community in Shreveport,” he continued. “He is sincere in his desire to touch people’s hearts and lives, and (he) shows them the love of Christ.”

Because of the generous donations from churches like Gloster Baptist, Louisiana Baptists are able to carry on Georgia Barnette’s vision more than 114 years after she first led women to accept an offering for state missionaries in 1907. The offering was named after her in 1937.

Some of the missions and ministries that depend on the missionary offering are church planting; services of compassion; prison work; service for victims of sex trafficking; disaster relief efforts; the Louisiana Baptist multimedia strategy, “Here for You”; and Woman’s Missionary Union grants to New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Louisiana Christian University.

“This offering remains in the state of Louisiana,” said Christine Gill, women’s missions strategist and Louisiana Baptist ministry. “The idea is to encourage our church members to contribute to something tangible. Every dollar is used to help people living near you. The money donated to the Georgia Barnette Louisiana Missions Offering literally benefits the person next door, whether it’s through disaster relief or starting a church in your community, participating in compassion ministry, or providing missionary education in your community.

“Without Georgia, these ministries will cease to exist in our state,” she continued. “It is of the utmost importance. We want to reach Louisiana for Christ, and Georgia Barnette’s offering provides an opportunity to do just that.”

September 11-18 was set aside as a week of prayer for government missions and ministries. Resources, including videos, demonstrating the scope and impact of the Georgia Barnette Offering have been sent to churches across the state. This year’s offering goal is $1.7 million and churches are urged to begin promoting the Georgia Barnette Louisiana Missions Offering now. Online promotional items can be accessed at GeorgiaBarnette.org.

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