Arkansas Baptist News December 2011 "England church jumpstarts Lottie giving"

England church jumpstarts Lottie giving (ABN, December 2011)

England church jumpstarts Lottie giving (ABN, December 2011)

ENGLAND – A little creativity, along with a silent and live auction, resulted in big giving to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for one Arkansas church.

Robby Sherman, pastor of First Baptist Church, England, since Oct. 16, said the event created a lot of excitement for international missions Sunday night, Dec. 4, resulting in the church surpassing its giving goal during the first week of its annual promotion. Sherman previously pastored First Baptist Church, Clinton, for two and a half years.

“I thought, 'Let’s just see what we can do,’” remarked Sherman. “It was really a fun night. It’s the buzz around town today.”

During the event, Tim Wicker, a member of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention missions ministries team, shared his experiences serving as an International Mission Board missionary and the importance of the support received from Lottie Moon.

Sherman said the formula for the auction was really quite simple. He and church members asked businesses and people in the community to donate items to be included in the auction.

Items donated included meal vouchers from local restaurants, a subscription to the local newspaper, several bags of soybeans, pies, handmade afghans and even an acre of a stocked fish pond.

Additionally, church members have been encouraged to purchase Lottie Moon ornaments for a Christmas tree at $20 apiece, with all ornaments already being sold out.

Sherman said excitement continues to build for the offering, which is already at $6,661 as of Dec. 7. That is $1,600 above the church’s goal.

“Smaller churches understand Lottie Moon is going to missions,” he said. “We just came up with some creative ways of raising money for Lottie Moon, and it didn’t cost us anything.”

He added, “We’re not anywhere close to stopping. … We are just getting started.”

Sherman said worship attendance at First Baptist averages from 125 to 150 and that three adults have made professions of faith since October.