MISSIONS

MISSIONS IN OUR CHURCH BUDGET

First Baptist Church Jefferson gives over $60,000 a year to mission causes. Many of them are local. We also support missionaries in the United States and foreign countries through the Southern Baptist Convention and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Below is a synopsis of all the organizations and people that we partner to share the gospel and minister to those in need. When you give to FBC, you are also supporting all of these with money. Please give generously of your time, talents, and money.
 

Cooperative Baptist Fellowship – $2,000

The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) is a Christian network comprised of individuals and churches that work together to spread the hope of Christ. For 25 years, CBF has been driven by its mission to serve Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission and to live into our vision to be a national and global community bearing witness to the Gospel in partnership with Christians across the nation and around the world.
 
The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship claims approximately 1,900 partner churches. The CBF is involved with the Baptist Center for Ethics, Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, the Baptist World Alliance and 15 Baptist seminaries and divinity school programs which have emerged in the wake of the conservative direction taken by the six SBC seminaries. The CBF headquarters are located in Decatur, Georgia.
 
The core values maintained by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship begin with four items the CBF considers Baptist principles of faith and practice.
Soul freedom is the ability of all people to relate directly with God. The belief in the priesthood of all believers is an important basis for this principle.
Bible freedom is the principle of recognizing the authority of Scripture and the right of every Christian to interpret it as the Holy Spirit directs.
Church freedom is the idea that every local church is autonomous and empowered to choose its own leaders and direct its own affairs.
Religious freedom is the principle of separation of church and state. CBF supports this principle through affiliation with the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty.
 

Southern Baptist Convention – $2,000

The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is a fellowship of over 47,000 Baptist churches scattered across the United States and its territories. These congregations, comprised of numerous racial, ethnic, language, and socioeconomic people groups, are called “cooperating churches.” They have organized themselves to accomplish a specific set of missions and ministry initiatives, all for the purpose of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all people everywhere. The International Mission Board (IMB) and North American Mission Board (NAMB) assist churches in evangelizing, discipling, and planting reproducing churches in our nation and around the world in fulfillment of the Great Commission. While the Convention revised the summary of faith in 2000 (The Baptist Faith and Message), FBC of Jefferson still adheres to the 1963 Version of the Baptist Faith and Message.
 

Missionary 1 – $4,000

Taiwan Missionaries “Jack” and “Jessie.”
 
We cannot give you their real names or show you their faces because security issues have been a problem in the countries where they travel.
 
For the last 12 years, they have served in East Asia as Baptist Missionaries.
 
They engage in multiple ministries such as mentoring pastors and church planters, mentoring college students that show possibilities of being missionaries to other countries, training small church pastors in how to develop strategies for growing stronger, training national church planters in how to start churches, training nationals to become missionaries in different cultures, etc.
 
These missionaries speak Chinese. Chinese can go to many places throughout the world with no restrictions where citizens of the USA are not welcome. So, they train people how to do cross-culture ministry in countries such as Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, and other predominately Muslim countries.)
 
In the country where they serve, during the 2018 Christmas season, they presented the Gospel to 6,000 students in 17 different schools. They taught the Bible from the creation of the world to the birth of Christ. During the Easter season, they will go back to these schools and present the story from the birth of Jesus to the resurrection.
 
By the end of the Easter season, these 6,000 students will have heard a clear, concise Gospel witness going from God creating the world to the resurrection of Jesus from the grave. They will also receive either a Gospel of John or another evangelistic piece, depending on the students’ ages and ability to understand.
 
The money received from our church helps with expenses for their ministries such as travel expenses and meals for national partners and translators, evangelistic materials other than Bibles, meals for meeting with nationals for mentoring and training, purchasing supplies not usually covered by our company, etc.
 
Michael and Tina have known Jack and Jessie for over thirty years. When Michael was a youth pastor in Hartwell in the early nineties, he and the youth pastor from Royston First Baptist Church lead a mission trip to Northern Michigan to help with the first Vacation Bible School at the church that Jack and Jessie planted.
 

Missionary 2 – $4,000

Liberian Missionaries Jesse and Jessica Phillips.
 
Jesse and Jessica Phillips are only in their mid-twenties. Yet they have set out on an adventure that has taken them far away from their New Sharon, Iowa home. They are now missionaries in Africa.
 
Many people feel a passion for Jesus at a young age, a turning in their hearts and they say, “Jesus, I’ll do anything for you; just don’t call me to be a missionary in Africa.”
 
Jessica was just the opposite. She had Africa placed on her heart at a very young age and when she met Jesse, his desire to serve God meshed with hers and this passion grew into reality. Jesse gave up a full college scholarship in electrical engineering and his career in residential electrical work to step into ministry.
 
After a couple of trips to Liberia to test the waters, Jessica and Jesse set up a non-profit, “For the Lamb,” https://forthelamb-liberia.org and they are now ministering in Liberia full-time.
 
Jesse and Jessica believe in sustainable ministry. They seek to teach Liberians how to be self-sufficient. They see collaboration as a positive thing, reaching out across denominational lines and races, seeking a diversity of partners who share a common vision for the people of Liberia.
 
For the Lamb works with communities to initiate a culture of sustainability that is rooted in a relationship with Christ.
 
They envision a world where the body of Christ works together peacefully to ensure spiritual growth, bring Jesus to those who don’t know Him, and ensures wealth creation for all those who they come in contact with in the name of Christ.
 
With the use of the BP-714 Earth Block Press, https://forthelamb-liberia.org/bp714-story they have an effective tool to help bring sustainable living and empowerment for the families and the communities throughout Liberia. Their goal is help teach sustainability as well as teaching about the grace, love, and forgiveness offered by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Building sustainable housing has given them a platform to share the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20, to raise a new generation in Christ to bring hope for generations to come!
 
They are seeking to empower the lives of the people by introducing low cost construction for homes, schools, and churches, clean energy, and encouraging entrepreneurship. They are continually searching out new initiatives to uplift and empower the people. They want to break the cycle of poverty in the world by Reaching the under-resourced communities with the gospel, training them how to use what God has given them to prosper, and Planting a seed of hope that will grow in the generations to come.
 
Our partnership with Jesse and Jessica is organic because our pastor, Dr. Michael Helms, founded the Bricks for Ricks Liberian Housing Foundations, Inc. which purchased the first BP-714 Earth Block Press sold by the Vermeer Corporation.
 
Members of FBC Jefferson used the machine to build a test build with the earth block before shipping the machine to Liberia.
 
Initially, the machine was shipped to Ricks Institute and American Baptist missionary Larry Stanton was trained to use the machine in a training session in Haiti. But not long after that, the Ratcliff’s had to leave Liberia because of the Ebola crisis and they were reassigned to Hungary. Soon an influx of refugees came into that country and they are still there ministering to them.
 
However, while in Haiti, Larry met Earl Ratcliff, the Board President of S.W.I.M., an international ministry that makes hand-held chlorine producing units to make safe drinking water.
 
Earl was there at the invitation of fellow board member Terry Butler, who at that time was the Director of Operations with the Vermeer Corporation, builder of the BP714.
 
Earl lives in New Sharron, Iowa. This is also the hometown of Jesse and Jessica Philipps. ;It’s not a very large town and he was aware of the mission work of Jesse and Jessica.
 
In speaking with them about sustainable ministry ideas, Earl mentioned that he had met Larry, so he knew that Ricks Institute had a Compressed Earth Block Machine. Jesse then called Dr. Olu Menjay. Dr. Menjay then called me. Because we had no one capable of running the machine, we listened to Jesse’s dream and ideas.
 
Believing the machine would benefit their ministry more than his, Dr. Menjay decided to release the machine to For the Lamb, exemplifying the motto of Ricks, “Not for Self, but for Others.”
 
In April 2016, the Foundation assisted Jesse, Jessica, and a Liberian pastor to travel to be trained by Dwell Earth in running the BP714 Block Press, now manufactured by a company in Dallas. They were certified in machine operation, making earth block, soil testing, and they received a basic course in construction.
 
In 2017, the Bricks for Ricks Foundation, Inc. received a substantial gift from God’s Hope Builders, Inc. We were able to purchase a second machine and ship it to Liberia, as the work of Jesse and Jessica continue to grow and expand.
 
Today, they employ over fifty people in jobs that pay enough money to help sustain their families. The machines are running entirely by Liberian crews and the homes are built by Liberian crews. The homes are as permanent as any brick home built in America.
 
We are blessed to be a part of a ministry that started with a dream right here in Jefferson and can now provide jobs, homes, schools, and churches in a war-torn country.
 
When we go into communities to share the gospel, we have credibility. They know that we care, because we have already demonstrated.
 

Georgia Baptist Children’s Homes – $1,000

Georgia Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministries is a Christian caring ministry of services designed to promote the spiritual, physical and emotional well-being of children, youth and families. Their campuses, group homes, and foster care programs offer new beginnings for children that have suffered abuse and neglect. Their specialized programs offer hope to young teen mothers, victims of human trafficking, individuals coping with developmental disabilities, and their community counseling centers provide direction to families seeking guidance and understanding. Lives are being changed. You can learn more at http://www.gbchfm.org.
 

SAREPTA Baptist Association – $1,000

Our church belongs to an association of 72 Baptist Churches covering four counties (Clarke, Jackson, Madison, Oglethorpe) and parts of three other counties (Oconee, Banks, Franklin). The churches of this association adhere to similar beliefs and practices but are united by a common desire to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. Sarepta Baptist Association was formed in 1799 and is one of the oldest associations in Georgia.
 
Sarepta is the same place named Zaraphath as described in the Old Testament. The place where Elijah was fed by a widow and God miraculously supplied grain and oil continuously. The association of churches is over 210 years old.

Local Mission/Benevolence – $6,000

We send people who need food to the Food Bank. We send people who need emergency assistance to the Ark. Other people with needs may qualify for some of our benevolence funds. We do not give money directly to individuals. We are judicious in releasing these funds, as we seek to be good stewards, but also compassionate to those in need.
 

Mission Trip – $10,000

Last year (2018) First Baptist Church took a team to Puerto Rico. In recent years we have traveled to Kentucky, Peru, and Liberia. Our mission trip this year will be to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The mission will be to conduct a Vacation Bible School for 100 children at Camp Smokey.
FBC Food Bank
The Food Bank of FBC Jefferson serves approximately 3000 people each year. We are the largest Food Bank in Jefferson, if not the largest in Jackson County. The church food bank is open Monday and Wednesday (except on holidays) from 1:00-3:00 P.M. It serves to feed those in need in Jackson County and is part of the Northeast Georgia Foodbank System.
 

The Ark of Jackson County – $12,000

The Ark is a financial help resource available to those living in Jackson County for emergency financial assistance for utilities, rent, prescriptions, and medical supplies and other needs deemed to be appropriate. Budget counseling is available. The Ark is open on Wednesdays from 9:00 to 10:30 A.M. It is located in the fellowship hall of the Jefferson Presbyterian Church (243 Washington Street.) A former member of First Baptist began the Ark many years ago. Our church is the largest financial contributor.
 

Counseling Subsidy – $500

First Baptist Church has pastors who strive to be good listeners and provide adequate pastoral care to members and those who attend. However, the church staff are “generalists,” not specialists. Sometimes, it is good to talk with someone who specializes in helping people walk through grief, depression, divorce, relationship family problems, job loss, financial issues, stress, sexual abuse, and many other issues that may require short or long-term counseling. If you need counseling but are unable to afford it, some counselors provide services on a sliding fee scale. Our church has some funds that we can use to assist you if you are still in need. We can also refer you to qualified, licensed counselors.
 

McAfee School of Theology – $1,500

When Jesse Mercer founded Mercer University in 1833, he and other Georgia Baptist leaders envisioned an institution that would provide students with a classical and theological education. Their concern was for young preachers and for members of area Baptist churches. Mercer knew these churches desperately needed pastor-leaders who understood scripture and could clearly articulate their Christian beliefs.
 
Over the intervening years, the institution begun by Jesse Mercer has developed into a university of far-reaching influence, while remaining committed to an educational environment that embraces the historic Baptist principles of intellectual and religious freedom. Today, more than 8,300 students are enrolled in 12 schools and colleges on campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah; three medical school sites in Macon, Savannah and Columbus; and at four Regional Academic Centers around the state.
 
In recent years, both pastors and students who seriously examined the opportunities for seminary-level training expressed a need for new educational alternatives within the Baptist tradition. After careful consideration of the issues and after an extensive feasibility study, the University’s Board of Trustees in June of 1994 voted to establish a School of Theology.
 
The McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University partners with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and attracts students who have looked critically at the options and who seek a theological education that will best prepare them for ministry in the next century.
 
Our church has hired two staff members from McAfee that have now moved on to other churches. Professors have come to our church to teach and preach. McAfee is the only Moderate Baptist Seminary in Georgia. The school’s website is https://theology.mercer.edu/about/ .
 

Mercer on Missions – $1,500

Mercer On Mission is an international service-learning experience. It provides students with a unique opportunity to understand and engage a culture much different than their own. The programs are situated throughout the developing world, where the challenges of poverty, injustice and limited access to education and health care are enormous. Mercer On Mission teams, consisting of two faculty members and ten to twelve students, partner with local communities and service agencies to provide various forms of humanitarian aid and community development, including building houses, teaching school children, constructing bio-sand water filters, providing prosthetic legs to amputees, producing dramas and running medical clinics. Mercer On Mission is a five-week, summer school program. Two weeks of study on campus are devoted to learning about the country and the service project. Students then spend three weeks abroad, carrying out their service project. Because of Mercer’s strong commitment to service, the university pays for all international travel expenses, including airfare, food, and lodging. Students consistently describe their Mercer On Mission experience as “life-changing” and “the best thing I have ever done.” More information can be found at https://community.mercer.edu/mom/
 

The Turkey Can Run – $1,000

The Turkey Can Run is a 5K U.S. Track and Field Certified Course that starts and ends at First Baptist Church in Jefferson, Georgia each Thanksgiving morning. The race has been run for the last ten years to raise can food and money for the Food Bank of First Baptist Church Jefferson. This race is a qualifying race for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race 10K. In the 2018 race, 480 racers and sponsors from 15 states collected 7200 cans of food and raised over $7000.
 

Gideons International – $1,250

The Gideons International https://www.gideons.org/about began distributing the Word of God in 1908. Today, there are more than 269,500 Gideons and Auxiliary – and an untold number of supporters – in some 200 countries, territories, and possessions across the globe. These dedicated individuals have given their time and money to make it possible for others to learn about the love of God by giving them access to His Word. They have placed and distributed more than 2 billion Bibles and New Testaments around the world.
 

Boys and Girls Club – $1,500

For nine years, the Boys & Girls Club of Jackson County http://www.bgcjcga.org/locations.html has been at the forefront of youth development, working with young people from disadvantaged economic, social and family circumstances. The Boys and Girls Club of Jackson County has actively sought to enrich the lives of girls and boys whom other youth agencies have had difficulty in reaching. We are dedicated to ensuring that our community’s disadvantaged youngsters have greater access to quality programs and services that will enhance their lives and shape their futures.
 
A youth development strategy underlies all Boys & Girls Club programs and fosters a sense of belonging, competence, usefulness, and influence that builds self-confidence and self-esteem.
 
The Boys and Girls Club of Jackson County is part of a nationwide affiliation of local, autonomous organizations working to help the youth of all backgrounds develop the qualities needed to become responsible citizens and leaders. It is facility-based, employs eight paid professional staff supplemented by four part-time volunteers, and offers daily access to a broad range of programs in five core program areas:
Character and Leadership Development
Education and Career Development
Health and Life Skills
The Arts
Sports, Fitness and Recreation
Today, more than 300 boys and girls are in need of the programs, activities, and services provided by the Boys & Girls Club of Jackson County. They benefit from trained, caring, professional staff and volunteers who help young people take control of their lives, envision productive futures and reach their goals.
 

The Tree House – $1,500

The Tree House, Inc. is a non-profit organization, https://www.thetreehouseinc.org/about-us whose mission is to strengthen communities by reducing the occurrence and impact of child abuse through counseling, educating, supporting and nurturing children and families in Barrow, Banks, and Jackson counties.
 
The Tree House, Inc. began in 1996 when community members united and started working towards preventing child abuse. Together, they created a child-friendly agency that offered prevention programs, as well as a place for children to come when they disclosed abuse. The Tree House, Inc. now sees hundreds of families each year and offers a variety of services to help children and families heal from child abuse.
 

Peace Place – $1,500

Peace Place, Inc. http://www.peaceplaceinc.org/about-us.html is a domestic violence program that serves survivors of family violence in Banks, Barrow, and Jackson counties in Georgia. They offer emergency shelter, transitional housing, rapid re-housing, prevention housing, outreach, and legal advocacy, safety planning, educational presentations, and children’s services. They also operate a thrift store to help fund the operations of the agency.
 

Disaster Relief – $1,500

Each year disaster strikes in the form of fire, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and other types of devastation that turns the lives of people upside down. While we cannot respond to every disaster that hits, we do want to acknowledge that there is always a need to help our neighbor in a time of need. While we cannot help them all, we can help some.
 

Community Involvement – $3,000

Each year, this line item remains an open-ended line for creative ideas that we may have that involves outreach into our community. This year we are hosting Susan Sparks, a comedian/lawyer/pastor from New York City. Her standup routine will be an opportunity for us to reach out to the unchurched in our area and welcome them to our church.
 

Hope Resource – $1,500

The Hope Resource Center https://hoperesourcecenter.webs.com/services is a place where women can go for free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds; information on options of an unexpected pregnancy; classes on pregnancy, infancy, toddler, children, parenting, and life skills; infant and childcare items such as car seats, diapers, strollers, beds, high chairs, and more; clothing; referrals and social services, free STD testing, physicians and adoption; resources and referrals for food, housing, and financial assistance; post-abortion, sexual abuse, and miscarriage recovery Bible study.
 

Sewing Circle – $750

A few years ago, a group of women got together to do some sewing and discovered that several women had a passion for needle and thread. Eventually, there was a house full of women at the “Rector House” (re-named the Mission House) working on mission-related projects. In the short time these women have been sewing together they have sown thousands of garments and sent them to Africa and South America and hundreds of dolls to the same. They have a great imagination, energy, and creativity. They have made children smile across oceans, and we salute their work.
 

Bereavement – $1,000

Sometimes, when ministering to a family that is grieving, there are related expenses. This fund is used to pay for those expenses that may be incurred or to help a grieving family directly that may be in financial need as a result of illness and death.
 

Wednesday Night Shut-Ins – $2,500

First Baptist has several elderly members that are no longer able to attend church. They still live in their homes, and they still love our church and appreciate our church remembering them. One way we continue to recognize them and reach out to them is by sending a warm meal to them each Wednesday night. The money in this part of the budget pays for these meals. A member of our church volunteers to deliver these meals. You can volunteer by calling our Office Administrator in the church office.
 

Fellowship of Christian Athletes – $500

(FCA) is an international non-profit Christian sports ministry. The mission of FCA is “to lead every coach and athlete into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and His church.” There are chapters in both the Jackson County and Jefferson City School Systems.
 
ADDITIONAL MISSIONS
(NOT IN THE CHURCH BUDGET)
Bricks for Ricks
Bricks for Ricks is a foundation that supports the building of earthern dwellings. and shipped a brick making machine to both Peru and Liberia. The church trains people how to operate the machines so they can begin the process of producing their own bricks.