These are very difficult days economically worldwide. Many churches are significantly hurting financially. Many families are also experiencing the hurt from this economic downturn. Just today, the Wall Street Journal reported on its front page that, “The U.S. poverty rate rose to 14.3%, a 16 year high, while median household income fell 4.8% over the last decade.” Unemployment in the state of Tennessee is just under 7% while hovering just below 10% nationally.
One of the hardest hit areas in Tennessee is Scott County where the unemployment rate is over an incredible 21%. But even in that environment, there is a ray of sunshine when it comes to missions. First Baptist Church of Oneida, in the heart of Scott County, took a bold and visionary step recently. They RAISED their Cooperative Program giving from 10% to 11% and made a commitment to give more through other TBC and SBC offerings that will impact lostness at home and around the world. Dr. Doug White, pastor, simply explained that his church believes that it is more blessed to give than to receive, and that his church is very committed to The Great Commission. This church shares a common “Great Commission Passion.” It is good to see such an encouraging word from such an economically depressed area. First Baptist Church of Oneida, thank you for being a clear example of sacrificial giving for the glory of God. You are a Macedonian model. May your tribe increase.