Newsletter – September 2018

Larry’s Lines. . . .

By Larry Murphy, Executive Director

Do You See Tennessee’s Reality?

Tennessee is hurting.

  • 94 of 95 counties have double-digit poverty rates
  • 31 counties have poverty rates at more than 20%
  • 15.8% overall poverty rate
  • 11% of all Tennesseans live in extreme poverty
  • 17.4% of the population lives with food insecurity
  • Entrenched generational poverty cycles
  • High malnutrition rates among children
  • High teen pregnancy rates
  • High statewide illiteracy rates
  • Nationally ranks second in crystal meth production and consumption
  • Thousands are living homeless in our cities
  • More than 57,000 people incarcerated on any given day in Tennessee

Do You See Tennessee’s “Spiritually Lost”?

  • Approximate population: 7 million
  • Unchurched/spiritually lost: 4 million
  • Total households: 3 million
  • Approximately 80% of the population of most counties in Tennessee will not worship in any church this Sunday
  • 40-60% of Tennesseans classified themselves as unclaimed (not part of any religion)
  • 2017 baptisms:  20,700 (projected 2017 ACP total; 2% increase over 2016 ACP)

We definitely need our churches reaching out to our state.  First and foremost we need to be praying with urgency for ourselves and our state that God would do a mighty work.  Unless God does the work we labor in vain.

Second, we need to put feet to our prayers.  Everyone can, but will you go?  I am still convinced there are more who want us to come to them than there are those who will go.

Thirdly, we can give and financially provide assistance to those going and to those who need help.

One way to give is through the Golden Offering for Tennessee Missions.

People ask me all the time to rank one offering through the Southern Baptist Convention churches in order of importance.  In order, as I see it:  first, tithe – give and support your church, next – your local association followed by the Golden Offering for Tennessee Missions, then Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong. These are my opinions and I believe it is not an either/or but a both/and.  We need all the offerings to continue the spread of the gospel.

Let me encourage you to start promoting the Golden Offering for Tennessee Missions and praying about your churches goal to help meet the overall goal of $2,100,000.  All of these dollars stay here in Tennessee to spread the gospel.  Following are examples of how your dollars are making a difference here in our own state.

Evangelistic Events

  • $3 provides an evangelistic Frisbee with gospel message to give away at the Jesus Tent at Bonnaroo
  • $10 provides Bible study materials for a camper at Journey and Impact Camps
  • $10 provides lunch for a participant on a City Reach vision/ministry tour
  • $100 will provide a full scholarship for a camper to attend All Nations Camp

Compassion Ministries

  • $6 provides a MasterLife workbook for a prison inmate
  • $25 purchases Bible study curriculum for released prisoner transitional ministry
  • $50 provides a box of staple food items for a family living in poverty
  • $100 helps send a blind person to the Tennessee Baptist Fellowship Blind Retreat
  • $100 buys basic home repair materials for Disaster Relief Teams
  • $350 provides a full scholarship for a camper to attend Special Friends Camp

Church Planting and Revitalization

  • $25 pays for a church planting team member to participate in Basic Training for Church Planters
  • $150 provides a scholarship for a pastor to attend a Church Revitalization Boot Camp
  • $500 helps start a Harvest Plant African-American church
  • $850 aids with a semester of study for a pastor or church leader pursuing their seminary degree in a non-traditional setting
  • $1,000 helps a church plant sponsor a basic block party for 420 participants
  • $2,000 helps a TBC church begin a church planting training center, internship, or residency
  • $3,000 helps cover the costs of a series of Church Revitalization Orientations across the state

Equipping the Nations in Tennessee

  • $5 provides 15 evangelistic tracts to be used with various people groups
  • $10 prints a student manual for literacy missions programs
  • $20 provides four New Testaments for a non-English speaker in their native language
  • $50 will assist with lodging for an ethnic pastor to attend a leadership training conference
  • $300 provides scholarship assistance for a language pastor to attend seminary extension class

Preparing a New Generation

  • $10 provides gloves and safety glasses for a college student to use on a Disaster Relief mission trip
  • $100 covers the cost of training and preparing one summer missionary to share the Gospel in Tennessee and beyond
  • $300 provides travel assistance for a missionary kid (whose parents are Tennessee natives and serving as IMB missionaries), to attend the MK Re-Entry Retreat in August prior to entering college as a freshman
  • $1,000 provides a scholarship for a Tennessee Baptist undergraduate or seminary student
  • $5,000 provides a fulltime campus Missionary at two state college campuses for one school year

Thanks for your generous gift as we “Pursue One” in Tennessee.


Crockett Baptist Association

Senior Adult Ministry Meeting

Tuesday, September 18 • 10:00 a.m.

First Baptist Church, Alamo

(2400 Hwy. 88 South, Alamo, TN)

Speaker:  Rev. Chris Rigby

Pastor of FBC, Alamo


Madison-Chester Association of Baptists

Administrative Team Meeting

Monday, October 1 • 10:30 a.m.

Baptist Association Office

(603 Wallace Road, Jackson, TN)


Crockett Baptist Association

Annual Meeting

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Cairo Baptist Church

(347 Lyons Road, Alamo, TN)

5:30 p.m. – Meal

6:30 p.m. – Service


Madison- Chester Association of Baptists

Annual Meeting

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Madison Baptist Church

(930 Steam Mill Ferry Road, Jackson, TN)

5:45 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.