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Southwestern

John Ambra

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Because We Love You

“When we get old, God looks after us and takes care of us and not just in the big things. It’s also in the small ways that we don’t always realize.”

Retired pastors, widows thankful for Mission:Dignity

DALLAS (BP) -- Hard work was nothing new for bivocational pastor L.C. Jones. After decades of laboring in sewing factories, he was accustomed to sweating it out for the sake of his family. "I've worked all summer -- mowing yards, trying to save enough money to fix my wife's teeth," he said. "I plan to work next summer to finish paying for her teeth." The blazing Texas heat wasn't going to hold him back from earning enough so that Jerry could get her teeth, even though the retired pastor was then 86 years old. That was in 2012.

Widow’s trust in the Lord shown in Mission:Dignity

DALLAS (BP) -- Sandra McGill never dreamed she'd be a pastor's wife. When she and Joe married in 1954, he hadn't told her about his call to preach while operating a plow on his family's farm. His revelation several years later would be the beginning of more than three decades cultivating fields of a different kind. Joe and Sandra's journey took them from their native South Carolina to New Orleans where Joe enrolled in seminary. While there, he pastored a small church on the west bank of the Mississippi River. It was a very poor section of town and primarily Roman Catholic. The local people called him "Father Joe" or "The Baptist Priest."

‘God’s got it,’ retirees say of Mission:Dignity

DALLAS (BP) -- Kathie Mansell needed a side dish to go with her meatloaf. Her father, a missionary pilot from Brazil, was in town and coming for dinner with a friend, but Kathie was a newlywed college student and didn't have any other food on hand.

Woman finds relief through Mission:Dignity

[QUOTE@right@180="More than 60 percent of the people we serve are widows -- with one in four being a pastor's widow over age 85."
-- O.S. Hawkins]DALLAS (BP) -- All Anna Streeter saw in her refrigerator was three hot dogs and one bottle of apple juice. She was hungry and wanted to go to the grocery store, but her bank account was as empty as her icebox.

Buddy prayed, ‘I need to get rid of this money’

DALLAS (BP) -- It was October 2001 and Buddy Temple was in a quandary. The retired postal service worker and court bailiff had sold a house a few months earlier and couldn't figure out where God wanted him to direct part of the proceeds. No matter how many options he considered, he had no clear direction.

Retirees see God’s provision after lean times

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article first appeared in Baptist Press on Nov. 3 of this year. DALLAS (BP) — Floyd Woodard was 25 years old when he felt God calling him into a life of ministry nearly six decades ago. Married just five years, Woodard was teaching a Sunday School class when he was approached about […]

After decades of lean times, retirees see God’s provision

DALLAS (BP) -- Floyd Woodard was 25 years old when he felt God calling him into a life of ministry nearly six decades ago. Married just five years, Woodard was teaching a Sunday School class when he was approached about becoming a preacher. "I knew the Lord was dealing with me and so finally I came to the place that I decided I would answer the call, that God called me to preach," Floyd said. "I started pastoring back in 1955 in a church that had us preach two Sundays a month. They paid us $15 a Sunday. We drove about 55 miles one way to get there." When a church in Forsyth, Mont., offered $150 a month in the mid-'60s, Woodard readily accepted the call. He fondly remembered talking to a church member about receiving a weekly check. "When I talked to him and asked him about giving me a check every week, he said, 'Well, there are five Sundays in some months,' and I said, 'We have to eat that Sunday, too!'" At times, it was difficult for Woodard and his wife Ivey to make ends meet on the small salary he received, but God was always faithful. "There were several times," Ivey recalled, "when I would go to the grocery store and I'd spend my last dollar for milk, and I didn't know where the next dollar was coming from, but it always came." Over the years, the Woodards were not afraid of hard work and often took additional jobs to make ends meet. "We did some work for different people," Floyd said, "like in the sugar beet fields and helping cut corn in the silage and stuff like that occasionally. "I did a little carpenter work to help supplement our income. Roofed a few houses," he said, chuckling at the memory. As with many small churches, food from members' gardens or farms also was part of the "pay" received by most preachers. For the Woodards, the meat served at the dinner table could be of an unusual variety. "When we first moved to Eureka (Mont.), a man from Great Falls had killed a deer," Ivey recounted. "He didn't need it, so he gave us that deer.

MISSION:DIGNITY: ‘We saw a need …’

EDITOR’S NOTE: Mission:Dignity Sunday is June 26 on the Southern Baptist Convention calendar, in support of GuideStone Financial Resources’ program to assistance needy retired ministers and widows of ministers. DALLAS (BP)–Joe Baker had been in their shoes. He and his wife Lois had served churches in Oklahoma and Illinois before they moved to Ohio. He […]

MISSION:DIGNITY: ‘The right thing to do’

EDITOR’S NOTE: Mission:Dignity Sunday is June 26 on the Southern Baptist Convention calendar, in support of GuideStone Financial Resources’ program to assist needy retired ministers and widows of ministers. DALLAS (BP)–First Baptist Church in West Carrollton has plenty of reasons for giving to Mission:Dignity. They enjoy caring for others. They like to hear how their […]