News Articles

Annuitant aid lessens widow’s uncertainties

DALLAS (BP)–“This is a wonderful thing you are doing for little old widows like me,” Mary Norwood said. For more than 40 years, Mary served alongside her husband Jerry as he pastored small, rural churches in Alabama and Georgia. None of the churches, however, contributed to a retirement account.

When Jerry died, Mary wondered how she would meet her expenses from her modest Social Security benefit. GuideStone Financial Resources’ Adopt An Annuitant program, however, has lessened her uncertainties.

Southern Baptist churches across the nation will celebrate Adopt An Annuitant Sunday on June 24, a day set aside by the Southern Baptist Convention to remember the thousands of aged ministers and their widows who dedicated their lives to the gospel ministry but now are facing their retirement years without the financial resources to meet their basic daily needs.

“Helping people like Mary meet her expenses is what we’re all about,” said John Ambra, director of development for GuideStone’s Adopt An Annuitant ministry. “These men and women willingly gave everything to serve our churches in decades past and they aren’t asking for much. We can help to pay their bills so they can live their remaining years in dignity. We owe them that as their Baptist family.”

Recipients of Adopt An Annuitant funds must meet guidelines for income, assets and years of Southern Baptist service. Qualified recipients may be eligible for $200 per month for an individual or $265 per month for a couple. Beginning Jan. 1, 2008, financial assistance recipients with the greatest need and longest years of service will be eligible to receive up to double the benefit they are receiving currently.

Under GuideStone’s financial assistance guidelines, more than $6 million is paid out annually to assist retirees. The majority of the funding comes to the Adopt An Annuitant ministry from the direct gifts of individuals, groups and churches.

“GuideStone was founded on the idea of serving those who gave sacrificially to spread the Word of God,” GuideStone President O.S. Hawkins said. “Even though GuideStone has become one of the largest denominational benefits organizations in the world, the heart of our ministry is still providing support to these dear folks who have given of themselves sacrificially in the service of our Lord.”

“Thank you so much for paying my electric and insurance,” Mary Norwood said. “I’m 85 years old and this has let me have a little better life.”
For additional information or to order free bulletin inserts and “A Gift of Dignity” video to use in worship services, Sunday School departments or mission-oriented organizations, visit online at www.GuideStone.org or call 1-888-98-GUIDE (1-888-984-8433).

    About the Author

  • Staff