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Pastor’s song boosts celebration of Cooperative Program’s 75th year

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Pastor Rhett Wilson recently tried a fresh approach to promoting the 75th anniversary of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Cooperative Program.

He wrote a song.

Wilson, pastor of the 200-member Cornerstone Baptist Church in Clinton, S.C., was inspired to write a song about the Cooperative Program during a Baptist associational meeting in October.

“After the meeting, I wanted to do something that would capture the essence of the ‘Partners in the Harvest’ campaign,” Wilson said.

The lyrics to Wilson’s song, “Partners in the Harvest,” are rife with imagery:

“We are partners in the harvest, leading souls to Christ. Churches bound together, shining forth His light. We will labor in the vineyard till all the world will know that Jesus came to save them. Until then, we’ll reap and sow.”

And Wilson’s inspirational tune may soon be heard throughout South Carolina. “It’s a good song,” said Bob Ethridge, director of information resources for the South Carolina Baptist Convention. “We are looking for ways to maximize the use of his song in conjunction with the campaign.”

Ethridge met the songwriting pastor in May at a Cooperative Program information summit sponsored by the state convention to educate young pastors about the Cooperative Program. Ethridge said he has been encouraged by response from the summit. “I noticed a deeper commitment on their part to go back to their churches and emphasize the Cooperative Program.”

Said Wilson: “It is such an encouragement to see what God is allowing Southern Baptists to do through the Cooperative Program. I wanted to be able to share that encouragement with my congregation.”

Unlike established Southern Baptist churches, Cornerstone is only six years old and Wilson said many of his church members were unfamiliar with the inner workings of the Cooperative Program.

“After attending the state conference and the Southern Baptist Convention in Atlanta, I went back home and challenged our people,” he said. And the results, he noted, have been remarkable.

Within one year, Cornerstone increased its Cooperative Program giving from 5.1 percent to 10 percent. “The people are responding,” Wilson said.

And with his missionary melody spreading across South Carolina, Wilson hopes other Southern Baptists will unite to reach the Partners in the Harvest campaign’s $750 million goal in giving during the 2000-2001 church year.

Starnes is a freelance writer from Dayton, Tenn.

    About the Author

  • Todd Starnes