PLANO (BP) – During a worship service Sunday (Aug. 1), Prestonwood Baptist Church gifted the International Mission Board $1 million toward the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. The entire donation will go toward new mission work overseas.
Prestonwood Pastor Jack Graham presented IMB President Paul Chitwood a check, saying the gift comes from a surplus in the church’s giving during 2020, a year when many churches were struggling, and national giving trends were down.
“A part of the reason we’re here today is because Dr. Graham and the Prestonwood family want to be a part of a unique partnership to meet some unmet needs, to get into some places and ministry opportunities that we have not yet been able to get into,” Chitwood said.
Prestonwood’s gift and partnership with the IMB will fund efforts to reach “fast-growing Muslim regions with the Gospel,” Graham said on Twitter Sunday.
Chitwood, alongside John Brady, IMB’s vice president for global engagement, shared the four specific ministry initiatives the gift will fund:
- Training local believers as missionaries to the Persian world
- Developing local believers to take the Gospel to a Muslim group of 200 million in South Asia
- Supporting 5 million Nigerian Baptists to reach surging Islamic growth in Africa
- Training nurses in South and Southeast Asia to serve in hard-to-reach places
“The incredible generosity of Prestonwood Baptist Church is inspiring but not new,” Chitwood said. “God has not only used Pastor Jack Graham to grow one of the largest churches in the U.S., Prestonwood is also a church that, for many years, has been sacrificially committed to getting the Gospel to the nations.
“The church’s growing partnership with the IMB is a welcomed blessing in a time when the need for help and hope around the world has never been greater. I look forward to seeing how God will use their investment to not only get the gospel to the lost but also to inspire other churches and believers to join in the mission of the IMB.
“By working together, we’ll be able to see the Revelation 7:9 vision of heaven come to fulfillment, where every nation, tribe, people and language will be represented before God’s throne.”
Graham said Prestonwood’s members truly believe that more can be done together than individually. That belief is the driving factor behind the church’s steadfast giving and going through the Southern Baptist Convention and the IMB and its general support of the Cooperative Program.
“We could not be more appreciative of the opportunity to partner with IMB in supporting the global mission of Christ and the Church,” Graham said.
“As an SBC lifer and pastor, it gives me great joy to support the leadership of Dr. Paul Chitwood and team and our devoted missionaries around the world.
“The cooperative mission of our churches sets Southern Baptists apart and gives us the privilege of fulfilling the Great Commission together in our generation and in the generations to come. Our gift is just a small part of the faith collaboration of thousands of SBC churches for the glory of God and the advancement of the Kingdom of God.”