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SBC DIGEST: Mission:Dignity gifts matched on Giving Tuesday; Hawkins named Pathway editor

Mission:Dignity gifts to be matched up to $600,000 on #GivingTuesday

By Susan Ervien/GuideStone Financial Resources

DALLAS (BP) – Gifts to Mission:Dignity made on #GivingTuesday,will be doubled up to $600,000, thanks to generous donors.

As #GivingTuesday kicks off the year-end giving season on Nov. 29, Mission:Dignity calls on fellow Southern Baptist brothers and sisters to help the ministry assist retirement-aged pastors, workers and widows so they may finish well and with dignity.

#GivingTuesday is a change of pace at the start of the Christmas shopping season, which is often filled with buying gifts. For 10 years, people have also used the day to give to causes that are important to them.

Beginning in January 2022, each Mission:Dignity recipient received a 22-25 percent raise in monthly honorariums. As inflation soared this year, the raise could not have come at a better time.

Recipient Betty Nail recently wrote, “Nowadays, the price of everything is going up it seems – the cost of utilities, food, rent, gas … but #MissonDignity has made a ‘happy’ increase when we need it most.”

One hundred percent of all Mission:Dignity gifts go directly to retired Southern Baptist workers, ministers and widows near or below the poverty line, as an established endowment covers administrative and overhead costs for the ministry.

Annually, more than 2,700 individuals receive a monthly measure of comfort, security and dignity in their retirement years through the steady financial giving of Southern Baptists.

Mission:Dignity’s support can mean being able to stay in the familiar surroundings of their own home. For others, it covers the cost of groceries, utilities, prescriptions and other necessities. But for all of them, it’s an expression of the love and care of their Southern Baptist family.

“Mission:Dignity is part of the very DNA of GuideStone,” said GuideStone President Hance Dilbeck. “For more than a century, we’ve been on a mission to ensure no retirement-age pastor and his wife or widow must live in poverty. We cannot do it without the faithful support of Southern Baptists.”

Mission:Dignity receives no Cooperative Program gifts. Additionally, all author royalties and proceeds from the Code series of books by GuideStone President Emeritus O.S. Hawkins benefit Mission:Dignity.

“We would encourage anyone interested in giving this year to consider multiplying the impact of their gift by giving on Tuesday, Nov. 29,” said the director of Mission:Dignity, Aaron Meraz.

To share a gift or for more information, visitGuideStone.org/GivingTuesday.

Benjamin Hawkins named Pathway editor

By Missouri Baptist Convention Staff

ST. CHARLES, Mo. (BP) – The Missouri Baptist Convention’s (MBC) executive board elected Benjamin Hawkins, 39, to serve as editor of The Pathway during their meeting Oct. 24, prior to the convening of the MBC annual meeting that afternoon.

MBC Executive Director John Yeats announced the board’s decision during his annual address to messengers on the evening of Oct. 24, introducing Hawkins as new editor Missouri Baptists’ newsjournal. Hawkins expressed his gratitude to Missouri Baptists following the presentation of a video celebrating the newspaper’s 20th anniversary and honoring the memory of late founding editor Don Hinkle (1954-2022).

“The past nine years serving under Don Hinkle were a gift from God,” Hawkins told messengers. The Pathway, he added, belongs to Missouri Southern Baptist churches and – ultimately – to the Lord. Speaking to Missouri Baptists, he said, “I want to thank you, after 20 years, for the opportunity to carry forward the mission.”

Since 2013, Hawkins served as associate editor of The Pathway until Oct. 1, when he was named acting editor following Hinkle’s death on Sept. 22.

On Aug. 30, only a few weeks before his death, Hinkle told the MBC executive board that he intended to step aside from his role at the newspaper at the beginning of 2023. He also made it clear that he desired Hawkins to follow in his footsteps.

“When I hired Dr. Benjamin Hawkins several years ago,” Hinkle said, “I had in mind and I felt the Lord telling me, ‘Don, get this young man ready. The kingdom work must go on, and the day will come when you will have to pass the baton to another generation.’ And it is with great joy that I do that.”

Born into a Southern Baptist family of 10 children in southwest Oklahoma, Hawkins earned a bachelor’s degree in communication arts from Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford, Okla. He completed a Master of Arts in Theology and a Ph.D. in church history/Reformation studies from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.

In Fort Worth, he also met his wife, Heather, the daughter of a Missouri Baptist pastor and a Hannibal-LaGrange University alumna who was also studying at the seminary. They have two children.

Hawkins served for eight years as a writer on the SWBTS communications team, prior to being invited to join The Pathway staff as associate editor in 2013. Hawkins has also contributed to other publications, including Baptist Press, Focus on the Family Magazine, and Focus on the Family’s Daily Citizen (formerly, Citizen Magazine).

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