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SBC DIGEST: WMU to host virtual Easter offering event; Gateway sells southern California property

WMU to host virtual celebration for the Week of Prayer for North American Missions

By Julie Walters/WMU

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP) – National WMU will provide a virtual experience leading into the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering Week of Prayer, which is March 7-14. The offering supports missions and ministry through the North American Mission Board (NAMB).

With the theme The Mission Moves Forward, the goal for this year’s Annie Armstrong Easter Offering is $70 million to support thousands of missionaries committed to sharing the Gospel across North America.

“It is our sacred privilege to share in meeting Southern Baptists’ missionary responsibilities,” said Sandy Wisdom-Martin, executive director of WMU. “This virtual experience will make you aware of God’s work in North America. You will be challenged to be faithful in your intercession for our missionaries, sacrificial in your giving to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering, intentional in building relationships and courageous in proclaiming hope found solely in Christ.”

The 25-minute celebration will feature missionary testimonies, intergenerational prayer for missionaries and more.

“The Week of Prayer for North American Missions and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering are essential to NAMB’s mission to discover, develop and deploy qualified, evangelistic missionaries throughout North America,” NAMB President Kevin Ezell said. “In my lifetime, there has been no greater time of need and urgency. There is a role for every Southern Baptist and all of our churches in this mission. Each prayer is essential. Every dollar is put to use on the field.”

Start the Week of Prayer by viewing or downloading this special event video available March 7 at wmu.com/aaeo or WorldCrafts.org/aaeo, or WMU or WorldCrafts social media. Church leaders are encouraged to download and share with congregations or small groups to host their own focus on North American missions. Additional resources are available at anniearmstrong.com.

In addition to encouraging prayer and sacrificial giving to this effort, WMU will donate 20 percent of all WorldCrafts sales March 7-15 to the offering.

Gateway closes sale of Brea campus for $4 million

ONTARIO, Calif. (BP) – Gateway Seminary finalized the sale of its former regional campus location in Brea, Calif., to a property development company Feb. 1. The new owner plans to develop a memory care assisted living facility on the site. The sale price was $4 million, and the proceeds have been added to Gateway’s endowment as directed by past action by the board of trustees.

Photo by Caleb Stallings

“We celebrate the closing of the sale and the resources it will provide to fulfill our mission,” said Jeff Iorg, president of Gateway Seminary.

“The Brea campus served students and churches in southern California for nearly 30 years,” he said. “The earnings from this sale ensure we will continue to train leaders in and from the Greater Los Angeles area for many years to come.”

In 2016, Gateway completed the relocation of its primary location in Mill Valley, Calif., to a new campus in Ontario, Calif., just 25 miles away from the Brea campus. The two campuses in southern California ran simultaneously for two years. The Brea location officially closed on July 27, 2018, when all academic operations transitioned to the primary campus in Ontario.

“It is interesting that in the April 1989 board meeting, Gateway trustees dedicated the new facilities in Brea and first approved a study on the possibility of selling our property in Mill Valley,” Iorg said.

“In a way only God could ordain, Gateway ultimately fulfilled those options discussed more than 30 years ago with the recent relocation of our primary campus to Southern California. From our campus in Ontario, California we have a tremendous opportunity to fulfill our mission of shaping leaders who expand God’s kingdom around the world.”

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