James R. Horne
P. O. Box 650
Bessemer, AL 35021
The Church of God
197 Tillie Road
Cleveland, TN 37312
Don’t Forget Home Missions – Operation: Reaching Alabama
James R. Horne, State Overseer
“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15)
“And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region” (Acts 13:49)
The State of Alabama developed a fund called “Operation: Reaching Alabama” back in 2007 and it was reconfirmed in our business of 2012. The fund was developed to help finance the outreach and growth of our State and serve to assist home missions endeavors. Few people seem to be aware that this fund exists or what its purpose is. According to the ruling, it is voluntary and the money received is to “go into the General fund to be used to enable The Church of God in Alabama to have the means to finance and help new field works, make necessary purchases, emergency relief for our churches, and month to month expenses as encountered by the State…”
I am very thankful our Committees of the past had the foresight to anticipate days ahead where money would be needed to finance our growth here. There are wonderful possibilities to facilitate growth right here at home and if we can bolster our membership here there will be greater funds for other efforts. Even more far reaching and important are souls who want the truth and sheep who are looking for home. In The Church of God, we have great drives for foreign Mission work and we should continue this. The Church has done wonderfully in raising money for these efforts. Along with that, let us also think about what could be done here in our State if we had the available funds to “invest” in New Field Works. There have been several times in our State labors we have reluctantly had to say no because the funds were not available or limited personal means were just not adequate to help pay for a minister’s travel expense, rent for a place to have service, etc. Now, what if the State could say, “We have contacts here in this city. It’s in your heart to see souls saved and you are making the sacrifice to go. Now, here is money for a tank of gas, a meal, and some assistance to have a service with these people.” What a difference!
We have had contacts reaching out to the Church. I asked a Spanish minister and his family to drive 5 hours roundtrip to minister to them. He’s not only made the sacrifice to come, but he’s paying his expenses to do so while trying to pastor a small church and work a full time job in a neighboring region. Thank God for a man like that who says, “Here am I,” but how much more we could help this man if resources were available. In this instance he made two trips and we were able to give him only $100. He never complained or asked for anything. I have had a man (not at my request, but from his heart’s burden for the work) come all the way from Idaho to teach and train some Spanish people. He is flying back at the end of this month (September) to do it again and he has never asked for anything. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could pay for his ticket and a few meals while he is here? This is the heart of home missions and investing in Alabama. This giving can be facilitated through what has already been setup for us—Operation: Reaching Alabama.”
What else does the fund do? If a church or minister has an emergency situation and needs relief, this fund is there to help them. The benefits Operation Reaching Alabama brings to our State are staggering, but it’s underutilized currently by lack of resources. In the 2013—2014 Convention year we received only $183 into this fund.
If every member would give $1 per month, that $183 we received last year could have been $2,700! Think of the amount we could have for home mission work if you would give $2 per month, $5 per month… It doesn’t take a lot from each person to have adequate funds if we would all participate. Individuals or local churches with extra funds could consider giving a one time or annual donation.
Please consider giving to Operation Reaching Alabama. It’s easy to do, though it’s not one of the “regular” offerings received at your local church. You can write “Op Reach AL” on your tithe envelope and the funds will be forwarded by your local treasurer to Sister Mason on the monthly treasurer’s report.
In addition to this fund, we will be posting home mission needs in our State Paper from time to time. It’s good to know the needs of the various local churches in our State and should you feel compelled to give to these, please do so by marking it on your check or tithe envelope. We’re in this great work together and there’s not much time left to get this “Last Days Message” to our world. Remember Operation Reaching Alabama!
October 2-3 – Ministers’ Convention in Bessemer, Alabama
November 6-8 – Youth Retreat at Poplar Point Camp, Rockford, AL
December 5 – Statewide ABM Workshop