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‘Heart of GuideStone’ helps retired ministers, widowscomment (0)

June 20, 2013

It was October 2001 and Buddy Temple was in a quandary. The retired postal service worker and court bailiff had sold a house a few months earlier and couldn’t figure out where God wanted him to direct part of the proceeds. No matter how many options he looked at, he had no clear direction.

“I was trying to do something with the money that belonged to God,” Temple said. “Every time I sat down to write a check, something stayed my hand. I’ve never had a problem giving to the Lord, but this time I just couldn’t do it.”

Soon after, Temple and his wife, Nora, listened to a presentation about GuideStone’s Mission:Dignity ministry. It was the first time they had ever heard about the needs of several thousand retired ministers and their widows who had served in small, rural churches and now were struggling to pay for basic expenses. Immediately, Temple had the peace he had been searching for.

He made out a check to Mission:Dignity. A year later, after reading more stories about the impact his gift was making, Temple began sending a monthly gift as well and has continued ever since. 

“The first check I write is for my church. The second one is Mission:Dignity,” he said.

In 2008, the Temples moved their membership to Woods Chapel Baptist Church, near their home in Arlington, Texas. Two years ago, Buddy Temple told his men’s class about Mission:Dignity. 

“I got one of the monthly thank-you letters and there was a story about an old pastor who only got a $39 retirement check and needed a battery for his car,” he said. “We have 16 men in our class and all of us could do something.”

Each month, the class takes up an offering. It started with $5 each, but some give more. The collections average about $100 a month. 

“These men are ready and willing to give. They even have their money out on the tables when it’s our week for Mission:Dignity and I really don’t even have to say anything,” Buddy Temple noted. 

As of May 1, 122 individuals or couples in Alabama were enrolled to receive funds from the Mission:Dignity program.

Mission:Dignity Sunday is June 23, 2013, on the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) calendar. The GuideStone report at the SBC annual meeting noted that Mission:Dignity is the “heart of GuideStone.” In 2012, more than 1,500 churches participated in Mission:Dignity Sunday, more than double the year before.

For more information, visit www.MissionDignitySBC.org/Resources. (GuideStone)

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