Florida Baptist pastors tell why they are Champions for the Cooperative Program:
"I lead our church to give through the Cooperative Program because I feel it is one of most effective ways I have seen for us as Southern Baptists to work together in accomplishing missions. The Cooperative Program is a way for us to be a part of supporting missionaries and outreach opportunities that otherwise might be out of reach for our congregation to accomplish alone financially. It is a great opportunity for us to chip in and have bigger kingdom impact in Florida and the nations when we work together as Southern Baptists.
"The Cooperative Program has also helped me and countless other pastors receive training for ministry by cutting the cost of Seminary tuition. CP is helping raise up the next generation of pastors and ministry leaders. The Cooperative Program just seems to be the best way to have a bigger impact for the kingdom that would not be possible on our own."
—Dwayne Slusher, pastor
First Baptist Church, Pinellas Park
When Charles Houston, pastor of the Santa Clara Baptist Church in Quincy, asked his church leaders to give an additional one quarter of one percent through the Cooperative Program, “They said it was too little,” reported Houston. Instead, they increased it four-fold in one year, jumping from 11 percent to 12 percent in a single year. That’s the heart of our people,” said Houston, “They are givers.”
Houston said the church was saddened that many of the Florida Baptist Convention staff—persons whom he had called upon for help—had their positions eliminated due to budget cuts. “If we don’t do something to improve the situation, it is going to get worse,” he said.
—Charles Houston, pastor
Santa Clara Baptist Church, Quincy
"Fifth Street Baptist Church in Key West has long been missions-minded in the giving of our time, talents and financial resources through various missions channels. As we believe there is no greater means of supporting SBC missions than through the Cooperative Program, we consider it both a blessing and a step of faith in these tough economic times to be able to increase our giving to this area by becoming a "Quarterback Church." God has proven His faithfulness through revealing to us that a giving church is also a growing church. "
—Ozzie Vater, pastor
Fifth Street Baptist Church, Key West
"Pine Terrace Baptist Church has had a strong commitment to missions and mission giving for many years. I am convinced that God blesses individuals and churches that give themselves away. I am trying to lead PTBC to be a church that believes God and demonstrates that belief in both doing and giving to missions. I also believe that the Cooperative Program is a beautiful plan that is obviously from God. For us to increase our percentage by one point over the next four years helps us be obedient to the challenge of Acts 1:8."
—Mike Wiggins, pastor
Pine Terrace Baptist Church, Milton
Select the links below for more resources and information:
• Dr. Sullivan: Endowing the Cooperative Program, good idea whose time has come
• How does the Cooperative Program work?
• The Cooperative Program at work in Florida
Resources are available by phone at 1-800-226-8584 ext. 3024, or click here to e-mail.