PLANO Prestonwood Baptist Church continued its long legacy of commitment to missions with a recent gift of $1 million to the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention and affirmation of the SBC’s Cooperative Program.
In July, the church presented the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention with a CP gift of just over $208,000.
“The SBTC is extremely grateful for the sacrificial giving of churches to the Cooperative Program. Through CP giving, we can truly see the churches of the SBTC reach Texas and impact the world together,” said Nathan Lorick, SBTC executive director. “Through this generous gift, Prestonwood, under the incredible leadership of Dr. Jack Graham, is partnering with the SBTC and the SBC to accelerate the gospel’s advancement across our cities, state, nation, and ultimately to the ends of the earth.”
Mike Buster, Prestonwood executive pastor, told the TEXAN that much of Prestonwood’s missions work is connected to the church’s relationships with the North American Mission Board, the International Mission Board and the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.
He also confirmed the church’s full commitment to the SBC’s Cooperative Program, calling CP a means by which Prestonwood can be part of “a larger movement of work across North America and into the world.”
On Aug. 1, pastor Jack Graham presented the IMB with the $1 million for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering as a special donation for use in reaching “fast-growing Muslim regions throughout the world,” Mike Buster, Prestonwood executive pastor, told the TEXAN.
The check was presented during a Sunday worship service.
Graham said the gift came from a surplus in the church’s giving during 2020, a time when many churches were struggling and national giving trended downward, Baptist Press reported.
Paul Chitwood, IMB president, with John Brady, IMB’s vice president for global engagement, shared the four specific ministry initiatives the gift will fund:
- Training local believers as missionaries to the Persian world
- Developing local believers to take the gospel to a Muslim group of 200 million in South Asia
- Supporting 5 million Nigerian Baptists to reach surging Islamic growth in Africa
- Training nurses in South and Southeast Asia to serve in hard-to-reach places
Graham said Prestonwood members truly believe that more can be done together than individually. That belief is the driving factor behind the church’s steadfast giving and going through the Southern Baptist Convention and the IMB and its general support of the Cooperative Program.
“The cooperative mission of our churches sets Southern Baptists apart and gives us the privilege of fulfilling the Great Commission together in our generation and in the generations to come. Our gift is just a small part of the faith collaboration of thousands of SBC churches for the glory of God and the advancement of the Kingdom of God.”
A missions-first church
Prestonwood’s commitment to the IMB and CP is only part of a myriad of local, state, national and international missions associated with the church.
In comments to the TEXAN, Graham said the global impact of Prestonwood comes in the form of prayer, gifts and people.
In its “last complete year” of service pre-COVID, Prestonwood provided more than $7.5 million to nearly 70 ministries in countries on five continents: “More than 1,500 members of the Prestonwood community served on nearly 75 short-term mission teams all over the world,” Graham said. “And the light shined brightly at home, with more than 10,000 members serving in the North Texas community.”
Mike Beeson, Prestonwood minister of missions, said the nearly 70 ministries supported by the church are in East Africa, East Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, North Africa and the Middle East, Europe and Russia, South America, South Asia, the United States and Canada.
“These bodies of work range from church planting movements in areas where the gospel message is absent, to training and other strategic initiatives to aid the growth of the local church,” Beeson said. “In locations where there is an absence of food, fresh water, health care and general necessities, Prestonwood’s global impact comes in the form of humanitarian relief from our compassion ministry, Prestonwood Cares, as the hands and feet of Jesus Christ.”
Recently, during the pandemic, one of Prestonwood’s compassion ministries, The Hunger Project, “provided more than 1.25 million meals in the last 18 months to food insecure individuals and families across North Texas,” Beeson added.
Prestonwood members have also filled some 200,000 gift shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child since 1994, when it became one of the first churches to partner with the Samaritan’s Purse ministry.
This article also contains reporting from Myriah Snyder of the International Mission Board.