EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is an expanded article based on the 2020 Cooperative Program Prayer Guide for Oklahoma Baptists. For more information, please visit www.oklahomabaptists.org/cp.

Oklahoma Baptists’ Chief Financial Officer Kerry Russell gives a monthly report to Executive Director-Treasurer Hance Dilbeck and other leaders concerning giving from Oklahoma churches.

“I do a lot of forecasting, estimates and projections,” said Russell, who has served Oklahoma Baptists for 37 years, 15 in his current role.

Cooperative Program is down statewide, both as a result of the economy and the home-going of legacy givers, Russell said.

Oklahoma Baptists’ new initiative – Mission Advance – signifies a new regional thrust to assist local churches, the CFO stated.

“Many churches are really struggling,” Russell explained. “If we can help our churches to be stronger, we believe they can be a stronger partner to advance the Gospel. This Mission Advance initiative is to find the needs of our churches, in their context, and to be a healthy outpost for God’s Kingdom work.

“Everything translates to funding,” the CFO continued. “Less funds from churches makes Kingdom work more difficult. Only when we strengthen the body can the body do more for eternity.”

Russell is as involved with his local church – Oklahoma City, Southern Hills – as he is with Oklahoma Baptists. As a 20-year member, he serves as a deacon, teaches Sunday School and is part of the church prayer ministry.

He and his wife Mary have four grown children and two grandchildren.

Because of the generous giving of Oklahoma Baptists through the Cooperative Program, an amazing array of ministries are supported. This unified giving encourages fellowship with other believers all over the world. Collectively, Oklahoma Baptists are advancing the Gospel together. Learn more at www.oklahomabaptists.org/CP