The Edna McMillan Oklahoma State Missions Offering, which is the missions emphasis that funds nearly 30 vital Oklahoma ministries, will be promoted in Oklahoma Baptist churches in coming weeks.
In recent weeks, State Missions Offering promotional packets, which include video resources, prayer and planning guides, children’s activities and more, were sent to churches across the state. The annual offering is named after a prominent Oklahoma Baptist advocate for missions.
“After graduating with honors from the Huntsville Female College in Alabama in 1890, Edna McMillan married a young Baptist man, George McMillan. She respected his quest for Godly character and was inspired when she first met him during a church service where he pledged a generous amount to a special missions offering,” according to a State Missions Offering publication.
“Both of the McMillans became faithful stewards of their time and their resources. George served in church and worked in the oil business. They settled in Muskogee in 1902 and later spent most of their lives in Bristow. Edna held numerous roles in the church and worked diligently and tirelessly for the Oklahoma Woman’s Missionary Union. She held many positions in WMU and served as state WMU president for 11 years from 1927 to 1938.
“Edna was an effective communicator and consistently challenged Oklahoma Baptists to give generously to state missions. In 1932, she said, ‘A rich man is one who has enough for himself and enough left over to help others. Though he be possessed of millions, a man is poor, who has only enough for himself.’ The state WMU Board in 1939 met in Muskogee where Edna was surprised to hear the recommendation and, later, the unanimous vote to name the State Mission Offering in her honor. Through her many travels and days away from home to champion mission causes, Edna never accepted a penny for her expenses.”
The 2018 Oklahoma State Missions Offering is focused on encouraging pastors, strengthening churches and taking the Gospel into broken places through church multiplication. When Oklahoma Baptists give through their local church, a direct impact is made on encouraging and training multi-vocational pastors, on establishing new small groups, planting churches and much more. One hundred percent of the offering goes directly to the work and has tremendous Kingdom impact.
Hance Dilbeck, Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO) executive director-treasurer, said, “There is a great deal of brokenness in Oklahoma today. Jesus teaches us to embrace brokenness as an opportunity for the Gospel. Jesus called us to reach the ‘least of these.’ We strive to meet physical and emotional needs through these vital ministries funded by the State Missions Offering, but we do not stop there. These are Gospel ministries. We are addressing the deep spiritual needs of people by offering forgiveness and new life in Christ. Every dollar given through the State Missions Offering goes directly to the mission field right here in Oklahoma.”
Amy Cordova, BGCO women’s missions and ministry specialist, who coordinates the offering promotions, encouraged churches and church members to view the video stories at www.statemissionsok.org and to share them on social media.
“From hunger relief to church multiplication to Sunday School ministry, the video stories will show the urgent need to share Jesus with our neighbors and how the offering helps achieve that goal,” Cordova said.
The Week of Prayer for State Missions is set for Sept. 9-16. In future editions of the Baptist Messenger, various ministry stories and resources will be highlighted. For more information about the State Missions Offering, visit www.statemissionsok.org.