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175 Years of Being Missional by Jeff Buscher

As we continue in this celebration of 175 years of being Second Baptist church in Liberty, I can’t help but pause to consider the ways this church, from the very start, has very intentionally been a church on mission, being the “hands and feet” of Jesus for others over all of these years. It is also remarkable to note the transition in practices and culture of  “Missions” over the history of the church. Here are a just a few highlights of the mission work that has been the hallmark of Second Baptist throughout its history:

  • 1909 — Held “Tent Revival Meetings” on the campus of William Jewell College
  • 1916 — Raised and donated over $150 (3.5K today) to the Zion Baptist Church Building initiative. (The only African American Church in Liberty at that time)
  • 1930’s — Held regular “Missions Schools” Training events hosted and led by missionaries currently serving abroad.
  • 1931— Church operating budget $9.9K; and a separate stand-alone Missions   Budget for the year was $6.6K
  • Local Church starts included: Winnwood, Pleasant Valley, and South Liberty.
  • Sent several members to serve on Short-Term Missions experiences, 6 -24 months, in places such as Jordan, Nigeria, China, and Korea.
  • Ministered to Jewell students since the college began in 1849
  • 1966 — established a “Mission House” for Missionaries to occupy while they were on furlough from their field of service.
  • 1980’s — began to conduct Mission trips with youth and adults.
  • 1990’s — began partnership with Native Americans in Bridger, South Dakota
  • 2010 — responded to the Earthquake in Haiti
  • 2014 — established the SEND Initiative to promote members continued participation in Mission work locally and globally

As I reflect on what I call the “Mission Heart” of Second Baptist Church, I am encouraged and I can only imagine what the next 175 years hold for this community of faithful Christ followers. Just a few weeks ago I attended an interfaith dinner with several other 2BC members. Together we shared tables with Muslims, Sikhs, Atheists, and Baha’i followers, and in those moments I saw a glimpse of a new dimension of being “Missional” at Second Baptist Church. After all, through the years, we have always been sent to build relationships with people, not places.