From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
Men's group raises money to buy Bibles for U.S. troops
Thu, 15 Aug 2002 16:02:54 -0500
Aug. 15, 2002 News media contact: Tim Tanton7(615)742-54707Nashville,
By the Rev. Jolinne Balentine*
BROWNSVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) -- Last winter, the United Methodist Men of the
Brownsville Circuit were in a rut.
The group had dwindled to about eight members who met faithfully each month
for a potluck dinner and program. Once a year, the men sent a donation to
Reelfoot Rural Ministries.
Occasionally, they contributed to other conference programs.
"However," says President Frank Matlock, "we were spinning our wheels and
not really accomplishing anything. We wanted to do something to help other
people, and not just serve ourselves and our church."
That's when Bill Kendrick heard about a Boy Scout who was collecting money
to purchase Bibles for U.S. military personnel.
"I figured if he could do it, we could, too," Kendrick says. "And our little
group went to work on it."
Other group members agreed. Originally, they hoped to raise $100, which
would have purchased 40 pocket-sized New Testaments.
"And that would have been a big project for us," Matlock says.
However, excitement grew as they began to make plans. The Cokesbury retail
store in Memphis offered a large discount if the Bibles were bought in bulk.
Then Kendrick contacted a nephew who could get the shipment delivered
overseas on an Air National Guard transport carrier.
With these plans made, the men went back to their churches and asked for
help. They thought they could collect enough money to purchase one case, or
144, of the little New Testaments. They were wrong.
In all, the small group of eight United Methodist Men raised almost $1,000
from members of Bethel, Lebanon, Tabernacle and Zion churches in Haywood
With the money, they bought three cases - 432 - of the New Testament Bibles,
and placed inside each one a tiny sticker declaring it a gift of
appreciation from the United Methodist Men of the Brownsville Circuit.
A transport carrier is expected to take the Bibles to Germany, where they
will be given to U.S. military personnel who have been serving in
Before boxing up the Bibles for shipment, the Brownsville Circuit United
Methodist Men prayed over each one, asking God to watch over and protect the
U.S. troops and to guide them as they use the Bibles at home, in the field
and in worship.
"These Bibles may reach some people's hearts for Christ and touch some
lives, especially in the trying times that they are going to be in," Matlock
Kendrick adds: "As long as the money keeps coming in, we will keep buying
# # #
*Balentine serves in the Brownsville (Tenn.) Circuit. This story originally
appeared in the Memphis Annual Conference edition of the United Methodist
United Methodist News Service
Photos and stories also available at:
Browse month . . .
Browse month (sort by Source) . . .
Advanced Search & Browse . . .