Expository preaching gets 1st La Plata on mission
Colorado partnership has become a focus
By Allen Palmeri
February 7, 2006
LA PLATA – One of the ways for a pastor to get his congregation excited about missions is to preach through the Book of Acts for three years.
That is precisely what Elmer “Mac” McCully has done at First Baptist Church, La Plata, and the chairman of the deacons, Steve Walker, said that his pastor’s expository preaching is helping to motivate the church to be an active participant in the Missouri Baptist-Colorado Baptist partnership.
“I really think that had something to do with it,” Walker said.
McCully said First La Plata is planning on taking a group of about 25 people to Trinity Baptist Church in Naturita, Colo., for a week of Vacation Bible School this summer. For First La Plata, the partnership work is an extension of the ministry they did last summer in Macon, when they served as the mother church in a mission VBS for a church plant.
“I think probably a lot of the same people who went to Macon will be in that group going to Colorado,” said McCully, who also has made two missions trips to Romania in the last two years with his wife, Nancy. “And hopefully we can do some other things besides the Bible school. Maybe in the afternoon or evening we can do some canvassing of the community. I understand there’s another church somewhere close by, so maybe we can strengthen both churches a little.”
One of the challenges in the Missouri Baptist-Colorado Baptist partnership is for Colorado churches to find ways to bless Missouri churches. Missouri is a more developed state convention, with many more staffers and resources, and Colorado has struggled to keep up with the surge of Missouri interest in the partnership, according to Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) Partnership Missions Specialist Norm Howell.
But McCully has a need that Trinity Baptist Church may be able to meet. First La Plata hopes to break ground in May on a new ground-level fellowship hall, and Trinity’s pastor, Michael Stoker, has told McCully that he has construction skills.
“I hope it will result in a group of them coming here, whether it’s for the construction or whether it’s for something else,” McCully said.
The First La Plata mission trip to Colorado is scheduled for July 31-Aug. 5. A wide range of church members are planning on going, from different age groups and Sunday School classes, McCully and Walker said. The anticipation leading up to the trip can be compared to some of the anticipation that the early saints likely felt in the Book of Acts.
“It’s just amazing to see how God works everywhere,” Walker said. “It’s not just in your hometown, or where you feel safe as a Christian.”