Hannibal church starts local missions project
Calvary serves as catalyst for Sol-Pursuit 2006
By Allen Palmeri
February 21, 2006
HANNIBAL – Calvary Baptist Church here has been an Acts 1:8 church in the sense that it has been active in international missions, but somewhere along the way the church members realized that they had not been true to Acts 1:8 due to Jerusalem neglect.
What good does it profit a church if it sees the uttermost parts of the world come to Christ yet forfeits the soul of its own community?
“We felt really convicted about that,” said Shannon Reece, Calvary’s pastor for missions. “We just confessed it to the Lord. So this is an attempt to really focus for four weeks right there in Hannibal.”
Reece is referring to Sol-Pursuit 2006, an outreach of the church in partnership with Hannibal-LaGrange College (HLG) that will involve high school students in local evangelism for four weeks in the summer. Missions weeks are scheduled for July 16-21, July 23-28, July 30-Aug. 4 and Aug. 6-11.
“We’re not only going around the world, we’re doing missions in our backyard,” said Calvary Pastor Jeff Anderson, who also is a member of the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) Executive Board.
The goal is to register 75 students each week, at a cost of $225 per person, to do missions in five elective settings: construction; art/drama; kids camp; sports camp; and nursing homes. Non-elective tracks are also being developed for testimony, prayer walking and survey work, Reece said. The idea is to send out the missionaries during the day and gather them together in the evening for globally focused worship services.
“We’re going to have prayer for the nations,” Reece said, describing what will take place in the evening services. “All of our worship music is going to be around missions, and all of the preaching will be on globally focused mission topics.”
In the process of developing this Sol-Pursuit outreach, Calvary has witnessed God raise up support missionaries from three other Missouri Southern Baptist churches in Hannibal. Leadership staffers from Prince Avenue Baptist Church, South Side Baptist Church and Cornerstone Baptist Church are now mobilized within the Calvary-HLG army. Another 10-12 collegiate summer missionaries, tapping into the rich resource of HLG, are expected to become a part of the leadership staff, Reece said.
No one leader can take the credit for founding Sol-Pursuit, Reece said. Some of it emerged out of long conversations between Anderson and Reece. Other components were contributed by HLG President Woodrow Burt and HLG Vice President for Collegiate Affairs Tom Hufty, who is also assistant to the president. Lay leaders behind the scenes also proved to be visionaries in the process.
“God just put together a think tank,” Reece said.
The theme verse for the endeavor is Isaiah 49:6, which reads, “I will make you as a light to the nations that my salvation will reach to the end of the earth.” For Calvary Baptist Church, the verse very practically means that a light, or Sol, is emerging in Hannibal. (Sol is the Spanish word for Sun.)
“We just feel the responsibility and the obligation to step out and go for it,” Reece said. “We’re hoping that the young people will inspire the older adults to get with it and get busy.”
For more information about Sol-Pursuit 2006, contact Reece at (573) 221-1404 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.