PIERCE CITY—The First Hmong Baptist Mission in Missouri at Clear Creek Baptist Church here is solidifying its reputation as a vibrant congregation in the Shoal Creek Baptist Association.
The Hmong flock in southwest Missouri had about 85 people present for a dedication in Pierce City Sept. 5 at Clear Creek Church.
“God is pouring out His blessing on the First Hmong Baptist Mission of Missouri,” said Tommy Blair, Shoal Creek director of missions. “Please pray for this people group as they continue to be a witness to their people.”
The Hmong people originate from Laos, Cambodia and Thailand. Fleeing persecution by communists in Cambodia and Laos, they came to the United States after the Vietnam War and settled in Minnesota and Michigan.
The process of this particular mission becoming a reality in Missouri dates back to about five years ago, when the pastor of Prosperity Baptist Church in Rocky Comfort told Blair about the Hmong in his community. A Hmong family was attending that church and the pastor was not sure if they were saved. He and Blair prayed and waited.
A few months later, Pastor Chue Herr went to Calvary Baptist Church, Neosho, with the idea of starting a Hmong church. Herr was sent to the Shoal Creek Baptist Association office. That led to Shoal Creek, Spring River Baptist Association, and the North American Mission Board (NAMB) sponsoring a vision tour in both associations. Several Hmong homes were discovered, and a new work was launched in the Shoal Creek building.
Several months later, the church plant was moved to the Calvary Baptist fellowship hall. About 20 professions of faith and baptisms were recorded, with Prosperity Baptist Church, Rocky Comfort, Newtonia Baptist Church and the association providing monthly financial support. Calvary Baptist also provided secretarial support.
After the resignation of Pastor Herr, Pastor Chang Hang took over and in 2008 the mission’s location switched back to Clear Creek, which had given up its building and property to the association since there had not been regular worship services in the sanctuary for several years. The association voted to allow the Hmong church to meet there with Shoal Creek retaining the deed. A new kitchen was installed in the church along with plumbing, electrical work, and a new roof.
About two years ago, Don and Deidra Cotton, former International Mission Board medical missionaries to Thailand, heard about the Hmong mission and came to teach the children Sunday School. They also are teaching and encouraging the Hmong youth to witness in the local middle and high schools as the Hmong influence in southwest Missouri continues to grow.