For Immediate Release
Contact: Yvette Vanterpool
MMBB Financial Services
Arthur, NE— In partnership with American Baptist Churches USA, MMBB Financial Services awarded the 2017 Widow’s Mite Award to Arthur Baptist Church in Arthur, Nebraska. MMBB honors Arthur Baptist Church for the congregation’s dedicated support and giving to the Retired Ministers and Missionaries Offering (RMMO). The RMMO supports those who have devoted their lives to God’s service by providing emergency assistance in their times of need and, for those eligible, a “Thank You” check at the end of each year.
The senior pastor, Rev. Blake Wilkes and members of the Arthur Baptist Church, exemplify this year’s RMMO theme of Extending Our Hands to Our Neighbors. Rev. Wilkes explained, “Living in a rural ranching community is different from other areas. The people in Arthur are each other’s resources. We rely on those around us and serve where we live.”
Each year, MMBB gives the Widow’s Mite Award to commemorate the anonymous gift in 1981 of a Vietnamese woman worshipping with the First Chinese Baptist Church of Fresno, CA. Having no prior knowledge of the meaning of the offering, she slipped off her wristwatch, her only possession of value, and placed it in the envelope. This act of gratitude reflects the spirit of thankfulness and generosity Jesus speaks about in Luke 21: 1–4.
When asked what motivates a church of about 60 members to give so generously to RMMO. Arthur Baptist Church treasurer, Bonnie Needham who administers the offering each year reiterates, “The congregation has a huge heart for giving and mission support.”
The roots of RMMO date back to the mid-1930s, when American Baptist congregations received a Communion Fellowship Offering on the first Sunday of each month to support retired ministers, missionaries, their widowed spouses and elderly clergy within their churches. In 1977, American Baptist Churches USA launched the RMMO to continue this appreciation of God’s service.
“Small in numbers but extraordinary in impact, Arthur Baptist demonstrates the effectiveness of the congregation’s mission and communal support,” explained the Rev. Dr. Perry Hopper, Associate Executive Director, MMBB Financial Services.
We are grateful to Arthur Baptist for their unwavering support and to all churches that contribute to RMMO.