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In just a few weeks, Jessica and Joshua Hearne are headed to Fort Worth, Texas, for a week of training and celebration with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. On Thursday night, June 21, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship will add its voice to those who support Jessica and Joshua as missionaries among the homeless, near-homeless, poor, and addicted in Southside Virginia. This week coincides with the CBF’s yearly, national gathering – the “General Assembly” – while that Thursday night is their yearly commissioning service of field personnel – what others might call missionaries. Jessica and Joshua will be two of five people commissioned this year and the only two who will be added to the team of personnel addressing poverty and community development issues.
The CBF is a voluntary fellowship of Baptist congregations, organizations, schools, and individuals. Over 1,800 congregations are affiliated with the CBF and provide some financial support to it and its missionaries. The CBF is also partnered with 15 theological schools including Emory University’s Candler School of Theology, Duke University’s Baptist House of Studies, the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology, Wake Forest University Divinity School, the International Baptist Theological Seminary, and the Baptist University of the Americas.
TheCBF doesn’t provide funding to support Joshua’s salary, because they want their field personnel to be free to raise their own supporters–a concept that we love. But they are providing their endorsement and their network to help Jessica and Joshua to raise their own support. In addition, they’re providing technological support and a support system to help Jessica and Joshua to go about this ministry in a healthy and beneficial way.
On July 1, Joshua will be a full-time missionary in downtown Danville and will no longer be employed by First Baptist Church of Danville (a congregation affiliated with the CBF). Jessica will continue to teach in the Danville Public School system, but Joshua will be supported by the donations of people like you and congregations that want to be “encourager churches” who support local mission work. These individuals and organizations lend their voice in support of what Grace and Main Fellowship is doing by helping to support missionary leaders like Jessica and Joshua Hearne.
On June 21, a very big voice will join the chorus of support and will affirm as one body that Danville needs love and that the Kingdom of God cannot be held back by even the most dire straits and more challenging difficulties. So many people are already a part of our “ongoing support team” and lend their voices to this great chorus—to these loving and generous people and congregations, we once again say “Thank you very much.” Will you join the chorus as well? Will you offer your support by joining our “ongoing support team” of donors who make regular donations? Or perhaps, you can support by sharing the stories that come in these newsletters with others who might be interested?
In the end, the Kingdom of God will not be turned back and it will triumph over homelessness, sickness, poverty, greed, and fear. Don’t you want to be a part of that glorious victory?