The First Baptist Church in Euless, Texas, gave $30,000 for the second time to its members on Sunday, asking them to invest the money and support missionary work around the world with the earnings.
Pastor John Meador asked the congregation “to take that money and invest in some way as to bring a return so that you can come and give it to the Miracle,” according to the33tv.com.
The Miracle Mission is the name of the church’s fundraising program for missions. Last year, church members turned the $30,000 reverse offering into $150,000 by creatively investing the money.
“We had one man last year that got a $10 bill,” Executive Pastor Gary Phillips said. “He’s an artist, and he bought a canvas. He did a piece of art work, sold it for a thousand dollars, and brought it back and gave it to the miracle.”
“Last year, when we first did it, I had actually invited someone to church with me that particular day, and we were sitting there and she looked at me and said, ‘Y’all pass out money every Sunday?’” Tonya Bowman, a church member, was quoted as saying.
But, the money wasn’t just a free gift – it was a challenge, she added. The $30,000 was handed out in $5, $10 and $20 amounts.
The church’s “Miracle” strategy is based on Isaiah 41:20, “Everyone will see this Miracle, and understand it is the Lord.... who did it.”
With a debt of $6.5 million in 2005 and no existing plan to service the debt, First Euless was going through one of the toughest moments in the church’s then 100-year history. Interim Pastor Dr. Bill Anderson stood in the pulpit one day and asked God to do a miracle. By 2007, the debt was cleared.
As a reminder of what God has done, a stone was placed in the waterfall garden area east of the worship center for every $1,000,000 given to the Miracle, the church website says. Six large stones are currently placed in this area “as visible reminders of God’s miraculous power and blessings.”
“Today, The Miracle is about others who need a miracle in their lives, as well as ours,” the church says. “It’s about how one church, calling out to God in prayer, those same three prayers, can send money, resources, and people to share the love and message of Jesus Christ to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria... and the uttermost parts over the coming year.”
The church believes in raising money on a regular basis to support Christian work. Pastor Phillips said, “We’ve seen 130 homes rebuilt over the last three years, we’ve given away food and clothing to over 15,000 families a year over the last three years.”