Missions have long been an important part of church life at First Baptist Church. Over the years, our church has supported missions through Women's Missionary Union Circles, contributions to annual missions offerings, and affiliations with local, state, and national Baptist organizations. Also, First Baptist Church has been dedicated to missions education throughout our history, which still includes small groups for every age.
In recent years, our church family has made local and global missions a greater focus of church life, especially through hands-on efforts. Locally, we support McDowell Ministries which operates shelters for men, women and children. We have the Willing Workers group that builds ramps and completes other construction projects for people in the community. For over 40 years, our church has provided worship services in two local campgrounds during the summer months. For the past 15 years, our church has sponsored Operation Inasmuch, an annual one-day missions outreach that meets many needs in the community. Operation Inasmuch has grown to include the churches in the local Baptist association. Recently, we have helped start the Good Samaritan Clinic of McDowell (a free medical clinic) in our community. We are a distribution site for a summer children’s feeding program called Lunch Bunch. This program is completely church-led and funded, and is countywide. We have a partnership with a local Spanish-speaking Baptist congregation, Igelisa Bautista Ebenezer de Marion. First Baptist Church was also instrumental in establishing McDowell Habitat for Humanity and Hospice of McDowell. In addition, Sunday school classes and WMU Circles seek and carry out many local mission projects throughout the year.
Our youth have taken summer mission trips to Alaska (2004); Pearlington, Mississippi (2006 and 2008); and Perry County, Alabama (2010). These trips have involved youth and adults doing construction and working with children. Also, our Youth Choir for decades have taken numerous Musical Mission Trips to various places, using their talents in voice and instruments to share the Gospel message. Recent Musical Mission Trips have been to San Antonio, TX (2011), Chicago, IL (2009), and New York City (2007).
Since 2005, First Baptist Church has committed to support the Baptist Association of Belize through sponsorship of two pastors to attend the Baptist Bible School of Belize and annual mission trips. We have sent @12 mission teams to Belize, sharing God's love through free medical clnics, church music, construction projects on homes, schools, and churches, and agricultural efforts.
Also since 2005, our church has partnered with Dalbeattie Baptist Church in Scotland. A mission team visited Dalbeattie in 2006, helping launch a prayer ministry in their community, and one of our college students served as a summer youth worker in Dalbeattie in 2007. The pastor and his wife, as well as another couple from the church in Scotland have visited Marion.