DELTA JUNCTION, Alaska (BP) -- "We're a small town in a remote area," Alaska pastor Dave Becker says of Delta Junction, where he leads First Baptist Church.
As a Southern Baptist congregation, however, the church has a global reach.
"We believe the best and most effective way to be involved in what Jesus told us to do -- which is to reach the world -- is with our support of the Cooperative Program," said Becker, First Baptist's pastor since 2000.
"Our church continues to view the Cooperative Program as a great opportunity to give to the Kingdom of God for the glory of God throughout the world."
The Cooperative Program is Southern Baptists' method of supporting missions and ministry efforts of state conventions and the Southern Baptist Convention.
About 100 people participate in Sunday morning worship at First Baptist. Last year the Delta Junction congregation gave about $100,000 to missions, including more than $40,000 -- 17 percent of their offerings -- through the Cooperative Program.
The church's missions giving also includes 5 percent to missions through the Tanana Valley Baptist Association, plus financial support for two families from the church who have become overseas missionaries and for outreach among Athabasca Indians in east-central Alaska.
The Delta Junction congregation -- started in 1952 by First Baptist Church of Fairbanks, 100 miles to the north -- has found ways of contextualizing the Gospel for native Alaskans, "subsistence Alaskans" and military personnel while at the same time supporting the work of Southern Baptists through the local Baptist association, the Alaska Baptist Convention and through the SBC nationally and internationally.
"The strength of our church is that about 15 years ago they made a commitment to get out of debt ..." Read More