Each year one of the many devoted congregations that contributes to the success of RMMO is recognized. In September 2016, MMBB Financial Services was honored to present the 2015 Widow’s Mite Award to Primera Iglesia Bautista de Carolina located in Carolina, Puerto Rico for the congregation’s steadfast support and giving to the Retired Ministers and Missionaries Offering (RMMO) in 2015.
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.
“RMMO is used to meet the needs of Primera Iglesia Bautista de Carolina’s retired ministers, who have served our Lord with such a strong commitment,” comments lead pastor, Carmen Cecilia Adames, “Now, it is up to us to care and provide for them as they culminate this stage of their lives.”
This heartfelt expression is not just a reflection of Pastor Adames’ beliefs but indicates the support and love extended by her entire congregation. The RMMO has become such a priority for Primera Iglesia Bautista de Carolina that it is included in the church’s annual budget.
Pastor Adames explains, “The message for the church is that we should not neglect those who taught and preached the Word of God.”
The Widow’s Mite Award is given in tribute for the anonymous gift in 1981 of a Vietnamese woman worshipping at 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.
The Rev. Dr. Perry Hopper, Associate Executive Director, MMBB Financial Services remarks, “Any demonstration of generosity is welcomed and important, but especially when it occurs consistently over time as Primera Iglesia Bautista de Carolina has demonstrated.”
MMBB is grateful to Primera Iglesia Bautista de Carolina for their unwavering support and to all the churches that contribute to RMMO. Through RMMO congregations are able to honor those who have been faithful servants to God’s people. To learn more about RMMO, please visit http://www.abc-usa.org/rmmo/ or to request additional materials contact Judson Press at 800.458.3766.
American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with approximately 5,000 congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.