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I believe in the Cooperative Program because I believe the Bible teaches us that the Christian life is intended to be lived in a community.

Jesus instituted the church for the purpose of corporate worship (John 4:23-24), continuous fellowship (Acts 2:42) and cooperative missions (Acts 1:8).

Jesus has not only given us a mission, He has also given us His Spirit and each other. Jesus is building His church for His own glory, and He has called us to cooperate with the Holy Spirit and to partner with each other in carrying out His purpose of worldwide evangelism.

I believe in the Cooperative Program because I believe it is good stewardship of the resources that God has given us as Southern Baptists.

While other methods are not necessarily wrong or unbiblical, the vision and history of the cooperative efforts of Southern Baptists have been greatly used by God to bless millions of lost sinners, train thousands of called ministers and equip millions of our children in Bible knowledge and Christian morality.

Our Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions and SBC institutions have been used by God to further His kingdom in effective and efficient ways because of our Cooperative Program giving.

I believe in the Cooperative Program because my family and our ministry have been supported by it for decades. We served overseas with the International Mission Board for almost 19 years, and we are grateful for the generous support that we received from our fellow Southern Baptists through the Cooperative Program and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.

Because of the Cooperative Program, we were able to serve in South America and then in Asia while enjoying the assurance that we were being supported both prayerfully and financially as Southern Baptists pulled and prayed together.

Cooperative Program dollars kept my children fed, housed, clothed and educated. Cooperative praying kept us safe, covered, encouraged and unforgotten.

I believe in the Cooperative Program because I believe it is an idea that came from the very heart of God. I believe God is honored and His Kingdom championed by our cooperative efforts.

Ken Blackwood, director of missions, Morgan Baptist Association, and member of Lebanon Baptist Church, Falkville

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