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As a baby boomer, I had the privilege of experiencing childhood and adolescence in the Bible Belt. Circlewood Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa played a massive role in providing a good foundation in faith and service.

My parents, Luther and Mattie, modeled the Christian life for their family, served in the church and gave of their time, treasures and talents. They believed in giving and continue to do so today. They taught me to do the same.

The value of the Cooperative Program was emphasized at Circlewood because our church could not send international or North American missionaries, train ministers in six seminaries, provide a college education at three state colleges and minister through our state convention as a single church. The cooperative efforts of thousands of sister churches provided the most effective avenue for our single church to accomplish those ministries and battle the darkness.

During my 36 years in ministry, I have been blessed to serve in churches that support the Cooperative Program and teach the value of cooperating with sister Southern Baptist churches. I have benefited from a seminary education; training through the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions; networking with our state, international and North American missionaries; and serving as a conference presenter in a variety of state-sponsored training events.

The Cooperative Program does all of this and more. There is no better plan for cooperative ministry and Kingdom work. The Cooperative Program allows Southern Baptists to fulfill the Great Commission and impact lives just as my life was impacted by my family, my home church and the ministries provided through the Cooperative Program.

Every church should teach and model the value of the Cooperative Program in the church culture of today.

Larry Morrison, minister of education and administration at First Baptist Church of Sylacauga, serves as a trustee for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions.

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