In celebration of the 40th anniversary since its founding, the Berkland Baptist Church network of churches (including Antioch Baptist Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts) recently made a special gift to the Baptist Convention of New England in the amount of $1 million. This donation represents the single largest gift ever received by the BCNE and will be used to fund church planting, church revitalization and collegiate ministry, the BCNE reported.
An offering of gratitude
In addition to supporting work in New England, the Berkland Baptist Church network has also made a donation of $100,000 to the Alaska Baptist Resource Network and $100,000 to the California Southern Baptist Convention. More than 400 members of Berkland’s extended church family gathered in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in November to celebrate the network’s anniversary. Following that celebration, all 11 congregations voted unanimously on the contributions.
“As much as 2021 is a monumental landmark year for our church, we give God all the praise and glory,” announced Paul Kim, pastor emeritus at Antioch Baptist Church, and his wife, Rebekah. “We hope and pray that our offering to the three conventions can encourage all local [Southern Baptist] workers to continue laboring tirelessly for the gospel. May many churches be planted and revitalized so that a great number of souls can be saved in fulfillment of the Great Commandment and the Great Commission.”
A passion for churches planting churches
The Kims founded Berkland Baptist Church in Berkeley, California, in 1981. Ten years later, they moved to Boston and planted Berkland Baptist Church-Boston, now Antioch Baptist Church in Cambridge. The church continued to plant more churches over the next three decades. Among them are Philadelphia Mission Baptist Church; Worthy Life Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore; Koinonia Community Baptist Church in Long Beach, California; and Frontier Baptist Church in Fairbanks, Alaska; as well as churches in South Korea, the Republic of Georgia, Uzbekistan and the Republic of Armenia.
“As a sign of gratitude for how God has blessed and multiplied the church network to include 11 churches in five countries, the churches prayed about how to make their annual Thanksgiving Mission Offering even more meaningful in this 40th anniversary year,” the BCNE reported. “In light of their history, they collected an unprecedented amount this year and followed God’s guidance to give it all away — making donations to local Southern Baptist entities in some of the least-reached areas of the United States for the purposes of church planting, church revitalization and other local ministry.”
Supporting New England ministry
Terry W. Dorsett, executive director of BCNE said, “We are so thankful to Drs. Paul and Rebekah Kim for their gospel faithfulness over the last 40 years, for their ongoing partnership in ministry and especially for leading their network to make this incredible gift to help expand God’s kingdom in New England. Many souls will be saved as a result of their ministry, and many new ministers will be raised up because of this special gift.”
“Though the BCNE board of directors will make the final decision, in keeping with the long-established ministry focus of the donor network, our current plan is to split the gift equally between church planting, church revitalization and collegiate ministry,” Dorsett added, “and use it over the next three years to push back spiritual darkness and create a healthy foundation for future ministry in those three areas.”
EDITOR’S NOTE — This story was first published by the Baptist Convention of New England.