Two dozen pastors walk across Arkansas to raise fund for BGMC
On Monday, May 6, 24 Assemblies of God children's pastors, children's leaders and lead pastors in Arkansas began a 150-mile relay on foot in an effort to raise funds for BGMC (Boys and Girls Missionary Challenge) — the AG missions program for children. Each group began at one of six points in the 150-mile radius headed to Little Rock.
The walkers were among the six teams participating in "Arkansas Relay Walk for Living Water." The goal was for each of the six teams to arrive simultaneously at the Arkansas District Council office at
4 p.m. Friday, May 9. Amazingly, everybody arrived just 10 minutes after the projected time. Lead pastor Alan Womack, of First Assembly, Eldorado, Arkansas, had walked the entire 150 miles by himself.
With the funds raised, BGMC can assist in placing water wells in strategic locations of Asia. These fresh water sources will serve as an avenue for believers to share their faith in staunchly Buddhist regions that are resistant to the gospel message. In some of these areas, children have yet to even hear the name of Jesus.
"Imagine not having water to give to your children. Imagine having to walk miles to a muddy well to get a bucket of water only to have to walk it miles back home," says David Boyd, BGMC national director. "The lack of water around the world is a chief cause of disease, malnutrition and death. Together these Arkansas churches are walking this walk in order to raise the awareness of this great need and to raise funds to provide clean water to those that need it."
Tom Young, children's pastor of First Assembly in Benton, Arkansas, headed up this BGMC relay walk. His dream to have children's leaders throughout Arkansas participate in this event was just a dream over two years ago. At that time, Tom made his own 240-mile journey on foot from Benton to the national BGMC office in Springfield, Missouri.
On the final day of the event, Marshall Bruner, BGMC Compassion Ministries coordinator, met up with the teams in Little Rock to cheer them on during their final approach to the district office.
Ron Kelley, district Christian education director for Arkansas, provided a welcome ceremony for the teams upon arrival. At the welcome ceremony, Kelley calculated the pledges given, coupled with those Young had received and the faith promises, totaled over $80,000.
Young says that each of the participants represented different walks of life throughout Arkansas but that they all walked with one purpose in mind: to help reach the spiritually lost children of Asia for Jesus.
"Our deepest appreciation goes out to Tom Young and all the participants of the Arkansas Relay Walk for Living Water," says Bruner. "Your commitment to excellence and zeal for world evangelism are greatly admired. We at the national BGMC team are humbled and honored that each of the team members would willingly endure blisters and pain for the cause of advancing God's kingdom."
Once again, the Arkansas District had proven their zeal for BGMC and world missions as each participant crossed the finish line and celebrated a victory for the Kingdom.
The relay team members who participated are:
- Team coach Doug McClure, lead pastor of Huntsville Assembly, Huntsville, Ark.
- Angie Hardcastle, children's pastor of Trinity Assembly, Fayetteville, Ark.
- Jimmy Batterton, youth pastor, Benton First Assembly, Benton, Ark.
- Team coach Tony Delacruz, children's pastor, Mountain Home Assembly, Mountain Home, Ark.
- Susan Delacruz, Mountain Home Assembly, Mountain Home, Ark.
- Tom Young, children's pastor, First Assembly, Benton, Ark.
- Ryan Weyh, youth pastor, Viola Assembly, Viola, Ark.
- Team coach Bill Harness, associate pastor, West Memphis Assembly, West Memphis, Ark.
- Rusty Blann, lead pastor, West Memphis Assembly, West Memphis, Ark.
- Mike Brogen, lead pastor, England Assembly, England, Ark.
- Lavaya Harness, West Memphis Assembly, West Memphis, Ark.
- Angela Henry, West Memphis Assembly, West Memphis, Ark.
- Janie Jaimez, West Memphis Assembly, West Memphis, Ark.
- Team coach Alan Womack, lead pastor, First Assembly, Eldorado, Ark.
- Vicky Moon, Crossett, Ark.
- Team coach Jason Kiesler, lead pastor, Benton New Life Assembly, Haskell, Ark. Lorena Moody, First Assembly, Benton, Ark. Brenda Green, First Assembly, Benton, Ark. Janet Mattingly, Lake View Assembly, Hot Springs, Ark.
- Team coach Jason Guffy, children's pastor, Perryville Assembly, Perryville, Ark.
- Britney Guffy, Perryville Assembly, Perryville, Ark.
- Shawna Clayton, Paris Assembly, Paris, Ark. Fawnda White, Otter Creek Assembly, Little Rock, Ark.