Marking a Milestone in Ministry
One Hundred Years!
We seem predisposed to mark milestone anniversaries, those 10- or 25-year points on a timeline that cause us to pause and reflect. We honor those institutions that last for 25 years. The family gathers to celebrate a 50th wedding anniversary; we call the newspaper when Grandma turns 100. We do these things because these magnificent milestones mark progress and celebrate longevity.
GuideStone® marks 100 years of ministry in 2018 — giving us a cause for celebration!
1918 vs. 2018
One hundred years is an easy number to throw around, but think about the changes from 1918 to 2018. In 1918, telegraphs were still widely used to send news. Every town in America had a newspaper, many had two or more, and “breaking news” was signaled by the printing of an “Extra” edition sold on street corners. Today, breaking news is delivered immediately to our mobile devices. In 1918, letters delivered via a slow but reliable postal service was the means to communicate over long distances. One hundred years later, video chats can connect us almost instantly to people across town or around the world.
Transportation was different. In 1918, street cars and trains moved people and goods. While grand interstates today crisscross our nation, and driverless cars are being tested and deployed on our streets, the road network in the beginning of the 20th century was much different. Open road and intercity travel were much more treacherous, even for the most intrepid travelers.
It was in such a time that Lunsford noted the need for a ministry that would care for the “old soldiers of the cross” — pastors who had reached retirement age with little or no resources, having served small country churches for meager wages throughout their ministry. Armed with this God-given conviction and vision, Lunsford presented his appeal to Southern Baptist leaders, first in Nashville and then beyond. One of his supporters opined that the board Lunsford would create would be like a tree that would be watered and cared for by successive generations.
We are the caretakers of that board — that grand tree, as Dr. James Bruton Gambrell, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, envisioned in 1920. Today, GuideStone serves as a place of rest for nearly 250,000 pastors, missionaries and other church workers.
We believe this board, led by generations of faithful servants, has built upon Lunsford’s legacy and is striving to build a similar legacy for the men and women who come after us.
It is our great privilege to steward this remarkable and, we trust, God-honoring ministry.
Dr. O.S. Hawkins
President — Chief Executive Officer
GuideStone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention®