Imagine how 49 charter members of a new church plant on the south side of Longview must have felt. Eight decades ago, God placed a daunting task in front of those 49 people. Imagine their excitement, their courage, and even their fear as they looked ahead to playing their role in God’s plans. It’s safe to say, they could have never imagined what God had in store for what would become Mobberly Baptist Church.
New facilities have been built, land has been acquired and programs have been added which have allowed Mobberly to reach a rapidly growing community that has fewer borders every day. Through the years, our ministry has expanded across lingual and cultural barriers and expanded east with a campus in Marshall. Mobberly has helped take the gospel of Jesus Christ across the state, the nation and the globe through relationship building, church planting and mission work.
And while God has grown His church at Mobberly, the great need for Jesus across East Texas also grows. Our region is filled with people who are busy and morally confused, trying to balance their traditional church upbringing with an ever-changing, results-oriented culture. We’re located in the heart of the Bible belt, yet just seven percent of East Texans attend church. For the 230,000 people we never see on Sunday, who are searching for answers, who feel hopeless and afraid, the gospel of Jesus Christ represents a bright light in their dark world.
But how will they know, if we do not tell them? Through the years, God has blessed Mobberly far beyond what those 49 charter members could have imagined. But, we know that to whom much is given, much is required. Mobberly serves an area that reaches 75,000 households. No other church is in the position that Mobberly is in to saturate East Texas with the gospel.
God has given us a bold vision, in which every one of us has a role. In the next three years, Mobberly Baptist Church will engage 10,000 households in East Texas with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
If we engage 10,000 households in East Texas, marriages and families will be strengthened, schools will achieve greater success and our neighborhoods will be safer. The number of East Texans populating our jails and prisons will decrease, while hope will sprout in homes once entangled in weeds of desperation. Even our local economy will be positively impacted as the gospel drives political decisions, city planning and commercial development. Churches of all sizes across East Texas will experience growth as life transformation occurs.
And, when that happens, just imagine the greater impact a transformed community will have on the world. Imagine those who have been transformed by the gospel boldly traveling across the neighborhood, the country and the globe to share the life-changing message of Jesus’ love. Engaging 10,000 East Texas households can spark a revival.
In the western portion of the United States alone, the same issues we face in East Texas are compounded by the fact that almost nine out of 10 residents have no relationship with Christ. And, there are very few people in the region to tell them about Jesus – just one church for every 16,000 people. That’s why, in the past decade, we have planted and partnered with churches in Hawaii, California, Alaska, South Dakota and South Texas.
Globally, Mobberly has sent mission teams and invested in churches in Europe, South America and Africa. Whether the cultures are modern or primitive, first-world or third-world, it isn’t hard to find large groups of people who feel hopeless or have never heard the good news of Jesus Christ. Just finding a Bible in many villages in Africa has proven to be a monumental task.
Now is the time to step up our efforts with urgency. There are spiritual, physical and emotional needs that must be met today. We see them every day in East Texas, on street corners, in broken homes and in the stores, restaurants and businesses that we walk into day after day. In the western United States, 62 million people – 87 percent of the population – will spend eternity separated from God if they were to die today. In Africa, nations are ravaged by HIV/AIDS and the lowest life expectancy rates in the world.
Therefore, in the next 10 years, Mobberly Baptist Church will establish 100 new churches in North America and equip 1,000 pastors in Malawi, Africa to reach millions of people across Central Africa.
Engaging others with the gospel of Jesus Christ is nothing new for members of Mobberly Baptist Church. We are the result of that engagement, the legacy of 49 people who planted this church eight decades ago.
Now, it is time for us to imagine…what will be our legacy?