LEXINGTON, Ky. (KT) – West Kentucky pastor Dan Summerlin was honored at the 182nd Kentucky Baptist Convention Annual Meeting for his longtime commitment to the Cooperative Program and his devotion to missions.
“There are few leaders in KBC life who have demonstrated an unrelenting love for cooperative missions than Dan Summerlin,” said Curtis Woods, KBC associate executive director for convention relations and communications.
Summerlin, pastor of Lone Oak First Baptist Church since 2001, received the Distinguished Leadership award at Immanuel Baptist Church on Tuesday in recognition of his “faithful leadership in support of the Cooperative Program.”
The Cooperative Program is the funding vehicle through which Kentucky Baptists support the ministry work of the Kentucky Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention, including missionaries in the state, North America and the world.
“Kentucky Baptists gave nearly $22 million last year to fund ministry and missions in Kentucky and around the world,” said Todd Gray, KBC executive director-treasurer. “Some of the strongest CP champions in the country are pastors of Kentucky Baptist churches.”
Lone Oak First Baptist Church has contributed $4,687,827 to the Cooperative Program under Summerlin’s pastorate. At the end of the last fiscal year, the church’s CP giving equaled 9.3% of its undesignated receipts. Lone Oak First has an average worship attendance of 1,110 and recorded 43 baptisms in 2019, according to statistics in the KBC Annual Church Profile.
Woods said Summerlin continues to lead his church to give above and beyond the missional call and is among the top five giving churches.
“It is an honor,” said Summerlin, “not because we were recognized, but because of knowing that lives are being changed around the world for Christ.”
Summerlin said when he was the pastor of a small church, “we couldn’t afford to send anyone to do a mission trip, but we could give our money through the CP and know we were making a difference for the Kingdom of God. As the pastor of a large church, it is exciting knowing we are combining our money with other churches to work together for Jesus.”
Summerlin pastored three churches in Mississippi and Alabama before his call to Lone Oak First. He also has served on several committees and executive positions with the Southern Baptist Convention, Kentucky Baptist Convention and regional Baptist associations. Summerlin chairs the KBC’s administrative committee and is a past KBC president.
“When our members see all the good the CP does for the Kingdom, it takes our eyes off of us and we see the vast amount of work needed to reach the world for Christ,” Summerlin said. “CP is still the most logical way to do mission work. With churches combining their resources together, we can do more.”
“CP awards acknowledge churches and leaders who are inspired by love for cooperative missions,” Woods said, referencing Romans 12:10. “They are worthy of double honor.”
Along with the CP Distinguished Leadership award, KBC recognized the following churches for milestones in missions giving:
Top three churches in total CP giving
1. Immanuel Baptist, Lexington, $453,096.61
2 .Severns Valley, Elizabethtown, $313,930.14
3. Lone Oak First Baptist, Paducah, $313,230.68
Top three churches in per capita CP giving
1. Countryside Baptist, Morganfield, $415.90
2. Oak Grove Baptist, Tyner, $400
3. Burgin Baptist, Burgin, $255.60
Million Dollar Milestones in CP giving
Severns Valley, Elizabethton
First Baptist Henderson
Campbellsville Baptist, Campbellsville
Eastwood, Bowling Green
First Baptist Hopkinsville
Unity Baptist, Ashland
Rose Hill, Ashland
Mount Pisgah, Bremen
Elm Grove, Murray
Southern Heights, Lexington
First Baptist Barlow
Good Hope, Campbellsville