Adams sees GuideStone’s Mission:Dignity from the inside

By Johanna Willett | May 30, 2023

Dennis Adams, left, poses with Aaron Meraz, director of Mission: Dignity. Adams served as a trustee on the GuideStone board for eight years.

For eight years, Dennis Adams has served retired ministry workers as a trustee on the board for GuideStone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.

A retired pastor himself, Adams served on the board’s Mission:Dignity committee for two years as vice chairman and three years as chairman. After two terms on GuideStone’s board, Adams will rotate off at the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting in June.

GuideStone provides retirement and insurance services for ministries and churches, according to the GuideStone website.

“A key component of GuideStone is Mission:Dignity, which honors retirement-age Southern Baptist ministers, workers and widows who struggle to meet basic needs through financial assistance,” said Adams, who retired from The Church at Arrowhead in Glendale.

Mission:Dignity provides financial assistance to retired pastors and their spouses, as well as other retired ministry workers, missionaries, church employees and their widows and widowers.

As a committee member, Adams helped oversee Mission:Dignity applications. Trustees also had the opportunity to meet recipients and take them a turkey or ham in December, he said.

“The most meaningful part is some of the personal relationships you establish with folks who are retired and getting assistance from Mission:Dignity,” Adams said of his service on the board.

He recalled one relationship with a retired pastor and his wife.

“He was in a care center when we first met, and so we met at her house … and I really loved this guy and his heart,” Adams said.

“He was willing to talk about his ministry and the hardships and challenges, and during COVID, he went to be with the Lord.”

Later, Adams was able to visit the pastor’s widow, now experiencing Alzheimer’s, at her daughter’s house in Mesa.

“The last thing she said to us as we left that visit was, ‘Don’t forget me,’” Adams said. “And I think that’s one of the biggest things that Mission:Dignity does. We get involved with the lives of soldiers of the cross who are in their elderly years. Some are lonely. Some have lots of needs. Some have family around and some don’t. What a wonderful opportunity to pray with these folks and encourage them.”

Churches interested in supporting the ministry can do so by participating in Mission:Dignity Sunday on June 25.

“Oftentimes pastors [receiving assistance through Mission:Dignity] will say somebody else needs the help more,” Adams said.

“But when we get to read letters and notes from these recipients, sometimes it makes the difference whether someone has a peanut butter sandwich at the end of the month or a regular menu.”

Johanna Willett, a freelance writer living in Tucson, is a member of Mountain View Baptist Church, Tucson.

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