PO Box 38300 | Memphis TN 38183-0300 | 800-274-5683
© 2020 Love Worth Finding Ministries. All rights reserved.
As we finish one year of ministry at Love Worth Finding and begin another, we are genuinely blessed to see God transforming the lives of people…every day…everywhere! As you scroll through this report you will find stories, information, inspiration, and exciting new announcements about that overall work.
You’ll see Love Worth Finding responding to the unprecedented challenges brought on worldwide by COVID-19. We initiated our Tuesday evening Conversations That Matter specifically to provide encouragement to our Facebook followers during stay-at-home orders, and we are continuing to use this weekly platform to address the important issues of our day.
You’ll meet a number of individuals who found their callings through the ministry of Adrian Rogers and LWF. They are active “doers of the word,” taking the Gospel to—and meeting the needs of—others.
Under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, your generous support is the catalyst for all that we are seeing. So, take a few moments to review God’s goodness and the fruit of your faithfulness. Thank you. God bless you.
“Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”
as of July 2020
“I have endeavored to preach Christ.”
Baron Muga’s training for ministry even benefitted from an Adrian Rogers detractor. In fact, Baron learned to argue apologetics from the “hot seat.”
He tells this story from college days:
“I was in a philosophy class with a teacher who was always attacking Christian beliefs. He went on a rant one day and mentioned Adrian Rogers and started talking about last Sunday’s sermon. I was shocked but also excited that he was ranting about my pastor. From that point on, I was constantly defending the faith in class.
[Pastor Rogers’] impact went so far beyond Christian circles.”
Baron Muga is located in Nairobi, Kenya, with the International Mission Board, assisting with technology and training for evangelism, discipleship, and church planting in Sub-Saharan Africa. Simultaneously, he is three courses away from completing a Master of Divinity at the Nairobi Evangelical School of Theology at Africa International University.
What is of greatest interest to Love Worth Finding readers is the role that Adrian Rogers and LWF have played and continue to play in Baron’s life and ministry, including a special moment that helped connect the dots between Baron’s spiritual growth while in the States, his calling to return to Africa, and his new life in Nairobi.
Baron grew up in Kenya. After high school, he moved to the U.S. to attend college. He first heard Adrian Rogers preach in 1997 on his initial visit to Bellevue Baptist Church; immediately, Bellevue became Baron’s home church in the U.S. After college, Baron began a career in business and information technology (he is a Certified Information Systems Auditor and a Certified Information Security Manager). He also met and married his wife Jacqueline, who also grew up in Kenya but had studied in Germany and England before moving to the U.S.
For the better part of a decade, Baron sat under Adrian Rogers’ weekly teaching, where he says he learned almost as much from observation as he did from the copious sermon notes he kept.
“His teaching was foundational to my discipleship and future ministry,” Baron says of Pastor Rogers. “Three things stayed with me. First, his simplified eloquence. When you’re preaching, you don’t want to get so fancy that it obscures what you’re saying, but at the same time, sometimes the way something is said makes it resonate and settle. Pastor Rogers had the right balance and it was brilliant. Second was his sermon excellence. You could tell that it was prayed over, studied and researched. When preached, it was true, rich and well delivered. I still use the journals I kept. And third, was his steady example. His life—his actions, how he talked to and interacted with people, his regard for his wife, Joyce—was an example of what a life surrendered to God looks like and gave authenticity to the Gospel he preached.”
After Pastor Rogers’ retirement in 2005, Baron continued to listen to his sermons through LWF radio broadcasts during his morning drive. He also availed himself of LWF resources for his own personal growth, which further equipped him for teaching adult Sunday school and classes on evangelism and discipleship.
While Baron enjoyed his time in the U.S., Africa tugged at his heart and the Lord tugged at his soul regarding a transition to full-time ministry.
It took some time to determine how to best minister to others and support his growing family. In 2018, with some questions still unanswered, Baron and Jacqueline and sons Maxwell and Anderson, currently ages 12 and 9, moved to Kenya, and Baron enrolled in Seminary. Simultaneously, the associate pastor at Bellevue introduced Baron to International Mission Board personnel in Kenya. Baron also opened his own Business and IT consulting service in Nairobi.
Some might call this serendipity—a happy chance. Others might say Providence. But we’re calling it a full-on God sighting, one of those moments when there is no time or space, just God working in the sweet spot:
“After visiting many churches and praying, we finally found a church community we felt led to become a part of. As we were plugging in, one of my seminary classes required me to interview a pastor. So I’m interviewing my new pastor (Elijah Wanje of Ridgeways Baptist Church). He knows I recently moved from the States and he asks me where I went to church in the U.S. So I tell him, and he says: ‘Bellevue! Let me tell you a story!’”
Here Baron, who we caught up with on Zoom, plays a tape from his 2018 seminary class interview.
This is Pastor Wanje speaking: “I was wrestling with surrender to the call. I was in a town called Arkadelphia.”
“Arkansas,” says Baron.
“Yes. I was invited to a conference, and that night Adrian Rogers preaches a message on obedience to the call. And that night, I finally tell the Lord, ‘I surrender.’”
“It was a powerful connection,” concludes Baron. “Here I am back in Nairobi and I land in a church where the pastor clarified his call to ministry 38 years ago in a place and time where Adrian Rogers was speaking—the same pastor who was foundational to me in many ways.”
Baron follows LWF on various channels, listens to sermons on thumb drives (he was listening to the Masterworks series the day he was contacted for this story) and has given gifts of Adrian Rogers’ One Lord, One Love series at weddings. He says he always tries to do these three things he learned from Dr Rogers: make his messages simply eloquent, prepare sermons with excellence, and be a steady example to others in life and ministry.
“Through technology,” Baron says, “the sound of Adrian Roger’s teaching is still in my ear.”
Love Worth Finding launched What is Truth? in the fall of 2019. If you have not yet experienced this powerful free resource for yourself, be sure and sign up. In fact, please challenge your friends—be they saved or unsaved, churched or unchurched—to engage with Jesus in this exciting new way.
The challenge involves a daily email for seven days that includes thought-provoking apologetics questions and sermon excerpts from Dr. Adrian Rogers. The experience will encourage you and your friends to think deeper about truth—what it is, where it comes from, and what it means to each of us personally.
“We must take our families back. Otherwise, the world will become our children’s parents.”
Josh and Mallory Allen have found a bedtime routine that works for them and that builds into their sons’ spiritual lives. The Allens follow the routine whether they are alone or have company (in which case the company is invited to the kids’ room to take part).
Here’s their recipe for a great end to every day:
No kidding, Mallory Allen keeps a dish handy at all times. Today there literally is a white three-quart CorningWare with a clear glass lid sitting on her new office desk. She brought it with her from Georgia to Tennessee to launch Faithful 31 Moms, a ministry geared mainly toward moms raising children and teens, and the newest ministry at Love Worth Finding.
It’s easy to see why God chose her for this role. She has the essential ingredients in her well-stocked personality pantry:
Mallory really cooks when it comes to a mother’s role in raising Godly children, so don’t expect her to set the oven temperature low. Children grow up too fast for parents to wait to be intentional, she says.
“If you bring life into the world,” Mallory says, “the most important calling you have, other than your call to love Jesus Christ and your husband, is the call to disciple your children.”
But young moms can also expect Mallory to knead gently and dust every word with kindness as she encourages, listens, and prays for the moms she serves.
She has already begun her work at faithful31moms.com with a blog readers will find genuine and thought provoking. Following is an excerpt from a post she titled, Little Specs of Glass. She’s speaking of a lesson recently learned by her preschool-aged son:
He is getting it…I see the dots connecting in his little head. We try not to sweep it under the rug at our house. We talk about it. Try to find a lesson in it. Kids understand and observe a lot more than we think they do. …This verse (2 Timothy 4:2) always challenges me in parenting: Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. “Your people” is your family. It starts at home.
Mallory’s vision for Faithful 31 Moms includes regular blogs along with devotions, scriptures and posts shared through faithful31moms.com and the Faithful 31 Moms Facebook page. She draws inspiration from her life with husband Josh Allen, a church planter, and sons Jake, 6, and James, 3. She also gathers material from seasoned moms whose children are already grown.
She recently began a midweek podcast that plays on Wednesdays. Her first guests were Mrs. Joyce Rogers (the wife of Adrian Rogers) and Joyce’s good friend Buna Sorrell, the wife of Adrian Rogers’ executive pastor, Bob Sorrell. Buna also just happens to be Josh Allen’s grandmother.
If the connection makes it sound as if everything just “fell into place” in creating a ministry that is a perfect fit for Love Worth Finding, it’s because, well, it did. In Mallory’s words:
“I got the idea for Faithful 31 Moms while listening to a Mother’s Day message by Adrian Rogers. He was talking about how influential mothers are. Adrian Rogers was faithful to the truth and faithful to teach. The word faithful literally means ‘unwavering.’ That’s what Adrian Rogers was, that’s what I want to be as a mom, and that’s what I want this ministry to be. Faithful 31 Moms says that as a ministry and as mothers: We’re unwavering. We’re faithful. We’re gonna stay. We’re gonna be there.”
The ministry is specifically directed at serving moms between the ages of 25 and 40 but Mallory hopes moms of all ages and at all stages of mothering will participate and share.
“I’m making an intentional effort to include a lot of different women in different walks of life. We need community,” Mallory says of moms. “More than ever, I think women feel connected to each other through technology portals.”
If the following response from reader Jessica Syme to the Little Specs of Glass blog post is any indication, Mallory’s right:
“I’m up late at night praying and thinking… and tossing and turning… and I came upon this blog from the daily emails I get from LWF. Thank you for standing up to be what God calls us to be, for making us into good moms for our children, to be the example and instill His word into them at all ages. Thank you for the reminder!”
So moms, next time you’re awake at 2 a.m. wondering if you have the creativity and stamina needed to train up your children in the way they should go, remember you’ve got a friend at Love Worth Finding, someone who will deliver a virtual spiritual casserole, perhaps at the very moment you need it most.
“I don’t claim to have it all figured out,” Mallory says, “but I’m learning. And I’m happy to share anything that works.”
Faithful 31 Moms, Love Worth Finding‘s new podcast hosted by Mallory Allen, is about three things:
The Faithful 31 Moms podcast dropped its first episode on Wednesday, July 8, with an interview with Mrs. Joyce Rogers and Mrs. Buna Sorrell.
Mrs. Joyce shared about her life and marriage with Pastor Rogers and raising their children for the Lord. They also shared the importance of setting priorities, having godly friendships and mentoring.
“If you can be a Christian at home, you can be a Christian anywhere.”
“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.”
Bob Dawkins’ office is filled with LWF resources that he knows by heart, a reference for every situation: this tract for the Hispanic-speaking waitress, these sermon notes for the sick friend he is visiting today in the hospital, that book for a pastor touring LWF from out of town, “so he’ll have something special to share with his flock.”
Always prepared—that has been the story of Bob’s life. Nothing, he says, is by accident.
“Early on, age 14 or 15, I knew God had a plan for my life,” Bob says. “I began praying that he would tell me who to date, who to marry, and what kind of work to do. My life verse is Proverbs 3:5-6, ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.’ God has been faithful. He’s honored that promise (for guidance) for 65 years.”
Workwise, Bob found his life’s calling in a unique and challenging place: at the intersection of money and ministry.
It is unique in bringing people together at moments of decision and it is challenging because Jesus provides such definite road signs regulating dollars and “sense.” We are responsible to appropriately use the money He “lends” us (Keep Right), but we must neither love nor serve money (Warning, Slippery When Coveted).
Throughout his career, Bob has been privileged to stop at the intersection, look at the needs of those involved, and listen to the Spirit while guiding the people he meets through some of the most important spiritual and financial decisions of their lives.
It is a privilege he has never taken lightly—first as a trust officer for a large banking corporation for 25 years, later in launching and overseeing a church foundation for a decade, and now at LWF.
As for personal direction, the Lord introduced Bob to his ministry-minded wife, Linda, through BSU activities when Bob was an undergrad at Ouachita Baptist University. The Dawkins have been blessed with two sons, a daughter, and now 11 grandchildren.
After transferring to the University of Memphis and receiving a BBA in Finance and Marketing, Bob worked briefly for the Union Oil Company of California before joining the trust department at the National Bank of Commerce.
Meanwhile, Bob became a deacon at Bellevue Baptist Church at the age of 23 and was serving in the church when a dynamic preacher by the name of Dr. Adrian Rogers came to town. “I was mentored by him, not only in the pulpit but through a lot of close contact,” Bob says. “I thank the Lord for the influence he had on my life.”
Bob and Linda taught newlywed classes, worked with high school students, and are involved in ministry at the church to this day. He is particularly fond of the hospital visitation ministry. “I get to comfort people with God’s love at an especially difficult time; some have prayed to receive Jesus.”
At National Bank of Commerce, Bob enjoyed a 25-year career where he eventually became a senior trust officer and managed a department of 30.
“I loved what I was doing,” he says. “They paid me to be honest and have a clean lifestyle because that’s what’s required of a trust officer. I shared my faith with people. Because men had trust accounts in place for their wives and children, I looked on what I was doing as a ministry, taking care of widows and orphans.”
Bob said he was content in the secular business world believing God had called him to ministry there. Then one day he got a literal phone call asking him to lunch with Pastor Rogers and then-executive pastor, Bob Sorrell. The two wanted to tap Dawkins to launch and lead what would become the Bellevue Baptist Charitable Foundation, a pass-through organization facilitating giving to a wide variety of Christian ministries.
“I told them it would take a miracle because I loved what I was doing.” Soon after the lunch however, “The Lord impressed upon me that this is what He wanted me to do.” So in June of 2000, Bob began a decade-long stint at BBCF, after which he launched the LWF planned giving effort in 2010.
Bob enjoys spending time in prayer with and for those who contact the LWF prayer ministry, and he is a seasoned tour guide for those who come to Memphis to visit LWF. “My dad handled the wiring and the lights in 1958 when Bellevue Baptist Church was the first church ever to broadcast live from a local transmitter,” he recalls. “When people come to Memphis I take them to the old church. I give them that history and a lot of history about the ministry and Memphis in general. I take them to Graceland and find them the best barbecue. And in the process we always talk about Jesus.”
Bob’s commitment to LWF and his patient efforts with those who love the ministry enable him to help donors share their faith by investing in the spread of the gospel around the globe.
“Everything we own comes from God,” Bob says. “Planned giving helps people take what God has given them and divert a portion to His work in a way that will outlive them.”
Planned giving in the context of Christian ministry, he says, turns a last will and testament into a last will and “testimony.”
Perhaps even more important, he says, giving is a form of praise that elevates the believer’s spirit and draws the believer closer to God. Opening his dog-eared Bible, Bob finds an example of such joy in giving in 1 Chronicles 29. David is praising God for the privilege of helping to fund the temple in Jerusalem.
“But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? O Lord our God, all this abundance comes from your hand and is all your own. I have seen your people offering freely and joyously to you. Keep forever such purposes and thoughts in the hearts of your people, and direct their hearts to you.” 1 Chronicles 29: 14-18 (quoted in part)
Over the years, Bob Dawkins has seen donor resources and God’s will intersect in ways that bless the giver and glorify the Lord.
And that, he says, has been more than worth the journey.
Want to listen in on something real and relevant? Go ahead. It’s not eavesdropping! You’re invited to join us live every Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. CST on LWF Facebook. You can also find the conversations through YouTube, LWF.org, and the MyLWF app.
Byron Tyler of Bott Radio Network and Cary Vaughn, CEO of Love Worth Finding Ministries, co-host a conversation with a special guest each week covering timely topics in our nation and our world. The online video chat includes clips from relevant sermons by Adrian Rogers and an important interactive feature—viewers’ questions are asked and answered in real time.
Guests have included such names as U.S. Congressman Mark Green, chairman of the 2020 National Day of Prayer, Dr. Johnny Hunt, senior vice president of evangelism and leadership for the North American Mission Board, and Dr. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Conversations have covered the COVID-19 pandemic, racial unrest surrounding the death of George Floyd, the deep loss many felt at the death of Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias, God’s blueprint for husbands and fathers, and overcoming slavery to fear, anger, bitterness, pride and lust.
Join us. Let’s talk about what matters!
“I truly enjoy Conversations that Matter. It is spiritual food for the hungry. Your guests are outstanding. I am amazed at the spiritual giants you have. Please continue this. Thanks.”
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
“I’m telling you, pro-choice is no choice. Somebody says, ‘Well, now wait a minute. A woman’s body is her own body.’ But we’re not talking about her body; we’re talking about the body of a little baby. Freedom of choice is not the freedom of choice to kill someone else.”
Life Choices uses the following LWF booklets to assist women who are facing crisis pregnancies:
While the following resource may not be useful for those who are not yet Christ followers, LWF also offers an audio broadcast and CD Christians may find helpful when thinking about the topic of abortion:
Denise Howard had a choice to make—one that she believes everyone faces during life’s storms.
“When we’re up against a difficult situation we can take one of two roads. Back when our child passed away I remember clearly thinking that I could become bitter and move away from Christ or I could draw closer to Him. I am so thankful I decided to draw close. I had no idea all He had in store.”
That was more than two decades ago, before Denise’s “seminary degree” (stay tuned for that definition) at Love Worth Finding and the position she began April 1 as a Life Choice’s client advocate.
Denise’s decision to “draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8) did something remarkable for her anatomy; it enlarged her ears! Not literally, of course, but as she listened to God’s voice, He took what was undoubtedly already a strength (good listening skills) and turned it into a super power (Spirit-filled capacity to truly hear and empathize with others). This super power is now literally saving the lives of preborn children.
And now we’ll pick up the story from somewhere closer to the beginning.
Denise and her husband, Jeff, met in high school and later “noticed” each other in adult Sunday school. They married in 1985 and worked together in a family-owned furniture business from 1989-2000. During those years, they gave birth to Joy (now 31), Jeremy (now 25), and their third child, Deanna Grace, who was born with a chromosome disorder and went to heaven at the tender age of 8½ months.
The storm that followed and the peace that prevailed brought Denise to Love Worth Finding in 2000.
“I loved my time at LWF. I was talking to people on the phone about difficult things they were going through.” In addition to supporting others through listening and prayer, she says, “I was able to work with people to help them take hold of what they’d heard and try to figure out what resources they could use to take the next step, to become doers and not just hearers of the word. For instance, I worked with a woman who had her own ministry handing tracts out in airports, so we redesigned one of our resources for her to use.”
In the meantime, because she was regularly poring over sermons and other LWF materials, she was feeding an ever-growing appetite for wisdom and knowledge. “All the messages I heard; I feel like I’ve been through seminary sometimes.”
As she grew spiritually, Denise contemplated getting an actual seminary degree but instead felt the Lord leading her to address one of the most important topics of our time: abortion.
When she received a job offer from Life Choices earlier this year, her call was confirmed.
Now at Life Choices, she is able to use her listening superpower, the knowledge she gained working for LWF over the last 17 years, and a number of resources LWF has donated for her use in her new position.
Because her own heart was broken, Denise is able to talk to her clients “about how broken the world is and about how the broken place they’re in is a part of that.”
Her work takes her beyond the statistics—an estimated 60 million plus preborn children aborted in the United States since Roe v. Wade in 1973—to the realities that bring young women to the door at Life Choices and similar ministries across the U.S.
High connecting factors bringing clients to Life Choices ministry include street life (often involving prostitution), drug abuse, moral slide, ignorance and cultural norms.
Of those norms, she says, “Everybody seems to think it’s ok to live together. Even many Christians think it’s an ok lifestyle. If it’s not bad to live together, the reasoning gets skewed. This (living together) isn’t that bad, so that (abortion) can’t be that bad either.” The culture, Denise says, teaches young people to “think of abortion as birth control.”
So Denise listens when girls tell her they made a mistake, or they didn’t know, or the father is no longer in the picture, or they want to leave “the life,” or they need the next “fix,” or that it’s just plain too hard to think about going through with the pregnancy. Regardless of the circumstances involved, her first aim is always this: “We have to show them that this is a life.”
Equally important, Denise works to show each client that the life she is carrying is created by and treasured by a loving God, and that her own life is of inestimable value to Jesus Christ.
“At Life Choices we desire to share the Gospel with every person who comes in,” she says, “realizing their eternal destiny is just as important as that baby’s life. This reminds me of how important (salvation) was to Pastor Rogers, as he always called people to come to Jesus!”
When the light goes on, and when the client carries her child to term, Denise celebrates the life-affirming choice. And in her mind, she goes back to that choice to take the road less traveled, the road that connects her to the Life-giver Himself.
Speaking of herself and her husband, she says, “We’ve been able to minister in amazing ways because of what we went through. Such suffering puts you in a category you don’t want to be in. But Christ suffered. We all suffer.”
For Denise Howard, reaching out to Jesus during that suffering has made all the difference.
Watch for these new titles to be released this year through LWF’s online store. It is our hope that you will use these resources to grow your faith and to support your work in the Great Commission.
How are you going to know God? Not by reason. Not by religion. Not by ritual. You are only going to know God by revelation. Indeed, Jesus Christ has come to reveal God to you. You can never fully know God the Father apart from God the Son, and an amazing journey awaits as you Discover Jesus and deepen your relationship with Him.
A collection of eight powerful messages, His Story presents God’s purpose and plan for the redemption of mankind from Genesis to Revelation—His Creation, His Covenant, His Cradle, His Cup, His Crown, His Cross, His Conquest, and His Coming.
“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace…”
We hope you were encouraged as you met some of our partners above. We share these stories with great joy! We call our LWF friends “partners” because we desire to help you grow in Christ and in your service to Him, and we deeply appreciate those who feel led to support us financially.
“And you shall be My witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
First and foremost, we ask for your prayers. Love Worth Finding is a ministry built upon and sustained by the faithful prayers of God’s people.
Become an active part of what God is doing in and through LWF. Make use of the materials we produce in your daily evangelism and discipleship activities.
Support the work of LWF by giving generously with a one-time or monthly recurring gift. Contact us if you would like to learn more about estate giving.
© 2020 Love Worth Finding Ministries. All rights reserved.