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McRaney: 'This is the reason we exist'

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McRaney: 'This is the reason we exist'

Statement from Dr. Will McRaney, executive missional strategist for the Mid-Atlantic Baptist Network

"I wanted to let you know how deeply concerned we are about the city of Baltimore. Our churches are rallying in support. We've been praying for the city for some time, so it's not really that surprising to us that we are encountering this level of evil.

"We have been working in the city in terms of church planting and caring for those church planters, and we are currently mobilizing some of our churches to be on the ground right now.

"We have Michael Crawford, who is a lead pastor and our state director of missions, helping to lead the effort there as we charge toward the city and rally some resources. In the future, we're also going to be very engaged in the city. We didn't just start with this. We are going to be there for the long haul, planting churches, encouraging the pastors of existing churches and praying for them.

"There are some deep-seeded needs that exist there. Even recently, we held a conference led by Michael Crawford called Unplugged. We had Dr. John Perkins in just this past weekend talking about race reconciliation and the healing that needs to take place as we move forward.

"We're trying to express our love for the city in practical ways and with the Gospel of Jesus Christ—both of which are very important. So, I am not sure what your part may be in that, but we invite you to join us and the 560 some churches that make up the Mid-Atlantic Baptist Network.

"This is the reason we exist—for times like this. Not just the planting of churches and the caring for pastors and equipping them, but it's times like this when can pull together and see God's Kingdom advance in the midst of some difficulties and challenges the city is facing. So we hope that you will join us and be involved in some way. If you'd like to invest financially, we're going to give you an opportunity to do that around this idea of #LoveBaltimore. You can be rest assured that we'll be good stewards of those resources as we love those pastors and help those churches to advance the Gospel in Baltimore. Join us as we minister directly to the victims of this unrest sharing not only our material resources but also the love of Christ."

"Seek the welfare of the city I have deported you to. Pray to the Lord on its behalf, for when it has prosperity, you will prosper" (Jeremiah 29:7 HCSB).