To say that First Assembly is missions’ minded is a startling understatement. Believing fully in the responsibility of the church to fulfill the Great Commission in the strictest sense of the word, missions’ emphasis is taught, encouraged, and practiced on three broad levels that are not always considered to be extensions of the same purpose – personal evangelism, home missions, and foreign missions.
Members and adherents are taught to be “salt and light” (Matthew 5:13-16) in order to impact the “local” world – Pine Bluff, Jefferson County, and Southeast Arkansas – with the good news that Jesus can change lives. Corporately as a church body, services and outreaches offer opportunities for people to find Jesus as Savior and Lord. Donations to local charitable endeavors are also made regularly.
In a larger sense, this church understands that the United States is also a home missions’ field, and the membership financially supports numerous projects (e.g., Assemblies of God Family Services, the children’s home and home for unwed mothers in Hot Springs, Arkansas, founded and supported by the Assemblies of God; Teen Challenge, substance abuse rehabilitation centers; church plants; various home missionaries to target groups and areas; etc.).
Of course, the typical connotations of the word “missions” are also practiced at First Assembly. The congregation supports missionaries each month that are literally scattered around the world, some who reside in remote areas, others in the metropolitan cities of the world, and some in orphanages and hospitals forgotten by much of the world. Furthermore, intervention/compassion teams have often traveled on site to manually build a church or Bible school in a remote area of the world or to assist in an area desperate for disaster relief – all while spreading the Good News of the Gospel. Churches and/or Bible schools have recently been constructed in several locations in Mexico and also Tena, Ecuador.
First Assembly currently regularly supports almost 70 missionaries and/or missions’ projects on a monthly basis. As a body of believers, members are convinced that it is imperative to do everything possible to take the Gospel to the lost – wherever they may be – as the time for the Rapture of the Church quickly approaches!