A group of 18 people gathered Sunday in Loudon with an interest in becoming part of an innovative concept in living out the Great Commission.
Partners In Ministry was founded in 1982 by the Rev. Tom Belt and his wife, Lucy. Belt was a pastor in the Anglican church, and he and Lucy are now retired and living in Georgia.
Belt’s original vision was to provide support for individuals who were on the frontlines of God’s evangelistic movements locally, nationally and throughout the world. PIM was formed to equip, encourage and empower missionaries through prayer, financial and physical support and accountability.
Villagers Jim and Marcia Bottenhorn have been involved in the ministry for more than three decades.
“Unlike many other groups who perform the same service, PIM carries it one step further in that this ministry seeks to build a personal relationship with those in the field,” Marcia Bottenhorn said.
In summer 2017, Bobby and Nan Bullard, from metro Atlanta, assumed leadership as co-directors of PIM.
“PIM has a portfolio of just over 32 missionaries, reaching some of the most remote and unreached people groups of the world,” Bobby Bullard said. “We are excited that our rapidly growing global missions program, combined with the tremendous interest and support we have received from Tellico Village, has convinced us to establish a local Partners In Ministry chapter in this area.”
A gathering was held Sunday at Cook n Craft Academy in downtown Loudon with the purpose of forming a core team as PIM works to establish a chapter. This is a first venture for PIM outside the Atlanta area.
“God is just exploding the whole mission field in all parts of the world,” Jim Bottenhorn said, adding that by early next year PIM will support more than 100 missionaries.
“The other half of Partners are the ‘partners’ here at home, equally motivated about serving God, through their time, talents and treasure,” Marcia Bottenhorn said. “These people, with a variety of Christian backgrounds, are focused on those missionaries in the field. In fact, this focus is at the core of everything done by PIM. All decisions must be of some benefit to the missionaries in the field.”
Jim and Marcia Bullard, together with Bob and Marion Jurecic, who are also residents of Tellico Village, are directly involved in establishing the local chapter.
“PIM is expanding its original vision that, through this new local chapter, will now include mission-based partnerships with the body of Christ here in Tellico Village and the surrounding area,” Bob Jurecic said. “This may include individuals as well as local church congregations.”
Working with PIM:
• Removes an individual from having to vet, send out or provide resources, advocacy and accountability.
• Offers a personal connection between the partner at home and the missionary in the field.
• Ensures that 100 percent of all contributions go directly to the missionary. Everyone associated with PIM is a volunteer and there are no administrative costs taken out of a person’s financial investment.
“There is probably no other ministry actively involved in the Great Commission who can say these things. Partners is truly unique,” Marcia Bottenhorn said.
For more information on the new PIM chapter, email PIMTellicoVillage@gmail.com.