by Adriane Dorr
In 1991, in recognition of nearly 100 years of LCMS mission involvement, the LCMS Board for Mission Services put forth the idea of an appeal to raise $100 million dollars, ensuring future LCMS mission work. That appeal, later called Fan into Flame and endorsed by the Synod in convention in 2004, was celebrated and officially concluded in October 2011 after raising nearly 67 million dollars.
The generosity of LCMS members gathered together by God’s blessing have made possible the funding of new mission projects and initiatives both in the United States and around the world.
Individual congregations and districts in the LCMS have been on the receiving end of the church’s witness and mercy efforts as well. Almost $9 million in cash has been distributed to the districts and 1400 participating congregations of the LCMS for mission work in their respective locations through the Fan into Flame campaign,” noted Jeff Craig-Meyer, director of campaigns and special programs for The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod.
The Southeastern District of the LCMS saw this first-hand. As a result of our strong participation in Fan into Flame, the Southeastern District was able to fund many of our 70 new mission starts, said the Rev. Jon T. Diefenthaler, president of the Southeastern District. The campaign also served to heighten awareness of mission opportunities for congregations in our region.
The donor base for LCMS World Mission received benefits from the program as well. Attracting a significant base of major donors to the work of the LCMS through its World Mission outreach has been a tremendous blessing and breakthrough in the funding base for LCMS World Mission, explained Kermit W. (Butch) Almstedt, former chairman of the Board for Mission Services.
LCMS President Matthew C. Harrison is grateful for the opportunities Fan into Flame provided for the reach of the Gospel around the world. While Fan into Flame did not achieve the overall goal, it has been a tremendous blessing for the proclamation of the Gospel, he said. Wev’e also been able to capture some tremendous learnings
for the future.
> $53.1 million has been raised in cash.
> $19.5 million was spent in operational costs.
Your Fan into Flame dollars have:
- Funded 29 missionaries
- Assisted in the restoration efforts of St. Michaels Lutheran Church in St. Petersburg, Russia
- Provided the Bible in audio format for 30,000 LCMS youth
- Planted multiple LCMS churches
- Developed start-up funds to open an international school in Hanoi, Vietnam
- Supplied funds for a new seminary building in Ghana
- Expanded outreach efforts in Cambodia
- Established an endowment for the Cayman Islands Safe Harbour Lutheran Church
About the Author: Adriane Dorr is managing editor of The Lutheran Witness.