Rev. Gary McCollough, pastor of Flat Springs Baptist Church in Sanford, is accustomed to giving–that’s the job of the minister of a busy church. But after falling while walking in the woods, he found himself on the receiving end, and discovered the grace, freedom and goodness of God through the kindness of strangers.
Surgery at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center for the double inguinal hernia worked. While Rev. McCollough was well on the road to physical recovery, the financial recovery was a different journey, due to a high insurance deductible. “We were just trying to be as frugal as we could, knowing it had to be repaid,” he explained. “We had talked to the hospital and had already started making payments for the next five years to cover this.”
And then the McColloughs received a letter that said his hospital bill was paid by the Mother’s Day Offering. It was a moment of surprise, gratitude and inspiration for him. “This is the way the church is supposed to be: When we help others we are at our best. In today’s crazy world of medical insurance, it was just amazing. To owe several thousand dollars is a big deal. For churches and congregations to pull resources together to help those in need, including clergy, is amazing. It was humbling to hear that what you thought was going to impact you financially for years was no longer going to affect you. It was a marvelous blessing.”
For Gary McCollough, the Mother’s Day Offering brought scripture to life in a powerful and life-changing way. “In Matthew 25 and Acts 2, they sold all their possessions and fellowshipped with each other, they prayed with each other and met each other’s needs. That captures what we do as Baptists. I’ve been to Grifton after Hurricane Floyd and to Goldsboro after Hurricanes Matthew, Harvey and Irma. We Baptists always try to figure out how to be the hands and feet of our Lord in a very concrete way. That’s what the Mother’s Day Offering did for me. I was not expecting this and feel very blessed and grateful.”