Long after retiring from the mission field, Clint Bonnell sat in his Alton, Ill., home, reading the Baptist Bulletin. One headline jumped out at him: “Help! What Should I Do with All My Books?” (March/April 2011). He learned about a Gospel Literature Services program that distributes books to international pastors and seminaries. A few months later he would pass away, having served his retirement years at Brown Street Baptist Church in Alton.
“Dad said, ‘This is what I want to do with my books.’ It was nice for the family to know exactly how he wanted us to handle them,” said Clint’s son, Don, who brought a carload of books to the GARBC Resource Center in Schaumburg, Ill.
Don LeMaster made the same decision when he recently retired as pastor of Brooklyn Baptist Church, Brooklyn, N.Y. He boxed up his books, then arranged for GLS to pick them up at the 2012 GARBC Conference in Clarks Summit, Pa.
Lynne Goemaat and Marianne Baltensperger organized the donated books and shelved them in a room at the GARBC Resource Center. Chris Hindal, director of GARBC International Ministries, coordinates the donations when various international organizations make requests.
Many of the donated books ended up at Fairview Baptist Bible College in Jamaica, where Ken Rathbun is acting president. He invited a missions team from his home church, Emmanuel Baptist in Toledo, Ohio, to work on several campus projects. Group members added the donated books to their suitcases, an efficient way of avoiding shipping costs.
Their trip was organized by Shane Miller, Emmanuel’s pastor of outreach and assimilation. The church raised $45,000 to cover the trip’s expenses for 31 people, who then spent a week painting, tiling floors, updating electrical service, and building library shelves. Several of the teens formed an outreach group to visit area schools, and the entire Toledo group celebrated Easter Sunday with the Jamaican believers.
“The great fellowship with each one of the young people and the older members of the team has been great,” said Lou Reigner. “I really enjoyed that part of it probably as much as anything. Meeting people you didn’t know and finding out who they are and working together has been fun.”
For more information on donating books and music to Gospel Literature Services or donating money for shipping, please e-mail Marianne Baltensperger (firstname.lastname@example.org).