International (MNN) — The Southern Baptist International Mission Board celebrated the appointment of 46 new missionaries, and with it, the last appointment service for President Jerry Rankin.
Rankin, who is retiring on July 31, has served the IMB for the past 40 years and as president for 17 of those years. With this ceremony, he leaves behind a legacy of 101 services he has been a part of, having sent out more than 10,000 men and women, whether as short-term or career missionaries.
Of the 46 newly-commissioned individuals, missionaries are headed to Southeast and Central Asia and South America, to name just a few destinations.
Though these appointments mark a milestone in Rankin's career, they also represent the IMB's continual passion and quest to share the hope of Christ with individuals still unreached across the globe.
As Rankin commissioned the new missionaries, he said, "I want to thank you, Southern Baptists, because of your faithfulness in praying, for your heart for a lost world, and for your faithful giving to the Cooperative Program [that] has enabled them to go in obedience to God's call."
Rankin then encouraged them to never lose their focus or passion of sharing the Gospel with those who need it most.
To join the IMB in the work they are doing around the world, click here.
Also, pray for wisdom for each of these missionaries, as some are entering the field for the first time and some are returning to their motherland to share Christ with their loved ones.