Sandy Wisdom Martin with siblings
On the Journey

The Power of What We Do Together

I was on my way to Arkansas on a Thursday for an engagement when my mother called and asked me to make a trip to southern Illinois on Sunday. Mom wanted me to attend a baptism at Lake Sallateeska, the state Baptist camp about 20 minutes from our home. Two candidates were to be baptized. One was a female college student and the other a 60-year-old man.

The testimony of the man was that he had “walked the aisle” when he was a child, but it wasn’t a real profession of faith. A few years ago, a family tragedy caused him to consider his life. The public baptism was his testimony to follow Christ relentlessly at age 60. The man attends a church plant of a church plant that has received North American Mission Board (NAMB) funding.

Here’s a bit of a twist. The pastor of both church plants was Danny Donato. While in seminary, Danny interned at Highview Baptist Church while Dr. Kevin Ezell was pastor there. Kevin had quite an impact on Danny’s life. Kevin is now the president of the North American Mission Board, and Danny has partnered with three church plants.

I watched these two candidates of a church plant be baptized in the lake and thought, “How did we get here?” It was the work of a local church; the work of a church planter; the work of my home association, Nine Mile Baptist Association; the work of my home convention, Illinois Baptist State Association; and the influence of NAMB and its president, Dr. Kevin Ezell.

I have always been a strong advocate of what we do together as Southern Baptists, but today it is more personal to me than ever. Because the 60-year-old man who was baptized at Lake Sallateeska by the church planter was my brother, Doug Wisdom. His story was six decades in the making. How many people did it take to reach my brother?

For as long as I can remember, I have supported the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering. Everything I’ve given over the last 50 years has been worth it. I would give it all again. It helped lead to my brother’s faith. I want that for all of us and our friends and family members. That’s the power of what we do together.



Bless our NAMB missionaries with numerous opportunities to share the hope found only through Your Son. Give them a bountiful kingdom harvest for their labors. May we be just as faithful as the missionaries with our prayers, our resources, and our witness.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

Sandy Wisdom-Martin serves as executive director-treasurer of WMU, SBC.

Pictured in photo from left: Siblings Pam Hall, Doug Wisdom, and Sandy Wisdom-Martin