Posted on : Monday November 7, 2011

By Shannon Baker, BCM/D National Correspondent

ALPHARETTA, Ga.—With the belief that pastors who adopt children inspire their congregation to do the same, the North American Mission Board has developed a SBC Adoption Fund to provide a series of $2,000 adoption grants for Southern Baptist ministers and missionaries who want to adopt.

Buff and Cissy McNickle, who recently adopted twin boys, hear for the first time that a donor paid the couple's adoption debt of $10,000. The news was broken by Kevin Ezell, right, president of the Southern Baptist Pastors' Conference June 14. Ezell encouraged other pastors to adopt and announced the Pastors' Conference will provide $2,000 adoption grants from an offering surplus to Southern Baptist ministers and missionaries. Photo by Van Payne.

The fund was unveiled at the 2010 SBC Pastors’ Conference when then-President Kevin Ezell shared that he and his wife Lynette have adopted three children in the past six years, adding to a family that already included three biological children.

“Pastors impact churches, and churches impact communities,” Ezell told Baptist Press in 2010. “Since we adopted our daughter, we’ve had 130 children adopted in our church [by about 85 church families]. When a pastor does it, it impacts the church. It sets tones of acceptance and leading by example.”

Ezell is now president of the North American Mission Board.

Although funds are limited, the vision is to help ministers bring their children home and ignite a culture of adoption in churches across the country.

When God calls a husband and wife to bring an orphan into their family through adoption, there are lots of barriers that have to be overcome.  One of the most significant is often the financial cost associated with the adoption, which can range from $10,000 to over $30,000.

Many great Christian families are called and willing to adopt a child, but they are simply unable to come up with the funds necessary to pay all the expenses associated with the adoption process.

To qualify for financial assistance, ministers must currently be serving in a local church as a minister or as a missionary with the North American Mission Board or the International Mission Board. A home study must be complete before submitting this application.

A review board will meet and prayerfully consider recipients of the funds based on the following: Applicant’s adoption story, financial information, applicant’s background information and the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Interested families can obtain more information at

NAMB would like to partner with churches, individuals, and organizations to invest in ministers and missionaries who are in the adoption process. Those interested can make checks payable to “North American Mission Board” and put Adoption Fund for Ministers in the memo.

Mail to: Adoption Fund for Ministers, c/o the North American Mission Board, 4200 North Point Parkway, Alpharetta, GA 30022

For further information, email