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Today in the Mission Yearbook

Presbytery of Nevada

First Thai-Laotian Church Receives 2016 Walton Award for New Church Excellence


2016 Walton Award winner, First Thai-Laotian Presbyterian Church in Las Vegas is made up of many nationalities. Their ministry blossomed when they started a homeless ministry for those living in the bushes around the community. —Image captured from First Thai-Laotian video

2016 Walton Award winner, First Thai-Laotian Presbyterian Church in Las Vegas is made up of many nationalities. Their ministry blossomed when they started a homeless ministry for those living in the bushes around the community. —Image captured from First Thai-Laotian video

June 30, 2016

First Thai-Laotian Presbyterian Church is the sole recipient of the 2016 Sam and Helen R. Walton Award of $50,000. First Thai-Laotian began in 2002 with 15 people who wanted to reach the estimated 15,000 Thai and Laotian persons living in Las Vegas. The majority of the first generation of the immigrants attended Buddhist temples, but due to the language barrier the younger generations had begun to drift from the faith of their parents.

As First Thai-Laotian shifted its worship service to English, members of the congregation became aware of homeless persons in the community. Members say God began to open their eyes and hearts—God’s mission was not just to Thai and Laotian persons. Since beginning a homeless ministry, the congregation has helped 10 people move off the streets and have sent two members to the Lay Preachers Academy in Austin, Texas.

The church now has 68 members and 27 children, and became an officially chartered Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregation on September 16, 2015.

The Walton Award funds will help First Thai-Laotian purchase its own church building in Las Vegas; the church has already raised more than $100,000 for a down payment.

The Walton Awards were established in 1991 as part of a $6 million gift from the late Sam and Helen R. Walton though the Presbyterian Foundation. The gift included an endowment of $3 million. Each year accumulated interest of up to $50,000 is given to chosen outstanding new church starts for site acquisition and capital improvements.

Paul Seebeck, Communications Strategist, Presbyterian Mission Agency

Let us join in prayer for:

Presbytery Staff

Joan Jeffers, Stated Clerk
Elder Vern Manke, Mission Finance
Joyce Butcher, Ecclesiastical Treasurer

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff

Janna Wofford, APCU
Ann Wolf, BOP

Let us pray

Gracious God, we ask you to keep the vision before us of what it means to be disciples. Generations before us have followed your light; may we continue to show love and compassion with people whose voices have been long silenced. Amen.

Daily Lectionary

Morning Psalms 143; 147:12-20
First Reading Numbers 23:11-26
Second Reading Romans 8:1-11
Gospel Reading Matthew 22:1-14
Evening Psalms 81; 116