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Loaves and Fishes—The Power of Every Gift

Cranmer Legacy SocietyFrank Denton was born in Lufkin, Texas, on June 17, 1926. After graduating high school at 16, he briefly worked for the Lufkin Foundry, then enlisted in the U.S. Navy at age 17 with his mother's permission. Frank served as a radio operator and survived a kamikaze attack and two typhoons in Okinawa. Those traumatic events had a significant impact on his spiritual journey and eventual call to ministry.

Frank met his beloved wife, Dottie, at Baylor University after leaving the military. He went on to attain a bachelor of divinity degree and served as pastor for several churches around the state of Texas. In 1963, he became the secretary of endowment and capital giving for the Baptist General Convention of Texas, followed by executive and development positions at Buckner Baptist Benevolences, the Missouri Baptist Foundation, and Southwestern Seminary in Southeast Texas. He served as a consultant for the Texas Baptist Missions Foundation prior to his retirement.

During Frank's time at the Missions Foundation, he began an initiative called the Loaves and Fishes Fund, emphasizing the power of seemingly small gifts. In an effort to adapt to the ever-changing needs of our state, the funds were used to start new churches throughout Texas. The Loaves and Fishes Fund continues today and has raised over $700,000 for new churches.

Frank wrote the following poem, which has inspired hundreds of donors throughout the years.

A loaf is so small. A fish isn't much.
Until they are blessed by the Master's touch.
The multitudes hunger.
What's that in your hand?
If a loaf or a fish, it awaits His command.

But, I've so little to offer.
He says, "Bring it to me;
It's enough to feed thousands.
Just bring it, you'll see.
I'll bless it and break it.
And send forth my Word.
It will feed countless souls who
Might never have heard."

One of the most well-known stories in the Bible is that of the little boy whose small lunch fed 5,000. What made the difference? He gave what he had to Jesus and it suddenly became enough to nourish the multitude. Like those loaves and fishes of long ago, what may seem like a small gift can multiply to reach the lost.

Right now, Frank is enjoying special fellowship with the people who are in heaven today because of the churches that the Loaves and Fishes Fund helped start. Frank Denton passed away on February 7, 2020. We are thankful for his life, legacy and dedication to finding ways to meet mission needs in Texas and around the world.

With your estate plan, you can leave a legacy that will impact thousands. To learn more, please contact Bill Arnold at 214-828-5173 or bill.arnold@texasbaptists.org.

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