Southern Baptists have proven themselves faithful to the cause of missions and reaching North America for Christ, according to the president of the North American Mission Board (NAMB). Robert E. Bob Reccord, who described Southern Baptists sacrificial generosity in 2004 as a significant breakthrough in North American missions giving, expressed special appreciation to individuals and churches that made special efforts to increase their giving to NAMB's annual offering last year.
Never before has funding been more critical to the mission of ensuring that every person in the United States, Canada and their territories has the opportunity to hear the Gospel, respond with faith in Christ, and participate in a New Testament fellowship of believers, Reccord said, as reported by the Baptist Press (BP) News.
Last year, Southern Baptists gave a record $53,845,989 to NAMBs annual Annie Armstrong Easter Offering, exceeding the previous years offering by 8.5 percent and nearly reaching the national goal of $54 million.
On behalf of our missionaries and mission partners, I want to express my deepest appreciation to the pastors and mission leaders in every church that challenged their members to prayerfully give to this vital offering, Reccord said. I want to especially thank the leadership and membership of Womans Missionary Union who tirelessly support all of our missions endeavors. Without them, Southern Baptists would not have the missionary enterprise we do.
The Annie Armstrong Easter Offering, established in 1895 by the Womans Missionary Union (WMU) to support South Baptist Convention (SBC) missionaries in the United States, accounts for 45 percent of NAMBs budget, while another 36 percent comes from church gifts through the Southern Baptist Conventions Cooperative Program.
According to BP, one hundred percent of gifts given to AAEO are used to jointly support nearly 5,200 missionaries and their ministries with state Baptist convention partners. Most of the missionary force is involved in starting new churches and an array of evangelistic endeavors.
This year, the AAEO offering goal is $55 million. The offering will be promoted in most Southern Baptist churches in March beginning with the Week of Prayer for North American Missions, March 6-13, and continuing through Easter on March 27.
[Source: Baptist Press]