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10/2/97 SBC Cooperative Program total sets 4th consecutive record

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–The Southern Baptist Convention ended the 1996-97 fiscal year with record Cooperative Program gifts, more than $155 million, surpassing last year’s record by nearly $7 million and the budget by nearly $10 million, according to Morris H. Chapman, president and chief executive officer of the SBC Executive Committee.
For the SBC’s fiscal year, Oct. 1 through Sept. 30, the $155,005,723 total for 1996-97 is $6,820,646, or 4.6 percent, above last year’s record of $148,185,076.
The increase is the fourth year in a row the SBC Cooperative Program totals have set a record.
“Southern Baptists continue to demonstrate their love for missions and our cooperative efforts in sending missionaries, planting churches and educating ministers,” Chapman said. “This fourth record year in a row is a testimony to the health of our convention and will allow our continued witness to people all over the world of the good news of Jesus Christ.”
Another comparison — the fiscal year’s gifts compared to the SBC Cooperative Program Allocation budget — is even more astounding. The budget requirement for 1996-97 was $145,053,499. Thus, the record totals for 1996-97 surpassed the budget by $9,952,224, or 6.86 percent.
“As the result of exceeding the budget by nearly $10 million, our two mission boards will receive an additional $3.6 million more than called for in the regular budget. This is an amazing story reflecting the heartbeat of Southern Baptists, their love for missions,” Chapman said.
Designated gifts also set a record, topping last year’s designated gifts by $3 million, or 2.24 percent. The 1996-97 designated gifts total is $141,547,992 compared to last year’s $138,446,505. The 1996-97 designated gifts also set a record for the fourth year in a row.
Adding the record Cooperative Program and designated gifts for the 1996-97 year, Southern Baptists gave nearly $300 million last year through regular channels for the mission and education enterprise of the Southern Baptist Convention.
For the month of September, the CP total was $13,512,684 compared to September 1996 of $12,249,874, a difference of $1,262,810, or 10.31 percent. Designated gifts for the month of September were $2,448,693, or $204,071 more than the $2,244,622 in September 1996.
The September CP total also surpassed the monthly budget requirement of $12,087,791 by $1,424,893, or 11.79 percent.
Since the budget was surpassed for the year, the allocation of the overage will be distributed according to a SBC-approved method. One-half of the $10 million will be distributed according to the present Cooperative Program Allocation Budget formula. As examples, it means the International Mission Board will receive 50 percent of $5 million, or approximately $2.5 million in additional CP funds over the budget; the North American Mission Board’s portion of the overage will be approximately $1.14 million, its 22.79 percent share.
Another $5 million will be distributed according to the SBC Capital Needs Budget, which is scheduled over a 10-year period, 1990-91 through 1999-2000, with capital needs funds distributed annually on a percentage basis. Included in the capital needs budget are the six SBC seminaries and the North American Mission Board.
The SBC Cooperative Program total includes receipts from individuals, churches, state conventions and fellowships for distribution according to the 1996-97 Cooperative Program Allocation Budget.
Although individuals and churches may send Cooperative Program funds directly to the SBC Executive Committee, only 1.67 percent of total receipts came through that source compared with 1.87 percent last year. State conventions and state fellowship offices channeled 98.33 percent of the totals. A record number of state conventions, 33 of 38, channeled more gifts through the SBC CP than the previous year.
The Cooperative Program is Southern Baptists’ method of supporting missions and ministry efforts of state and regional conventions and the Southern Baptist Convention. Designated contributions include the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for foreign missions, the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for home missions, world hunger and other special gifts.
State and regional conventions retain a percentage of Cooperative Program contributions they receive from the churches to support work in their areas and send the remaining funds to the Executive Committee for national and international ministries. The percentage of distribution is at the discretion of each state or regional convention.

    About the Author

  • Herb Hollinger