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1996 Annie Armstrong offering sets record for home missions

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP)–For the fourth year in a row,
Southern Baptists gave a record amount to the Annie
Armstrong Easter Offering for home missions. The year-end
total for the 1996 offering was $39,508,440, according to
Ernest J. Kelley, HMB interim president.

Kelley announced the record offering to the executive
board of Woman’s Missionary Union during their annual
meeting, which began Jan. 11 in Birmingham, Ala. WMU, in
conjunction with the Brotherhood Commission and the Home
Mission Board, promotes the offering in Southern Baptist

The nearly 200 participants in the WMU meeting
applauded news of the record offering and Kelley expressed
appreciation for their support. “Home missions has no
greater friend than Woman’s Missionary Union,” Kelley said.
“On behalf of our missionaries and those whom they serve
across the country, thank you and God bless your dedication
to missions.”

Kelley singled out the efforts of several state
conventions which led in increasing their offerings over the
previous year, including Alaska with a 10 percent increase
followed by Canada and Iowa with 9 percent gains. He also
congratulated those states which led in dollar increases
including Alabama, where Southern Baptists gave $167,000
more in 1996 than 1995. Georgia, Mississippi and North and
South Carolina also increased their giving more than

According to Kelley, the annual home missions offering
has grown 214 percent since 1978, more than any other aspect
of Southern Baptist financial life including local church

“I believe the continued record mission offerings are a
reflection of Southern Baptists’ commitment to reach our
nation for Jesus Christ,” Kelley told Baptist Press. “The
United States is Southern Baptists’ base. If a strong base
is not maintained and even strengthened, the next generation
will experience a reduced commitment to foreign missions and
theological education as well as home missions.”

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  • Martin King