TALLADEGA, Ala. (BP)–Giving to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions topped $58 million for the first time ever in 2006, exceeding last year’s goal by more than $2 million.
Carlos Ferrer, North American Mission Board interim executive vice president for missionary services, shared the news with national and state leaders of Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU), gathered for their board meeting at Shocco Springs Baptist Conference Center in Talladega, Ala.
“Today, we want to express our gratitude to all Southern Baptists who so generously shared their resources with us so even more can go to missions in North America,” Ferrer told the group Jan. 15. “In addition, I want to tell our friends at WMU a special thank you for everything you do each year to promote the offering. We know your support is critical to our success.”
Ferrer reported that because of the increased offering NAMB will be consulting with state convention partners to put additional missions resources on the field in 2007.
“We want you to know that every bit of this blessing will go directly to do the missions work so needed here on our continent,” he said.
Ferrer presented WMU leaders with an oversized “Thank You” card signed by dozens of NAMB missionaries and staff members.
“Thank you for such a wonderful expression of gratitude,” national WMU President Kaye Miller said in accepting the card. “It is a privilege to partner with NAMB and Southern Baptist churches in supporting missionaries ministering across North America.”
Ferrer called the Annie Armstrong Offering an example of one of the things Southern Baptists do so well.
“The power of partnership is nowhere more evident than in the way Southern Baptists join their minds, hearts and resources to support missions,” he said. “We are privileged at NAMB to be on the front lines of seeing God work through these resources.”
The Annie Armstrong Easter Offering accounts for 45 percent of NAMB’s annual budget, with 36 percent provided by church gifts through the Southern Baptist Convention’s Cooperative Program. One hundred percent of AAEO gifts are used to jointly support more than 5,000 missionaries and their ministries with state Baptist convention partners. Most of the missionary force is involved in starting new churches and various evangelistic endeavors.
The 2007 offering goal is $57 million. The offering will be promoted in Southern Baptist churches in March beginning with the Week of Prayer for North American Missions, March 4-11.
The national mission offering was established in 1895 by Woman’s Missionary Union to support SBC missionaries in the United States. In 1934, the offering was named in honor of Annie Armstrong, WMU’s founder and tireless champion of missions.
For more information about the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering and the Week of Prayer for North American Missions, visit www.anniearmstrong.com. Week of Prayer missionaries will be highlighted in the March issue of Missions Mosaic, a publication of WMU.