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Adopt An Annuitant program offers help to needy ministers

DALLAS (BP)–The letters come in every day. Letters of thanks and gratitude from retired ministers, missionaries and their widows who receive a monthly supplement from the Annuity Board’s Adopt An Annuitant ministry.
The Adopt An Annuitant ministry will be highlighted Sunday, June 27, across the Southern Baptist Convention. The Sunday emphasis provides church members the opportunity to hear about this ministry and the thousands of lives touched each month.
O. S. Hawkins, Annuity Board president, said, “William Lunsford, the first president of the Annuity Board, made a solemn promise to Southern Baptist ministers that the Annuity Board will ‘stand back of you. If you die, we will not permit your family to suffer. If you grow old in it, we will comfort your declining years.’ The Annuity Board continues to believe in this promise and is the channel through which this promise is kept.”
The current SBC ministry assignment of “relief for ministers and their widows in need” is a continuance of the commitment behind the founding of the Annuity Board in 1918.
Of the 28,000 annuitants receiving benefits from the Annuity Board, nearly 8,500 receive no more than $200 per month. While some have other sources of income, there are many who struggle to meet basic living expenses.
The Adopt An Annuitant ministry is one avenue the Annuity Board has to help needy, aged ministers and their widows. For more than 2,700 annuitants with low benefits, the Adopt An Annuitant ministry adds $75 each month. Money for the Adopt An Annuitant ministry comes entirely from individuals or groups who make direct gifts.
“It is the Annuity Board’s commitment to increase the number of those receiving monthly benefits through the Adopt An Annuitant ministry,” Hawkins said. “We encourage individuals and congregations to join us in extending God’s hand to these faithful servants through this ministry.”
The Annuity Board provides bulletin inserts and videos to assist churches in observing Adopt An Annuitant Sunday. The insert tells the story of the ministry and how individuals and churches can financially support it. Churches may request the undated bulletin inserts by calling 1-800-262-0511.