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Annie Armstrong missions offering sets record; up 8.5%, nearly reaching $54M goal

ATLANTA, Ga. (BP)–Southern Baptists gave a record $53,845,989 to last year’s Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions, exceeding the previous year’s offering by 8.5 percent and nearly reaching the national goal of $54 million.

Robert E. “Bob” Reccord, president of the North American Mission Board, described Southern Baptists’ “sacrificial generosity” in 2004 as a “significant breakthrough” in North American missions giving.

“Southern Baptists have proven themselves faithful to the cause of missions and reaching North America for Christ,” Reccord said. “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.

“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 Woman’s Missionary Union who tirelessly support all of our missions endeavors. Without them, Southern Baptists would not have the missionary enterprise we do.”

Reccord expressed special appreciation to individuals and churches that made special efforts to increase their giving to the offering last year including First Baptist Church in Katy, Texas.

“Led by Pastor Randy White this Houston-area church designated its entire Easter morning offering to North American missions, amounting to nearly $80,000,” Reccord said. “This 700 percent increase sets a new pace for partnership in missions giving.”

The Annie Armstrong Easter Offering accounts for 45 percent of NAMB’s budget, while another 36 percent comes from church gifts through the Southern Baptist Convention’s Cooperative Program. 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.

The 2005 offering’s 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.

The national mission offering was established in 1895 by the Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU) to support SBC missionaries in the United States. In 1934, the offering was named in memory and honor of Annie Armstrong, WMU’s founder and tireless missions advocate.
For more information about the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering and the Week of Prayer for North American Missions, visit www.AnnieArmstrong.com.

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  • Lee Weeks