NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Giving through the Southern Baptist Convention’s Cooperative Program reached an all-time high during the 2001-02 fiscal year, according to a news release from the treasurer of the SBC, Morris H. Chapman.
Southern Baptists across the nation gave $182,323,110.20 to support national and international missions and ministries through CP Missions during the fiscal year and another $170,092,122.46 in designated gifts primarily through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions.
Counting CP and designated gifts together, total support from churches for SBC causes has set a new record for nine consecutive years.
The Cooperative Program has set records for eight of the past nine years. The designated gifts total was the second-highest in SBC history, after setting records for eight straight years.
Cooperative Program gifts for the fiscal year were 3.03 percent above the previous year, while designated gifts to SBC causes decreased by .50 percent during the period from Oct. 1, 2001, to Sept. 30, 2002.
Morris H. Chapman, president of the SBC Executive Committee, said he is humbled “by the continued, passionate commitment of Southern Baptists in their support of the missions, ministries and theological education that allows us cooperatively to reach the world.”
“The record giving this year to national causes is only a hint of what Southern Baptists are giving to support ministries within their respective states and associations and the local church. It is apparent that Southern Baptists are giving sacrificially to advance the growth of God’s Kingdom at home and abroad.
“I remain convinced that the Cooperative Program is the most effective voluntary funding program in the history of Christendom,” Chapman added. “I thank God for trusting Southern Baptists with this amazing stewardship responsibility and I am grateful for the faithfulness of our Southern Baptist churches in responding to God’s charge in such a positive way.”
For the fiscal year, the $182,323,110.20 in CP gifts equaled 102.26 percent of the CP Allocation Budget of $178,298,879.00, a budget based on the 2000-01 CP fiscal year.
For September 2002, CP gifts of $14,381,227.67 were 12.15 percent below September 2001’s $16,369,691.14, while designated gifts of $3,113,669.48 for the month were 24.33 percent below the $4,115,060.79 received a year earlier.
For the SBC Cooperative Program Allocation Budget, September’s receipts of $14,381,227.67 were 96.79 percent of the budgeted amount of $14,858,239.92.
The SBC Cooperative Program total includes receipts from individuals, churches, state conventions and fellowships for distribution according to the 2000-2001 Cooperative Program Allocation Budget.
The Cooperative Program is Southern Baptists’ method of supporting missions and ministry efforts of state and regional conventions and the Southern Baptist Convention. In addition to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering, designated contributions include the Southern Baptist World Hunger Fund 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.
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