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FIRST-PERSON: Hallway chat sheds light on Southern Baptists’ CP giving

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (BP)–Mrs. W.M. Eulady stopped me in the hall at a recent Baptist women’s meeting in Little Rock. She is president of the WMU at Special Offering Baptist Church, Givalot, Ark.

“I want to introduce you to Mr. C.P. Givens,” Mrs. Eulady said. “He has one of the special offerings named after him.”

“That’s a new one on me,” I responded. “I know about Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong, but I’m not familiar with a C.P Givens Offering. Tell me about it.”

“I’m mighty proud of it,” Givens interjected. “I’m not sure why they named it after me, but Mrs. Eulady assured me they did.”

Mrs. W.M. Eulady jumped on that. “Why, Mr. Givens, it’s because you give an offering every week,” she said. “Your special offering is collected every week, that’s why they named it for you.”

C.P. looked confused. I was beginning to understand.

“Mrs. Eulady, are you sure you are not confused about this?” I asked. “Baptists give every week to the Cooperative Program, but it’s not a special offering. It’s a plan of giving.”

“All I know is that people keep talking about C.P. Givens and how his offering makes it possible for Baptist mission work across America and around the world,” she said.

“Are you sure they aren’t talking about CP giving?” I asked. “Cooperative Program giving makes it possible for Baptists to support missionaries in all 50 states, Canada, American territories and hundreds of nations on every continent. It supports Baptist colleges and seminaries and a lot of other ministries. Because of the Cooperative Program, 100 percent of the money given to special offerings can go directly to designated needs. The Cooperative Program provides the administrative structure that makes that possible. CP giving pays for all overhead costs.”

“There, you said it yourself,” Mrs. Eulady said. “C.P. Givens pays for all overhead costs. Thank you, Mr. Givens, I didn’t know you personally gave that much.”

“I give my tithe each week,” Givens said, “but I doubt it covers all the overhead for the entire Southern Baptist Convention.”

“Mrs. Eulady, I said CP giving, not C.P. Givens,” I said, trying to clarify.

“So there is no C.P. Givens special offering?” she asked.

“No ma’am,” I assured her. “Every week when Baptists give to their churches, some of that money stays to support the church’s ministries, some goes to support mission causes in Arkansas and some goes to Southern Baptist Convention missions and ministries. It is a wonderful plan.

“This year,” I continued, “we’re celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Cooperative Program, and churches are encouraged to increase their CP percentages. It’s called Partners in the Harvest.”

“I know her!” Mrs. Eulady exclaimed.

“Who?” I asked.

“Dee Harvest, she’s a member of my church!”

    About the Author

  • Charlie Warren