NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Southern Baptist Convention Cooperative Program receipts for March declined eight percent compared to the previous year’s month but fiscal year-to-date gifts are more than $3.5 million ahead of the previous year, according to Morris H. Chapman, president and chief executive officer of the SBC Executive Committee.
March CP gifts totaled $11,599,359 compared to March 1996 of $12,652,229, a decline of $1,052,870 or 8.32 percent.
At the mid-point of the SBC fiscal year, October through March, CP gifts total $76,519,392 compared to the same period of the previous fiscal year of $72,971,906, an increase of $3,547,486 or 4.86 percent.
Designated gifts for March 1997 totaled $17,263,757 compared to March 1996 of $17,507,489, a decrease of $243,731 or 1.39 percent. However, for year-to-date designated gifts, the total is $87,897,962 compared to the previous year of $87,087,489, an increase of $810,472 or .93 percent.
For the SBC’s CP Allocation Budget for 1996-97, the March total was $488,432 below the monthly required total of $12,087,791, or 4.04 percent. The year-to-date figure, however, shows the six-month total of $76,519,392 is $3,992,642 over the required budget figure, or a 5.51 percent increase.
The SBC Cooperative Program total includes receipts from individuals, churches, state conventions and fellowships for distribution according to the 1996-97 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. Designated contributions include the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for foreign missions, the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for home missions, world hunger 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.