NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–The Southern Baptist Convention finished its Oct. 1 – Sept. 30 fiscal year 2.87 percent below budget, while Cooperative Program receipts for the year were down 2.23 percent and combined CP and designated giving for the year was down 3.65 percent, according to a news release from SBC Executive Committee President and Chief Executive Officer Morris H. Chapman.
“All entities of the Southern Baptist Convention have much to be thankful for because of the faithfulness of Southern Baptists during the economic downturn our country is experiencing,” Chapman said. “While the federal government has seen tax collections drop about 20 percent, voluntary giving by our people has sustained the national programs supported by the Cooperative Program within 3 percent of budget. Even though investment income has plummeted and special offerings have fallen substantially short, SBC entities have been able to depend on the strength and stability of Cooperative Program support.”
Chapman added, “Some might tend to focus on our not meeting the same level of giving as last year. However, I see the committed efforts of so many faithful members of our churches to provide for Cooperative Program budget needs this year as a tribute to the sacrificial giving by individual Southern Baptists and to the faithful support by local congregations, and importantly, as a glimpse of God’s blessings on the cooperative fellowship we call the Southern Baptist Convention.”
A total of $199,822,090.18 in CP gifts was received by the Southern Baptist Convention during the fiscal year from Oct. 1, 2008, through Sept. 30, 2009 — down by $4,563,502.45 (2.23 percent) from the previous fiscal year’s $204,385,592.63.
An additional $192,701,034.83 in designated gifts brought the fiscal year’s overall giving to spreading the Gospel worldwide to $392,523,125.01, a figure 3.65 percent below the previous year’s $407,401,756.70 combined figure.
For the month of September, CP receipts totaled $14,752,893.52. Designated year-end giving of $192,701,034.83 was $10,315,129.24, or 5.08 percent, behind gifts of $203,016,164.07 for the previous fiscal year. A total of $3,773,232.18 in designated gifts was received in September.
For the SBC Cooperative Program Allocation Budget, the year-end total of $199,822,090.18 was $5,894,743.82 (2.87 percent) below the $205,716,834.00 budgeted to support Southern Baptist ministries globally and across North America.
The Cooperative Program is Southern Baptists’ method of supporting missions and ministry efforts of state conventions and the Southern Baptist Convention.
The total includes receipts from individuals, churches, state conventions and fellowships for distribution according to the 2008-09 Cooperative Program Allocation Budget.
Designated contributions include the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions, the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions, Southern Baptist World Hunger Fund and other special gifts.
State and regional conventions retain a portion of church contributions to the Southern Baptist Convention Cooperative Program to support work in their respective areas and forward a percentage to Southern Baptist national and international causes. The percentage of distribution is at the discretion of each state or regional convention.
Compiled by Baptist Press editor Art Toalston.