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SBC Cooperative Program October receipts surge

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Southern Baptist Convention Cooperative Program receipts for October, the first month of a new SBC fiscal year, surged nearly 7 percent over October 1996, according to Morris H. Chapman, president and chief executive officers of the SBC Executive Committee.
For October 1997, the SBC received $13,176,027 in CP gifts compared to $12,315,117 in the previous year’s October. The $860,910 increase is 6.99 percent.
For the first month of the SBC Cooperative Program Allocation Budget, the October figure surpassed the required monthly budget figure of $12,348,756 by $827,270 or 6.7 percent.
Designated gifts for the month also showed a gain: $1,964,478 compared to October 1996 of $1,715,893. The increase of $248,585 is 14.49 percent.
The October increases come on the heels of a fourth consecutive year of record giving by Southern Baptists through the SBC Cooperative Program. The 1996-97 SBC fiscal year, Oct. 1 through Sept. 30, ended with more than $155 million in SBC CP gifts, surpassing the previous year by nearly $7 million and the budget by nearly $10 million.
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 international missions, the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American 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.

After leaving Washington, Jiang’s trip included speeches in New York City, Los Angeles and at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. Large crowds of protesters greeted his appearances at Harvard and Los Angeles.
Included in Jiang’s Nov. 2 stay in Los Angeles was a private visit with evangelist Billy Graham. The evangelist said in a written release after the meeting, which was requested by Jiang, “I told him I felt he had a very successful trip” and also said he was able to share the gospel with the Chinese leader.
Graham favored continuing MFN status for China during congressional consideration this summer.
The Chinese president was to return home Nov. 3.