NASHVILLE, Tenn.(BP)–December 1999 totals for the SBC Cooperative Program Allocation Budget year were up by more than $2,561,945.65 over the previous year, according to Morris H. Chapman, president and chief executive officer of the SBC Executive Committee.
December receipts totaled $14,616,085.55 compared to December 1998 totals of $12,495,070.31, an increase of 16.97 percent. The total also surpassed the December budget of $13,298,645.25 by $1,317,440.30.
“We rejoice in the faithfulness of Southern Baptists in their support of the Cooperative Program,” Chapman said. “The excellent level of giving in December and the pace for the whole first quarter enables us to hit the ground running up to the coming budget year.”
In designated gifts for the month of December, $4,586,019.91 was received, compared to $3,800,963.01 received in December 1998, an increase of 20.65 percent. The combined totals resulted in a 17.83 percent overall increase in December 1999 giving.
The SBC Cooperative Program total includes receipts from individuals, churches, state conventions and fellowships for distribution according to the 1999-2000 Cooperative Program Allocation Budget.
A unique component of the 1999-2000 budget year includes the “Partners in the Harvest” campaign, celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Cooperative Program.
“Southern Baptists are demonstrating by their giving that they understand we really are partners in the greatest harvest of all–the harvest of souls,” Chapman said. “We are enthusiastic about this celebration and its capacity to advance the Lord’s work around the world.
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.