Born in 1850 in Baltimore, Md., Annie Armstrong grew up with strong convictions about missions. Living in the city, Armstrong developed interest in African-Americans, immigrants, the sick and the poor.
Armstrong began a life-style of ministry through her church and the charitable institutions of Baltimore when she was a young adult. The year 1880 marked a turning point in her life. In response to a speaker who told of destitute conditions and needs of Indians, she began a pilgrimage of leadership in missions and mission support. Two years later, she was elected president of the Woman's Baptist Home Mission Society of Maryland. The society's objective was to involve women in support of the Home Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. She held this office until 1906.
In 1888, Armstrong was elected corresponding secretary of Woman's Missionary Union, an organization she helped found. She gave WMU, and the work it supported, her all as she led it to be a major force for missions in the Southern Baptist Convention. She held this position also until 1906.
Since 1895, Southern Baptists have supported a national offering for home missions. Initiated by the WMU as the "Week of Self-Denial for Home Missions," the week acquainted women with the needs of Southern Baptist missionaries in the United States. In 1934, the offering was named the "Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for Home Missions" in honor of Miss Annie.
In 1998, the Offering was renamed the "Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions" and supports not only missionaries in the U.S. and its territories, but also in Canada.
Nearly $800 million have been given to the Offering during its 103-year history, supporting thousands of missionaries who evangelized the lost, ministered to the needs of millions of people, and started thousands of Southern Baptist churches.
Giving One Hundred Percent
Southern Baptists can be assured that every dollar given to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering (AAEO) goes to support missionaries on the field in the U.S. and Canada through the North American Mission Board.
AAEO receipts have set new records the past six years, but in 1998, for the first time in seventeen years, the offering exceeded its national goal, which was $42 million. Faithfully anticipating this mighty movement of God, WMU and NAMB increased the 1999 goal to $45 million and set a challenge goal of $50 million!
If the offering reaches that goal, ministries supported by the 1999 Annie Armstrong Easter Offering will include:
Missionary Personnel (funded cooperatively through states)
Direct and Student Evangelization – $2,919,868
Ministry Evangelism – $5, 038,539
Church Planting – $23,391,459
Projects and Training
Evangelization – $3,056,414
Ministry Evangelization – $1,613,539
Church Planting ($2 million for Nehemiah Project) – $7,980,181
Student Summer/Semester Missions – $1,000,000
Total – $45,000,000
If the challenge goal is met, Dr. Robert E. (Bob) Reccord, president of NAMB, says the additional $5 million would fund:
o Sixty additional mission personnel in the field
o Establishment of prayer/Bible clubs on at least 1,000 high school campuses
o Four new flagship churches in major Canadian cities where less than 7 percent are churched
o Seventy-five new churches in North America specifically targeted to Generation X
o Seven Contextual Leadership Development Centers to train lay and vocational leaders
o Launch and development of a mentoring program for inner city men