Published September 30, 2018
NEW YORK—Kevin Ezell, president of the North American Mission Board (NAMB), announced to trustees during their meeting that the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions broke the $60 million mark for the first time ever in 2018, with Southern Baptists giving $61.1 million.
"We are so thankful to not only break $60 million but to break $61 million at the same time," Ezell told trustees. "We are indebted to you and to your pastors and what an incredible thing that is."
Ezell, delivered the announcement to trustees at a dinner during their Oct. 1-2 meeting in New York City. Church planting missionaries, some NAMB staff and special guests were also in attendance. Ezell walked through previous record-setting years, recounting the victories Southern Baptists have shared through the years.
Last year's record-breaking offering eclipsed a pre-recession high that had not been surpassed since 2007.
Current Southern Baptist Convention president J.D. Greear also expressed his excitement and gratitude to Southern Baptists.
"Wow—thank you Southern Baptists for showing what we can do together by your record-setting generosity to the North American Mission Board," said Greear, upon learning the news. "Kevin Ezell and his team at NAMB have given us clear direction in reaching the least churched areas of our nation."
The North American missions offering began in 1895 as a result of an initiative of the Woman's Missionary Union (WMU). In 1934, the offering was renamed for Annie Armstrong, an ardent missions advocate who invested her life leading the charge to reach difficult places with the Gospel. WMU continues to promote the offering while partnering with NAMB.
"We celebrate this milestone with the North American Mission Board," said Sandy Wisdom-Martin, executive director-treasurer of the national WMU. "We want everyone to have access to the Gospel. God's provision through this significant offering will enable Southern Baptists to faithfully tell the story of Jesus in North America."
Since the missions offering began, Southern Baptists have contributed more than $1 billion, and the offering represents half of NAMB's ministry budget. Since the Cooperative Program provides a substantive portion of NAMB's overall budget, every dollar donated to the offering goes directly to the field to support NAMB missionaries who bring the hope of the Gospel to the United States, Canada and other territories.
"Southern Baptists have demonstrated through their generosity that church planting and evangelism continues to be the heart of our unified mission," Greear said. "I celebrate this record-giving offering and praise God for it. May God make us abound more and more in our generosity to the Great Commission!"
Every year around Easter, churches collect the offering and send those funds to NAMB by way of their state conventions. Individuals can give online at AnnieArmstrong.com or by mailing checks to North American Mission Board, P.O. Box 116543, Atlanta, GA 30368. (BP)
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