Southern Baptist giving to the 2006 Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions has been so generous that the offering set a new record with three months remaining in the giving period.
Carlos Ferrer, interim chief operating officer for the North American Mission Board, announced the record giving at the opening session of the Woman's Missionary Union national missions event September 27 at the LifeWay Ridgecrest Conference Center near Asheville, North Carolina.
"Thanks to the sacrificial giving of Southern Baptists and the dedicated support of Woman's Missionary Union, we have already received in the first nine months of the year nearly $55 million for the Annie Armstrong Offering," Ferrer announced.
"That is more than we have ever received in an entire year, and we still have three months to go. It is an honor and a privilege, on behalf of our missionaries, staff, and mission partners, to say thank you to WMU and all our mission supporters across the U.S. and Canada," Ferrer said.
The Annie Armstrong Easter Offering (AAEO) is promoted each spring across the Southern Baptist Convention, but gifts are received throughout the year by local churches and state conventions and forwarded to NAMB. One hundred percent of AAEO funds are used to support Southern Baptist missionaries and their ministries in evangelism and church starting.
Until this year, the most ever given to the home mission offering was $53.8 million in 2004, and last year's total was slightly less at $53.6 million.
Ferrer said not only will the year-end total be a new record, the offering likely will exceed the 2006 national goal of $56 million — which has only been achieved three times in the last twenty-five years.
"2006 has been a challenging year for the North American Mission Board," Ferrer said. "But Southern Baptists, I believe, have expressed their confidence in and support of our missionaries and mission partners by giving at unprecedented levels to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering. Our prayer is that we will press on to the goal of $56 million to enable our missionaries to do more evangelism, more ministry, and start more churches in the U.S. and Canada."