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Churches' Giving a Reason Why CP Set Records in 27 States

Does God bless a church financially in proportion to the amount it gives to support missions through the Cooperative Program? In the case of First Baptist Church, Bay Minette, AL, the answer is a resounding "Yes," according to pastor Henry Cox.

First Baptist and other like-minded churches helped Alabama Baptists achieve a record year in Cooperative Program giving $30,362,878. Records were set in at least 27 state conventions or regional fellowships. "We believe that God is blessing First Baptist Church in the area of finances," Cox says, "primarily because of our commitment to missions and Cooperative Program giving. We think our financial history is good evidence of this truth."

Records for the past 25 years show that generally the church's undesignated receipts declined in some cases dramatically whenever it reduced the percentage of receipts it gave through the Cooperative Program. But receipts generally have increased significantly whenever the church has increased its CP percentage.

Harrell Cushing, director of Cooperative Program promotion for the Alabama Baptist state board of missions, said: "Other pastors have shared similar experiences with me, (and) ... when I was a pastor, even during major construction projects, God blessed our commitment to missions through the Cooperative Program."

Cushing expressed his opinion that when a congregation gives sacrificially to support missions, it sets an example for individual members. "Churches have a wonderful opportunity to help fulfill the Great Commission of our Lord through Cooperative Program gifts. When a church demonstrates sacrificial giving beyond itself, it also encourages members to be faithful in giving through the church," he says.

A state-by-state review of record highs in 1995 Cooperative Program giving follows, in alphabetical order:

Alabama
$30,362,878, 4.78 percent above 1994.
Previous high: $28,977,693, 1994.

Arkansas
$16,020,117.15, 1.32 percent above 1994.
Previous high: $15,811,270.72, 1994.

California
$6,061,602, 2.8 percent above 1994.
Previous high: $5,957,176, 1992.

Dakotas
$192,428.81, 4.5 percent above 1994.
Previous high: $184,039.49, 1994.

Florida
$24,958,433, 1.83 percent above 1994.
Previous high: $24,509,276, 1994.

Georgia
$35,059,996, 4.73 percent above 1994.
Previous high: $33,475,868, 1994.

Illinois
$5,302,741, 4.2 percent above 1994.
Previous high: $5,090,649, 1994.

Indiana
$1,939,646.30, 7.36 percent above 1994.
Previous high: $1,806,614.62, 1994.

Iowa
$297,377, 1 percent above 1994.
Previous high: 282,321, 1993.

Kansas-Nebraska
$1,984,662, 4.4 percent above 1994.
Previous high: $1,900,380, 1994.

Louisiana
$17,441,822, 1 percent above 1994.
Previous high: $17,264,950, 1994.

Michigan
$1,290,175, 1.3 percent above 1994.
Previous high: $1,273,567, 1994.

Mississippi
$23,216,436, 3.3 percent above 1994.
Previous high: $22,474,619, 1994.

Missouri
$15,235,692, 1.78 percent above 1994.
Previous high: $15,016,932, 1992.

Montana
$304,162.75, 3 percent above 1994.
Previous high: $295,488.36, 1994.

Nevada
$638,351, 6.38 percent above 1994.
Previous high: $600,039, 1994.

New England
$564,380, 1.69 percent above 1994.
Previous high: $557,784, 1993.

New Mexico
$2,767,235.63, 1.05 percent above 1994.
Previous high: $2,738,331.28, 1994.

North Carolina
$28,507,928, 2.9 percent above 1994.
Previous high: $27,703,911, 1994.

Northwest
$2,009,869, 6.5 percent above 1994.
Previous high: $1,886,675, 1994.

Ohio
$3,688,748, 3 percent above 1994.
Previous high: $3,581,458, 1994.

Oklahoma
$18,034,699, 3.32 percent above 1994.
Previous high: $17,454,498, 1994.

Pennsylvania/South Jersey
$596,867.51, 1.23 percent above 1994.
Previous high: $593,958.76, 1991.

South Carolina
$23,266,437.63, 3.3 percent above 1994.
Previous high: $22,739,725.96, 1991.

Tennessee
$26,893,421, 2.62 percent above 1994.
Previous high: $26,206,772, 1994.
(The state's fiscal year ends Oct. 31.)

Texas
$63,705,447, 8.84 percent above 1994.
Previous high: $60,551,672, 1990.

West Virginia
$740,537.69, 4 percent above 1994.
Previous high: $711,876.86, 1994.

In Colorado, CP giving climbed to $436,077 in '95 from $408,854 in '94, but records were not available to indicate whether it was an all-time high.

In the SBC at large, the convention ended its 1994-95 fiscal year Sept. 30 with a record $145,739,489 in Cooperative Program gifts, surpassing by nearly $3 million the record total for the previous year, or a 2.01 percent increase.

The Cooperative Program is Southern Baptists' method of supporting missions and ministry efforts of state and regional conventions and the Southern Baptist Convention. State and regional conventions retain a percentage of Cooperative Program contributions they receive from the churches to support work in their areas.

This percentage is determined by the state or regional convention. The remaining funds are sent to the SBC Executive Committee for national and international ministries.

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April 1996 Edition
Volume 4, Issue 6
April 1996