According to a new report released by the executive committee of the Southern Baptist Convention, the year to date contribution to the largest denomination in the U.S has grown 4.6 percent over last year’s pace. The growth stands in stark difference to what has happened over the past two decades to many of the top mainline churches in the nation.
Morris H. Chapman, SBC Executive Committee President and Chief Executive Officer, revealed that as of May 31, 2004, the year-to-date total of $129,696,628.39 for Cooperative Program (CP) Missions is $5,700,263.77 ahead of the $123,996,364.62 received at this same point in 2003. For the month, receipts of $16,698,405.33 were .74 percent, or $124,570.89, below the $16,822,976.22 received in May 2003.
Designated giving of $152,526,373.11 for the same year-to-date period is 17.76 percent, or $23,005,318.39, above gifts of $129,521,054.72 received at this point in 2003. The $20,983,748.37 in designated gifts received last month is $3,283,291.08 above the $17,700,457.29 of May 2003, an 18.55 percent increase.
The Cooperative Program is the SBC’s financial sector, where leaders budget and allocate funds each year. The CP funds assist the North American Mission Board, the International Mission Board and many other SBC-run programs and outreach.
A bulk of the CP revenue comes in the form of five designated contributions: the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions, the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions and the Southern Baptist World Hunger Fund. These contributions come from individuals, churches, state conventions and fellowships.
State and regional conventions retain a portion of the church contributions; the percentage of offering to the national church is set at the discretion of the regional board.
The SBC operates on an Oct. 1-Sept. 30 fiscal year.