Cooperative Program, missions gifts mixed in 2014
    January 26 2015 by K. Allan Blume, BR Editor

    The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC) released its 2014 financial report that shows Cooperative Program (CP) gifts to BSC and Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) causes slightly down over the previous year. CP gifts for 2014 totaled $28,829,536.74, which is $271,208.25 or .93 percent below the amount given in 2013. Giving from N.C. Baptist churches fell short of the budget by 3.9 percent or $1,170,463.26.
     
    According to the SBC website, “The Cooperative Program is Southern Baptists’ unified plan of giving through which cooperating Southern Baptist churches give a percentage of their undesignated receipts in support of their respective state convention and the Southern Baptist Convention missions and ministries.” The gifts provide support for international missions, North American missions, six SBC seminaries, the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and the operations of the Executive Committee.
     
    In North Carolina, CP dollars fund ministries that are not supported at the national level. These ministries include the Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina, Fruitland Baptist Bible College, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, church planting and revitalization, leadership training and other services to churches.
     
    Some BSC funds are invested in shared ministries with the SBC including international partnerships and SEND partnerships. SEND North America is a focus by the North American Mission Board  (NAMB) to mobilize missionaries and churches in strategic cities across North America.
     
    North Carolina has working partnerships with New York, Boston and Toronto, all of which are SEND cities. The convention has supported a three-year international partnership with the eastern European country of Moldova.
     
    CP giving has declined significantly in recent years. Milton Hollifield, executive director-treasurer of BSC, said the trend is not unique to our state. He has participated in discussions about shifting patterns of giving with pastors, state leaders and SBC leaders across the nation.
     
    “We are trying hard to help more pastors understand and believe that the SBC system of unified giving through CP is worthy of their support for helping state conventions and the SBC entities fulfill the Great Commission,” he said. “Although there is still much related work and prayer to be done, I am encouraged with progress that is being made.”
     
    The BSC’s 2014 financial report also listed totals for three special mission offerings. Gifts to the North Carolina Missions Offering were $1,877,228.99. That is a decrease of $30,451.58 or .52%. North Carolina Baptist Men, also known as Baptists on Mission, receive the majority of their support from this offering. The offering also supports church planting in the state.
     
    Totals for the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions fell only $10,511.29 or .18 percent below 2013. According to the BSC report N.C. Baptists gave $5,817,429.51 to this offering.
     
    The lone increase in special offerings came in the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions. A total of $12,630,118.17 was given in 2014. This is an additional $102,615.27 or an increase of .82 percent over the previous year.
     
    Hollifield said he is “thankful and encouraged” by the churches that chose to increase their CP gifts. “I am also grateful for every dollar our member churches gave in 2014 to support state, national and international missions through the Cooperative Program funding plan,” he added. “Your convention staff spent and distributed all of the CP contributions received in Cary as we were directed by messengers from N.C. Baptist churches when they adopted the annual CP missions and ministry budget.”
     
    Looking ahead, Hollifield said, “I do believe that our 2015 CP budget of $29 million is not only reachable, it can be exceeded! Let’s pray and work to that end as we trust in God to make this become a reality.” The BSC 2015 operating budget can be found online at ncbaptist.org/cp; click on the left column “Budget” tab.

    1/26/2015 3:33:39 PM by K. Allan Blume, BR Editor | with 0 comments
    Filed under: Cooperative Program, financial report, N.C. Baptist State Convention




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