ALPHARETTA, Ga. — The Mississippi Baptist Convention Board (MBCB) recently informed the North American Mission Board (NAMB) that it would be sending more than $800,000 beyond its budgeted giving in support of North American missions.
The extra gift, part of which was transferred to NAMB in January and the rest to come soon, will total $813,635.
Shawn Parker, executive director-treasurer of the MBCB, said the gift reflects the heart of Baptists in his state.
“Mississippi Baptists are focused on the world, and we understand the world begins right here in North America,” Parker said. “As we prayed about how to utilize 2021 budget overages, one of our first thoughts was Annie Armstrong.”
All gifts designated to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering® (AAEO) are spent directly on the mission field to support missionaries and provide resources for church planting and evangelism. None of the offering is spent on administrative support or staff positions at NAMB’s Alpharetta building.
NAMB president Kevin Ezell called the gift “an unexpected surprise” that will be a great encouragement to NAMB missionaries.
“I am so grateful for Shawn Parker and Mississippi Baptists,” Ezell said. “Shawn’s heart for the gospel reflects the hearts of all those who give through Mississippi Baptist churches, and this is going to make a huge impact on the mission field.”
Parker said Board members at his state convention were excited about the prospect of being able to put more funding toward the effort to reach North America.
“When the recommendation was presented to our Board to give a special gift to the AAEO, they enthusiastically affirmed it,” Parker said. “This response is a reflection of the strong missions DNA in the Mississippi Baptist family. We’re glad to partner with NAMB for the purpose of carrying the gospel forward!”
NAMB counts Annie funding from Oct. 1 through Sep. 31, the beginning and end of each fiscal year. Mississippi’s gift will be part of the current 2022 Annie Armstrong Easter Offering, which many churches will be promoting and receiving between now and Easter. This year’s offering goal is $70 million. In 2021, Southern Baptists gave a record $66.5 million to the offering, exceeding the previous record total by more than $5 million. The Annie Offering makes up more than half of NAMB’s annual budget.
“Everything we have belongs to God and He entrusts us with it to steward it well,” Ezell said. “Southern Baptists continue to demonstrate that they understand that truth and obediently embrace it. Not only that, but they also celebrate the opportunity to be part of what God is doing through their tithes and offerings. Our friends in Mississippi have given us an incredible example of joyful giving.”
Published February 15, 2022