Missouri Baptists aim at another $4 million Lottie Moon offering
By Allen Palmeri
December 9, 2004
JEFFERSON CITY – The Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) is looking for another $4 million effort as the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for international missions kicks off its December emphasis.
The MBC has met its goal in each of the last two years with $4.2 million collected in 2002 and $4.1 million in 2003. Missouri’s goal this year remains at $4 million.
“I expect that men, women, children and youth across Missouri will pray for people groups in all parts of the world to come to know the Gospel of Jesus Christ and that they will financially give to support that prayer,” said Missouri Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU) President Lorraine Powers. “I expect Missouri Baptists will again generously support the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.”
The SBC has broken records in its giving to the Lottie Moon offering the last two years. In 2002, the total was $115 million. Last year’s offering was $136 million. The goal for 2004 is $150 million.
Lottie Moon was a Southern Baptist missionary who served in China from 1873 until her death in 1912. On Christmas Day of 1881 families from Cartersville, Ga., came together and left a special offering for her work. Those families were representative of the mission-minded group of believers who sent out Moon as a missionary from Cartersville Baptist Church, which is now First Baptist Church.
The WMU, since its inception in 1888 as an auxiliary of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), has been directly involved in the Christmas offering, promoting it and setting its giving goals for the benefit of international missions. In 1889, the WMU raised $3,315.26, which was enough to send three missionaries to assist Moon. An offering for foreign missions among Southern Baptists has been taken ever since that time.
In 1919, the offering became known as the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for China. In 1926, it was changed to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for Foreign Missions. Finally, in 1969, the name Lottie Moon Christmas Offering was chosen.