Lottie Moon offering tops $4 millilon in Missouri for 2nd straight year
By Bob Baysinger
January 20, 2004
JEFFERSON CITY – Missouri Baptists contributed $4.097 million to the Lottie Moon Christmas offering in 2003, marking the second consecutive year the special offering for international missions has topped the $4 million level in the “Show Me" state.
Missouri’s Lottie Moon offering in 2002 was $4,203,881.
The Southern Baptist Convention’s (SBC) International Mission Board announced in the summer of 2003 that it was delaying the appointment of about 100 new missionaries because support from SBC churches had not grown as rapidly as the number of workers called for overseas service.
Jerry Rankin, IMB president, challenged Southern Baptists to respond by increasing their Lottie Moon goals by 33 percent.
Several Missouri Baptist churches met – and in some cases – improved upon Rankin’s challenge. Concord Baptist Church, Jefferson City, collected a $24,000 Lottie Moon offering in 2002. Concord members gave more than $38,000 to the Lottie Moon offering in 2003.
Bethel Baptist Church, West Plains, has responded by raising twice their original goal. Pastor Neal Myers reported that the church, which averages 50 in Sunday School, gave $1,500. Their original goal was $775.
Instrumental in the church’s increased giving was Linda Davis, who teaches the women’s Sunday School class. Davis helped rally the church to the $1,000 mark, then others gave more, Myers said.
Liberty Baptist Church, Belgrade, pastored by James McCullen, established a goal of $1,000 and accepted the pastor’s challenge to increase the giving by 30 percent. The church’s final Lottie Moon offering topped $1,400.
Possibly the largest increase nationally was registered by First Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas. The church announced that it’s 2003 Lottie Moon offering is more than $1 million, more than four times its gift last year and twice as large as the biggest sum ever sent through Lottie Moon to fund Southern Baptists’ work abroad.
Avery Willis, the IMB’s senior vice president for overseas operations, said sacrificial expressions of personal commitment for the mission task are encouraging.
“Southern Baptists not only are responding to the plight of missionaries who can’t go out into a lost world that needs to hear (the Gospel), but also to the tremendous openness missionaries overseas are reporting among people group that have never before heard the Gospel," Willis said.
“This is the greatest time of opportunity we have ever seen as Southern Baptists. I believe that, as they begin to see the world as God sees it, we will see the greatest Lottie Moon Christmas Offering in history. I see it as a chance to put or money where our mouth is."