JEFFERSON CITY – Missouri Baptists set a goal of $4 million for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions during the 2019 Christmas season, but Missouri Baptist Convention executive director John Yeats wanted to see that goal shattered on the way to record giving in Missouri.
“In 2015, the Lottie Moon Offering from Missouri Baptist churches hit its highest peak at $4,244,074 (we cannot find any amount in our records that is higher),” he said. “It is about time we hit a new record of $4,500,000.”
Though those gifts have not yet all been counted, many churches large and small around the state reported giving beyond their initial goals as the year drew to a close. These are just a handful of the churches reporting unexpected generous giving to the Lottie Moon offering:
In Viburnum, First Baptist hit its goal of $1,000 the Sunday before Christmas, and hoped to see the total rise higher.
Prospect, Niangua set a goal of $250, but saw giving of $306.
In DeSoto, First Baptist saw their goal of $5,000 topped with gifts over $8,000.
Central Baptist, Eureka doubled their goal of $6,000, and hit $12,000 before the year came to a close.
In Lebanon, Hillcrest set a goal of $6,000 and received $7,000 in the days leading up to Christmas.
First Baptist, Neosho, surpassed their $5,000 goal, and looked to give more than $5,500 to foreign missions.
In Lexington, First Baptist topped its $2,000 goal, giving more than $2,700.
First Baptist, Diamond, had a goal of $3,200, and at last count were at more than $4,600.
In Marionville, First Baptist surpassed their goal of $2,000 and were working on their challenge goal of $2,500.
Southern Baptist Fellowship, Wayland, more than doubled their goal of $700.
In Cuba, Deer Creek topped their goal of $2,500.
Summit Baptist, Mt. Vernon, passed their goal of $1,000, giving more than $1,500.
In Festus, Faith Baptist set a goal of $10,000, raising more than $12,000.
One hundred percent of Lottie Moon gifts go to funding missionaries on the front lines of lostness around the world. Each year, the offering accounts for more than half of the total IMB budget ($264.4 million in 2018-19).