SNELLVILLE, Ga. – Georgia Baptists are projected to give more than $60 million through the Cooperative Program and a series of special offerings to cover the cost of sharing the gospel throughout the state, across the nation and around the world.
That total represents a projected 4.2% increase in Cooperative Program giving, a needed shot in the arm for what been described as the greatest evangelistic initiative of the modern church age.
For nearly 100 years, the Cooperative Program has been the primary means through which Southern Baptists have supported missionaries and ministries at the state, national and global levels.
“Giving through the Cooperative Program has been trending down in Georgia over the past three decades, so this projected increase in funding is an encouraging sign that the tide is turning,” said David Melber, chief operating officer for the Georgia Baptist Mission Board. “The 4.2% is the largest projected increase in the Georgia budget in over 25 years.”
The annual budget affirmed by messengers to the Georgia Baptist Convention’s annual meeting at the Church on Main in Snellville, totaled $60,908,500. Of that, more than half — $33,344,000 — will be from the Cooperative Program.
The overall total also includes financial gifts from Georgia churches to the Lottie Moon offering for international missions and the Annie Armstrong offering for North American missions. Those special offerings are expected to generate more than $16.8 million for international missions and nearly $9.5 million for North American missions.
“This budget shows that Georgia Baptists are a generous people who understand the importance of working together to accomplish the Great Commission,” said Georgia Baptist Mission Board Executive Director W. Thomas Hammond Jr. “We’re all committed to reaching our state, our nation and our world for Christ.”
Messengers came together in Snellville on Sunday for the three-day gathering that included a preaching conference and a general business meeting at which the Cooperative Program budget was presented.
The budget affirmed Tuesday also designates $1.3 million for Shorter University, $1 million for Brewton-Parker College, and $1 million for Truett McConnell University.
Within the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, $4.6 million has been appropriated for church strengthening, $2.7 million for pastor wellness, $3.2 million for Baptist Collegiate Ministries, $2.1 million for community and local missions,
The budget provides $16.8 million for the International Mission Board, $14 million for the Georgia Baptist Mission Board and nearly $9.5 million for the North American Mission Board
“I am so thankful for Georgia Baptists’ sacrificial giving for the cause of Christ,” Hammond said. “As a result, 3,600 international missionaries are serving in nations around the world, young preachers are being prepared for ministry, churches are being planted and strengthened, pastors encouraged, and countless souls are being saved.”