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Alabama Baptist Cooperative Program giving falls shortcomment (0)

January 23, 2014

By Jennifer Davis Rash

The year was 2008 and all Americans remember it well — the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. 

It also was the last time Alabama Baptists made their Cooperative Program (CP) giving goal. 

In fact, Alabama Baptists exceeded the $44,585,000 goal by almost $200,000 despite the economic culture. The next year wouldn’t turn out the same. 

They missed the 2009 goal of $46 million by 5.13 percent, or $2,359,421, and came in more than $1 million less than 2008’s giving. 

And the trend continued downward, even as the goal dropped each year. 

The 2013 figures indicate giving fell short of the $42 million goal by 5.38 percent, or $2,259,800.

“The economy continues to have a negative impact on our unified budget called the Cooperative Program,” said Rick Lance, executive director of the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions (SBOM). 

“Despite this fact, the entities of our state convention have been frugal and wise during these challenging times,” he said. “At the SBOM, we continue to do ministry audits of all positions and ministry assignments. Our full-time staff is only two-thirds the size it was some years ago. Other entities have made similar adaptions.”

And while CP giving nationwide has been affected, Alabama has led the Southern Baptist Convention in giving through the CP since the 2008–2009 SBC fiscal year.

In 2013, Alabama Baptists contributed more than $20 million total to the International Mission Board and nearly $10 million total to the North American Mission Board.

“These totals do not include funds sent directly from Alabama Baptist churches to the mission boards,” said Bobby DuBois, SBOM associate executive director.

“Some of our churches are deciding to send more of their missions gifts directly to the SBC mission boards,” he said. “Some of our churches also are reducing the percentage of undesignated receipts historically allocated to CP and are using those funds to support local church missions efforts.”

Lance said, “Our prayer is that 2014 will be a good growth year for giving through the Cooperative Program. This will make a difference in the lives of people in Alabama and around the world. 

“We are grateful to Alabama Baptists for being pacesetters in CP giving and in contributing to our approved special offerings,” he said. “May we continue to be faithful in this important area of missions commitment.”

To learn more about Alabama Baptists’ One Percent CP Challenge, visit www.alsbom.org or call Jim Swedenburg at 1-800-264-1225, ext. 283. 

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