PHOENIX (BP) — The North American Mission Board (NAMB)
honored more than 160 representatives of small and large churches who were
among the top givers to the 2010 Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North
American Missions during a luncheon at the Southern Baptist Convention.
NAMB invited the top givers in each Southern Baptist
association, in terms of both total and per capita giving.
“One of the great blessings of being the president of the
North American Mission Board this past year is the opportunity to go to
different states and see our missionaries,” NAMB President Kevin Ezell told the
luncheon guests June 14 at the Phoenix
“My eyes have been opened to their impact. You have every
reason to be very proud of the missionaries you support,” Ezell said.
“They are sacrificially serving. We know they are doing it
on the Lord’s behalf, but it’s an incredible testimony to your faithfulness.”
in Cary, whose pastor, Jay
Huddleston, attended the luncheon, demonstrated that faithfulness by surpassing
their offering goal by $20,000.
“We are an Acts 1:8 church,” Huddleston said. “We believe in
not only reaching the area where God has planted us — but Judea, Samaria and
the ends of the earth. … (W)e know that our nation needs the gospel. That’s why
we put such an emphasis on the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering.”
Also among the pastors whose churches were honored by NAMB
was a bivocational pastor whose missions roots go back to his own conversion as
a young “military kid.” Steve Thompson, pastor
of Birmingham Baptist
Church in Birmingham,
Mo., was saved through the ministry of a
Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) missionary in the Philippines.
“Missionaries — whether they’re international or North
American — have always been special to me,” Thompson said. “Although I’m a
product of IMB’s ministry, that bleeds over into support for missions in
The luncheon attendees were introduced to two of NAMB’s
church planting missionaries in challenging assignments in North
The missionary stories seemed to make their mark on many of
the pastors in attendance, bringing some to tears.
“I’ve been to many, many luncheons and banquets, but this
one I think has blessed me more than any,” Huddleston said. “This isn’t
theoretical. This is real life. These are testimonies of lives that have been
touched and changed.”
Southern Baptists gave more than $54.3 million to the 2010
Annie Armstrong offering. Ezell announced that Alabama churches had once again
given more than any other state to the offering. North
Carolina churches gave the second most to the