ALPHARETTA, Ga. — Easter Sunday 2011 comes later this year —
on April 24 — than any other Easter since 1943. The next time Easter falls so
late will be on April 25, 2038.
Beyond the ancient tradition linking Easter to the spring equinox, the Annie
Armstrong Easter Offering is always vital to the North American Mission Board’s
(NAMB) never-ending work of sharing the gospel throughout the United States and
Some 5,000 Southern Baptist missionaries in the United States and Canada count
on support from the offering’s 2011 goal of $70 million.
“As Christ-followers, we should have a consuming passion to reach our homeland
for Jesus Christ,” said Ronnie Floyd, senior pastor of Cross Church in
“With 233 million lost people in the United States and 258
million lost people in all of North America, we need to give financially to
further the work of Christ, penetrating the darkness of lostness.
“With the exciting new commitment of the Southern Baptist Convention toward
church planting, we need to increase our funding of the Annie Armstrong
Offering for North American Missions,” Floyd said.
Kevin Ezell, president of the North American Mission Board, said more than half
of NAMB’s budget comes from the annual Annie Armstrong Easter Offering.
“We are very dependent on this offering,” Ezell said. “As Annie Armstrong goes,
so goes the opportunities NAMB has to support missionaries.”
Ezell said during his first three months as president of the Southern Baptist
Convention (SBC) mission entity, he and other NAMB leaders worked to eliminate
everything possible to get more money in the field for missionaries.
“We downsized our staff by 36 percent. We decreased the travel budget by 50
percent. We deleted millions of dollars in other expenses so that in 2012, we’ll
have $15 million more than ever before for church planters,” Ezell said.
“Hopefully, churches will respond to Annie this year — knowing that NAMB will
be a good steward of their money, ensuring that it goes directly into the hands
of church planters and our missionaries.”
Gifts to Annie so far this year have been encouraging, Ezell said, but it’s far
too early to celebrate.
“The offering has been down for several years,” he noted, “and we need a good
year in order to meet the needs.”
Bryant Wright, president of the SBC, said the church he leads is giving the
largest Annie Armstrong Offering in its history.
“We so believe in what NAMB is doing in church planting,” said Wright, senior
pastor of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta, Ga. “I want to challenge
pastors from churches across our convention. Knowing how important the Annie
Armstrong Offering is and with Easter fast approaching, I ask pastors to pray
about how to challenge their church. We hope to have thousands more churches
throughout the Southern Baptist Convention to give more to Annie this year and
be great lighthouses for Christ.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE — Noah writes for the North American Mission Board. For more
information about the Annie Armstrong Offering for North American Missions, go
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