The focus of the April magazine is the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering (AAEO) for North American Missions. We are sharing some of the ways North Carolina Baptists are investing in this significant offering, and we’re telling a few stories on how the offering is impacting ministries in our state.
To be fair, the greatest stories about AAEO’s impact are not in N.C. The overwhelming portion of gifts to this offering are invested in gospel outreach in designated Send Cities. This is the way it should be. Send Cities are large metropolitan areas in Canada and the United States that have few churches per capita and great need for the gospel. A complete list of these Send Cities can be found at namb.net/send-network.
More than 50% of the North American Mission Board’s (NAMB) budget comes from the AAEO, and every dollar goes directly to support thousands of missionaries across the U.S. and Canada. These missionaries are church planters, military chaplains and collegiate ministers.
The Biblical Recorder reported in December that Southern Baptists rallied to lift the AAEO to a record $66.5 million in 2021, after a pandemic-impacted down year in 2020 when the offering totaled $49.3 million.
Southern Baptists also eclipsed the $2 billion mark given cumulatively to the AAEO, underscoring the heart that Southern Baptists have for reaching North America with the gospel.
N.C. Baptists gave $6,834,445 to AAEO in the 2021 fiscal year according to the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s (BSC) business office.
Brian Upshaw is associate EDT and director of BSC’s Ministry Strategies Group. He said, “From my perspective, the AAEO gives all N.C. Baptist churches – regardless of size, location, or budget – the opportunity to be involved in reaching North America for Christ through giving, praying and going. This reflects the On Mission Together spirit we want for all N.C. Baptists.”
One example of opportunities Upshaw cited is King’s Hill Church, a Send church plant in Boston’s Mission Hill neighborhood.
“Within a one-mile radius, this neighborhood is home to 10 universities, 5 major hospitals and 5 low-income housing developments,” Upshaw said.
Perkinsville Baptist Church in Boone, N.C., has an ongoing partnership with King’s Hill. Students and adult volunteers from Perkinsville are often sent to King’s Hill to aid with ministry, encouragement of church members and evangelism.
Upshaw added, “Jacob and Katie Stubbs participated in several short term trips to Boston with Perkinsville while they were students at Appalachian State University. After graduation, they moved to Boston to serve with King’s Hill Church. Jacob is currently a pastoral associate and Katie is a full-time teacher. Participating in short term trips through Perkinsville Baptist Church allowed the Stubbs to see how they could be on mission in Boston during the first few years of their careers.”
Chuck Register serves as director of BSC’s Mission Catalysts Group. “The lostness in North America is staggering,” Register said. “Missiologists tell us 275 million North Americans, speaking some 350 languages, are lost without Christ in the year 2022.
“One way we can reduce this number and expand the kingdom of God is by giving to the AAEO. The dollars given go directly to strategic evangelistic ministries located in the great urban centers of North America – places like New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and Toronto. Each dollar we give moves someone closer to the life-transforming message of God’s grace found only in Jesus Christ.”
Todd Unzicker, executive director-treasurer of BSC, said he highly values the AAEO. “The church is God’s plan A for reaching a lost world for Christ,” Unzicker told the Biblical Recorder.
“I can think of no finer offering for starting new churches in North America. I thank God for the On Mission Together spirit in N.C. Baptist churches that produces a desire for planting new churches across our continent.”
Is your church on the team with other Southern Baptists to give generously to AAEO this year?