Kentucky Baptists give $30m-plus to spread gospel
Louisville—Kentucky Baptists gave more than $30 million over the past fiscal year to take the gospel to the nations.
The largest share of that—$21.8 million—was given through the Cooperative Program to help cover the cost of missionaries and ministries around the world. That was up $432,632 over the previous year’s total, ending a series of annual declines in the wake of the Great Recession.
An additional $8.6 million came through three longstanding missions offerings aimed at evangelizing the state, nation and world.
“It’s exciting to see Kentucky Baptists join forces to finance the cause of Christ,” said Paul Chitwood, executive director of the Kentucky Baptist Convention. “The results speak for themselves: Hundreds of thousands of new believers around the world and thousands of new congregations springing up on every continent. This is happening because of the generosity of congregations in supporting the most effective evangelistic initiative in existence today.”
In August, contributions totaled $1,714,439 to the Cooperative Program, the primary means for nearly 750,000 Kentucky Baptists in 2,400 churches to support the work of missionaries at home and around the world.
Total Cooperative Program gifts for the fiscal year reached $21,837,101—the largest amount received in three years.
Chitwood attributes the increase to “a genuine commitment” on the part of Kentucky Baptists to reach the world for Christ.
“As I travel throughout Kentucky, I’m seeing a renewed excitement among our churches, an excitement that is translating into increases in baptisms and church memberships,” Chitwood said. “Our churches and our people are bent on shining the light of Christ in a world that seems to be growing darker by the hour.”
Kentucky Baptist churches baptized 14,228 new believers last year and 154,922 over the past decade. They also had a part in more than 305,000 baptisms globally last year because of their support through the Cooperative Program.
Lowell Ashby, head of the KBC’s finance and business services team, said giving to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering reached $5,100,681 for the year, up 2.3 percent. He said the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering also was up 2.3 percent to $2,283,571, and that the Eliza Broadus State Mission Offering was up nearly 0.7 percent to $1,220,278. Each of those offerings are named in honor of past missionaries.
“We got the strong year-end finish that we had prayed for,” Ashby said. (KBC)