‘Annie’ season underway; gifts ‘important’

By Grace Thornton
The Alabama Baptist

Clay Holcomb said if the city where he serves were in another country then “we would almost be considered an unreached people group.”

Where he serves in Portland, Oregon, there’s only one Southern Baptist church to every 27,000 people, making it one of the most unchurched cities in North America.

That’s why he and his wife, LeAnn, moved there several years ago to plant a church as part of the North American Mission Board’s (NAMB) Send Cities initiative, which focuses on 32 metro areas.

And that’s why Candace McIntosh, executive director of Alabama Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU), says the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering (AAEO) is so important.

“Gifts to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering impact lostness across North America as you assist in the funding of church plants across our nation,” she said.

Every year since 1895, Southern Baptist churches have collected the offering in the weeks leading up to Easter to support NAMB’s work to take the gospel to the more than 269 million lost people living in North America.

In 2017, Alabama Baptists aim to help reach the national goal of $70 million with a state goal of $6.1 million.

The offering, which was named in 1934 in honor of missions advocate and WMU leader Annie Armstrong, supports more than 5,600 NAMB missionaries.

Building that kind of missions framework was the life goal of Armstrong, who served 18 years as national WMU secretary.

Southern Baptists set aside a Week of Prayer for North American Missions and AAEO every year on the first week of March as a kickoff to the offering season. A Bible study is available for adults, youth and children to learn more about the NAMB missionaries their gifts go to support.

McIntosh said another great way to get involved as a church or missions group is to adopt a church planter through the office of associational missions and church planting at the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions (SBOM).

“This experience will help make missions personal as well as open their heart and mind to God moving among our state and across our nation,” she said.

For more information, contact SBOM’s Lamar Duke at 1-800-264-1225, ext. 332.