RICHMOND — International Mission Board trustees unanimously approved the appointment of 30 full-time, fully funded missionary personnel during their Feb. 3-4 meeting, and trustees applauded a report that cumulative international mission offerings have nearly reached a historic $5 billion.
The new missionaries will be sent to eight of IMB’s nine global affinities. A recent Sending Celebration recognized the 30 new appointees, plus two missionaries previously appointed, and one sent in partnership with the Canadian National Baptist Convention. Both the Sending Celebration and trustee meetings were held virtually due to COVID-19 safety considerations.
In his plenary address, IMB President Paul Chitwood spoke to IMB’s commitment to connect with as many Southern Baptist churches as possible, and to introduce potential new partners to IMB’s mission. Chitwood explained an initiative, started in 2020, to help all IMB missionaries engage more churches and encourage partnerships that are already proving successful. He also reported on a national media campaign launched to expand IMB’s exposure to those who attend Southern Baptist churches but who are not familiar with IMB’s mission.
Remarking on the recent Lottie Moon Christmas Offering season, Chitwood commended the generosity of Southern Baptists that undergirds the work of the IMB.
“Southern Baptists will soon cross an incredible milestone in their Great Commission generosity,” Chitwood said.
“As of this morning, the cumulative giving of Southern Baptists through the Lottie Moon Offering is $4,928,312,063.18. And here is what is going to happen in March of 2021: Southern Baptists will exceed $5 billion given through the Lottie offering, every penny of which has been used overseas to share Christ with a lost and dying world.”
Chitwood concluded his report with a brief history of how Southern Baptists have remained faithful, even during times of crises.