By Julie McGowan
RICHMOND, Va. — On the 100th anniversary since Southern Baptists named their global mission offering in honor of esteemed missionary Lottie Moon, church members gave $158.9 million to sustain their international missionaries worldwide — the second-highest Lottie Moon Christmas Offering® for International Missions ever received.
“We praise the Lord and thank Southern Baptist churches who have again generously demonstrated their faithfulness in undergirding the spread of the gospel to the ends of the earth,” said Clyde Meador, interim president of the International Mission Board.
With the books on the offering closing Sept. 30, the 2017-18 Lottie Moon offering neared the national goal of $160 million.
Sandy Wisdom-Martin, executive director-treasurer of national Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU), which promotes the offering in partnership with IMB, also expressed gratitude for the giving.
“The breadth of missionary opportunity around the globe must be matched by a God-given vision to reach the lost,” she said. “The totals of the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering demonstrate an obedience to the Great Commission. We rejoice knowing these simple dollars will turn into seeds planted for the gospel. We pray for a rich harvest among the peoples of the world.”
Each year, the Lottie Moon offering accounts for more than half of the total IMB budget ($264.4 million in 2018-19), according to Rodney Freeman, IMB treasurer and vice president of Support Services. Every penny of the Lottie Moon offering goes to the IMB overseas budget, which directly supports missionaries and their work. Southern Baptists have given more than $4.5 billion since beginning an offering to support international missions in 1888, Freeman reported.