JACKSONVILLE (FBC)—Mirroring a downward trend in giving by Florida Baptist churches to Southern Baptist causes, Florida Baptist churches gave $30,947,918 through the Cooperative Program in 2012, a decrease of nearly $800,000 or 2.51 percent from the previous year’s giving of $31.7 million.
The sluggish giving is reflected also in gifts to other Southern Baptist causes. Giving to the Lottie Moon Offering for International Missions dropped nearly one million— to $5.1 million given in 2012 from $6 million given in 2011. Annie Armstrong Offering for National Missions also took a slight hit in 2012—to $2.4 million in 2012 from $2.5 million in 2011.
The $30.9 million in Cooperative Program receipts by Florida Baptist churches also fell $652,000—or 2.06 below the annual budget needs of $31.6 million.
In the 2012 CP budget plan of $31.6 million approved by Florida Convention messengers in November 2011, 40.5 percent is earmarked for the Southern Baptist Convention to meet international and national mission needs. Florida Baptist Convention mission and ministry needs receive 11.81 percent; while Florida institutions and agencies receive 11.81 percent. Two priorities items also receive funds—church staff protection insurance program, 1.9 percent and church planting assistance, 4 percent.
With the shortfall, the Southern Baptist Convention’s Cooperative Program portion was $240,000 less than the $12,798,000 originally earmarked, while the Florida Baptist Convention’s operating budget received $269,846 less than budgeted.
Giving looked good in the first eight months of 2012 and kept pace with last year’s giving, said Stephens Baumgardner, director of Florida Baptist Convention’s Business Services, resulting in only a slight deficit. With budget needs requiring $2.6 million each month, dismal giving in September, $1.86 million, and December, $2.1 million, brought the year-end totals below that of a year ago.
“Florida only funds” which represents giving by a few churches to bypass the Southern Baptist Convention Cooperative Program increased by 9.35 percent to $41,700 in 2012 from 38,133.75 in 2011.
Florida Baptists gave $10 million in designated funds through special offerings, an 8 percent decrease in 2012—to $11.2 million from $12.6 million in 2010. Designated giving includes money earmarked for international, national and state mission offerings, world hunger and disaster relief.
Beginning on this page is a summary of 2012 and 2011 CP gifts and 2012 miscellaneous gifts received in the State Convention office from January through December.
Although a church may have issued a check in December, if it was not received by the Convention on or before Dec. 31, it was not counted toward the 2012 giving records.
Church leaders are encouraged to check the listing carefully and inform the Convention’s Business Services if corrections are needed.
Each church and mission is urged to use the Convention remittance report forms when sending gifts to the convention office. Additional forms will be supplied upon request. Questions related to the report may be addressed to Stephens Baumgardner, director of Business Services, or John Sullivan, executive director-treasurer, Florida Baptist Convention, 1230 Hendricks Ave., Jacksonville, FL 32207-8696 or 800-226-8584.
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