During the month of July our church family will be involved in giving to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions. The 2020 theme is “It’s All About The Gospel”. The national goal is $70 million. Our church goal is $15,000. Every dollar given goes to train and resource thousands of Southern Baptist missionaries involved in church planting, evangelism, and compassion ministries who share the life-transforming gospel of Jesus Christ across the United States, Canada and their territories.
The offering was started in 1895 by Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU) to benefit the work of the Home Mission Board (now North American Mission Board). In 1934, it was named in honor of Annie Armstrong, a bold missions advocate and WMU’s first national executive leader. As of today, well over $1 billion has been donated by Southern Baptist churches and individuals.
While you know about the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering, how much do you actually know about this incredible woman? Annie Walker Armstrong (1850-1938) was a remarkable advocate and supporter of missions. Annie was born in Baltimore, Maryland and lived there during her 88 years of life. During those years there was little opportunity for women yet her devotion to Christ led her to a life of service and extraordinary leadership. Influenced by her pastor and women important to her, Annie developed a passion for helping others in Jesus’ name. Here are a few other facts:
• Annie was honored in 1934 when the Home Missions Offering (now The Easter Offering for North American Missions) was renamed for her to encourage more to follow her sacrificial example.
• Annie advocated for Native Americans and impoverished mountain people.
• Annie secured funds to relieve China missionary, Lottie Moon, who had served 11 years without a furlough.
• Annie gained support for the first African American female missionaries.
• Annie initiated fund-raising “brick cards” to build churches in Cuba.
• Annie refused a salary because she would never give to the Lord “that which costs me nothing” (2 Samuel 24:24).
• Annie raised support for missionaries to Italian and Jewish immigrants.
• Annie led the formation of missions’ organizations for children.
• Annie started Bay View Mission for Baltimore’s poor and addicted.
• Annie was involved in ministries to children, poor, and sick people but also felt burdened that the church should do more to evangelize the world. In one year, Annie wrote 18,000 letters encouraging people to give to missions.
• Annie used her hands to write those letters, and she also used her hands to hold her Bible and learn more about how God wanted her to show His love to others. She also folded her hands to pray for people who needed to know about Jesus. Annie led others to do the same.
• We honor and imitate Annie’s love for lost people when we give to the offering named for her.