2015 CP surpasses budget, prior year giving

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January 11, 2016

For the first time since 2007, giving by Florida Baptist churches through the Cooperative Program has  exceeded the prior year’s giving, reversing a seven-year trend when CP receipts dropped by 25 percent.  

“I am thrilled we have reversed a declining trend in Cooperative Program receipts,” said Tommy Green, executive director-treasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention since June. “We had dropped by 25 percent since 2007 in our Cooperative Program giving. The 2015 CP giving reveals the first yearly increase since that year,” he said.

“The generosity of our Florida Baptist churches reflects their deep commitment to reaching the world for Christ.”

In 2015, Florida Baptists gave $29,773,271 through the Cooperative Program, exceeding the year’s $28.8 million CP budget by $973,271, or 3.37 percent. The giving also surpassed the 2014 giving of $29,643,195 by approximately $130,000, or 0.44 percent.

The decline over the seven-year period, which originally mirrored the downturn in the economy, was felt throughout the Convention, as receipts dropped from an all-time high of $39.61 million given in 2007 to $29.64 million in 2014.

But as time progressed, many Florida Baptists urged the Convention to send a larger percentage of the CP receipts to the SBC to reach the nations, rather than keep the money in the state. In 2010, at the initiative of then Florida Baptist State Convention President John Cross, a Great Commission Task Force recommendation approved by messengers told the State Convention to move toward a 50-50 split of CP funds between Florida and the SBC. But little progress was made in subsequent years.

Then, this past November, at the urging of recently elected EDT Green, messengers to the Florida Baptist State Convention approved sweeping budget revisions that would allocate 51 percent of the CP budget to the SBC, “giving away more than we kept,” pledged the new exec.

Green said that decision of Florida Baptists to send 51 percent of the 2016 Cooperative Program gifts to the SBC and retain 49 percent for work in the state “is already being blessed by God.”

“Our next transition of the budget percentage will be a 55-45 percent split when we reach $34 million in CP receipts,” he pledged. “I praise God for the faithful giving of our Florida Baptist churches to global missions through the Cooperative Program.”

Fifty-one percent of the $973,271 budget overage in 2015 will be “released” to the Southern Baptist Convention’s Cooperative Program, Green said, an action approved by the State Board of Missions in September. “This means we will be sharing an additional $500,000 to the SBC beyond the $11,808,000 budgeted amount, bringing the total earmarked for the SBC to $12,308,000,” he said.

“What a tremendous blessing from God for Florida Baptists to express our commitment to the Great Commission in our work together as Southern Baptists through this budget overage,” he added.

By Barbara Denman, Florida Baptist Convention

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