Mid-year Cooperative Program giving $1.2M ahead of budget

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Florida Baptist Convention leaders are rejoicing that Cooperative Program giving by Florida churches through June are nearly a half-million dollars above the previous year and $1.2 million ahead of budget.

Tommy Green, executive director-treasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention, said the generous giving can be attributed to Florida Baptists’ commitment to send 51 percent of the receipts to the Southern Baptist Convention for worldwide mission causes and retaining 49 percent in the state, “giving away more than we keep.”

“The Great Commission-driven decision of our Florida Baptist churches to restructure our CP budget to a 51-49 percent split has been greatly blessed by the Lord,” said Green.

The percentage revision, urged by Green during his election as executive director in 2015, marked a major shift in Florida’s CP budgeting that earmarked 41 percent to SBC causes that year.

“The dramatic increase in CP dollars being advanced to the Southern Baptist Convention has not diminished our ministries in Florida,” Green said. “We have increased resources for our Florida Baptist churches and continue robust missions ministries around our state.”

From January-to-June 30, 2016, Florida Baptists gave $15,735,646 through the Cooperative Program, more than 3 percent—or $472,798—ahead of 2015 when mid-year giving totaled $15.2 million.

The receipts were also $1.2 million, or 8.5 percent, above the Convention’s 2016 year-to-date budget of $14.5 million.

The increase in giving by Florida churches becomes even more significant when looking at the past nine months of the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual church year, which begins in October.

From Oct. 1, 2015-June 30, 2016, Florida’s CP giving increased by 23 percent to $11,000,061 from $8,944,310 given during the previous October-to-June time frame.

Green reported that the state convention has sent 51 percent of the 2016 actual receipts, or nearly $8 million, to the SBC Executive Committee for immediate distribution, “getting the money to the mission field.”

“I am thankful for the sacrificial commitment of our churches at the local level to participate in a cooperative manner globally through their giving to CP,” Green said.

Designated giving by churches increased slightly to $8 million in 2016 from $7,950,951 in 2015, for a difference of about $101,800. These funds are earmarked for other SBC and Florida Baptist Convention offering efforts.

Money previously counted as “Florida-only” funding, given by churches that wish to keep their money in the state, is now included in designated giving instead of listed as a separate category.

By Barbara Denman, Florida Baptist convention, July 29, 2016

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