Annie Armstrong’s Legacy Lives on Through Local Churches
Every March, Southern Baptist churches across the country begin to mobilize to collect an Easter offering named after Annie Armstrong. This offering serves a specific purpose, as it is earmarked for North American Missions. Churches across our region, including the 40+ churches of the Greenup Baptist Association covering Boyd, Greenup, Carter, Lawrence, & Elliott Counties contribute to the cause through a week of prayer for the offering and collection during the weeks leading up to Easter.
Annie Armstrong (1850-1938) supported missions throughout her lifetime through service to the poor and a heart for social justice. Among her many accomplishments, her commitment to mission work led to her influential role in the foundation of the Women’s Missionary Union. The WMU was devised as a way for local churches to gain a greater understanding and motivation to support missionaries. By encouraging local churches to be active participants in learning and raising funds, she grew the cause in financial ability and broader understanding of the needs of missionaries. Southern Baptist women at local churches everywhere gained that understanding and generation to generation have passed on this passion and support for missionaries. She grew this network with her passion and her willingness to reach out by mail, and she wrote on average 8,000 letters a year, to meet the cause. In 1934, the annual Easter offering for Home Missions (later to become the North American Missions Board) was renamed in her honor, just a few years before her death.
AnnieArmstrong.com reported, “Today, more than $2 billion has been donated by Southern Baptist churches and individuals to support thousands of missionaries in church planting and compassion ministries. Because of this sacrificial giving, millions of lives have been and continue to be transformed by the power of the gospel.” The website, administered by the North American Mission Board continued “The Annie Armstrong Easter Offering is a tremendous way to partner with those who are serving as the hands and feet of Jesus throughout North America.”
“Without this offering and churches’ ongoing commitment to the Cooperative Program, it would be impossible to financially support disaster relief efforts, thousands of military chaplains, and church planters at current levels,” stated Jason Lowe, East Region Consultant for the Kentucky Baptist Convention, “Southern Baptists believe that we can accomplish more when we work together than we can do ourselves, and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering is one of the finest examples of partnering together to provide help and hope to others in the name of Jesus Christ.”
You may be asking, what is our local impact and what is our local benefit?
In Boyd and Greenup County, there are 35 Southern Baptist churches in the Greenup Baptist Association and each one can send a donation toward the cause Annie held dear for a lifetime over 100 years ago. The churches are Blackburn Avenue Baptist Church, Burnaugh Baptist Church, Central Baptist Church, Chadwick’s Creek Baptist Church, Christ Covenant Church, Cornerstone Community Church, Crane Creek Baptist Church, Danleyton Missionary Baptist Church, Fairview Baptist Church, Faith Baptist Church of Westwood, Fellowship Baptist Church, First Baptist Church of Cannonsburg, Greenup First Baptist Church, Flatwoods First Baptist Church, First Baptist Church of Russell, Garner Missionary Baptist Church, Grace Baptist Church, Hay Esperanza, Hyland Heights Baptist Church, Kenwood Baptist Church, Liberty Missionary Baptist Church, Lifesong, Lloyd First Baptist Church, New Hope Baptist Church, New Life Bible Church, Oakland Avenue Baptist Church, South Shore First Baptist Church, Rose Hill Baptist Church, Rush Baptist Chapel, Second Baptist Church of Ashland, Summit Missionary Baptist Church, Unity Baptist Church, Wayside Baptist Church, Wildwood Baptist Church, & Wurtland Missionary Baptist Church.
While the local church aids in the fundraising, our area is also a recipient of some of the funding of the North American Mission Board at the Appalachia Ministry Center. Sendrelief.org pointed to the Cannonsburg center as being, “Committed to strengthening communities, offering mobilization opportunities and protecting children and families.” The center provides literacy and education resources, offers medical and dental care, and resourcing Southern Baptist Disaster Relief teams nationwide.
The WMU is still active today, and within the local church, they play a huge role in receiving the Annie Armstrong Easter offering. You can donate at anniearmstrong.com or at virtually any of the local Southern Baptist Churches.