September 14, 2014


Jan Vezikov in Boston is only one of hundreds of North American Mission Board missionary church planters starting new churches across North America, supported by the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering. Vezikov moved to Boston in July 2009 to reach fellow Russian speakers and has since caught a vision for reaching young professionals and intellectuals through three churches, Mosaic Boston, Grace Church Boston and Russian Church Boston. Photo by Adam Miller
ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP)--Easter Sunday 2011 comes later this year -- on April 24 -- than any other Easter since 1943. The next time Easter falls so late will be on April 25, 2038.

Beyond the ancient tradition linking Easter to the spring equinox, the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering is always vital to the North American Mission Board's never-ending work of sharing the Gospel throughout the United States and Canada.

Some 5,000 Southern Baptist missionaries in the United States and Canada count on support from the offering's 2011 goal of $70 million.

"As Christ-followers, we should have a consuming passion to reach our homeland for Jesus Christ," said Ronnie Floyd, senior pastor of Cross Church in Springdale, Ark. "With 233 million lost people in the United States and 258 million lost people in all of North America, we need to give financially to further the work of Christ, penetrating the darkness of lostness.

"With the exciting new commitment of the Southern Baptist Convention toward church planting, we need to increase our funding of the Annie Armstrong Offering for North American Missions," Floyd said.

Kevin Ezell, president of the North American Mission Board, said more than half of NAMB's budget comes from the annual Annie Armstrong Easter Offering.

"We are very dependent on this offering," Ezell said. "As Annie Armstrong goes, so goes the opportunities NAMB has to support missionaries."

Ezell said during his first three months as president of the SBC mission entity, he and other NAMB leaders worked to eliminate everything possible to get more money in the field for missionaries.

"We downsized our staff by 36 percent. We decreased the travel budget by 50 percent. We deleted millions of dollars in other expenses so that in 2012, we'll have $15 million more than ever before for church planters," Ezell said. Read More

Church shuns 'fluff,' gives more to missions
GASTONIA, N.C. (BP)--Parkwood Baptist Church expects a lot from its members.

To join the church, for example, a personal interview with one of the church's pastors is required, and in that meeting, potential members are told, "We expect you to participate in small groups," known in some churches as Sunday School. Read More
Ezell: NAMB will continue jointly funded missionaries with states
BRANDON, Fla. (BP)--In spite of the Great Commission Resurgence report that many expected would end jointly funded missionaries with state Baptist conventions, North American Mission Board President Kevin Ezell says "strategically placed mobilizers" in southern states are necessary to accomplish NAMB's church planting goals in the rest of North America. Read More
Ezell addresses questions from faculty
FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)--Kevin Ezell, president of the North American Mission Board, answered questions from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary faculty members and spoke in chapel as part of the seminary's North American Church Planting Week. Read More

First Person
Kevin Ezell
CHURCH PLANTING: What else should we be doing?
North American Mission Board President Kevin Ezell recaps efforts to aid Southern Baptists' church planters.
Kevin Theriot
FIRST-PERSON: Shocking opinion protects religious speech
A shocking Supreme Court opinion favoring Fred Phelps' infamous church was a victory for religious speech, attorney and columnist Kevin Theriot says.



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