Raytown - Individuals who traditionally give an anniversary offering to support The Baptist Home now will need to double-check with their church treasurer to make certain their gift goes where they intend.
Meeting prior to the start of the 2004 annual meeting in Raytown on Oct. 25, the Missouri Baptist Convention Executive Board approved a recommendation that all funds designated as birthday and anniversary offerings be sent to the Missouri Baptist Children's Home. In the past, birthday offerings have been directed to the Children's Home, and anniversary offerings have supported The Baptist Home.
When David Landwehr, messenger from Pine Street Baptist Church, Nevada, questioned the Executive Board's move, 2004 MBC president David Tolliver responded that funds designated to The Baptist Home would be sent to The Home.
However, Tolliver did not explain that many churches use a remittance form developed by the MBC to list offering totals. Several standard offerings, including the Cooperative Program, the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and others, already are listed. Both the birthday and anniversary offerings are listed, along with a line item number, but neither lists the institution for which the offerings originally had been designated.
Landwehr's motion at the annual meeting that anniversary offerings be designated for The Home was ruled out of order.
Ferd Alexander, pastor of First Baptist Church of Richmond, and his wife began the anniversary offering in December 1923 when they sent a check to The Home to commemorate their 25th anniversary. The First Baptist congregation agreed to support their pastor's idea, and Word&Way endorsed the project. The offering has been The Home's longest-running fundraising effort.
With the Executive Board's decision, churches now must specifically designate offerings to The Baptist Home when sending gifts through the MBC. Or churches and individuals can send anniversary offerings directly to The Home's corporate office on the Ironton campus.