||Florida CP Gifts keep pace with last year’s giving
By Barbara Denman
July 17, 2012
JACKSONVILLE—For the first time in at least six years, Cooperative Program giving by Florida Baptist churches during the first six months of the year is keeping pace with the previous year’s giving.
From January through June 2012, Florida Baptist churches gave $16,305.927 through the Cooperative Program, $17,943 less than the $16,323,870 given in 2011.
While the receipts are substantially less than the $20 million given during the first six months of 2007 when the Florida economy began to slump, this year’s giving reflects a 3.2 percent increase over the 2012 Convention budget needs to date.
Keeping up with the previous year’s giving demonstrates Florida Baptists’ faithfulness just as the state’s economy shows subtle signs of improvement, said John Sullivan, executive director-treasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention.
“My appreciation of our pastors and leaders is higher than ever,” said Sullivan. “I realize we are still in economic distress and yet our churches give generously. Our missionaries are being cared for as a result of the genius of the Cooperative Program--God-given and mission-driven.”
In the 2012 CP budget of $31.6 million as approved by messengers during the 2011 Florida Baptist State Convention, 40.5 percent of all receipts are being sent to the Southern Baptist Convention to meet international and national mission needs. Florida Baptist Convention mission and ministry needs receive 11.81 percent; while Florida institutions and agencies receive 11.81 percent. Two priorities items also are funded—church staff protection insurance program, 1.9 percent and church planting assistance, 4 percent.
Revising the budget to match receipts has been an on-going commitment for the Convention. Early on in the economic crisis, Sullivan vowed he would not overspend the budget.
To that end, since 2008, the Convention has taken steps to keep expenditures and receipts in check, including downsizing its workforce by 24 percent, eliminating 47 employees. Employees have received no salary increases or annuity matching funds for several years. Some annuity benefits for ministers also have been dropped in an effort to balance the budget.
Included in the six months receipts, “Florida only funds,” which represents giving by a few churches to bypass the Southern Baptist Convention Cooperative Program increased by 11.5 percent from $21,896 in 2012 from $19,627 in 2011.
In addition to CP giving, Florida Baptists gave another $7,776,783 in designated funds which decreased by five percent in 2012—from $8.9 million in 2011. Designated giving includes money earmarked for international, national and state mission offerings, and world hunger and disaster relief.
| January - June|
| || 2012|| 2011|| |
| CP|| $16,305,927.12|| $16,323,870.31|| -0.11%|
| FL CP|| $21,896.71|| $19,627.54|| 11.56%|
| Designated||$7,776,783.87|| $8,193,025.17||-5.08%|
| TOTAL|| $24,104,607.70 || $24,536,523.02|| |