LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Kentucky Baptists are projected to give $22 million during the 2017-18 fiscal year through the Cooperative Program to support missions in their home state, across North America and around the world under a budget proposal approved by the Kentucky Mission Board on Monday.
That’s a $500,000 increase over the current fiscal year’s budget.
“Kentucky Baptists are committed to getting the gospel to the nations, and it shows in their support for the Cooperative Program,” said Paul Chitwood, executive director of the 750,000-member Kentucky Baptist Convention. “By giving through the Cooperative Program, our churches are funding the greatest evangelistic initiative of our time. It’s inspiring and humbling to see their commitment.”
The Cooperative Program is the primary means for Southern Baptist churches to support the work of about 3,600 international missionaries and another 10,000 in North America as well as to strengthen the work of 2,400 churches across Kentucky.
Kentucky Baptist Convention Finance and Business Services Team Leader Lowell Ashby said strong contributions over the next four months could push contributions to the Cooperative Program beyond the $21.5 million budget for the current fiscal year.
“Basically, we have been tracking the same all year – slightly short of last year, but right on budget, and still expecting to exceed $21.5M. I have hopes we will be closer to $22 million,” Ashby said.
Kentucky churches reached a historic milestone last year in their Cooperative Program support for national and international missions, contributing more money in a single year than ever before to the Southern Baptist Convention.
Ashby said the state’s churches sent more than $10.6 million through the Cooperative Program and special offerings to the International Mission Board and an additional $4.7 million to the North American Mission Board. Nearly $2.3 million will be distributed to Baptist seminaries from Cooperative Program gifts in Kentucky.
Kentucky churches gave more than $22.3 million last fiscal year through the Cooperative Program. That was the largest total since the 2011-12 fiscal year.