Despite the fact that each local American Baptist church congregation is independent and ecclesiastically autonomous, since the 18th Century most Baptist churches in America have been part of local associations formed for support, fellowship and various kinds for work. Since we take seriously Christ’s call to “make disciples of all nations,” one of the earliest of these kinds of work was the need for missions.
Evolving from a collaboration started in 1824 to organize, financially support and send missionaries, our current efforts are structured into two areas:
Home Mission Societies
partners with churches, colleges, Neighborhood Christian centers in the United States to make an impact in neighborhoods and communities.
works in pretty much every other area of the globe to help bring about the kingdom of God “on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). Their efforts center on evangelism (sharing the gospel in respectful and creative ways), discipleship (nurturing individuals and communities as they grow in knowledge of and commitment to Christ) and theological education (training indigenous church leaders in formal and nontraditional settings).
To support these efforts, American Baptist Churches sponsors 4 special offerings throughout the calendar year:
America for Christ Offering
Provides for ministries with marginalized children, disaster response, prisoner re-entry and aftercare, immigration and refugee resettlement, community outreach, providing resources that equip Christian leaders and chaplains who bring comfort to those in hospitals and nursing homes
World Mission Offering
Enables congregations to come together to celebrate and support the ministries that God is using to transform the world.
One Great Hour Of Sharing
Works with other denominations to collect gifts for those in special need such as following natural disaster or those of human origin.
Retired ministers & Missionaries Offering
Thanks and honors retired ministers, missionaries, their widowed spouses and elderly clergy within their churches.
American Baptist Women's Ministries - White Cross
During World War I, many church women assisted the American Red Cross by providing surgical dressings, bandages, and other medical supplies for U.S. service personnel. In 1919, following the end of the war, two American Baptist women from Cleveland organized the “White Cross Service League,” channeling the former war effort into support for Baptist mission. White Cross has two divisions – overland and overseas
Overland White Cross provides urgently-needed supplies that cannot be purchased with limited budget to 60 authorized sites in the United States. These include children’s homes and neighborhood Christian Centers in urban areas and in Native American communities; race track ministries; new church plants; and outreach programs. Items requested include arts and crafts and school supplies; clothing, and gift cards.
Overseas White Cross supports the work of our missionaries and our mission partners in countries in Africa, Central and South America, Europe and the Middle East, Asia, and the Caribbean. Items requested include roller bandages and well as other hand-made items and monetary gifts.
In September and October, Women on a Mission at Baptist Tabernacle (our ABW circle) responds to requests that they have received, shopping for and shipping items for Overland requests and making a monetary donation for Overseas requests. Although a project of our women’s mission group, White Cross has been embraced by our church at large, and donations are made by others in the congregations.