Love Gift Yesterday
Love Gift giving began in 1932. During the Great Depression, American Baptist Churches faced a half-million-dollar deficit. Fearing that the financial crisis would curtail God’s work, the Board of Missionary Cooperation (now World Mission Support) asked individuals to give financial contributions in excess of their tithes and pledges. The Committee on Conference (later named the National Committee on Women’s Work) challenged women to raise $150,000 to help meet the crisis. Receiving the challenge, women began the over-and-above contribution called Love Gift.
From the very beginning, women collected these gifts in small boxes. The first were called Silver Boxes, illustrating that beneath every cloud there exists a silver lining. The silver placed in these boxes would help dispel the clouds of financial difficulty that seemed to overshadow the mission. Subsequently, the boxes were called Mite or Might Boxes. Printed on these boxes were the words: “If we know we pray; if we pray we give.”
Later, the boxes were designed to complement the title of the women’s annual program theme. The 1941 theme was “Love,” thus the boxes became known as Love Gift boxes. American Baptist women contribute over $3 million annually to American Baptist mission through various programs such as Refit, White Cross, region mission projects, and Love Gift. Love Gift is a significant part of this giving.
From the beginning, American Baptist women wanted their Love Gifts to be used to support the total mission program of American Baptist Churches USA. In keeping with this early decision, Love Gift money is a part of United Mission, the basic funding source for American Baptist mission. As such, Love Gift supports the full range of American Baptist mission.
Love Gift Today
Love Gift is a financial contribution over and above our regular giving. It is given out of a sense of LOVE, FAITH, and GRATITUDE to God for all of God’s blessings, and in recognition of our need to share these blessings with others. One way to express our faith is by giving. We give of our time, our talent, our money, and ourselves. As our faith grows, we realize that our God, in whom we trust, really loves and cares for us. As a result, our desire to give grows, too. Love Gift is one of the ways we express our faith and love. It is an offering to God.
Click HERE: ABWM Love Gift Remittance Form