What is the Golden Offering for Tennessee Missions?

WC Mildred GoldenThe Golden Offering for Tennessee Missions is the annual state missions offering that provides invaluable financial support for ministries that help reach Tennesseans for Christ.

The offering is named after W.C. & Mildred Golden, who suggested the week of prayer for state missions and a state missions offering in 1902.

Tennessee Baptists contributing through the Golden Offering for Tennessee Missions provide support for Tennessee ministries; sustaining state ministries not funded through the Cooperative Program.

The Golden Offering for Tennessee Missions is meeting human needs through Compassion Ministries. It’s Disaster Relief helping restore a community after a storm. It’s Baptist Collegiate Ministries sharing the hope of Jesus on Tennessee college campuses. It’s reaching the spiritually lost in Tennessee through evangelism. And so much more.

The Golden Offering is collected all year, from September 1st thru August 31st, with special emphasis during the month of September.

The Week of Prayer for Tennessee Missions is a concentrated time of prayer for Tennessee Baptists which coincides with the Golden Offering for Tennessee Missions. While traditionally observed during the second week in September, churches can choose any week of the year that is convenient to them.

A Brief History:

1902 – Recognizing the urgency of the needs in Tennessee and feeling all Baptists should know about them, Mildred Golden (Mrs. W. C.) suggested a special season of prayer with an offering for state missions just as churches prayed for and gave to foreign missions and home missions. Dr. W. C. Golden was State Missions Secretary at the time; together they prepared and distributed the materials from their home. The first offering received was $800.

1943 – Tennessee Woman’s Missionary Union officially named the state missions offering in honor of the Goldens; it became the Golden State Missions Offering (GSMO).

1952 – The offering goal was $35,000. Allocations included camps, rural work, women missionaries, and preachers’ schools.

1962 – The goal of $75,000 included allocations for an international student retreat, student aid at Harrison-Chilhowee Academy, and a church lot fund.

1972 – More than doubling in a decade, the goal of $170,000 included gifts to native Tennessee missionaries, ministry to the deaf, student summer missions, mission center ministries, and special rural and mountain ministries.

1982 – The offering goal was $550,000. Student scholarships were identified for church-related vocations, medical and Acteens. Disaster relief, language missions ministries, ministry to the handicapped, resort missions, scripture distribution, and world witness through the World’s Fair in Knoxville were some of the allocations.

1992 – The offering topped a million with a goal of $1,050,000. Tennessee had a population of 4.9 million. Allocations included homes for the developmentally disabled, mega-focus cities, a site fund for new churches, and seminary extension.

2002 – In the centennial year the offering name was changed to the Golden Offering for Tennessee Missions to clarify its purpose and still honor the legacy of Dr. and Mrs. Golden. One-half of the offering of $1.6 million focused on starting new churches.

2008 – A total of $1,730,525 was received for the 2007-08 offering, exceeding the state-wide goal for the first time in 13 years.

2017 – A total of $1,843,511 was received for the 2016-17 offering, highest amount ever given in 115 year offering history.

2018 – The 2018-19 offering goal is $2,100,000. Allocations include evangelistic events, compassion ministries, church planting and revitalization, equipping the nations in Tennessee, equipping a new generation.

The Tennessee Baptist Convention has the goal of realizing an increase in annual giving for the Golden Offering for Tennessee Missions that reaches at least $3 million by 2024.