Albany churches donations stay strong - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany churches donations stay strong

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January 6, 2002

Albany--Most charity organizations report donations were way-down in 2002. But most of the Albany churches we spoke with, say they reached their budget goals. Ministers and Pastors say their congregations continued giving even during trying financial times.

Billy Hanna, the Pastor of First Free will Baptist Church in Albany, said he became concerned about his churches budget earlier this year. Hanna said "I was a little concerned in the spring. Our giving dropped off some. But then it came back. We keep a close eye on our money around here. That's very important, because a lot of my friends who pastor in different states are down, as much as 20 percent."

With a congregation of 700, First Freewill Baptist members met their financial goals in 2002, and now look to grow their church this year. Hanna says he does not think bad economic times will keep people of faith from their giving. "

People who have a real conviction about giving to the Lord's work will give to their church regardless of the difficult financial times." Reverend Robert Beckum saw his congregation at First United Methodist Church in Albany exceed their 2002 donations go up by 18 percent. Beckum said "I think most of the increase we saw were in specific mission outreach that would help other people...and a lot of it in this community."

Beckum says that parishioners can trust their local church to use their donations wisely. "I think people have become much more highly selective, and wanting accountability and where they can give. The local church offers that , a pretty significant accountability of all the funds."

 In a special giving campaign, Sherwood Baptist Church received a one day offering of 300-thousand dollars in November. That helped Sherwood meet their donation budget goal.

posted at 4:31 by jimw@walb.com