July 11, 1850 - December 20, 1938
Missionary and Founder of the Woman's Missionary Movement
From Baltimore, Maryland
Served in Baltimore, Maryland
Affiliation: Southern Baptist
"The central figure of the world, the greatest man, the King of Kings, our Lord and Master came not to be ministered unto but to minister. In His incarnation, by the emptying of self, He grasped not at divine sovereignty, but service."
In the late 1800’s women were not expected to be leaders, to speak up, to be visionaries…Annie Armstrong was never concerned with what the world expected.
“When I get hold of an idea that seems to me to be a good one, I somehow do not feel comfortable until I see it carried out.”
Annie’s father died soon after she was born in 1850. Her mother, a devoted Christian, encouraged her five children to see the needs around them and to act. With fervency, Annie devoted herself to compassion ministry.
Annie and the women of her church joined with other churches in giving and missions work. Her boldness soon helped unite the missions movement begun in several states. In 1888, despite opposition by male Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) leadership, who feared women organizing, the national Woman’s Missionary Union® (WMU) was formed. Annie was elected as the first executive leader.
Traveling throughout the U.S., Annie encouraged missionaries and challenged churches to give and support missions. She and the SBC women led out in transforming funding for missions helping to secure the Home Mission Board (now North American Mission Board) and Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) in taking the gospel around the globe.
Helped plant Eutaw Place Baptist Church in Baltimore, Maryland in 1871
Started Bay View Mission to provide for Baltimore’s poor and addicted
Led the formation of missions’ organizations for children to educate them to hear God’s call into mission service
Gained support for the appointment of missionaries to German, Jewish and Italian immigrants
Handwrote more than 18,000 letters in one year to pastors and SBC leaders advocating for missions
Paid her own expenses and refused a salary expressing she would, “never give to the Lord that which costs me nothing.” (2 Samuel 24:24)
Initiated fund-raising “brick cards” to build needed church buildings in Cuba
Encouraged outreach to black Americans and gained support for the first black, female missionaries
Secured funds in 1888 to relieve China missionary, Lottie Moon, who had worked for 13 years without a furlough
Advocated for Native Americans and impoverished mountain people bringing their needs to the Home Mission Board
Started the Church Building Loan Fund and Annuities with the Home and Foreign Mission Boards, which still exists today
Honored in 1934 when The Home Missions Offering was re-named for her to encourage more to follow her sacrificial example
Annie died on December 20, 1938 in Baltimore, but her legacy and heart for missions lives on. Today, over $1 billion has been given through the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering®.
All funds—100 percent—support the North American Mission Board’s Send Network church planting missionaries and Send Relief compassion missionaries throughout the U.S., Canada and their territories. With committed support from SBC churches and individuals, the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering will continue to fulfill God’s mission of showing His love through action.
This is not our work. It can be found here.