Airway Baptist Affiliations
Airway Baptist Church is a participating member of the Union Baptist Association, the Baptist General Convention of Texas, and the Southern Baptist Convention. We financially support the work of these organizations and their mission activities through the Cooperative Program, the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for international missions, the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American missions, and the Mary Hill Davis offering for Texas state missions. Our church budget and financial reports are available upon request.
One of the great distinctives of Southern Baptists is that the local, state, and national organizations do not tell local churches what to believe or how to practice. The larger organizations exist to serve the local churches and to assist them in carrying out ministry greater than any one church could accomplish on its own.
Since 2004, Airway Baptist Church has been pastored by Edwin E. (Ed) Parker, B.A. Dallas Baptist University (1989) and M. Div (Biblical Languages) (1993). He has pastored churches in Galveston and Wills Point, Texas prior to being called to Airway.
Southern Baptist Convention
The Southern Baptist Convention is the largest Protestant denomination in the United States, with an active missionary reach around the world.
Baptist General Convention of Texas
The Baptist General Convention of Texas (established 1886) is a fellowship of churches which exists to coordinate worship and ministry throughout the state of Texas. In addition to congregational worship, the state convention sponsors ministries on college campuses and other missions activities throughout the state.
Union Baptist Association
UBA is an association of over 560 affiliated congregations, primarily but not exclusively from the greater Houston area, cooperating for the purposes of missions, evangelism, leadership development, church planting & discipleship. The Houston metropolitan area is the 5th largest in the U.S., is the most ethnically and culturally diverse metro area, and leads the nation in population growth.
Our Mission Offerings
Annie Armstrong Easter Offering
Annie Armstrong established the Women's Missionary Union to support SBC mission work in a day and age when there was still strong resistance to female leadership in missions work. She is known to have hand-written 18,000 letters in a single year in support of missionary causes. The Easter missions offering was named in her honor in 1934 and is used to support missions work on the North American continent.
Mary Hill Davis Offering
Mary Hill Davis was a leader of the Texas Women's Missionary Union in the early years of the 20th century, and continued to serve in other denomination support roles
The Cooperative Program
Nineteenth and early twentieth-century Southern Baptist missionary work records a spotty history. While there were many great servants of God who devoted their lives to the mission field, such as the redoubtable Miss Lottie Moon in whose honor the annual Christmas offering for world missions is still taken, history also shows that on many occasions they were left hanging out to dry due to unreliable support from the home churches.
In those days there was not a central program of funding. Churches, moved with passion by reports from the mission field or a stirring speech at a convention, would make generous pledges of support to the mission boards. The boards, with those pledges in hand, would write budgets and call missionaries. However, when it came time to actually follow through on those pledges...well, let's just say that the churches had good intentions....
The result was that the mission boards continually had a shortfall of resources. Rather than bring missionaries home (which also cost a lot of money), they normally resorted to borrowing money from various sources in the hope that the generous pledges would soon be forthcoming. Alas, this was seldom the case, which caused the speeches at the conventions to become ever more passionate, eliciting ever more generous pledges...and ever more critical shortfalls.
After decades of struggling endlessly with this situation, in 1925 the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting in Memphis, adopted what has come to be known as the "Cooperative Program." In this program, churches voluntarily pledge a percentage of their (undesignated) receipts to be passed on to their state conventions. The state conventions, in turn, take a percentage of these funds and pass it on for the support of the boards and agencies of the national convention.
Thanks to wise leadership in the early years of implementing this program, it was widely accepted and provided a consistent and reliable source of funding for Convention programs...even in the years of the Great Depression. By 1943, the SBC's debt had been retired and ever since the Convention's boards and agencies have operated in the black. This dedicated source provides all of the funding for administration and overhead, allowing all of the designated donations for missions and relief funds to be applied to their intended goals in full.
Airway Baptist Church currently (2018) dedicates 7% of its offerings to the work of the national and state conventions through the Baptist General Convention of Texas and the Southern Baptist Convention, and an additional 3% to the support of local ministries through the Union Baptist Association of Houston.
—Eric H. Bowen, 2018
What is the Cooperative Program?
The Cooperative Program is Southern Baptists’ unified plan of giving through which cooperating Southern Baptist churches give a percentage of their undesignated receipts in support of their respective state convention and the Southern Baptist Convention missions and ministries.
How Does The Cooperative Program Work?
It begins with you!
You give yourself first to God (II Cor. 8:5). Next, out of gratitude and obedience to God for what He has done for you, you commit to give back to Him, through your church, a portion of what He provides. This is commonly called a tithe and represents ten percent of your income (Lev. 27:30, Mal. 3:10).
Your Church... decides the next step. Every year your church prayerfully decides how much of its undesignated gifts will be committed to reaching people in your state and around the world through The Cooperative Program. This amount is then forwarded to your State Baptist Convention.
Messengers at the State Convention Annual Meetings... from your church and other churches across the state decide what percentage of Cooperative Program gifts contributed by local congregations stay in your state to support local missions and ministries. The percentage to be forwarded to the SBC for North American and international missions and ministries is also determined at this time.
Messengers at the Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting... from across the country decide how the gifts received from the states will be distributed among SBC entities. These gifts are used by SBC entities to send and support missionaries, train pastors, and other ministry leaders; provide relief for retired ministers and widows; and address social, moral, and ethical concerns relating to our faith and families.
The bottom line – people around the world hear the gospel and receive Christ!