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Sources within the International Mission Board report that the Baptist General Convention of Texas is escrowing Lottie Moon Christmas Offering funds to safeguard BGCT cash flow.
Although churches collect the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for the sole benefit of the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, the funds generally follow the same pathway as do Cooperative Program gifts—churches send their offerings to their respective state Baptist conventions, which serve as the collecting agents for the Southern Baptist Convention. For eighty-four years the various state conventions have acted in good faith in this role, promptly forwarding Lottie Moon Christmas Offering funds to the International Mission Board for rapid distribution to the cause of international missions.
The Baptist General Convention of Texas has trimmed its staff, programming, and budget substantially over the past several years. In the interest of full disclosure, I should note that my church has switched affiliation from the Baptist General Convention of Texas to the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention within the past few years. Although the official BGCT budget has shown increasing hostility toward SBC ministries since the 1990s, this event would constitute a rare occasion of BGCT's taking action to blockade funds designated by BGCT churches to SBC causes.