Annie Walker Armstrong (July 11, 1850 – December 20, 1938) was a lay Southern Baptist denominational leader instrumental in the founding of the Woman's Missionary Union.
The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is a Christian denomination based in the United States. With more than 15 million members as of 2018, it is the world's largest Baptist denomination, the largest Protestant denomination in the United States, and the second-largest Christian denomination in the United States, smaller only than the Catholic Church according to self reported membership statistics.
Woman's Missionary Union (WMU) is an auxiliary of the Southern Baptist Convention that was founded in 1888. It is the largest Protestant missions organization for women in the world.
Annie Armstrong was born in Baltimore, Marylandto tobacconist John Dunn Armstrong and his wife Mary Elizabeth (Walker) Armstrong. She also had a brother named James. She came from a long line of prominent Baptists including her great-great-grandfather Henry Sater who help establish the first Baptist church in Maryland. At the age of 20, she accepted Christ as her Savior under the preaching of Dr. Richard Fuller at Seventh Baptist Church (now Seventh Metro Church). It was there that she had a "born again" experience and was equipped to be a missionary. Later, she was among 100 Seventh Baptist Church members who established Eutaw Place Church (now Woodbrook Baptist Church). The church was pastored by Richard Fuller, the third president of the Southern Baptist Convention, who was heavily involved in missionary activities.
Baltimore is the largest city in the state of Maryland within the United States. Baltimore was established by the Constitution of Maryland as an independent city in 1729. With a population of 602,495 in 2018, Baltimore is the largest such independent city in the United States. As of 2017, the population of the Baltimore metropolitan area was estimated to be just under 2.802 million, making it the 21st largest metropolitan area in the country. Baltimore is located about 40 miles (60 km) northeast of Washington, D.C., making it a principal city in the Washington-Baltimore combined statistical area (CSA), the fourth-largest CSA in the nation, with a calculated 2018 population of 9,797,063.
Maryland is a state in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east. The state's largest city is Baltimore, and its capital is Annapolis. Among its occasional nicknames are Old Line State, the Free State, and the Chesapeake Bay State. It is named after the English queen Henrietta Maria, known in England as Queen Mary.
A tobacconist, also called a tobacco shop, a "tobacconist's shop" or a smoke shop, is a retailer of tobacco products in various forms and the related accoutrements, such as pipes, lighters, matches, pipe cleaners, pipe tampers. More specialized retailers might sell: ashtrays, humidification devices, hygrometers, humidors, cigar cutters, and more. Books and magazines, especially ones related to tobacco are commonly offered. Items irrelevant to tobacco such as puzzles, games, figurines, hip flasks, walking sticks, and confectionery are sometimes sold. In the United States, a tobacconist shop is traditionally represented by a wooden Indian positioned nearby. Most retailers of tobacco sell other types of product; today supermarkets, in many countries with a special counter, are usually the main sellers of the common brands of cigarette. In the United Kingdom, a common combination in small corner shops has been a newsagent selling newspapers and magazines, as well as confectionery and tobacco. In UK retailing this sector is referred to as "CONTOB".
She worked with various Baltimore missionary organizations ministering to orphans, African Americans, Native Americans, Chinese Americans immigrants, and indigent women and families.
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Poverty is the scarcity or the lack of a certain (variant) amount of material possessions or money. Poverty is a multifaceted concept, which may include social, economic, and political elements. Absolute poverty, extreme poverty, or destitution refers to the complete lack of the means necessary to meet basic personal needs such as food, clothing and shelter.
In 1888, Armstrong led the creation of the Woman's Missionary Union, helping draft the constitution and serving as its first correspondent secretary (a position that functioned as executive director).
An executive director is a chief executive officer (CEO) or managing director of an organization, company, or corporation. The title is widely used in North American non-profit organizations, though many United States nonprofits have adopted the title president or CEO.
In her role as the head of the organization, Annie Armstrong facilitated communication between denominational leaders, local congregations and missionaries on the field. She was an extensive letter writer, handwriting 18,000 letters in one year alone.
During her tenure as head of the WMU, Armstrong refused a salary and traveled extensively at her own expense on behalf of the WMU.Annie was a tireless advocate for missionaries rallying the churches to support mission work through prayer and sacrificial giving. She personally visited missionaries serving throughout the U.S. and carried their stories back to the churches and state conventions through her eye witness accounts and by circulating their letters. It was due to the efforts of Annie and the women of WMU that the annual Easter mission offering was established in the Southern Baptist Churches in 1895.
Annie retired from WMU in 1906. It was through the steely determination of Annie and many other like-minded Southern Baptist women that WMU had been forged against often fierce opposition from the male SBC leadership. The mid to late 1800s were times when public female leadership was virtually unknown. Throughout Annie's career she had successfully gained a growing SBC support due to her Christ-like passion and record for achieving results. Yet, controversy had remained as her intentions and decisions were at times questioned, misunderstood and publicly aired in various Baptist state newspapers.
In the early 1900s as WMU was continuing to evolve as an organization, there were conflicts over the path forward. To Annie, it seemed her days in leadership were now over precipitating her abrupt decision to step down. She remained very active in her local congregation and in extensive missions work in the city of Baltimore for the remainder of her life.
In 1934, WMU recognized her lifetime of work by naming the annual Easter offering for home missions in her honor. Thus, the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering was born with every dollar going to support missions work throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Annie Armstrong died on December 20, 1938 in Baltimore,the year the WMU celebrated its fiftieth anniversary.She was buried in historic Green Mount Cemetery, with her parents and elder siblings. She has been inducted into the Maryland Women's Hall of Fame, and Southern Baptist churches continue to annually collect the Easter Offering for North American Missions in her name.
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Annie Armstrong at Find a Grave