Annie Armstrong

Last updated
Annie Walker Armstrong, c. 1875 AnnieWalkerArmstrong.jpg
Annie Walker Armstrong, c. 1875

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.

Southern Baptist Convention Baptist denomination in the southern parts of the USA

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.


Early life

Annie Armstrong was born in Baltimore, Maryland [1] to tobacconist John Dunn Armstrong and his wife Mary Elizabeth (Walker) Armstrong. She also had a brother named James. [2] 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. [2] 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. [1] Later, she was among 100 Seventh Baptist Church members who established Eutaw Place Church (now Woodbrook Baptist Church). [2] The church was pastored by Richard Fuller, the third president of the Southern Baptist Convention, [3] who was heavily involved in missionary activities. [4]

Baltimore Largest city in Maryland

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 State of the United States of America

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.

Tobacconist dealer in tobacco

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. [2]

Indigenous peoples of the Americas Pre-Columbian inhabitants of North, Central and South America and their descendants

The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the Pre-Columbian peoples of North, Central and South America and their descendants.

Immigration Movement of people into another country or region to which they are not native

Immigration is the international movement of people into a destination country of which they are not natives or where they do not possess citizenship in order to settle or reside there, especially as permanent residents or naturalized citizens, or to take up employment as a migrant worker or temporarily as a foreign worker.

Poverty state of one who lacks a certain amount of material possessions or money

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.

Woman's Missionary Union

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). [5]

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. [6]

During her tenure as head of the WMU, Armstrong refused a salary and traveled extensively at her own expense on behalf of the WMU. [2] 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.

Controversies and conflicts

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. [7]

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.

Death and legacy

Annie Armstrong died on December 20, 1938 in Baltimore,the year the WMU celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. [6] 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. [8]

Related Research Articles

The Alliance of Baptists is a fellowship of Baptist churches and individuals in the United States.

The Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC) is a convention of conservative Southern Baptist churches in Texas. It is supportive of the national Southern Baptist Convention. It was formed by churches within the Baptist General Convention of Texas so that they might partner more closely with the SBC in a fellowship based on a common commitment to the inerrancy of Scripture.

Cooperative Baptist Fellowship

The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) is a Christian fellowship of Baptist churches formed in 1991. Theologically moderate, the CBF withdrew from the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) over philosophical and theological differences, such as the SBC prohibition of women serving as pastors. The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship claims approximately 1,900 partner churches. The CBF is involved with the Baptist Center for Ethics, Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, the Baptist World Alliance and 15 Baptist seminaries and divinity school programs which have emerged in the wake of the conservative direction taken by the six SBC seminaries. The CBF headquarters are located in Decatur, Georgia.

Bellevue Baptist Church Church in Tennessee, United States

Bellevue Baptist Church is a large Southern Baptist megachurch in the Cordova area of Memphis, Tennessee, United States. Bellevue is the largest church in Memphis and is one of the leading churches in the Southern Baptist Convention. Bellevue's goals are to "Love God, Love People, Share Jesus, and Make Disciples." The church's head pastor has been Steve Gaines since 2005.

Lottie Moon Missionary in China

Charlotte Digges "Lottie" Moon was a Southern Baptist missionary to China with the Foreign Mission Board who spent nearly 40 years (1873–1912) living and working in China. As a teacher and evangelist she laid a foundation for traditionally solid support for missions among Southern Baptists, especially through its Woman's Missionary Union.

International Mission Board

The International Mission Board is a Baptist Christian missionary society affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). The headquarters is in Richmond, Virginia, United States.

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary seminary in Louisville, Kentucky

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS), in Louisville, Kentucky, is the oldest of the six seminaries affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). The seminary was founded in 1859 at Greenville, South Carolina, where it was at first lodged on the campus of Furman University. After being closed during the Civil War, it moved in 1877 to a newly built campus in downtown Louisville and later moved to its current location in the Crescent Hill neighborhood. For more than fifty years Southern has been one of the world's largest theological seminaries, with a current FTE enrollment of over 3,300 students.

The Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV), founded in 1823, is an umbrella organization of Baptist churches. The BGAV has been characterized as a moderate association. More than 1,400 Baptist churches affiliate with the BGAV.

Beginning in 1979, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) experienced an intense struggle for control of the organization. Its initiators called it the Conservative Resurgence while its detractors labeled it the Fundamentalist Takeover. It was launched with the charge that the seminaries and denominational agencies were dominated by liberals. The movement was primarily aimed at reorienting the denomination away from a liberal trajectory and towards an unambiguous affirmation of biblical inerrancy.

Alma Hunt was executive secretary of the Southern Baptist Convention Woman's Missionary Union from 1948 to 1974.

The Alabama Baptist Convention is an autonomous association of Baptist churches in the state of Alabama formed in 1823. It is one of the state conventions associated with the Southern Baptist Convention.

The Convention of Southern Baptist of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands (CSBPR) is a group of churches affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention located in the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico.

The Kansas-Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptist (KNCSB) is a group of churches affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention located in the U.S. state of Kansas and Nebraska. Headquartered in Topeka, Kansas, the convention is made up of 13 Baptist associations and more than 400 churches as of 2010.

The Utah–Idaho Southern Baptist Convention (UISBC) is a group of churches affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention located in the U.S. state of Utah and Idaho. Headquartered in Draper, Utah, the convention is made up of 11 Baptist associations and more than 190 churches as of 2019.

The State Convention of Baptists in Indiana (SCBI) is a group of churches affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention located in the U.S. state of Indiana. Headquartered in Indianapolis, it is made up of about 400 churches and 14 Baptist associations.

Frank Page (Southern Baptist) American minister

Frank S. Page was president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) from 2006 to 2008. Page announced his retirement on March 27, 2018, admitting to "a personal failing" that involved a "morally inappropriate relationship."

The Canadian National Baptist Convention is a Baptist Christian denomination, affiliated with the Baptist World Alliance, in Canada. The headquarters is in Cochrane, Alberta.


  1. 1 2 "Biography of Annie Armstrong". Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives. Retrieved 6 April 2011.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Baker, Sharon (March 2006). "Following in the footsteps of Annie Armstrong in Baltimore" (PDF). Baptist Life. Columbia, Maryland: Baptist Convention of Maryland and Delaware. pp. 1, 6–7. ISSN   1079-6525. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2008-05-29. Retrieved 2008-04-19.
  3. Don Whitney (September 1992). "Richard Fuller, Part 2: His Preaching". The Founders Journal. Founders Ministries. Archived from the original on 5 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-23.
  4. "Woodbrook Historical Highlights" Archived 2008-05-09 at the Wayback Machine . Woodbrook Baptist Church. (undated). Retrieved on April 18, 2008.
  5. "Annie Armstrong". Woman's Missionary Union's official website. Archived from the original on 16 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-19.
  6. 1 2 "Who is Annie Armstrong?". Annie Armstrong Easter Offering Website. Retrieved 2017-02-12.
  7. Armstrong, Annie (2006). Keith Harper (ed.). Rescuing the Perishing: The Correspondence of Annie Armstrong. Macon, Georgia: Mercer UP. pp. 1–8. ISBN   0-86554-843-9.
  8. "Annie Armstrong (1850 - 1938) - Find A Grave Memorial" . Retrieved 1 August 2016.

Annie Armstrong at Find a Grave