Southern Baptists are a fellowship of almost 16 million members in approximately 45,764 churches in all 50 states and Canada. These churches work together through approximately 1,174 associations, 42 state conventions, and the Southern Baptist Convention to accomplish through voluntary cooperation far more than they could ever do alone.
The Southern Baptist worldwide missions enterprise is funded in large part through the unique, efficient, and equitable Cooperative Program. A portion of the undesignated tithes and offerings of individuals received by SBC churches becomes Cooperative Program dollars. In 2009, these churches sent over $520 million through the Cooperative Program to their state conventions to support work within the state and the Southern Baptist Convention. As determined by messengers to the annual session of each state convention, a percentage of these Cooperative Program receipts is sent to the SBC Executive Committee for distribution to SBC entities. In 2009, an average of 63 percent of total Cooperative Program receipts was used for state convention ministries, and roughly 37 percent was forwarded to the SBC for national and worldwide ministries.