Annie Armstrong was born in 1850 in Baltimore, MD. Raised in Baptist circles, her great-great-grandfather, Henry Sater, helped establish the first Baptist church in MD. After giving her life to Christ in 1870, she left her home church to join another church, she began her ministry teaching infant classes, a task she performed for 50 years. Some called her “indefatigable.” A synonym to the word, ‘determined.” And Annie Armstrong lived up to every inch of that pseudonym.
She served on many missions-driven boards, helping orphans, immigrants, and indigent families. Most prominently was her heart for Native Americans. She made many trips to Indian Country to assist with clothing and other needs. Her legacy lives on through her famous command to “Go Forward!” In 1888, she worked to establish the Women’s Missionary Union (WMU). She was integral in writing its constitution and became its first correspondent secretary.
She was also an avid writer. “Miss Annie,” as she was affectionately known, wrote over 18,000 letters and leaflets in one year for two publications devoted to missions, and a contributor to other columns. She also wrote the first letter to the churches in support of the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for her mission work in China.
She also wrote of her experiences in the mission field. Through her writing, “Miss Annie” was critical in establishing communication between denominational leaders, churches, and the missionaries in the field. Refusing a salary, she traveled at her own expense, to rally churches in support of missionaries. It is through her efforts that an annual Home Missions Offering was established. This giving was to be earmarked for North American and Canada missions. In 1935, the WMU named this offering the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering, in her honor.
Her devotion to North American missions and her commitment to bringing first-hand accounts through her visits across the nation make her much like Paul. She would share experiences about the churches she visited with other churches and denominational leaders. She retired in 1906 but remained extensively active in the missionary field until her death in 1938.
This year’s Week of Prayer is April 21-27. Our Ingathering is on April 28th. Our church goal is $5000. Pray for our missionaries and pray about what God would have you give. Every dollar given goes directly to the furthering of North American Missions. To date, over $1.1 billion has been given in support of almost 5100 missionaries in church planting and compassion ministries.
“The future lies all before us… Shall it only be a slight advance upon what we usually do? Ought it not to be a bound, a leap forward, to altitudes of endeavor and success undreamed of before?” –Annie Armstrong