Lottie Moon Offering
Every December since 1888, the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering has empowered Southern Baptist’s international missions work. Generous giving to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering® makes a difference among the multitudes. Men, women, children, and entire communities are transformed as a result of this offering. Your gifts enable thousands of missionaries to live among, serve, and share the gospel with people who have never heard it until now.
Charlotte "Lottie" Digges Moon was born on December 12, 1840, to affluent and staunchly Baptist parents, Anna Maria Barclay and Edward Harris Moon. She grew up (to her full height of 4 feet 3 inches) on the family's ancestral plantation, Viewmont, in Albemarle County, Virginia. A precocious and irreverent child, Moon underwent a spiritual awakening at the age of eighteen, after a series of revivals on her college campus. Educated at Baptist-affiliated Virginia Female Seminary (later Hollins Institute) and Albemarle Female Institute in Charlottesville, Virginia, Moon received in 1861 one of the first master of arts degrees awarded to a woman by a southern institution
After a brief teaching career in Cartersville, Georgia, Lottie spent nearly 40 years (1873-1912) in China as a Baptist missionary. In an extraordinary life punctuated with selfless acts of devotion and faith in God, the teacher and evangelist paved the way for Baptists' traditionally solid support for missions. While serving in China nearly 150 years ago, Lottie began writing letters challenging the American church to send and support more workers to go there.
The annual Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions has raised a total of $1.5 billion for missions, and finances half the international missions budget of the Southern Baptist Convention every year.
10 things you should know about Lottie Moon:
- Lottie was born in Virginia on December 12, 1840.
- Her name was Charlotte Digges Moon, but everyone called her “Lottie.”
- She was 4’9” tall.
- Before she became a Christian while in high school, Lottie missed required chapels 26 times.
- Lottie loved to pull pranks on others. Once, when asked what the “D” stood for in her middle name, she replied, “Devil.”
- Lottie was appointed to China as a missionary at age 33 and served there 39 years, primarily in Tengchow and Pingtu.
- She wore Chinese clothes and lived like her Chinese neighbors.
- Lottie had several nicknames in China—foreign devil, foreign lady teacher, heavenly book visitor, and the cookie maker. (Lottie baked cookies to win the hearts of the children and families who were frightened of her.)
- Lottie led in the campaign to end the practice of bound feet. The Chinese believed small feet made a woman more beautiful, so girls' feet were bound tightly with cloth. Girls with bound feet could hardly walk, and infections, gangrene, and even death were common side effects of this practice.
- In 1912 at the end of her career, famine, flood, and war encircled her China. Her friends were starving. In a final act of empathy, Lottie stopped eating and gave all her food away. When her friends realized the depth of her sickness, they put her on a boat to return to the United States. Lottie died on Christmas Eve while en route to the U.S.