Pages Navigation Menu

One Great Hour of Sharing Offering 2018

One Great Hour of Sharing Offering 2018

 

One Great Hour of Sharing (“OGHS”) is one of four annual offerings received by American Baptist churches.  OGHS makes the love of Christ real for individuals and communities around the world who suffer the effects of disaster, conflict, poverty or severe economic hardship, and for those who find themselves refugees or displaced within their home country.

The One Great Hour of Sharing offering is the American Baptist response to worldwide disaster relief and development. One Great Hour of Sharing in cooperation with other denominations, is a channel for national and international aid in times of crisis.

A Brief History of OGHS

During World War II and immediately following, Protestant churches made appeals for relief and reconstruction. In 1946, Bishop Henry Knox Sherrill, newly-elected Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, set a goal of one million dollars per year for the Presiding Bishop’s Fund for World Relief. On nationwide radio, he challenged members to raise “one million dollars in one hour.” His impassioned challenge worked. During the first three years, Episcopalians raised $3.8 million.

In 1949, church leaders from several denominations formed an ad hoc committee to organize an appeal aimed at supporting the separate campaigns of American churches. While the post-war language seems a bit stilted, their joint statement in support of this effort is still remarkably contemporary: “This nationwide united effort by America’s Christians has an importance far beyond the practical goal of fund raising. For this great joint program will not only strengthen the vitally important relief and rehabilitation work of the churches overseas, but will also prove to all the world how great is the power generated when Christians unite in a common cause.”

A cast was recruited from among the foremost dramatic and musical talent in the United States, including Gregory Peck and Ida Lupino, and a script was written under the direction of playwright Robert Sherwood. President Truman brought greetings. Major networks and many independent stations carried the program on Saturday, March 26 at 10 p.m., EST. The broadcast, called “One Great Hour,” closed with a request that listeners attend their local church the following morning and make a sacrificial contribution. No exact measure of income was possible, but it was estimated that more than 75,000 churches participated.

In 1950, the title “One Great Hour of Sharing” was used for the first time. A logo depicting a church steeple clock with hands fixed at eleven was also adopted. A series of six fifteen-minute radio programs was produced to promote the effort, but problems with radio stations brought disappointing results.

The next year, the name of the offering was changed to “One Great Time of Sharing.” In 1952, the name was changed back to One Great Hour of Sharing, and has remained so ever since. By 1954, the announced goal for all giving to One Great Hour of Sharing reached eight million dollars.

From the beginning this has been an ecumenical effort. As denominations changed and merged, One Great Hour of Sharing has varied from eight to twenty-nine participating communions.

For complete details and resources go to http://abc-oghs.org

Thank you!