DALLAS (BP) – This year’s 100th anniversary of the founding of GuideStone Financial Resources will be a time to glance to the past but remain focused on the ministry’s future, GuideStone President O.S. Hawkins told trustees during their Feb. 26-27 meeting in Dallas.
In addition to the annual theme, trustees elected a new board chair and vice chair and heard reports from the Southern Baptist entity’s various ministry areas. Trustees also toured the location of GuideStone’s new offices, to which the ministry will relocate in late summer.
John R. Morris of North Carolina, a retired bank president who has served as his church’s chairman of deacons, was elected trustee chairman, having completed a term as vice chair. A trustee since 2012, Morris has served on the board’s budget subcommittee, administrative policy committee and executive committee. Renée A. Trewick, a vice president responsible for risk management at Marsh USA in New York City, was elected trustee vice chair. A trustee since 2014, Trewick has served on the board’s administrative policy committee.
Retirement & investments
Chief Operating Officer John R. Jones reported on GuideStone’s work throughout 2017, noting that organizational assets exceeded $15 billion for the first time in 2017, growing 14.2 percent during the year.
Total active retirement plan accounts continued to grow in 2017, totaling 186,000 participant accounts, up 2.2 percent year-over-year.
Additionally, total retirement and investment contributions exceeded $1 billion, an increase of 11.1 percent over 2016.
Insurance continued to be a focus for GuideStone in 2017, Jones said. Medical plans enrollment declined slightly in 2017 due to the continued impacts of the Affordable Care Act and uncertainty in the medical coverage marketplace. Jones said the No. 1 goal for GuideStone in health care in 2018 includes offering an additional health care option that will provide lower premiums.
For the property and casualty ministry area, the alliance with Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company continues to benefit GuideStone and Southern Baptist churches. At the end of 2017, GuideStone had 1,146 accounts with total bound premiums of $23.9 million. Sales efforts resulted in $3.9 million in new coverage. GuideStone was able to retain 97 percent of its insured churches and ministries from 2016 to 2017.
Mission:Dignity had its best year ever, raising nearly $7.7 million in gifts to the GuideStone ministry that provides financial assistance to retired Southern Baptist pastors, workers and, in most cases, their widows. The gifts reflect a 2.3 percent increase over 2016, Jones reported.
Nearly 2,100 new donors gave first-time gifts to the ministry during 2017, which saw a record $1.1 million in gifts in December alone, as well as more than $125,000 given during the “Giving Tuesday” emphasis in November. That amount was propelled by $64,000 in matching funds provided by five generous donors.
Trustees approved an operating budget for 2018 that reflects a 1.1 percent increase over the 2017 budget, which itself was reduced approximately 10 percent from 2016.