JEFFERSON CITY – The Missouri Baptist Foundation Board of Trustees met for their final meeting of the fiscal year on Aug. 17 in Jefferson City. Among other items, the board heard reports on market returns, the progress of its church loan program and Term Investments for churches product, and took action to create new college scholarships for Missouri Baptist students while approving a new budget.
Due to favorable market returns, the diligence of staff and continued support by the Cooperative Program, the Foundation will end the year with a positive cash flow, barring an unforeseen correction in the markets. “The trustees positioned us financially very well in this year of transition,” said President Neil Franks, “we are projecting ending the year in the black.”
“Because of faithful planning, we were able to use board designated funds to upgrade our security, and update our computers. We will need to continue to add and update software to maintain our position in the world of finance. Financial software is not inexpensive, but with proper planning and execution we continue to make progress toward providing the security necessary in our risk-filled world.”
The board also approved a new fiscal budget that includes a 5% increase over previous year. “This modest increase will allow us to accomplish our goals for the upcoming year, including adding a new staff accountant to better serve our clients. We also hope to replace some of the capital expenditures from this previous year, continue to model endowment investment, while also being able to provide more support to our churches and ministries.”
One of those efforts will be a series of new Missouri Baptist Foundation College Scholarships. These $2,000 scholarships are designed to help Missouri Baptist entities attract and support Missouri Baptist students. One scholarship will be awarded to a Missouri Baptist who is attending Southwest Baptist University, another one to a student attending Hannibal-LaGrange University and another to one attending Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Another scholarship will be made available to a child of a pastor or staff member of a Missouri Baptist Convention affiliated church attending a Christian college. An additional scholarship was also approved to support a student attending a Christian college who received services from the Missouri Baptist Children’s Home. More details will be provided in a future announcement as a subcommittee of the Board will determine a time line and application process.
The Board also received a tour of the temporary offices of the Foundation on the 6th floor of the Baptist Building. “We are thankful for the support of the Convention, Dr. Yeats and the building staff allowing us to move to the 6th floor while renovation plans get under way on the 5th floor.” The Foundation has operated under a 20 year lease for office space on the 5th floor which ends in 2019. A new agreement will provide an additional seven years of lease in exchange for the remodeling of part of the 5th floor. “It has been quite a while since our space has seen any updates,” Franks said. “While it will be a modest update, things like paint, carpet, lighting, etc., it will be of great benefit to all Missouri Baptists as it will help our team better accomplish our purpose of Advancing the Gospel.”
Franks concluded, “We are making progress as a Foundation toward our ultimate goal of seeing every Missouri Baptist with an Estate Plan that benefits a Gospel advancing ministry. Our team stands ready to visit churches, stewardship committees, our entities and individuals interested in accomplishing this purpose.
“We still need help in getting the word out,” he added. “Together we can accomplish this great goal.”
The next Board meeting of the Missouri Baptist Foundation is scheduled for Dec. 14.