Board hears details on CP projects
By Allen Palmeri
December 22, 2004
JEFFERSON CITY – The Executive Board of the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) was briefed Dec. 13 and 14 on a detailed plan by MBC staffers to implement nine projects at a cost of $167,000 to promote the Cooperative Program (CP).
The money has been set aside in the convention’s $16.7 million budget for 2005 as a one percent commitment to the CP, which is commonly described as the lifeblood of Southern Baptist mission work. The need to promote the CP is increasing because so many of the church members who give large amounts of money through the CP are senior citizens.
“We have churches that are growing older and older and older, and that’s where the greatest Cooperative Program givers are,” said Mike Dennis, MBC Cooperative Program specialist. “What happens to our mission support when those givers are no longer around?”
The MBC has already launched a $44,000 project to integrate CP materials into multiple areas of MBC program work. Working very closely with Dennis in this effort is Spencer Hutson, MBC stewardship specialist. Dennis and Hutson talk about how they function as two halves of a whole, or two sides of a coin, when it comes to helping Missouri Baptists handle God’s money. Both have spent hours defining and refining all nine projects to the point where every penny of the $167,000 will be spent wisely.
“We know that the generations we’re dealing with now are heavily video oriented so we need to be able to provide materials that are going to communicate the Cooperative Program story and biblical stewardship story in that way,” Dennis said.
Hutson is excited about the third project, which encompasses Christian money management seminars at a cost of around $30,000.
“They’re video-driven and facilitated by someone who really doesn’t have to be an expert in the field, just have a heart for it,” Hutson said. “We’re trying to get it out of Jefferson City and out into the state to be used.”
The No. 2 project is for contract labor to provide support and assistance in the strategic implementation of the nine projects. A total of $30,000 will be set aside for this purpose.
Executive Board members heard good news from MBC Executive Director David Clippard in that there likely will be a budget surplus of around $500,000 at the end of the year. Clippard said he would eventually like to see the MBC build up to a three-month reserve level of $1.4 million.
Clippard reported to board members that he was already getting excited about the 2006 MBC annual meeting in Cape Girardeau. Plans are being made to produce an updated written history of Missouri Baptist life for distribution at the meeting, which will coincide with the 200th anniversary of the founding of “Old Bethel,” the first evangelical church formed west of the Mississippi River, in a settlement a few miles west of Cape Girardeau.
In another development, Gene Foster, MBC Human Resources specialist, told board members that Church Mutual Insurance Co. will not be renewing the MBC on Dec. 31, due in large part to the loss of reinsurance coverage. However, the MBC has purchased a “tail” on the coverage which will indefinitely cover claims and potential countersuits stemming from the MBC’s bid to regain control of five breakaway agencies. Foster said that talks to secure insurance coverage for the MBC by the New Year are going well.
“We won’t be without coverage,” he said. “I think we will have a new carrier by Dec. 31.”
In other action, board members voted to:
- Approve a job inventory position for a personal evangelism/spiritual awakening specialist. Clippard said he plans on hiring Ron Barker, who formerly served on staff with Charles Stanley at First Baptist Church, Atlanta, for this position starting May 1.
- Raise the rate of pay for business mileage for executive board members from 24 cents per mile to 25 cents.
- Fill the unexpired board term for 2005 of Andrew McGehee on the Missouri Baptist Children’s Home Board of Trustees with the appointment of Dale Eiceman. The board also voted to place Randall Miller on The Baptist Home’s board to replace Brian Credille for a term expiring in 2005, as well as Edgar Alms, who will fill the 2009 term of Jerry Sheridan on the Hannibal-LaGrange College Board of Trustees.
- Instruct MBC counsel to take under consideration and review documents dealing with changes in the corporate structure of the Missouri Baptist Children’s Home.