Legal fund contributions on the rise
By Bob Baysinger
June 8, 2004
JEFFERSON CITY – Money has started flowing into the Missouri Baptist Convention’s (MBC) Agency Restoration Fund and the amount is steadily rising.
“What has been happening is very encouraging,” said David Clippard, MBC executive director. “If the current trend continues, we may be able to take care of all of our legal needs with the Agency Restoration Fund. At this point, it looks as if more than $200,000 will be given to the fund this year.”
Clippard said he has been receiving four to five calls and emails weekly from churches since a letter was mailed to churches on April 16 requesting support for the fund being used to cover the MBC’s legal expenses in its quest to recover five breakaway entities.
“More churches keep calling every week. I really don’t know what the end result is going to be,” Clippard said. “Many of the churches who have contacted me have indicated that their gifts to the fund will be in addition to their Cooperative Program gifts.”
According to Jay Hughes, MBC controller, the fund total has increased “dramatically” since the Clippard letter and a column by Clippard in the April 27 issue of The Pathway. Hughes expects the increase to continue in light of recent decisions by several Missouri Baptist churches.
Concord Baptist Church, Jefferson City, for example, recently voted at its quarterly business meeting to contribute $1,000 a month to the fund for the next 12 months. Quinn said he knows of at least three other churches statewide that have decided to make sizeable contributions.
“These numbers are encouraging,” Hughes said. “The delay in churches announcing their support for the fund may be due in part to churches having to wait until their first quarter business meeting to make decisions about designating to the restoration fund.”
The Agency Restoration Fund was recommended by the MBC Executive Board in October and was approved by messengers attending the MBC annual meeting at St. Louis in November. The fund, as approved, will cover projected legal expenses of up to $1 million.
MBC leaders said the restoration fund and recent increased giving to the fund demonstrates the convention’s resolve to see the legal matters to a successful completion.