CP giving rises, MBC Executive Board to recommend budget increase for 2005
By Allen Palmeri
July 20, 2004
JEFFERSON CITY – Messengers to the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) annual meeting in October will be asked to approve a 2005 budget of $16.7 million, $500,000 more than was approved in each of 2003 and 2004.
With giving through the Cooperative Program (CP) on the rise, the MBC Executive Board July 13 chose to recommend the increased budget with one percent, or $167,000, set aside to promote the CP. The budget will include small increases for church planting and The Pathway, along with personnel pay raises, MBC Executive Director David Clippard said. Establishing a $16.7 million budget is very appropriate, he noted.
“We might break $17 (million), but I do believe the $16.7 (million) is a good, conservative number for us,” Clippard said.
Clippard asked for a shout of “Hallelujah!” after MBC Controller Jay Hughes gave a financial report that was full of “good news and good news.” Hughes said that CP giving through June was 3.88 percent ahead of last year’s pace.
“Overall, we’re in good shape,” Hughes said. “Our churches are coming through.”
Buoyed by the good financial news, board members adopted a plan where no CP dollars will be used to fund litigation intended to recover five breakaway agencies. Clippard said the combination of about $500,000 in the Agency Restoration Fund in the form of an approved line of credit and a projected $150,000 given by churches and individuals to the fund this year (coupled with the anticipated level of giving next year) would prevent any use of CP money for this purpose through 2005.
The board did, however, reserve the right to use CP funds if necessary, much to the dismay of John Justice, pastor, Grant Avenue Baptist Church. Justice’s motion to block the legal task force from ever tapping into CP dollars was overwhelmingly defeated, with only three other board members supporting him.
“The board does have the power to use money out of reserves for legal expenses only by a board vote, but we want the convention to be aware of that,” said Kenny Qualls, MBC associate executive director. “At the convention, they (the messengers) will tell us if they like that or don’t like that.”
It was announced that the MBC has a block of 275 rooms at the Clarion Hotel, formerly known as the Adam’s Mark, for the annual meeting Oct. 25-27 at First Baptist Church, Raytown. An additional 228 rooms are being held for individual reservations of messengers and visitors at local hotels. Messengers wanting to reserve rooms may contact Linda Stockton at the MBC at 1-800-736-6227, Ext. 621.
In other action, board members voted to:
- Reallocate funds in the 2004 budget for the Partee Center for Baptist Historical Studies to the new Baptist Archives Center that was created in January by the MBC Historical Commission;
- Give $100,000 from 2005 budget reserves to the undergraduate program at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary;
- Add to the MBC job inventory an advertising/website coordinator position for The Pathway;
- Establish a Capital Campaign to raise $650,000 for the construction of a new Baptist Student Union building on the campus of Truman State University in Kirksville;
- Transfer $171,188 in the William Jewell Escrow Fund to reserves.