JEFFERSON CITY—The Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) has entered into discussions with the Baptist Convention of Iowa (BCI) about a closer relationship.
MBC Executive Director David Tolliver on Dec. 13 shared details with the MBC Administrative Committee and sought their approval concerning a task force he would like to appoint to look into the matter, which is initially being called a partnership. He said the task force would work with BCI representatives to investigate the possibilities and the ramifications of this partnership. The task force would one day report back to the Administrative Committee and ultimately the Executive Board “when it is appropriate,” he said.
Tolliver noted that a possible closer relationship could be deliberated for a period of 3-5 years.
“I am excited about the potential for increased ministry opportunities and for the opportunity to extend the influence of Missouri Baptists,” Tolliver said. “I am also realistic and I am very aware of the challenges that are ahead of us. I look forward to spending time with my friend, Jimmy Barrentine, as we look for God’s direction in this matter.”
BCI Executive Director Jimmy Barrentine has told Tolliver on behalf of the BCI Executive Board that he would like Missouri Baptists to “consider entering into an open-ended partnership that will be deeper than a traditional partnership and could result in an eventual merger of the two conventions.”
At some point down the road, Barrentine said, the “multi-layered” partnership could be viewed as something that would be “folding over” into a full merge of the two conventions.
The Organizational Study Group (OSG) of the MBC would not necessarily be impacted by the new task force, Tolliver said. The OSG, which is one year old, can continue its work of doing research and reporting back findings to the MBC Executive Board on restructuring recommendations concerning the MBC staff. The new MBC structure is expected to be introduced to the Executive Board in April and would launch January 2012.
ALLEN PALMERI/associate editor