JEFFERSON CITY—The Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) Executive Board on July 10 voted to recommend a $14.6 million Cooperative Program (CP) budget during its meeting at the Baptist Building.
The budget, if approved by a vote of messengers during the Oct. 29-31 MBC annual meeting at the Millennium Hotel in St. Louis, is up slightly from the current budget to $14,645 million. Current cash flow is also excellent, with CP receipts for this year projected to come in around $14.6 million (up six percent from last year).
MBC Executive Director John Yeats noted that the MBC is now on a “50-50 by 2020” course to balance state and national giving for CP causes in the next seven years. This will be accomplished through a “legacy” approach to budgeting, he said. Approved by the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) in the 1950s, the method involves placing six items into a “shared” funding category (meaning they would not count toward 50-50). Within those parameters, the MBC would now focus on annuity protections and The Pathway, he said. Special status is warranted in both cases, he said, because the ministry flows back to the churches.
For 2013 this will mean $297,250 will go toward The Pathway as it transitions from a paid subscription newspaper to one that is distributed for free to upwards of 30,000 home units. For the annuity protections, the dollar amount will be $435,000. With that coming off the top, the actual total for the recommended budget drops to $13,912,750.
The MBC is in the midst of change in the financial area. Samantha Spencer, who has been employed in MBC finance for 101/2 years, has been serving as MBC controller since June 1. Jay Hughes, associate executive director and former MBC interim executive director and controller, will be leaving this month to begin his work Aug. 1 as administrative pastor for Second Baptist Church, Springfield.
The MBC has been processing information provided by Architects Alliance of Jefferson City concerning the feasibility of a historical restoration, acquiring a new Baptist Building, or purchasing an existing building. More assessment is needed in order to determine whether to stay in a renovated building, with the possibility of capital generation being explored, or whether to sell the property. To that effect, the Executive Board authorized Yeats to use up to $35,000 from the Building Fund to contract with Pearce Construction of Kansas City to develop a comprehensive strategy for the purpose of pursuing renovation/restoration of the Baptist Building with a full presentation for board approval to be given on or before the spring 2013 Executive Board meeting.
Yeats said the additional research funding will help the MBC arrive at a set of firmer cost figures if building renovation/remodeling is pursued. Pearce is a Christian company and has the experience to do this, Yeats said. His goal would be to get hard data from them and to report to the board in December.
“We just need all of the data that we possibly can to make an educated decision as we move forward,” Yeats said.
Southwest Baptist University (SBU) is seeking MBC approval of charter changes. SBU President C. Pat Taylor explained that several of them are minor in that they involve gender-neutral language. The other change involves adding a section that states that the 136 acres of property known in 2012 as the Shoffner and Stufflebaum campuses in Bolivar, which amounts to the entire SBU main campus, cannot be sold or leased without the approval of the MBC Executive Board or the Convention in annual session. These proposed changes were agreed upon by the Executive Board and will now go to the messengers in St. Louis. Taylor also secured the board’s blessing for the university to pursue the internal consolidation of two long-term, tax-exempt bonds going from a variable rate to a single fixed rate of around 4 percent for the next 22 years to pay off facility project upgrades accomplished in 1998 and 2003. The deal also involves SBU borrowing an additional $2.5 million to go for deferred campus maintenance.
Mark Snowden, North American Mission Board (NAMB) lead storying trainer, is the newest MBC employee. Snowden served in a number of ministry roles with NAMB including four years in the church planting group. He will be coming here as an evangelism/discipleship associate and starting Aug. 16.
Snowden served 18 years with the International Mission Board (IMB) and was mentored by storying pioneers Jim Slack and J.O. Terry. He describes himself as a missions influencer, an international speaker and trainer, and someone who is dedicated to making disciplemakers who can multiply themselves. He is president of Snowden Ministries International and co-author of Truth That Sticks. He also was a consultant with Saddleback Church related to the PEACE Plan.
MBC President John Marshall, pastor, Second Baptist Church, Springfield, has released the names on a couple of committees that he has appointed.
For the Committee on Convention Committees, the appointees are: Cody Hinton, layman, Frederick Boulevard Baptist Church, St. Joseph; Dennis Miller, layman, First Baptist Church, Kirksville; Tom Willoughby, minister, Living Stones Community Church, Blue Springs (chairman); Darryl Stagg, director of missions, Harmony Baptist Association; Chad Hodges, pastor, First Baptist Church, Wright City; Kevin Rhodes, evangelist, First Baptist Church, Millersville; Diana Edwards, laity, First Baptist Church, Mountain Grove; and Craig Coppenbarger, pastor, Harvest Hill Baptist Church, Strafford.
For the Executive Board Committee on Committees, the appointees are: Ty Harmon, minister, Springfield (chairman); Ronn Brooks, minister, Florissant; and Welby Jones, minister, Kansas City. They join with existing members Douglas Clinton, minister, Desloge; Benny Gard, minister, Springfield; and Menk Ferguson, minister, Arnold.
In other business, board members:
• Voted to recommend that the 2015 annual meeting of the MBC be held Oct. 26-28 at the University Plaza and Expo Center in Springfield;
• Approved a request by the Christian Life Commission to authorize an Oct. 7 Day of Prayer and Humiliation before the Lord in conjunction with the Nov. 6 general election;
• Heard a clean audit report as