BRIDGETON – The MBC Executive Board on July 11 accepted recommended changes in certain MBC governing documents, culminating a two-year effort by a Board-appointed task force to review, simplify, and update them.
The Board is scheduled to present these documents to messengers at the MBC Annual Meeting Oct. 24-26 in St. Charles. If accepted, Missouri Baptists have one year to review the documents and then vote on them at the 2017 annual meeting.
To help Missouri Baptists prepare for this year’s annual meeting, and be fully informed, the MBC has created a website where all of the documents may be reviewed. The Pathway will provide a printed version of the proposed documents in a future edition.
At mobaptist.org/governingdocs, Missouri Baptists may read a welcome letter from Executive Director-Treasurer John Yeats; view an executive summary that highlights the historical background and major changes; read the revised documents; and submit questions and comments.
In 2014, the Executive Board appointed a task force to review all of the Missouri Baptist Convention’s governing documents. These legal documents include the MBC Constitution and Bylaws; the Executive Board Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws; the MBC Business & Financial Plan; and others.
In light of refinements in not-for-profit corporate law, clarified by the arduous litigation process, and a desire to strengthen relationships, the Executive Board asked the task force to recommend ways to update and simplify these documents, and to make them more consistent with one another – a daunting task since the documents were developed at various times many years ago.
While some of the documents have been amended from time to time, all have not been comprehensively reviewed in recent memory.
The Board appointed a task force featuring three MBC entity trustee chairmen, the current and immediate-past presidents of the MBC, two attorneys, and several current Board members.
Specifically, task force members included: David Sheppard, chairman; Stephanie Bliven; James Freeman III; Bill Vail; Chuck Brazeale; Daniel Carr; Jason Fleenor; Jim Evans; Robin Dale; and Roy Dameron.
Ex officio members were Neil Franks and Wesley Hammond.
Assisting from the MBC were Yeats and Executive Assistant Carla Stegeman. MBC-retained attorneys Michael Whitehead and Jonathan Whitehead provided legal counsel. Also involved in the process was the MBC’s Committee on Continuing Review.
The task force met numerous times and invested hundreds of hours in research, drafting, reviewing similar SBC and state convention documents, and discussion. At the end of its meeting June 3, 2016, the task force successfully completed its work of simplifying and redrafting the governing documents for consistency.
It then submitted these documents to the Executive Board, which approved them.
The Board has been careful to make clear that these governing documents are “corporate” documents that delineate the behavior of corporations, institutions, and trustees. They do not set MBC strategies, goals, or day-to-day and year-to-year operational procedures, which fall under the responsibility of the Executive Director and the MBC missionary staff.
“We invite all Missouri Baptists to carefully review the documents and ask questions,” said Yeats. “This is a process we desire to do in the sunshine with full disclosure to anyone who asks. While I would not think we would want to agonize over every ‘jot and tittle’ in the documents – the task force already did that – we hope Missouri Baptists ask questions ahead of the Annual Meeting so that they may be fully informed.”