FORT WORTH The Southern Baptists of Texas Convention will have a new ministry associate to help engage international people groups and connect Texas Southern Baptists to related ministry opportunities in the Lone Star state.
The SBTC Executive Board, in its spring meeting April 27 in Fort Worth, elected Chad Vandiver, a third-generation missionary raised in West Africa who has served with the International Mission Board, as the new missions strategies associate.
Also, the board heard favorable reports regarding the convention’s annual financial audit and from the nine convention ministry departments. Cooperative Program receipts were ahead of budget at the end of 2009 and have run slightly below budget so far this year, though ahead of last year’s pace during the same timeframe, reported SBTC Chief Financial Officer Joe Davis.
Vandiver has served the SBTC part time in a similar role since 2007. “Many of our mission strategies have developed to a point where they really need more attention,” SBTC Missions Director Terry Coy told the board. “There are so many more people groups, so many more opportunities in multi-housing ministry and other mission strategies that need significant time and investment.”
“There is a system of mobilizing volunteers that we are really not tapping into regarding people-group outreach and multi-housing outreach, refugee missions, literacy missions ? we need to be more strategic in connecting SBTC churches with these opportunities,” Coy added. “Therefore, we wanted to bring in someone with Chad’s skills to connect those dots.”
In addition to serving three years as an IMB team leader, he has experience in the financial services industry, most recently at the SBC’s GuideStone Financial Services in Dallas. In sharing his testimony with the board, Vandiver told of growing up on the Ivory Coast of West Africa, coming to saving faith in Christ at age 8, and playing soccer with Muslim playmates.
“The Lord has just continually opened the door to share with Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists throughout my life,” Vandiver said.
Coy said Vandiver would “hit the ground running in his new role.”
Davis, the CFO, told the board that giving from churches through the Cooperative Program missions funding channel was $354,112 ahead of budget to close 2009, ending with a net operating income of nearly $2.6 million because of faithful giving, spending restraints and interest income of $153,631.
“We feel blessed to have been there with the economy as it has been,” Davis said of 2009. Through March, CP receipts were $263,807 behind budget but $133,006 higher than last year at that point. “March was not a good month, but looking at the bar graph it looks like every March has tended to be down.” Davis said he anticipated April’s receipts would meet or exceed budget.
Compared to last year’s numbers through March, Davis reported that giving to the Lottie Moon Offering for International Missions is up?$7.02 million over $5.89 million in 2009?while giving is down for the Annie Armstrong North American Missions offering ($378,710 compared to $431,866 in ’09) and the SBTC’s Reach Texas Offering ($958,152 compared to $1.02 million in ’09).
Following Davis’ report, board chairman John Meador, pastor of First Baptist Church of Euless, said he was glad to be part of a convention forwarding 55 percent of CP receipts for Southern Baptist causes beyond Texas. Acknowledging God’s faithful provision, he encouraged fellow board members to make the convention budget a matter of frequent prayer.
Verne Hargrave of the auditing firm PSK said they found “everything in pristine order” in the convention’s annual financial audit.
Hargrave said the firm’s philosophy is to also offer clients advice to enhance accounting effectiveness. Repeatedly, Hargrave said, the SBTC’s response reflects “strong stewardship and administration of the convention.”
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