SBTC board approves proposed budget, plans to honor retired Ft. Worth pastor


The Southern Baptists of Texas Convention’s Executive Board will recommend to SBTC messengers in November a proposed 2007 budget of $20.07 million, an increase of 4.4 percent over 2006. It approved the proposal at its quarterly meeting Aug. 15 in Grapevine.

The budget would include an increase in the percentage of undesignated receipts the SBTC passes on to Southern Baptist Convention causes from the current 53 percent to 54 percent in 2007. The remaining 46 percent would support ministries in Texas.

The board also voted unanimously to honor retired Fort Worth pastor and former missionary Miles Seaborn Jr. with the H. Paul Pressler Distinguished Service Award during the SBTC annual meeting Nov. 13-14 in Austin. The award is given to a native Texan or Texas resident who has sacrificially served the Southern Baptist Convention or the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.

Other actions included:

Changing the title and job description of Hispanic Initiative director Mike Gonzales to director of Hispanic Initiative and Ethnic Ministries.

Approved $10,000 in surplus funds to be sent to the Lebanese Society for Educational & Social Development, the organization that runs the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary in Beirut. The relief comes as Arab Baptists minister to Muslims in Beirut who were displaced because of recent fighting between Israel and Hezbollah, a terrorist group based in Beirut. A missions team from First Baptist Church of Forney was in Beirut when fighting began in July and was evacuated after taking shelter at the seminary.

Approved a personnel policy change that restricts retirement contributions from the convention to full-time convention employees on base pay only.

Approved the affiliation requests of 39 churches.

Approved extending affiliation agreements with East Texas Baptist Family Ministry (through Dec. 31, 2008); Texas Baptist Home for Children (through Dec. 31, 2008); and with Jacksonville College (through Dec. 31, 2009). The affiliate agreement with Criswell College was not scheduled for review this year.

The recommended 2007 budget of $20,079,043 estimates $10.5 million going to the SBC allocation budget, which supports six seminaries, the International Mission Board, North American Mission Board, the SBC Executive Committee and the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. The other SBC entities, LifeWay Christian Resources and GuideStone Financial Resources, receive no Cooperative Program funding. The CP is Southern Baptists’ missions funding method.

The 1 percent hike going to SBC causes would be an estimated $607,377 more dollars from SBTC churches, according to a budget summary from the SBTC financial office.

The 2007 budget for Texas ministry, though a smaller percentage of undesignated receipts, would be an estimated increase of $170,611.

The SBTC operating budget designation of 54 percent to SBC causes remains the highest of Baptist state conventions.

Cooperative Program receipts year to date are $458,842 above budget, reported Randall Jenkins, financial services ministry associate. The convention had a net operating income of $987,052 through July.

TEXAN Correspondent
Jerry Pierce
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