SBTC board takes first step toward foundation, hires 3 ministry staff

The Southern Baptists of Texas Convention’s Executive Board took the first official steps toward establishing an SBTC foundation during its summer meeting Aug. 2 in Grapevine. The board also hired three new ministry staff, including a South Texas area coordinator and associates in the collegiate ministries and financial services areas, and approved a proposed 2006 budget of $19.3 million.

The Southern Baptists of Texas Convention’s Executive Board took the first official steps toward establishing an SBTC foundation during its summer meeting Aug. 2 in Grapevine. The board also hired three new ministry staff, including a South Texas area coordinator and associates in the collegiate ministries and financial services areas, and approved a proposed 2006 budget of $19.3 million.

The board unanimously voted to establish the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention Foundation (SBTCF) and to “file the appropriate documents with the Secretary of State of the state of Texas and to further pursue tax-exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service and the state of Texas.”

If SBTC messengers meeting in October in Amarillo vote to officially establish the foundation, it will then be able to accept gifts, according to a motion the board passed.

Further, the board approved $60,000 of SBTC surplus funds for the foundation’s “start-up, operational and other costs.”

“We have worked very diligently with the staff and have worked to ensure that we have struck the proper balance between equipping the new board and the new entity to do what it is intended to do, and that is to develop resources for the kingdom’s work and the work of this convention, and to do that in the broadest manner possible,” said Terry Simmons, a lawyer specializing in charitable foundations who has helped the SBTC in developing the foundation.

In a statement to the TEXAN, SBTC Executive Director Jim Richards said: “After careful study, the Executive Board proposes to the convention the creation of a separate entity. There are incredible possibilities with this ministry. Kingdom-minded people want to invest funds for the glory of God and provide for the work of ministry after they are gone. The SBTC Foundation is a vehicle that will help forward-thinking believers accomplish what they desire. New church starts, scholarships for SBTC students, evangelism efforts and a myriad of other expressions of faith will come to reality through the foundation.”

Simmons said increasing instances of litigation against non-profit organizations “makes it appropriate to separate (the foundation’s functions) from the convention proper” yet maintain control over the separate convention entity.

According to an organizational summary given to the SBTC board:

>The Foundation will have a five-member board of directors that SBTC messengers will elect; they must be members of a church in fellowship and cooperation with the SBTC,

>”The Foundation is a supporting entity of the SBTC (which means it will contribute funds to the SBTC) and is a ‘controlled entity’ since it is controlled by the SBTC.”

>”In addition to holding and managing assets for the benefit of the SBTC, the Foundation will also be able to hold and manage assets for other entities as shown in the bylaws. …” However, “We cannot hold and manage assets long term for entities that have no relationship with us.”

>Prior to the 2006 SBTC annual meeting the SBTC Nominating Committee will “select the interim board of directors and name the elected and appointed officers of the board. Elected officers must be on the Board. These board officers are also officers of the corporation.”

>”At the SBTC annual meeting in October the Nominating Committee will nominate and the Convention will elect a new board of directors (may result in the continued service of the interim Directors).”

PROPOSED 2006 BUDGET

Administrative Committee chairman Randy Davis told the board the proposed 2006 SBTC budget of $19.3 million is “pretty much a flat budget” compared to the 2005 budget of $19,245,933–an increase of $54,269 or .28 percent.

The budget includes projected Cooperative Program receipts of $18,726,347, with 53 percent distributed to Southern Baptist Convention causes and 47 percent retained for SBTC ministries.

Executive Director Jim Richards told the board that during the convention’s first five years affiliated churches gave an average of $1,000 of undesignated CP gifts per month. Recently that level has dropped to an average of about $900 per church—something Richards said he attributes to many new church starts and newer affiliates who have little knowledge of the role of the Cooperative Probrag in funding SBC missions, and often tight finances.

“It is not because churches are giving less necessarily—although that is the case in some places because some churches have chosen to take formerly Cooperative Program dollars to fund their direct mission efforts. But it’s not ‘either/or,’ it’s ‘both/and,’ hopefully,” Richards said.

“It is always better to receive 110 percent of your budget, than it is to receive 98 percent of your budget,” Richards said, noting that this year’s 18 percent budget increase would likely be met by year’s end based on mid-year numbers that you are almost at pace with projections.

BUDGET YEAR-TO-DATE

Chief Financial Officer Joe Davis reported to the board that though CP receipts were 1.5 percent below budget at the end of June, total revenues were nearly one-half percent higher than projected because of interest income and designated gifts.

Compared with the same period last year, CP receipts are $160,859 higher, Davis said.

Based on income and expenses at midyear, Davis said he expects a surplus of around $900,000 at year’s end.

Reserve operating funds are approximately $3.25 million–$900,000 above the convention’s stated goal.

Also at the end of June:

>Reach Texas, the state mission offering, was $882,736—more than $110,000 above the same period last year;

>The Annie Armstrong offering (North American missions) was $1,709,885–$90,949 above the same period last year;

>The Lottie Moon offering (international missions) was $5,132,131—less that the $6.3 million during the same period last year.

Including the three new ministry associates elected during the meeting, the convention employs 22 ministry staff members and 23 ministry staff assistants.

NEW MINISTRY STAFF

The board elected three new ministry associates, including Kyle Cox as SBCT area coordinator for South Texas. Cox’s hiring gives the SBTC one area director in each of its three areas of East Texas, West Texas and South Texas.

Cox is a former SBC missionary to Chile who served for nine years as executive director of Galveston Baptist Association. He has served the SBTC this year as a consultant in minister-church relations and is a Southwestern Seminary graduate.

“My vision and my desire and dream (for South Texas),” Cox said, “is to network with pastors in the area, to bring them closer in cooperation with our convention … and to instill in them a desire to get in touch with Bro. Robby’s (Partain) department to begin new churches. I would like to see churches doubling in that area as soon as possible.”

The board also hired its first collegiate and young adult ministries associate, Lance Crowell of Deer Park, Texas. Previously the convention used consultants to serve its church-based collegiate ministry program.

Crowell, also a Southwestern graduate, has served as college and career minister at Sagemont Church in Houston for six years.

Crowell told the board that college ministry is “one of the most vital areas of ministry to the next generation.”

“My vision is that we would connect these college students and young adults, 18-to-25-year-olds, to the local church, because they are going to be the leaders for this next generation.” Crowell also said he hopes to help churches develop effective ministries to the young adult age group.

The board also elected Randall Jenkins as associate chief financial officer, a new position that will include management of the new SBTC Foundation.

Jenkins is a veteran banker and chairman of deacons at Galloway Avenue Baptist Church in Mesquite. Since 1998, Jenkins has served as vice president and commercial relationship manager at Compass Bank in Dallas.

He is a 1980 graduate of Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas.

Jenkins told the board he has sensed for some time that commercial banking was “just a vocation” for him and that “God had other things for me to do.” When corporate search agencies would occasionally call to see if Jenkins was interested in other positions, he never felt impressed enough in prayer to respond, he said. When the SBTC called, however, Jenkins said he realized the Lord had been preparing him for a ministry vocation through his 24 years in banking.

Jenkins’ job description includes management of the SBTC budget, internal accounting oversight, human resources, SBTC office operations, and assisting in the SBTC Foundation’s development and management.

In other business, the board:

>Recommended Skeet Workman of Lubbock as recipient of the 2005 H. Paul Pressler Distinguished Service Award.

>Renewed affiliations with East Texas Baptist Family Ministry and Jacksonville College.

>Established an affiliation with Texas Baptist Home in Waxahachie, a ministry of the Baptist Missionary Association of Texas.

>Created a new category of relating to outside ministries known as “ministry partnerships.”

>Recognized the Korean Baptist Fellowship of Texas and Texas Baptist Men as ministry partners under this new category.

>Received an addendum, signed by SBTC Executive Director Jim Richards and North American Mission Board President Robert E. Reccord, to the cooperative agreement between the two entities that asks NAMB to provide SBTC staff written notification of planned NAMB events within Texas “twelve months prior to public promotion of such events as well as clear communication of any other conferences conducted in Texas.”

 

 

TEXAN Correspondent
Jerry Pierce
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