More states promise larger CP gifts

NASHVILLE, Tenn.?More state conventions are committed to sending a larger share of Cooperative Program dollars to Southern Baptist causes worldwide by reducing the portion they keep for ministry within the state.

Kentucky Baptists set the pace for next year when messengers to their annual meeting approved a 5.54 percent increase to the national Southern Baptist Convention. Sixteen of the 41 state conventions and fellowships will increase the percentage of CP dollars sent beyond their states in 2011, most of them making the change at a time when their own in-state budgets were cut.

Only eight state bodies increased their own budgets for next year, a half-dozen kept them flat, and the majority made cuts as extreme as 13.6 percent for the Baptist General Convention of Texas and nearly 10 percent for Kansas-Nebraska. Of the 24 state conventions and fellowships that passed lower budgets, seven did so while increasing the share of dollars sent to national and international causes, including Indiana, Colorado, Mississippi, Minnesota-Wisconsin, Dakotas, Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia, and North Carolina.

Summaries of officer elections and budgets from surrounding states and conventions follow:

ARKANSAS?Clay Hallmark, pastor of First Baptist Church in Marion, was re-elected president and Kim Bridges, pastor of First Baptist Church in Marmaduke was elected first vice president. Messengers approved a flat budget of nearly $21.5 million for 2011, with a 0.2 percent increase for SBC causes to 42.57 percent.

LOUISIANA?Rod Masteller, pastor of Summer Grove Baptist Church in Shreveport, was re-elected president, and Rick Byargeon, pastor of Temple Baptist Church in Ruston, was elected first vice president. Louisiana Baptists approved a 2011 budget of $21,284,217, down $1.2 million from the current year, while continuing to send 36.49 percent to SBC causes.

NEW MEXICO?Messengers elected R. Maurice Hollingsworth, pastor of First Baptist Church in Las Cruces, as president and Gary Wolfe, pastor of First Baptist Church in Otis, as first vice president. A 2011 Cooperative Program budget of $4.01 million was approved, representing a reduction of 10.36 percent from 2010, with the portion of CP gifts sent to SBC causes remaining at 30.5 percent.

OKLAHOMA?Douglas Melton, pastor of Southern Hills Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, was elected president, with Griff Henderson, pastor of Waterloo Road Baptist Church in Edmond, elected first vice president. Messengers approved a $24.2 million budget which represents a 7 percent decrease from the current budget, continuing to allocate 40 percent to the SBC national and international missions and ministries.

TEXAS (BGCT)?Victor Rodriguez, pastor of South San Filadelfia Baptist Church in San Antonio, was elected president, with Jerry Carlisle, pastor of First Baptist Church in Plano, elected first vice president. Messengers adopted a $38 million budget for 2011, a 13.6 percent decrease from the 2010 budget, while continuing to forward 21 percent to SBC causes in the preferred adopted budget.

A detailed report of the SBTC annual meeting is accessible at texanonline.net. Byron McWilliams, pastor of First Baptist Church in Odessa, was re-elected president, with Loui Canchola, pastor of Cornerstone Church in McAllen, as vice president. A $25.4 million budget was approved for 2011, a 2.55 percent increase over the current year. The amount forwarded to SBC causes remains at 55 percent.

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