SBTC Executive Board funds ministry projects with budget surplus funds

ARLINGTON?The Southern Baptists of Texas Convention’s Executive Board on Nov. 14 elected a new slate of officers and voted to disburse $1.33 million in surplus funds for non-budgeted ministry projects, ranging from church planting initiatives in New York state to church revitalization projects in Texas.

The board elected by acclamation new board officers Dale Perry, pastor of Friendly Baptist Church in Tyler, chairman; John Brunson, a member of Houston’s First Baptist Church, vice chairman; and Carmel Melton, a member of Calvary Baptist Church in Andrews, secretary.

The board’s surplus funding includes:
?$200,000 for the printing of Chinese Bibles through LifeWay Christian Resources’ “A Defining Moment” ministry campaign.
?$200,000 for an indoor fountain area and baptistery inside the planned chapel at Southwestern Seminary.
?$150,000 for church planting and missions partnerships in the Hudson Valley Association of New York state.
?$25,000 for a ministry tent to be used at various SBTC and church events.
?$300,000 in funding toward the SBTC Foundation.
?$25,000 as a VBS associational supplement.
?$55,000 for the 360 Sunday School emphasis and training;
?$50,000 for special projects;
?$105,000 for future computer technology personnel;
?$100,000 for the 2009 Evangelism Conference;
?$50,000 for the SBTC Hispanic Initiative;
?$15,000 for Asian ministry;
?$55,000 for the Ezekiel Project for church revitalization.

At the end of 2006, the SBTC held surplus funds of $4,1 million and surplus is expected to be $6.25 million at year’s end.

Former LifeWay President Jimmy Draper, who is leading the “Defining Moment” campaign, told the board that a Chinese-language New Testament for the first time has been translated from the original
biblical languages into native languages by Chinese scholars.

“They believe they can distribute 500,000 Bibles this year” if the funds are available, Draper said.
Also at the meeting was Southwestern Seminary’s Mike Hughes, vice president for development, who thanked the board for its generosity toward the school.

The board also heard from Nevada church planter David Pretlove, a native Texan with whom several SBTC churches have partnered in planting Life Church in Reno.

Pretlove opened the meeting with a devotional, sharing how he and his wife and daughters are ministering in what he said is one of the most unchurched cities of the country. He remarked that when he tells people he is a pastor, they remark, “Wow, I’ve seen some of you guys on TV, but now I am seeing one in real life.”

Pretlove said God has blessed the church by bringing about 200 people into worship services each week and allowing them to baptize more than 20 people this year.

“God is changing lives. It’s very exciting as we’re seeing people who had no frame of reference, never
been to church in their whole lives. ? being transformed.”

The church is also working to plant other churches in the area, he said.

Pretlove told of a couple named Lawrence and Michelle who came to Christ, as well as a UPS driver and some women who work in a local salon.

“Every person who comes in that salon they invite to Life Church,” Pretlove said.

When Pretlove finished, SBTC Missions Director Robby Partain presented him with a $10,000 check from the SBTC to help further the ministry there.

Sean Pierce, director of missions in the Hudson Valley Association of New York, also attended the meeting, telling the board that of the 28 Baptist churches in the association, which includes several counties, 15 were planted in the last five years.

Baptisms are up 22 percent this year in area Baptist churches, Pierce said, and the statistics show one baptism for every seven members there?a much higher than average ratio among Southern Baptist churches.

The board formally approved affiliation requests from 48 churches, raising the number of SBTC affiliated churches to 1,961.

SBTC Chief Financial Officer Joe Davis told the board that through September, the convention was $1,541,897 ahead of Cooperative Program budget receipts and had a net operating income of $1,799,218.

Mission offering gifts through September included $6.53 million for international missions through the Lottie Moon Offering, $2.04 million for North American missions through the Annie Armstrong Offering, and $327,147 for state missions through the Reach Texas Offering.

Davis reported that the SBTC Foundation continues to seek an executive director, and he called on board members to pray for God’s man and to elicit candidates for the job.

Most Read

More state conventions join NAMB in Send Network partnerships

ALPHARETTA, Ga. – The North American Mission Board (NAMB) has, in recent years, developed Send Network agreements with state conventions across North America to enhance partnership and church planting within the SBC. So far, 23 state …

Stay informed on the news that matters most.

Stay connected to quality news affecting the lives of southern baptists in Texas and worldwide. Get Texan news delivered straight to your home and digital device.