KINGWOOD The election of new officers, the celebration of the self-sufficiency of the Southern Baptists of Texas Foundation, and an update on the Send City of New Orleans were some of the highlights of the executive board meeting held the day after the conclusion of the Southern Baptists of Texas annual meeting in Houston.
In the meeting on Nov. 14 the Board elected Danny Forshee chairman. Forshee is the pastor of Great Hills Baptist Church in Austin. Mark Hogan, a member of Castle Hills Church in San Antonio, was elected vice chairman. Damon Halliday, pastor of Keystone Fellowship Church in Fort Worth, was elected secretary. All three were elected by acclamation.
SBTC Executive Director Jim Richards recognized outgoing chairman Kie Bowman for his service. “What an incredible leader, no greater cheerleader for the SBTC than our dear brother Kie,” Richards said of Bowman, pastor at Hyde Park Baptist Church in Austin.
The board also approved sending half of the balance in a revocable endowment at the end of the year to the Southern Baptist of Texas Foundation for next year’s general operations, with the remainder returning to SBTC reserves. Foundation Executive Director Bart McDonald explained that the action is part of a strategy to reverse the custom of consuming Cooperative Program resources.
“For the first time in the 15 years of the foundation’s existence the foundation is financially and operationally now self-sufficient which means we generate enough revenue not only to fully absorb our cost but also, like the convention, to produce a surplus,” McDonald stated. “Our desire, our heart’s goal, is to be a provider of ministry service that produces surplus so we can go back to the (SBTC) and say ‘plant more churches, do more work.’”
The board also heard a report about the SBTC’s partnership with New Orleans, one of the cities listed by the Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Mission Board as a “Send City.”
“We deal with a 37 percent child poverty, a 27 percent overall poverty rate, so there’s a lot of barriers in New Orleans, said Send City Missionary George Ross, “but there’s a great opportunity for church planting and evangelism in the city of New Orleans.”
Ross invited board members and their churches to come to New Orleans to do missions.
SBTC Missions Director Doug Hixson, reported that more than 25 churches in the convention are already working in New Orleans.
The Board approved 17 churches for affiliation with the convention and removing four churches based on either a merger with another church or a request from the church for removal. The current number of affiliated churches is 2,702.
Other action by the board included:
- Approving a constitution and bylaws review committee,
- Allocating $250,000 to Criswell College to assist with the construction of a new student dormitory,
- Allocating $200,000 to Jacksonville College for operating costs and
- Sending disaster relief donor grants of $50,000 each to the North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida and Georgia Baptist state conventions to assist recovery efforts following recent hurricanes.
The Board concluded its meeting with a special recognition of Jim Richards for 20 years of service as SBTC executive director.