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SBC OKs reduced budget, recognizes retirees
Todd Deaton, Western Recorder
June 16, 2010

SBC OKs reduced budget, recognizes retirees

SBC OKs reduced budget, recognizes retirees
Todd Deaton, Western Recorder
June 16, 2010

ORLANDO, Fla. — Messengers

to the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) in Orlando, Fla., approved a pared

down budget for 2010-2011 and honored two agency presidents who retire this

year.

They approved a $199,822,090

Cooperative Program allocation budget recommended by the SBC Executive

Committee — down 1.21 percent from the previous year’s budget — with 50 percent

directed to the International Mission Board and 22.79 percent to the North

American Mission Board.

It earmarks $44,280,576, or

22.16 percent, for the SBC’s six seminaries and its historical archives, while

setting aside $3,397,064, or 1.65 percent, for the Ethics & Religious

Liberty Commission.

Messengers also adopted an

SBC Operating Budget of $8,643,951, a decrease of approximately 5.5 percent

from last year’s budget. The operating budget includes the SBC Executive

Committee, the SBC annual meeting and committees, special programs such as

Empowering Kingdom Growth, building maintenance and administration.

Frank Page, who was elected

as president and chief executive officer of the Executive Committee during its

June 14 meeting in Orlando, Fla., was introduced to convention messengers

during the committee’s report to the convention.

In presenting Page,

Executive Committee Chairman Randall James of Orlando said, “We didn’t want to

pick who we wanted, but who the Lord Jesus Christ had already chosen before the

foundation of the world.”

Page, a former South

Carolina pastor who currently serves as vice president of evangelization at the

North American Mission Board, succeeds Morris Chapman, who is retiring after 18

years of service. He will assume his new duties Oct. 1.

Expressing appreciation

Messengers adopted

resolutions of appreciation for Morris Chapman, who will retire Sept. 30 as

president and chief executive officer of the Executive Committee, and for Jerry

Rankin, who retires July 31 as president of International Mission Board.

Praising his contributions

to Southern Baptist life as “enduring, extensive and extraordinary” in helping

to change and shape the course of Southern Baptist life, the resolution for

Chapman noted that he “has distinguished himself as a consummate statesman.”

Under Chapman’s leadership,

the Executive Committee and the SBC adopted the Covenant for a New Century,

calling for a restructuring of the SBC’s entities, reducing them from 19 to 12

and redirecting significant funds into “frontline ministry.” The Executive

Committee also approved establishment of the Council on Family Life, and the

SBC adopted “Empowering Kingdom Growth,” a vision calling churches and member

to pursue the Kingdom of God.

Prior to his appointment,

Chapman served as pastor of four churches over a span of 25 years — three in

Texas and one in New Mexico. A former SBC president, he also has held various

appointed and elected positions in three Baptist state conventions.

In expressing the gratitude

of Southern Baptists, a resolution honoring Rankin pointed not only to his

17-year tenure as IMB president, but also to his 23 years of service with the

former Foreign Mission Board, starting with his appointment as a missionary in

1970.

“Under his leadership,” the

resolution stated, “the International Mission Board saw an increase in its

missionary force from 4,000 missionaries in 142 countries in 1993, to more than

5,500 missionaries working with 1,190 people groups.”

IMB missionaries and their

national Baptist partners have seen church starts increase from 2,000 to about

27,000 and baptisms increase from more than 260,000 to more 565,000 during his

tenure, the resolution noted.

“As you leave this position,”

Chapman told Rankin, “we know that your passion for missions will continue

through the lives of thousands of individuals you have touched as both a

personal evangelist of the gospel of our Lord Jesus and as a leader of God’s

people on mission to the farthest reaches of our world.”

Joined on stage by his wife,

Bobbye, Rankin remarked: “We would have never dreamed many years ago when we

responded in obedience to God’s call to missionary service that he would call

us and entrust us with this level of leadership responsibility. As we look back

on these 17 years, it is evident that God simply allowed us to be in this

position when he chose to work in our world and among Southern Baptists in

unprecedented ways.

“How grateful we are that we

have been able to serve you and facilitate your involvement, your partnership

and your obedience to our Great Commission task,” he said.

Other SBC action

In other business, Darrell

Orman, chairman of the Executive Committee’s communications subcommittee and a

pastor from Stuart, Fla., requested an extension of one year for a study of

greater SBC involvement for ethnic churches and leaders in order to provide “a

fuller, more meaningful report.”

“We desire to research and

give as much thought to this report as we possibly can, believing that this

could be a great part of us fulfilling the Great Commission, especially here in

our own country,” Orman explained to Executive Committee members. The study

will develop guide points to help the SBC “throw a blanket of love over this

nation” and involve more ethnic people in the SBC’s ministries and leadership,

he said.

In the past decade, the

number of ethnic congregations have grown in the SBC by more than five percent —

from 13.5 percent in 1998 to 18.7 percent in 2008 — with the largest

representations being African-Americans, with 3,277 congregations; Hispanics, with 3,182; and Asians, with 1,652.

A resolution approved as

recently as the 2008 SBC Annual Meeting in Indianapolis encouraged all SBC

entities to strive to reflect a balanced representation of ethnic diversity on

boards, committees and programs.

Convention messengers also:

  • Changed their 2013 meeting

    site from Nashville, Tenn., to Houston.

  • Approved holding their

    2015 meeting in Columbus, Ohio.

  • Revised the ministry

    statement of the Southern Baptist Foundation, broadening its scope to serving

    all Baptist bodies and entities.

M.E. Dodd award

The M.E. Dodd Cooperative

Program Award was presented to First Baptist Church of Sparkman, Ark., a

103-member congregation that averages 60 to 75 in Sunday worship, but has

contributed an average of 32.8 percent in CP giving over the past 30 years,

with a high of 43.4 percent.

BP photo by Van Payne

Morris Chapman, retiring president of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, awards Eric Moffett, right, pastor of First Baptist Church of Sparkman, Ark., and his wife, Sherrill, the M.E. Dodd Cooperative Program Award. Don White, and his wife, Martha, center, have been members of the church since 1946.

The award is presented

annually to the person, congregation or organization which has demonstrated

continuous long-term excellence in supporting the principles, practice and

spirit of the Cooperative Program, Chapman noted.

In 1936, the Sparkman

congregation increased its CP giving to 10 percent of undesignated receipts,

and by the 1960s had increased that amount to 30 percent, where it remains

today. “Since the start of the Cooperative Program, the church has given

sacrificially because of a deep desire to tell the good news of Jesus Christ

all over the world,” Chapman said. “Each time they give, they feel they are

serving alongside their state missionaries, college ministers, North American

Mission Board missionaries and International Mission Board missionaries.”

In accepting the award for

the church, Pastor Eric Moffett said: “We give at Sparkman because we believe

we can do more together as Southern Baptists than we can do apart. We believe

that even though we are a small church from a tiny community, with every dollar

that we give we are able to partner with missionaries, denominational servants,

all over the world. To us, that’s a joy and an investment. Our church would

have it no other way.”

New officers

During the Executive

Committee meeting, Roger Spradlin, pastor of Valley Baptist Church in

Bakersville, Calif., who served as vice chairman this past year, was elected

chairman for 2010-2011. Spradlin received 40 votes of 71 cast, while Doug

Melton of Oklahoma City, Okla., garnered 31.

Earnest Easley, pastor of Roswell Street Baptist

Church in Marietta, Ga., was elected vice chairman on a second ballot after

tying with Jack Shaw, a layman from Greenville, S.C., on the first; and Joe

Wright, director of missions for Dyer Baptist Association in Tennessee, was chosen

as secretary, defeating Carol Yarber of Athens, Texas.