Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptists approved the most dramatic increase in the portion of Cooperative Program (CP) receipts to be sent beyond the state next year, moving from a 78/22 split to retaining 68 percent for in-state use and sending 32 percent for distribution to Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) missions and ministries.
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More than 1,300 messengers from around the state of Florida gathered at Bell Shoals Baptist Church in Brandon, Fla., for the 2017 annual meeting of the Florida Baptist State Convention.
Simultaneously increasing their budget by seven percent, the huge leap to giving 32 percent of anticipated CP gifts of $544,000 to SBC causes follows seven years of keeping a pledge to increase the amount by a half percent annually from 2011-2014, then increasing the pace four years ago.
Two other state conventions – Maryland/Delaware and Alabama reported significant increases of 4.44 and 4 percent, respectively. Several others ended a practice of prioritizing what they call “shared ministries,” increasing the likelihood that more of their undesignated CP gifts from local churches will make it to the ends of the earth. Ultimately, that priority depends on whether the Southern Baptist churches within that state convention are more generous in their giving to the Cooperative Program beyond the average of 5.16 percent that most churches budget.
In their 182nd annual meeting, the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware (BCMD) messengers increased CP funding allocation for the SBC from 43.5 percent to 48 percent, with plans to reach a goal of 51 percent by 2020.
BCMD General Mission Board President Curtis Hill said there was a desire to “move the needle higher this year.”
In Alabama, the withdrawal of Samford University from state convention funding freed up $3.5 million and was combined with the $3 million reduction in the Alabama Baptist Convention budget to allow messengers to reach the goal of a 50/50 split more quickly than originally planned.
The Alabama Baptist Convention joins five other conventions that forward half or more to the Southern Baptist Convention, without a “shared ministry” calculation, including the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (55/45) and Florida (51/49), with Iowa, Nevada and Ohio all at a 50/50 split.
Photo by Philip Timothy/Baptist Message
Louisiana Baptist messengers cast their ballots on various issues during their annual meeting Nov. 13-14.
In addition to Alabama, Maryland-Delaware and Minnesota-Wisconsin, conventions where increases of more than 1 percent will be realized at the national level include Arizona, Arkansas, Dakota, Kansas-Nebraska, New England, Pennsylvania/South Jersey and Tennessee.
State conventions in California, Colorado, Indiana, Michigan, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Utah/Idaho, Baptist General Association of Virginia and West Virginia voted to increase the SBC portion in amounts ranging from .10 to 1 percent.
A few state conventions reported far greater increases to the SBC portion, however, those hikes have little effect once adjustments are made for prioritized “shared ministries” or significant budget reductions.
With 20 states increasing their CP percentage to the SBC, 13 making no change and seven states decreasing that portion, the amount projected to be sent to the SBC is $193,500,000 according to William Townes, vice president for convention finance at the SBC Executive Committee.
Alabama, Michigan and Missouri no longer will include “shared ministry” expenses in their budgets. The portion taken out in 10 states where this is a feature ranges from 1.19 percent in Maryland/Delaware to 18.89 percent in Wyoming. Others keeping priority items in their budget are Alaska, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, New Mexico, South Carolina, Tennessee and Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia.
Southern Baptists in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands also forward a percentage of their Cooperative Program receipts to the SBC for the SBC allocation budget.
The actual dollar amount of a state convention’s allocation fluctuates annually depending on how well cooperating churches in the state are able to fund their respective budgets.
Each state convention elected officers to leadership for 2018. Those serving as president are:
ALABAMA – John Thweatt, pastor of First Baptist Church, Pell City;
ALASKA – Bryan Myers, pastor of Faith Baptist Church, Fairbanks;
ARIZONA – Jackie Allen, lead pastor of Palm Vista Baptist Church, Surprise;
ARKANSAS – Greg Sykes, pastor of First Baptist Church, Russellville;
CALIFORNIA – A.B. Vines, pastor of New Seasons Church, Spring Valley;
COLORADO – Calvin Wittman, pastor of Applewood Baptist Church, Wheat Ridge;
DAKOTAS – Steve Ford, pastor of Grace Baptist Church, Vermillion, S.D.;
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA – The lack of a quorum prevented messengers from conducting business.
FLORIDA – Stephen Rummage, pastor of Bell Shoals Baptist Church, Brandon;
GEORGIA – Mike Stone, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church, Blackshear;
HAWAII/PACIFIC – Wes Higuchi, a member of Kahului Baptist Church, Maui;
ILLINOIS – Adron Robinson, pastor of Hillcrest Baptist Church, Country Club Hills;
INDIANA – Bruce Reynolds, pastor of Old Town Baptist church, Muncie;
IOWA – Robert Knight, pastor of New Birth Baptist Church, Ames
KANSAS/NEBRASKA – Derrick Lynch, pastor of Blue Valley Baptist Church, Overland Park, Kan.;
KENTUCKY – Charles Frazier, pastor of Zion’s Cause Baptist Church, Benton;
LOUISIANA – Eddie Wren, pastor of First Baptist Church, Rayville;
MARYLAND/DELAWARE – Michael Trammell, senior pastor of Mt. Airy Baptist Church, Mt. Airy, Md.;
MICHIGAN – Jerome Taylor, pastor of Eastgate Baptist Church, Burton;
MINNESOTA/WISCONSIN – Jackie Hill, pastor of Roseville Baptist Church, Roseville, Minn.;
MISSISSIPPI – Mark Vincent, senior pastor of Clarke-Venable Baptist Church, Decatur.
MISSOURI – Ken Parker, pastor of First Baptist Church, Kearney;
MONTANA – Lee Merck, pastor of Church of the Rockies in Red Lodge;
NEVADA – Ted Angle, member of Fellowship Community Church, Reno;
NEW ENGLAND – Tim Owen, lead pastor of Mission City Church, Rutland and Castleton, Vt.;
NEW MEXICO – John Hinze, pastor of First Baptist Church, Tucumcari;
NEW YORK – Paul Florez, pastor of Iglesia Bautista Nazaret, West New York, N.J.;
NORTH CAROLINA – Lee Pigg, pastor of Hopewell Baptist Church, Monroe, N.C.;
NORTHWEST – Dustin Hall, pastor of Kennewick Baptist Church, Kennewick, Wash.;
OHIO – David Starry, pastor of First Baptist Church, Vandalia;
OKLAHOMA – Joe Ligon, pastor of First Baptist Church, Marlow;
PENNSYLVANIA/SOUTH JERSEY – Kevin Roberts, pastor of Community Baptist Church at Charleroi, Charleroi, Penn.;
SOUTH CAROLINA – Marshall Blalock, pastor of First Baptist Church, Charleston;
TENNESSEE – David Leavell, pastor of First Baptist Church, Millington;
TEXAS (BGCT) – Danny Reeves, pastor of First Baptist Church, Corsicana;
TEXAS (SBTC) – Juan Sanchez, pastor of High Pointe Baptist Church, Austin;
UTAH-IDAHO – Mike McGukin, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, Idaho Falls;
VIRGINIA (BGAV) – George Fletcher, retired pastor;
VIRGINIA (SBCV) – Eric Thomas, pastor of First Baptist Church, Norfolk;
WEST VIRGINIA – Todd Hill, pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Parkersburg, W.Va.;
WYOMING – John Constantine, pastor of Story Community Church, Story.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Tammi Reed Ledbetter is associate editor for the Southern Baptist TEXAN, texanonline.net, news journal of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.)