For the second year in a row, Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptists approved the largest increase among all state Baptist conventions in the portion of Cooperative Program (CP) receipts sent beyond the state next year. The new split of 65 percent for in-state missions and ministry and 35 percent for the work of Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) entities will deliver an anticipated $192,500 beyond the two states for international and domestic missions, six Southern Baptist seminaries, the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, and the Executive Committee of the SBC.
Messengers vote at the 2018 annual meeting of the Convention of Southern Baptist Churches in Puerto Rico.
Joining Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptists with increases in the percentage given to SBC causes are the state Baptist conventions in Arizona and Dakotas (both up 2 percent) and Pennsylvania-South Jersey (up 1.5 percent). Another 14 states raised the SBC portion 1 percent or less.
As one of the states boosting the portion sent to the SBC, Barry Whitworth, executive director of the Baptist Resource Network of Pennsylvania-South Jersey, said, “This marks the largest CP giving year in the 48 years of our convention.” With approval of a move from a 27.5/72.5 to 29/71 percent split, Whitworth encouraged churches to do more, adding, “… God-willing, I’d love for us to hit the 30 percent mark before our 50th year celebration” in 2019.
Five state Baptist conventions reduced the percentage given to SBC missions and ministry, including Alaska (-13.54 percent), Northwest (-7.2 percent), Indiana (-5.11 percent), Wyoming (-0.46 percent) and Illinois (-0.07 percent). Nine of the 41 state conventions (and fellowships) continue the practice of prioritizing “shared ministries” said to benefit both the state convention and SBC entities. Those budgeted items are taken off the top before computing the percentage of remaining receipts divvied up between the state and SBC causes, and vary from 0.94 percent in Maryland/Delaware to 20.28 percent in Wyoming.
Six state conventions continue to lead the pack, forwarding to the SBC half or more of the undesignated Cooperative Program receipts received from churches without a “shared ministry” calculation. Those are the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (55/45), Florida (51/49), and Alabama, Iowa, Nevada and Ohio all at a 50/50 split.
With 18 states increasing their CP percentage to the SBC, 17 making no change and only five 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.
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 2019. Those serving as president are:
ALABAMA – Tim Cox, who has served as pastor of Liberty Baptist Church in Chelsea;
ALASKA – Tracy Simmons, pastor of Christ Community Church in Anchorage;
ARIZONA – Ashley Evans, pastor of Twenty-Second Street Baptist Church in Tucson;
ARKANSAS – Jeff Paxton, pastor of First Baptist Church in Dover;
CALIFORNIA – Shawn Beaty, pastor of Clovis Hills Community Church in Clovis;
COLORADO – Calvin Wittman, pastor of Applewood Baptist Church in Wheat Ridge;
DAKOTAS – Sean Donnelly of Black Hills Baptist Church in Whitewood, S.D.;
FLORIDA – Erik Cummings, pastor of New Life Baptist Church in Carol City;
GEORGIA – Robby Foster, pastor of Northside Baptist Church in Valdosta;
HAWAII/PACIFIC – Steve Irvin, pastor of Pali View Baptist Church in Keneohe;
ILLINOIS – Adron Robinson, pastor of Hillcrest Baptist Church in Country Club Hills;
INDIANA – Bobby Pell, pastor of NorthWoods Church in Evansville;
IOWA – Jim Parker, pastor of Sojourn Church in Council Bluffs;
KANSAS/NEBRASKA – Derrick Lynch, pastor of Blue Valley Baptist Church in Overland Park, Kan.;
KENTUCKY – Tim Searcy, pastor of Allen Baptist Church near Prestonsburg;
LOUISIANA – Eddie Wren, pastor of First Baptist Church in Rayville;
MARYLAND/DELAWARE – Harold Phillips, senior pastor of Pleasant View Baptist Church in Port Deposit, Md.;
MICHIGAN – Scott Blanchard, pastor of Lakepointe Church in Macomb, Mich.;
MINNESOTA/WISCONSIN – Chris Heng, pastor of Twin Cities Hmong Baptist Church in St. Paul, Minn.;
MISSISSIPPI – Mark Vincent, senior pastor of Clarke-Venable Baptist Church in Decatur;
MISSOURI – Jeremy Muniz, pastor of First Baptist in De Soto;
MONTANA – Chad Scarborough, pastor of First Baptist Church in Shelby;
NEVADA – Damian Cirincione, executive pastor of Shadow Hills Church in Las Vegas;
NEW ENGLAND – Tim Owen, lead pastor of Mission City Church in Rutland and Castleton, Vt.;
NEW MEXICO – Jared Bridge, pastor of Anchor Church in Albuquerque;
NEW YORK – Bruce Aubrey, pastor of Northside Church in Liverpool, N.Y.;
NORTH CAROLINA – Steve Scoggins, pastor of First Baptist Church in Hendersonville;
NORTHWEST – Dustin Hall, pastor of Kennewick Baptist Church in Kennewick, Wash.;
OHIO – Ryan Strother, lead pastor of Central Baptist Church in Marion;
OKLAHOMA – Blake Gideon, pastor of First Baptist Church, Edmond;
PENNSYLVANIA/SOUTH JERSEY – George Tynes, pastor of Truth Baptist Church in Philadelphia;
PUERTO RICO – David Colón, pastor of Iglesia Bautista Logos in Santa Isabel;
SOUTH CAROLINA – Bryant Sims, pastor of First Mount Moriah Baptist Church in Greenwood;
TENNESSEE – David Green of First Baptist Church in Greeneville;
TEXAS (BGCT) – Michael Evans, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Mansfield;
TEXAS (SBTC) – Juan Sanchez, pastor of High Pointe Baptist Church in Austin;
UTAH-IDAHO – Mike McGukin, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Idaho Falls;
VIRGINIA (BGAV) – Richard Martin, a deacon at Huguenot Road Baptist Church in Richmond;
VIRGINIA (SBCV) – Eric Thomas, pastor of First Baptist Church in Norfolk;
WEST VIRGINIA – Paul Harris, pastor of Abundant Hope Baptist Church in Barboursville, W.Va.; and
WYOMING – John Constantine, pastor of Story Community Church in 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.)