The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s (BSCNC) board of directors unanimously approved a budget proposal totaling $30.5 million for 2020 during its regularly scheduled meeting held Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 23-24, at Caraway Conference Center near Asheboro.
The proposal will now go before church messengers for final consideration during this year’s BSCNC Annual Meeting to be held in Greensboro on Nov. 11-12.
The proposal calls for a 0.5% increase in the percentage allocation to missions and ministries of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) through the Cooperative Program (CP), bringing the state convention’s SBC allocation to 42% of the budget. If approved, this would mark the 14th consecutive year that N.C. Baptists have increased the allocation to the SBC.
The proposal also reflects an overall reduction of $500,000 from the current 2019 budget of $31 million.
While noting that every ministry area would share in the absorption of the overall budget reduction, budget committee Chairman Rick Speas noted that the committee sought to propose a budget that reflected “prudent stewardship.”
“We want to be realistic in our budgeting, and so we believe that a reduction to the overall budget is prudent stewardship for us,” Speas said.
In a financial report to the board, John Butler, executive leader for the BSCNC’s Business Services Group, noted that CP giving was about 8.6% behind budget through the end of August. While giving is up about 3% through the same time period as last year, total CP receipts for 2019 are projected to be in the $30 million range, which is about $1 million below this year’s budget.
Based on those and other giving trends, Butler called the 2020 budget proposal “challenging but realistic.”
Other budget measures
The board also approved a 2020 “challenge budget” and giving goal for the 2020 North Carolina Missions Offering (NCMO).
The challenge budget stipulates how funds received in excess of the 2020 budget would be allocated. According to the measure, 50% would be allocated to the SBC, 25% to institutions and agencies of the Baptist state convention, and 25% to state convention ministry groups.
The NCMO goal for 2020 was set at $2.1 million. NCMO is the annual offering that supports the numerous ministries of North Carolina Baptists on Mission (NCBM), church planting and the mission camps operated by NCBM.
The challenge budget and the NCMO goal will also go before messengers at the annual meeting this November for final consideration.
In other business, the board also approved a pair of proposed bylaw amendments to address cases of “serious misconduct,” elected new officers, affirmed a continuation of the strategy of “impacting lostness through disciple-making,” approved recommendations for Fruitland Baptist Bible College’s board of directors, and recognized outgoing board members. Board committees also elected new chairs. Summaries of each of these actions follow.
The board of directors gave unanimous approval to a pair of proposed changes to the convention’s bylaws that outlines criteria by which certain officials could be removed from leadership positions for instances of “serious misconduct.”
New officers elected
Melanie Wallace, member of Hephzibah Baptist Church in Wendell, was elected as board president, becoming the first woman elected as president of the board since 1993.
Matt Capps, senior pastor of Fairview Baptist Church in Apex, was elected as board vice president, and Kathy Bennett was re-elected as board secretary.
Following a report on the feedback received as part of the convention’s formal evaluation of the “impacting lostness through disciple-making” strategy, the board affirmed several next steps related to clarifying and expanding the strategy.
Those affirmations included acknowledgement that the strategy is far from being fully implemented and support to continue the strategy for five more years.
The strategy evaluation took place earlier this year and included an online survey, public forums and personal interviews. While 70% of survey respondents expressed positive sentiments about the strategy, the overall data revealed a disconnect between understanding the strategy and engaging in the strategy.
Brian Davis, BSCNC associate executive director-treasurer, described the strategy implementation and evaluation as a “refocusing” of the convention’s mission to assist the churches in their divinely appointment mission.
“The board is encouraged to use its voice to call North Carolina Baptists to utilize the numerous resources of the convention to assist the churches in the fulfillment of the Great Commission, which is the focus on the strategy,” Davis said.
New Fruitland board members
The board also approved the recommendation of three individuals to serve on the board of directors of Fruitland Baptist Bible College. They were:
- Perry Brindley, member of Pole Creek Baptist Church in Candler.
- Ken Jones, interim pastor of Friendship Baptist Church in Jefferson.
- Anton Roos, senior pastor of Lake Lure Baptist Church.
Board members honored
BSCNC Executive Director-Treasurer Milton A. Hollifield Jr. also recognized 20 outgoing board members who had completed their terms of service.
They were: Durrant Barr; Charlie Brackett; Kevin Buzzard; Ken Coley; Billy Cooper; Dac Croasmun; Steve Frazier; Dan Harrell; Lana Hathaway; Polly Heafner; David Herman; George Hunnicutt; Sandy Huntley; Mike Madaris; Sally Matheny; Chris Morgan; David Richardson; Marion Sykes Jr.; Curtis Williams; and Kevin York.
Board members Shawn Berryhill, Timmy Chavis, Jim Cohn, Matt Mills, Walter Overman and Keith Stephenson also completed their partial (unexpired) terms but are being nominated for additional full terms of service.
To nominate individuals to serve on the BSCNC board of directors or other places of service, visit ncbaptist.org/recommend.
Committee chairs elected
Board committees also elected new chairs for 2020. They were:
- Timmy Blair (Business Services Special Committee).
- Al James (Church Planting and Missions Partnerships Committee).
- Bob Jordan (Christian Life and Public Affairs Special Committee).
- Jon Morris (Communications Committee).
- Keith Stephenson (Convention Relations Special Committee).
- Tracy Smith (Evangelism and Discipleship Committee).
Committee chairs will begin their terms of service in 2020 and will also serve on the BSCNC’s executive committee.
The board’s next meeting is scheduled for Jan. 27-28, 2020, at Caraway Conference Center.