The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s (BSCNC) executive committee unanimously approved a $30.5 million budget proposal for 2020 that includes an increased allocation to the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) through the Cooperative Program (CP).
The committee approved the budget proposal with no changes based on the recommendation of the convention’s Budget Special Committee. The action came during the executive committee’s regularly scheduled meeting held Thursday, July 11, at the BSCNC offices in Cary.
The budget recommendation will now go to the BSCNC’s full board of directors for consideration at its September meeting before being presented to messengers at the 2019 BSCNC annual meeting in Greensboro this November.
While the 2020 budget proposal is $500,000 less than 2019, budget committee chairman Rick Speas described the proposal as “reasonable and faith challenging.”
The proposal calls for a 0.5 percent increase in the allocation to the SBC, which, if approved, would mark the 14th consecutive year that the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina has raised its support of SBC missions and ministry causes. The increase would bring the state convention’s SBC allocation up to 42 percent of the total budget.
In spite of the overall budget reduction, Speas said the budget committee took a “balanced approach” in trying to allocate funds among state convention ministries, institutions and agencies, Fruitland Baptist Bible College and the SBC.
“Every (state convention) ministry area has shared in the absorption of the decreased overall budget,” Speas said.
Speas said budget committee members met with representatives from the convention’s institutions and agencies in May to discuss and consider their budget requests. Those organizations included the Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina, N.C. Baptist Hospital, the N.C. Baptist Foundation and the Biblical Recorder.
“We don’t want to cripple anybody,” Speas said. “That’s why we talked to them on the front end. We’re not asking institutions to do something that we are not doing ourselves — tightening our belts.”
2020 challenge budget
The executive committee also voted to approve a 2020 “challenge budget” that would allocate receipts in excess of $30.5 million to be split among the SBC, institutions and agencies, and state convention ministry groups.
If the 2020 budget is met, 50 percent of receipts above $30.5 million would go to the SBC, 25 percent would be split among institutions and agencies, and 25 percent would go to state convention ministry groups.
The executive committee also voted to set the goal for the 2020 North Carolina Missions Offering (NCMO) at $2.1 million, which remains unchanged from 2019.
NCMO supports a variety of missions and ministries including disaster relief and the 18 different ministries of Baptists on Mission, church planting, mission camps, missions mobilization efforts and missions projects in local Baptist associations.
Allocations from the offering to these ministries would also remain unchanged in 2020 with 41 percent going to Baptists on Mission, 28 percent to church planting, 15 percent to mission camps, 10 percent to associational projects and 6 percent to mobilization ministry projects.
Beverly Volz, the BSCNC’s director of accounting, shared a financial update with committee members.
State convention Cooperative Program receipts totaled more than $13.9 million through the end of June, which is about 10 percent behind budget but nearly 4 percent higher than the same period as last year.
Additionally, Volz said receipts for special missions are trending at or above last year’s giving totals for the same time period. Through the end of June, N.C. Baptists had given nearly $10.7 million for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, more than $5.1 million for the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering and more than $517,000 to NCMO in 2019.
The executive committee also unanimously approved proposed changes to the convention’s bylaws that would create a formal process by which individuals could be removed from positions of leadership for behavior that would disqualify them for service.
The proposed amendments specify that certain individuals may be removed from places of service for “serious misconduct damaging to the people, mission, or ministry of the Convention.”
The changes would apply to members of the state convention’s board of directors, non-board members appointed to board committees, convention committee members, convention officers, and members of the Fruitland Baptist Bible College board of directors.
In other business, board President Clay Smith announced that executive committee members Noah Crowe, Tracy Smith and Keith Stephenson have been named to Fruitland Baptist Bible College’s nominating committee, and Crowe will serve as the committee chair.
The next meeting of the executive committee is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 24, which will take place in conjunction with the regularly scheduled September meeting of the BSCNC’s full board of directors.