CARY, N.C. — The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s (BSCNC) Executive Committee unanimously endorsed a Cooperative Program budget proposal for 2022 totaling $28 million during a regularly scheduled meeting held Tuesday, Aug. 24, at the state convention offices.

The proposal reflects an overall increase of $1 million from the current budget and calls for a 3% increase in the allocation to global ministry partners, which include the International Mission Board, the North American Mission Board and six national seminaries. The proposal would move the state convention’s overall allocation to global ministry partners from 42% to 45% of the total budget.

The proposal that was adopted was unchanged from the Budget Special Committee’s original recommendation.

“We as a committee are unanimous in our recommendation,” said Zeb Cook, chairman of the Budget Special Committee, in sharing the proposed budget to the Executive Committee. “We feel like this is the right proposal, including the allocations among global ministry partners, institutions and agencies, and ministries of the convention. We feel good about presenting this budget to you.”

Cook serves as pastor of Apex Baptist Church.

Members of the Budget Special Committee first presented the budget proposal to the Executive Committee during a regularly scheduled meeting in July. During that meeting, Executive Committee members took no action on the proposal, but they committed to spend time praying through the proposal and bring it to a vote during the August meeting in conjunction with BSCNC Executive Director-Treasurer Todd Unzicker’s planned presentation of a reorganization of the ministries and staff of the convention.

“Since our last meeting and again before today’s vote, we paused to pray over the budget as we sought to collectively discern God’s will,” said BSCNC board president Matt Capps, pastor of Fairview Baptist Church in Apex. “I’m grateful that the committee was unanimous in its support of the allocations to the state convention and our global ministry partners. I’m excited about our future being on mission together and sending more resources to reach those around the world with little to no gospel witness.”

The committee also endorsed a “challenge budget” for 2022, which would allocate any receipts in excess of the $28 million budget equally between the global ministry partners and state convention ministries.

The committee also voted to set the 2022 goal for the North Carolina Missions Offering (NCMO) at $2.1 million. The NCMO supports the work of Baptists on Mission, church planting, missions mobilization, mission camps and associational projects.

The budget proposal, challenge budget and NCMO recommendations will now be presented to the state convention’s full board of directors for consideration at its regularly scheduled meeting in September. The recommendations endorsed by the board will then go before messengers at this fall’s annual meeting for final consideration.

“I am never surprised by God’s provision, but I am deeply grateful for how abundantly He blesses us.” — John Butler

Financial update
Cooperative Program (CP) giving from N.C. Baptist churches continues to be strong entering the third quarter of 2021. Through the end of July, CP giving totaled more than $16.5 million, which is 5.89% ahead of the same time period as last year and about 5% ahead of budget for the year.

Giving to each of the annual special offerings was also up by double-digit percentage points.

Through the end of July, nearly $11 million has already been given to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for international missions, which is up 11.5% through the same time period last year.

Giving to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering totaled more than $6.2 million, an increase of nearly 52.4% through the same time period as last year. State convention officials noted, however, that giving to the Annie Armstrong offering was down significantly in 2020 due to the impact of the coronavirus and subsequent limits on public gatherings.

The NCMO was also up 12.3% over last year, having received $618,000 through the end of July.

“This is a marvelous testimony of the faithfulness of God’s people and churches coming out of the COVID shutdowns,” said John Butler, BSCNC executive leader for Business Services. “I am never surprised by God’s provision, but I am deeply grateful for how abundantly He blesses us.”

Restructuring plan approved
The Executive Committee also unanimously approved a restructuring plan for the state convention’s ministries and staff aimed at prioritizing the needs of local churches and associations across the state.

The new structure will emphasize providing support and resources to churches and pastors, while giving them more direct and streamlined access to convention staff members through a new regional ministry model.

Under the plan, the state convention’s organizational structure will be refashioned into five main groups with each group headed by a director who reports to Unzicker.

Other business
In other business, the Executive Committee approved a recommendation for Andrew Ivester, pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Durham, to fill the unexpired term of Matthew Hirt, former pastor of North Henderson Baptist Church in Henderson, N.C., on the board of directors on an interim basis before a new slate of nominees to state convention leadership positions is voted on at the annual meeting this fall. Hirt stepped down as pastor to serve with the International Mission Board.

Next meeting
The Executive Committee’s next meeting will take place in conjunction with a meeting of the state convention’s board of directors that is scheduled for Sept. 27-28 at Caraway Conference Center near Asheboro.