N.C. Baptist leaders moved toward adopting a 50/50 CP allocation, a moment many pastors and ministry leaders in North Carolina have been waiting for and looking forward to.

N.C. Baptist leaders moved a step closer to adopting a budget that calls for Cooperative Program (CP) gifts to be allocated equally between the state and national conventions.

The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s board of directors endorsed a $31 million budget proposal for 2024 that includes a 50/50 split of CP receipts during the board’s regularly scheduled fall meeting held Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 25-26, at Caraway Conference Center near Asheboro.

The proposed budget had been unanimously endorsed by the board’s executive committee earlier this year, and the measure will now go before messengers attending the N.C. Baptist annual meeting in Greensboro this November for final consideration.

The $31 million proposal reflects a $1.5 million or 5% increase over the current budget of $29.5 million and increases the allocation to global ministry partners by 2% to reach the 50/50 mark.

If the budget proposal is approved at the annual meeting, the CP allocation would fulfill a pledge made by N.C. Baptist leaders nearly two decades ago to move toward a 50/50 split, while also fulfilling the historic ideal of the Cooperative Program when it was established in 1925.

“We are on the forefront of some major opportunities to do some things that we’ve been wanting to do for 17 years in this state and really something that we committed to all the way back in 1925,” said Aaron Wallace, pastor of Hephzibah Baptist Church in Wendell and chairman of the Budget Special Committee, which developed the budget proposal.

Wallace added that reaching a 50/50 CP allocation is a moment that many pastors and ministry leaders in North Carolina have been waiting for and looking forward to.

Wallace noted that state convention leaders were able to move to a 50/50 split without cutting back on allocations to ministries in North Carolina. He noted that while the percentage of the total budget for state convention ministry groups would decrease in 2024, the actual dollar allocation reflects an $80,000 increase under the proposal.

In addition, institutions and agencies of the state convention would not see a decrease in dollars under the proposed 2024 budget.

Along with approving the budget proposal, the board approved a separate measure stipulating that any 2024 CP receipts received higher than $31 million be allocated equally between the state convention and global mission causes.

The board also approved a measure to set the goal of the 2024 North Carolina Missions Offering (NCMO) at $2.6 million, which reflects a $100,000 or 4% increase over the current goal of $2.5 million. 

The NCMO is a special annual offering that supports disaster relief and the various ministries of N.C. Baptists on Mission, as well as church planting and other missions efforts across the state. Under the proposed offering goal for 2024, NCMO allocations would remain unchanged with 62% going to Baptists on Missions, 28% to church planting and 10% to associational missions projects.

Messengers attending the annual meeting in November will also vote on the measures for the allocation of CP funds over $31 million in 2024, as well as the 2024 NCMO goal and allocations.