The Executive Board of the Baptist General Convention of Texas convened September 26-27 in Dallas and approved numerous recommendations including the 2017 proposed budget of $36.638 million.
Gerald Caldwell, chair of the Finance Committee, and Jill Larsen, Texas Baptists’ CFO, presented the estimated $29.6 million in Cooperative Program giving and $4.4 million in investment income to the board. The estimate is based on a predicted $1.4 million reduction in Cooperative Program giving and a slight decrease in investments due to a drop in oil prices. The proposed budget also included $1.3 million to be allocated to Cooperative Program Texas Worldwide Missions Initiatives and Partnerships.
Three additional recommendations brought before the board will require approval by messengers to the Annual Meeting November 13-15 in Waco. Presented by Donna Burney, chair of the Institutional Relations Committee, the recommendations included the termination of Hendrick Medical Development Corporation, and amendments to the certificates of formation and bylaws for Baptist Foundation of Texas (High Ground Advisors) and Baptist Health Foundation of San Antonio. The change in relationship with both Baptist Foundation of Texas and Baptist Health Foundation of San Antonio will allow the organizations to go from single member to no member, which is recommended by nonprofit best practices.
In addition to the budget and recommendations, outgoing WMU of Texas Executive Director Sandy Wisdom-Martin was recognized for her years of faithful service. She has been elected as Executive Director of National WMU and will begin her new position in October. “You have been a blessing to Texas Baptists,” said David Hardage, executive director. “The blessing you’ve been to us, you will be to all Baptists across the world. We love you, we thank you!”
In his final address to the board as Convention President, René Maciel said, “God’s faithfulness has been revealed through the work of Texas Baptists. I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to see the work and the wonderful things God is doing through Texas Baptists life.”
On Monday evening, Dr. Hardage addressed the board and highlighted upcoming events and partnerships. During the Annual Meeting, church leaders will have the opportunity to attend a workshop on the new Texas Baptists Missionary Adoption Program (MAP) with Brazil which will allow churches to support indigenous missionaries in the Amazon. Additional plans are in place to expand the reach to sponsor missionaries in Lebanon working with Syrian refugees. He also outlined a plan to merge Texas Baptist Men and Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery services together to fully serve communities from immediate needs after a disaster to long-term recovery projects.
Other business included: