May Executive Board emphasizes Christ-centeredness, approves GC2 Statement of Faith and other business

by Bonnie Shaw on May 26, 2022 in News

“Our business as Texas Baptists, our business as Christians, as serious church members, isn’t to contribute to God what is humanly probable, but to see delivered from the hand of God what is humanly impossible,” Texas Baptists President Jason Burden said during his address at the May 2022 Executive Board meeting.

Burden spoke on the faithfulness of God and on staying focused on Him and His work above everything else. He drew from 1 Corinthians, reminding board members that Christians are called to live apart from the world. Recounting the struggles that the Israelites endured during the Exodus, Burden said that through it all, the Lord was faithful and rescued them. That same God is with us now, Burden said, and He will continue to provide for His people as they carry out His mission.

“If we ever find ourselves getting distracted by bad news, by numbers and buildings, we need to return to our first business in Christ. And only through Christ will we see His power displayed in our lives to His glory,” Burden said.

Executive Director David Hardage also addressed the board, speaking in response to the 288-page document released by the SBC Sexual Abuse Task Force on May 22.

“Our hearts break at the findings of the Guidepost Solutions report released by the SBC Sexual Abuse Task Force. We join others across Texas and beyond in lament and earnest prayer, acknowledging the failures of the past, accepting the present report’s findings and recommendations and looking ahead with resolve to future change,” Hardage said.

He noted that Texas Baptists Counseling Services is a resource available to abuse survivors, their families and others. Funds and a state-wide network of counselors are available. Hardage urged churches to take a proactive approach in preventing and reporting abuse and to provide compassionate care for those that are hurting. Free and low-cost resources are available to affiliated churches through the convention’s longstanding relationship with MinistrySafe, an industry leader in sexual abuse prevention and training.

The full statement can be found here.

In addition to this statement, Hardage also provided a Texas Baptists ministry update, sharing that 232 students were commissioned on May 22 to go on mission through Go Now Missions and that the River Ministry is working in partnership with the North American Mission Board to establish a relief center in Laredo. He also invited members of the board to attend Legacy Award Day on June 5, where Charles Davenport and Jack Greever will be honored for their years of faithful service to the Convention.

GC2 Statement of Faith, Budget Report

During the business meeting, the Executive Committee brought a recommendation to approve the GC2 Statement of Faith. The purpose of this Statement of Faith is not to replace any other

Baptist statement, but to offer a concise summary of key theological principles essential to collaboration with the BGCT. The recommendation was passed with an amendment to rephrase one of the statements to read as follows: “That gender is a gift from God, at birth, who creates every person, of every race, male and female, in the Divine image and likeness.”

The GC2 Statement of Faith will be presented at the 2022 Annual Meeting to messengers for their adoption.

CFO/Treasurer Ward Hayes brought a financial report. He shared that Cooperative Program giving was strong, at 101.6% of the prior year. In addition, 220 churches gave in 2021 who did not give in 2020, and 373 more churches increased their giving than decreased their giving during that same time. Hayes expressed his gratitude to churches for their generosity, and encouraged board members to continue to promote the Cooperative Program to see even more affiliated churches give in 2022 who may not have given in the previous year or recent past.

Hayes celebrated that the Mary Hill Davis Offering has seen good growth, and encouraged churches to continue giving so that more ministry can be carried out in the state of Texas.

“Thank you for seeing that the need continues to grow and that your giving continues to grow,” Hayes said.

Additional business approved

Additional Business approved included:

  • Three vacancies were filled on the Executive Board: Suzette Mitchell, United Missionary Baptist Church, Dallas, for Sector 9-11; John Roach, Green Acres Baptist Church, Tyler, for Sector 15; and Aaron Pardue, Northway Baptist Church, Angleton, for Sector 19-22.
  • Recommendations by the Committee on Nominations for Boards of Affiliated Ministries to fill the following roles: Lori Boykin, First Baptist Church, Amarillo, for the Baptist Community Services Board of Trustees; Lisa Hultz, First Baptist Church, Dallas, for the Baylor Health Care System Board of Trustees; and Daniel Stahl, Vista Community Church of Bell County, Temple, for the Hardin-Simmons University Board of Trustees.
  • A recommendation by the Administration Support Committee to revise Policy 526 Background Checks so that background checks must be conducted every three years. This includes all BGCT employees, Independent Contractors and Executive Board members, as well as volunteers who meet any of the three background check inclusions. These inclusions are: Have supervisory or nonpublic interaction with children, youth or individuals with special needs; handle cash, credit cards or checks on behalf of the BGCT; and/or drive a vehicle to fulfill the responsibilities of their role.
  • A recommendation by the Administration Support Committee to revise Policy 839 Additional Compensation. The revision allows supervisors and ministry directors to approve additional compensation in the form of an honorarium for Texas Baptists employees who perform work outside of their expected roles.
  • A recommendation by the Finance Committee to engage Employee Retention Credit specialists to assist the BGCT in applying for the Employee Retention Credit.
  • A recommendation by the Finance Committee to pay off a loan from Christ is Our Salvation (CIOS), a charitable trust established by the Piper family.

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