JEFFERSON CITY — James Smith, president and treasurer of the Missouri Baptist Foundation will retire from his position and will assume a similar post with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Foundation.
MBF head since 1993, Smith announced the decision to the institution’s executive committee on Aug. 13.
“He has done an outstanding job. We are sorry to lose him but wish him the best in this transition,” MBF Chair Tom Ogle said by phone on Aug. 19. “He has had a long and very successful career…and has made great progress with the Foundation.”
“It has been a privilege to serve as president,” Smith told committee members at the Aug. 13 meeting. “You placed confidence in my leadership and have been a superb board of active, engaged servants who have a passion for mission and ministry causes.”
He will begin duties with the CBF Foundation on Oct. 1. Less than 20 years old, the CBF Foundation has assets of around $38 million and serves mission and ministry causes around the world.
“The opportunity to lead the foundation effort of CBF during a critical time for funding mission and ministry efforts is a great challenge,” Smith said. “CBF is a community of faith that is rich in commitment to global missions and faithfulness to Baptist heritage.”
The MBF has not yet named a committee to search for Smith’s replacement, Ogle said, but the executive committee has begun looking at the process.
Since Smith took the helm, Missouri Baptist Foundation assets have grown from $54 million to nearly $170 million and currently stand at about $140 million, with almost 1,200 actively managed accounts.
The Foundation also has distributed more than $102.2 million in income to mission and ministry causes since 1993, with Cooperative Program distribution exceeding CP receipts.
The MBF has not received CP funds through the Missouri Baptist Convention since 2002. The Foundation was among five formerly MBC-affiliated entities that changed their charters in 2000 and 2001 to elect their own trustees. The convention withdrew CP funding in 2002 and filed legal action against the MBF, Word&Way, Windermere Baptist Conference Center, The Baptist Home and Missouri Baptist University in August that year. Only Word&Way has been completely removed from ongoing litigation.
In addition to his work with the Foundation, Smith, an ordained Baptist minister, has served as interim pastor of several Missouri churches, including First Baptist churches in California and Tipton; South Haven Baptist and University Heights Baptist churches, Springfield; Clarksburg Baptist Church; and Union Hill Baptist Church, Holt’s Summit, among several others. He currently is interim at Memorial Baptist Church, Columbia, where he has served since July 2009.
Before accepting the Missouri post, he served as executive vice president of the Oklahoma Baptist Foundation.