BGCM to pursue BWA membership - Word&Way

BGCM to pursue BWA membership

Columbia — Baptist General Convention of Missouri directors emphasized missions and evangelism at their regular board meeting at the BGCM offices in Columbia on Sept. 9.

The BGCM will seek membership in the North American Baptist Fellowship, a regional affiliate of the Baptist World Alliance. Baptist groups must join a regional fellowship before they can be formally accepted into the BWA itself. Once accepted by the regional body, the BGCM plans to seek formal BWA membership.

At the meeting, directors approved financial support for two church starts. They authorized a $2,000 lump sum to Open Door, sponsored by Blue Ridge Baptist Church, Independence. Charles Davis is pastor of the new congregation that will host several preview meetings until its Easter kickoff service.

BGCM directors also authorized $300 per month support for a year for Sanctuary Fellowship, St. Louis. Owen Taylor serves as pastor of the work that started last year.

In addition, board members agreed to formalize a partnership with WorldconneX, a mission network affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas and headed by Bill Tinsley.

The BGCM board decided to explore a possible partnership with the Guatemala Baptist Convention through WorldconneX. Gary Snowden, leader of the BGCM's mission mobilization team, noted Guatemala is a good choice for a first attempt at global outreach because it is relatively close to the United States.

In the past, the BGCM's Go Ye Therefore Volunteers committee has promoted volunteer mission efforts and helped coordinate some relief efforts, particularly after a tsunami devastated East Asia.

At the Sept. 9 session, board members agreed to disband the committee and place its work under the missions mobilization team.

In other action, directors adjusted the 2005-06 budget to include the cost of its newsletter published in Word&Way. The item had been inadvertently left out of the original budget proposal.

Budget adjustments also had to be made to accommodate hiring four additional part-time staff as part of BGCM's First Priority strategy plan adopted at the 2005 annual meeting.

Directors approved position descriptions for four of its First Priority teams, including leadership development headed by Marilyn Nelson, congregational health led by Bob Perry, church planting with Owen Taylor as team leader, and resources and relationships led by Brian Kaylor.

The missions mobilization team did not present its position description. Instead, the team plans to rewrite the job to consolidate some goals, and will ask for approval at a later date.

Directors also approved Steve Long and Ruth Ann Blase as new board members.

BGCM executive director Jim Hill noted he has been exploring insurance and retirement programs for convention affiliated churches and individuals. Directors approved a committee to review proposals. Members include BGCM president Bill Miller; board members L.D. Silvey, Glen Haddock and Randy Fullerton; and Hill.

Directors also approved an audit report by the accounting firm Williams Keepers. Company representative Amber Snider noted that the BGCM needs to segregate financial duties. Breaking up duties is difficult because of the convention's small staff. Snider suggested a volunteer or the chairman of the administrative committee could take on some tasks.

At the Sept. 9 session, Missouri Baptist Foundation president James R. Smith shared information about the Foundation's work.

The Foundation has offered a covenant proposal to the BGCM, but the convention has not yet acted on it. “We greatly value our relationship with the … and we are looking forward to what the future holds for us together,” Smith said. (09-23-05)