Executive director stripped of 'Pathway' oversight
Jefferson City — The Missouri Baptist Convention wants churches to support the Cooperative Program at a higher level.
That's the message the MBC Executive Board conveyed when members adopted a statement to affirm convention support of the Southern Baptist Convention-wide giving program.
Meeting at the Baptist Building in Jefferson City on April 11, board members recommended MBC-affiliated churches give at least 10 percent of their annual budget receipts to CP.
In addition, the adopted statement calls for convention officers, trustees, board and committee members at both state and national levels to be elected only from churches that give 10 percent.
Executive Board members also approved goals for 2007, which includes a lower CP budget with a higher percentage to the SBC. They will recommend setting the CP budget at $16.5 million for next year, down from the current $17 million budget.
However, the board also approved tapping the convention's reserve funds to grant $200,000 to Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Half the money will continue endowment of a missions chair.
The remaining funds will support the seminary's undergraduate program. The convention began supporting the MBTS program in November 2003.
Board members also will recommend raising the percentage of CP gifts from Missouri to the SBC. In the past, the MBC has split CP gifts, with 35.75 percent going to SBC causes and 64.25 percent for MBC. The 2007 proposal will send 36 percent to the SBC, with 64 percent remaining in the state.
The proposed state goal for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions stands at $4 million, up from the $3.75 million goal for 2006. But the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions and the World Hunger Offering will remain unchanged at $2 million and $325,000 respectively.
Board members discussed low participation in last September's Missouri Mission Offering. Only about half of the state's churches contributed to the 2005 effort. At the April 11 meeting, each board member agreed to contact churches that did not give in 2005 to encourage support.
Monies given toward the $800,000 goal in 2006 will be distributed in 2007.
During the April 11 session, Executive Board members took over supervision of The Pathway. The board had given its news journal subcommittee oversight of The Pathway when board members authorized its startup as a Web-based publication in 2002.
The board authorized a twice-monthly print version that August, with the first issue released at the MBC annual meeting.
The news journal operated under subcommittee guidance until November 2002 when the Executive Board adopted a job description for a news journal committee. Those guidelines made the editor directly responsible to the executive director.
Board members decided the issue behind closed doors at their April meeting. The Pathway account did not include reasons for the change.
In other action, the board:
”¢ Learned from Guidestone Financial Services that the MBC will receive no more refunds from investments. The convention had used money received each year to cover the MBC's matching retirement contribution for ministers. Board members voted to continue the benefit.
”¢ Approved up to $150,000 for the MBC Christian Life Commission to oppose the stem cell research amendment to the Missouri Constitution. Missourians will vote on the proposal in November.
”¢ Approved formation of a vision statement ad hoc committee. Members include board members James Freeman and Doug Bradley; MBC officers, president Ralph Sawyer, first vice president Mike Green and second vice president Michael Knight; and MBC staffers Bruce Morrison, Ron Barker, Jerry Field, David Tolliver and executive director David Clippard.
(Story based on reporting by The Pathway. Word&Way has been barred from Executive Board meetings since late 2003.) (05-04-06)