Missouri Baptist Foundation names Mathis as interim, honors Smith at retirement - Word&Way

Missouri Baptist Foundation names Mathis as interim, honors Smith at retirement

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri Baptist Foundation Executive Vice President Stephen Mathis has been named as the organization’s interim president.

Missouri Baptist Foundation Executive Vice President Stephen Mathis presents a gift from MBF staffers to Jim Smith at a Sept. 9 banquet to mark Smith’s retirement as the organization’s head. At a Sept. 10 board meeting, Foundation trustees named Mathis as interim president, a post he had held before Smith became president 17 years earlier.

MBF trustees chose the longtime employee for the post at their Sept. 10 board meeting in Jefferson City. Mathis will step up for Jim Smith, who has retired as Foundation president and treasurer to assume a similar position with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Foundation in Atlanta, Ga. Mathis served as interim president prior to Smith’s hiring 17 years ago.

Trustees also appointed Verna Haun of Boliver, Bob Foster of St. Louis, Bob Perry of Willard, Ron Mullennix of Liberty and board chair Tom Ogle of California as the presidential search committee to find Smith’s replacement.

In other action, board members named new trustees and recognized those who rotate off at the end of the year.

David Hayman of Columbia, Lori Croy of Fulton and Greg Morrow of California were elected as new trustees, and Haun was re-elected for a second term.

Trustees rotating off the board include Beverly Coberly, Don Allee and Christopher Cook.

Trustees approved promotions for Shelly Vaughn from senior trust officer to vice president of trust administration and Dulce Stevens from communication associate to communication and social media specialist.

Jefferson City had honored Vaughn with its Best of Jefferson City Religious Trust Management Award, trustees learned.

Board members also approved a task force recommendation to improve all MBF communications, including updating its website and social media use.

The board, MBF staffers and a host of guests honored Smith and his wife, Debra, with a banquet on Sept. 9 at the Double-tree Hotel in Jefferson City.

Retiring Missouri Baptist Foundation President Jim Smith is presented with a resolution from Missouri Baptist University trustees by MBU President Alton Lacey.

Glenn Miller of Miller Management Systems honored Smith with his firm’s Blue Chip Award, and Missouri Baptist University President Alton Lacey presented a resolution from MBU trustees.

Speaking on behalf of the staff, Mathis called Smith “more than a president and CEO.”

“We had a pastor…who modeled servant leadership,” he said.

Smith emphasized that he had not planned a move. But as he talked with CBF about helping to strengthen its mission funding, his and Debra’s hearts “burned” with God’s direction to go.

“I believe the best days are ahead for the Foundation. I know this is right for me and believe that it is right for you too,” he said.

“I know we have done what God called us here to do, and there is a lot of joy and peace in that.”

Employed by the MBF since 1986, Mathis earned degrees at Oklahoma State University and the University of Missouri at Columbia.

The Oklahoma native also is a graduate of the National Planned Giving Institute and the College of Financial Planning.

He is a member of the Financial Planning Association, the FPA of Missouri/Southern Illinois and the Mid-America Planned Giving Council.

Mathis is also a Certified Financial Planner and owns Financial Basics LLC.

He serves as vice president of Future Leadership Foundation, as a Special Learning Center Foundation advisor and as a committee member for Capital Region Medical Center Foundation.