JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Baptist Convention Executive Board set a budget goal, released its reorganization plan and discussed its headquarters building at its April 10 session.
Meeting at the Baptist Building in Jefferson City, board members approved a $14.6 million Cooperative Program budget for 2013. In addition, the agreement calls for increasing the amount of money the MBC sends to the Southern Baptist Convention by 0.25 percent.
The increase would split CP giving from Missouri Baptist churches to 62.5 percent for state causes and 37.5 percent to SBC causes. Members approved a "50-50 by 2020" plan, which calls for an even split between the two entities within seven years.
According to a report in the Pathway, the MBC's news journal, six budgeted areas would be excluded from the split, including annuity protection, the newspaper, the executive director's office, Woman's Missionary Union, CP promotion and accounting.
Board members also agreed to increase a bridge loan to cover expenses in ongoing litigation against five formerly affiliated entities.
The original $150,000 loan was made out of reserves in 2010, with $25,000 later repaid. The loan will be increased to $225,000, with payment due when the lawsuits end.
In 2002, the MBC filed legal action in Cole County against The Baptist Home, the Missouri Baptist Foundation, Missouri Baptist University, Windermere Baptist Conference Center and Word&Way after each entity changed its governing documents to elect its own trustees.
Although Windermere won in Cole County and subsequent appeals, the MBC also filed a lawsuit in Camden County, which continues. Currently, the MBF is awaiting appeal of a circuit court ruling. Action is still pending against The Home and MBU, and the lawsuit was dropped against Word&Way.
In other action on April 10, the board rescinded a 2007 decision to relocate the MBC headquarters to six acres on Highway 50 in California donated by Kenny Vaughan of Vaughan Construction Co. The move hinged upon selling the current structure in Jefferson City, which has not happened.
At their December 2011 meeting, board members approved spending up to $25,000 for a new building feasibility study, which will include possible historical restoration. In April, they discussed renting space in the Baptist Building to retailers.
The board also unveiled its latest reorganization plan, which includes eight leadership areas. To be led by Executive Director John Yeats, each team leader will now be called a CP state missionary.
The leadership team includes Jerry Field for support services, Spencer Hutson for church strengthening, Matt Kearns for multi-generation leader development, Ben Hess for church planting, Rick Hedger for missional evangelism/discipleship and Don Hinkle for the Pathway/public policy. No one has been named to lead the communications area.
Jim Wells, currently director of missions for Tri-County Baptist Association and SBC registration secretary, will leave the DOM post on May 31 to become leader of the strategic partnerships division on June 1.
(Information came from Pathway reports. Word&Way remains barred from Executive Board meetings.)