Baptist Retirement Center members unanimously adopted a final plan of dissolution of the corporation during its June 30 meeting in Arcadia.
By Brian Blackwell
Baptist Retirement Center members unanimously
adopted a final plan of dissolution of the corporation during its June
30 meeting in Arcadia.
Center trustee Chair Bobby Dye and fellow retirement
center trustee Robert Spicer acted as co-liquidators of the corporation
during the meeting.
Information about the meeting had been mailed to
every Louisiana Baptist church, who were asked either to attend the
meeting or return a proxy form that appointed Dye to vote for them.
Persons representing four churches attended the
meeting. Also, Spicer reported that 119 churches returned proxy forms.
Under the adopted plan, the center’s assets will be disbursed as follows:
• All debts and administrative expenses of the
corporation shall be paid and/or provided for, including the costs of
liquidating the corporation.
• A special distribution of $100,000 will be paid to the Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home in Monroe.
• The remaining assets will be placed in trust with
the Louisiana Baptist Convention Executive Board for use in the
Shepherd’s Trust Fund. That fund will provide financial grants for the
basic necessities of life for active or retired Louisiana Baptist
ministers and/or their wives or widows.
“On behalf of our board, I want to express the joy
that we feel – and I know that you feel – that we are finally seeing
this come to a conclusion,” Dye said during the June 30 meeting.
“We are excited about what the Baptist Retirement
Center has accomplished in the past in ministry, but also, we’re
excited about the possibility of the future ministry of the Shepherd’s
The next step in the dissolution process will be
publishing the meeting’s results in Arcadia’s “Bienville Democrat”
newspaper. The published notice also will state that Dye and Spicer are
After the notice is published, a copy of
certification that appears in the newspaper will be sent to the
Louisiana Secretary of State office. The office will record and return
the certificate to the Bienville Parish Clerk of Court’s office to file
in its mortgage records.
Once the center’s debts and taxes are paid in full,
the Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home and the Shepherd’s Trust Fund
will receive their money.
“We anticipate all of this will be accomplished in
advance of the (Louisiana Baptist) Convention meeting in November,”
attorney Bill Ledbetter said.
The issue of the retirement center dates back three
years ago, when the facility faced financial difficulties.
In 2002, Louisiana Baptists approved moving $100,000
from the state Cooperative Program allocation to the children’s home to
the retirement center as a response to the financial situation.
However, the facility continued to face financial challenges.
In 2003, messengers to the annual Louisiana Baptist
Convention voted to sell the facility. Retirement center trustees and
Executive Board members then began working on ways to utilize expected
$2.5 million in assets for the cause of retirees.
In May, Executive Board members endorsed the plan
that was presented at the June 30 meeting of the retirement center.
Dye characterizes the establishment of the
Shepherd’s Trust Fund “something Louisiana Baptists will be proud of
for years to come.”
Assets from the $2.5 million fund will be invested
by the Louisiana Baptist Foundation, with only earnings from the
principal fund to be allocated annually for the specified use.
Twenty-five percent of the earnings will be
distributed to the Lousiana Baptist Convention Office of
Church-Minister Relations, to be used for the assistance of any retired
or active person in need.
The remaining 75 percent will be distributed to
GuideStone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Those funds will be divided, with 25 percent designated for
GuideStone’s Adopt-an-Annuitant program to help needy Southern Baptist
ministers and their wives or widows and 75 percent to be used for
persons who have served at least 10 years in a Louisiana Baptist church
An individual benefiting from the fund will receive $50 per month while a couple will receive $65 each month.
“This is a perpetual dedication,” Ledbetter said.
“The (Shepherd’s Trust Fund) trustee can never change what the money
will be used for.
“Whenever we look back on that fund from heaven,
that fund will continue to be here, and it’s going to take care of
Louisiana Baptist pastors and their widows.”