By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer
WOODWORTH – Louisiana Baptists will be operating in 2019 with a leaner Cooperative Program budget.
During a September 25 meeting at Tall Timbers Baptist Conference Center in Woodworth, the Executive Board approved the Business and Finance Committee’s 2019 financial plan based on Cooperative Program contributions of $18,813,818, a decrease of $693,587.
Cooperative Program projections are based on actual receipts from August 2017 through July 2018.
The allocation formula for distributing Cooperative Program gifts between the Southern Baptist Convention and Louisiana Baptist causes remains unchanged, with 63.26 percent supporting ministries in the state and 36.74 percent forwarded to fund national entities.
This equates to $11,901,622 in Cooperative Program funds for Louisiana Baptist missions, a decrease of $438,579 from 2018.
“According to a recent news story, unemployment in Louisiana has increased over the last several months, in spite of a stronger economy nationally,” Louisiana Baptists Business and Information Services Director Dale Lingenfelter told the Baptist Message. “The 2019 budget reflects this reality.
“However, we know God is faithful, and so are His people, so we are confident we’ll have the resources necessary to accomplish what God wants done in Louisiana,” he continued. “We’re also confident as our churches successfully navigate these challenges, they will increase their support for our cooperative missions and ministries.”
The budget will be brought to messengers for approval during the 2018 Louisiana Baptist Convention Annual Meeting, scheduled to be held Nov. 12-13 at Temple Baptist Church in Ruston. It is the fifth consecutive decrease in the Cooperative Program budget.
Upon the committee’s recommendations, the Executive Board approved the second quarter 2018 financial report, the 2017 annual audit and the 2019 State Missions Service budget of $12,413,708, a decrease of $176,533 from the previous year.