By Philip Timothy, Managing Editor
WOODWORTH – The Executive Board of the Louisiana Baptist Convention waded through a busy agenda Sept. 24 at its annual fall meeting at the Tall Timbers Conference Center.
While the majority of the items they dealt with centered on financial matters, including the 2014 budgets for State Missions Service and the Cooperative Program, the board also approved several bylaw and amendment changes.
The board approved bringing the 2014 CP Budget and bylaw and amendment changes to the LBC annual meeting, which will be held at the Riverfront Center in Alexandria on Nov. 11-12, for consideration by messengers.
“We would like to commend the very strong work by the state staff,” said Bob Adams, Chairman of the Administrative Committee, before presenting his committee’s report to the board. “They continue to do just an exceptional job.”
Upon the committee’s recommendations, the Board approved the second quarter 2013 financial report, the 2012 annual audit, and the 2014 State Missions Service Budget of $13,611,663. This is an increase of only $129,792 (0.96% or less than 1 percent).
The board also approved a bylaw change, an amendment change (articles of incorporation) and Adams also gave a response to a motion offered by Ken Fryer, messenger from Heritage Baptist Church in Shreveport at last year’s annual meeting.
Fryer’s motion called for all resolutions from the Resolutions Committee to be printed in the Baptist Message prior to the annual meeting. The resolution was referred to the Executive Board and the Board’s Administrative Committee studies. Adams gave the committee’s response:
“Mr. Fryer’s motion is not declined due to concerns about the concept of prior notification. The committee views prior notification as a valuable act. The motion is declined only because of conflicts in the process of printing with the established dates to submit resolutions and the publishing schedule of the Baptist Message.
“We are recommending the Executive Board request the resolutions committee to make all resolutions available to churches before the convention and that the electronic/Internet resources of the convention office be used as the primary means of communication.
“That the Baptist Message be utilized if publication dates allow, that the resolutions be made available at least seven days prior to the opening of the convention’s annual meeting, and that this request for prior availability of resolutions not be considered a stricture on the responsibilities and privileges now accorded the Resolutions Committee in the Convention’s Bylaws.”
The committee also recommended an amendment change in the LBC’s Articles of Incorporation dealing with the application process for congregations to join the LBC and a bylaw change in Article III, Section 5 of the Articles of Incorporation stating the Committee on Credentials shall manage the application process for congregations desiring to become a cooperating church with the LBC and qualified to send messengers for the first time.
All three recommendations were unanimously approved by the board.
The Business and Finance Committee’s recommendation that the 2014 Cooperative Program Budget of $21,726,398 be brought to the annual meeting for approval by messengers also unanimously passed. The CP Budget shows a slight increase of $99,163 or 0.46 percent (less than one half of 1 percent) over last year.
“The allocation to the SBC remains 36.74 percent the same as last year because we had a budget shortfall – the LBC finished the 2012 budget a minus $129,987 (0.60%) behind budget,” said Dale Lingenfelter, the LBC’s Business and Information Services Director. “The percentage only changes when we have a budget surplus the following year according to the CP advance plan. So, a budget surplus in 2013 would mean a percentage change in 2015.”
LBC Director of Missions and Ministry John Hebert updated the board on the progress of the Georgia Barnette Conference Center. The 8,400 square foot facility, which will be located in the center of the Tall Timbers campus, will feature the 280-seat Kathryn Carpenter Chapel which can be expanded to 400 seats. The facility will feature seven conference rooms.
“We have already raised $640,000 of the $1.5 million needed to build this much-needed facility,” Hebert said. “If our goal is to plant 300 churches and to reach the next generation, we are going to need a facility, like the one we envision, to train, equip and enable people.”
In their reports to the board, the directors of the four LBC entities had a number of positive things to report.
“We are at a critical juncture in our culture,” Baptist Message editor Kelly Boggs said. “We want to call attention to the moral issues affecting our culture. The Baptist Message also exists to help the churches of the LBC impact the world for Christ by celebrating the ministries made possible by the Cooperative Program.”
Boggs, who is also director of the LBC’s Office of Public Affairs, told the board, “It is good to live in one of the most conservative states in the country but that doesn’t stop the activists from trying their shenanigans. We stay very watchful to prevent this.”
LC President Joe Aguillard told the board, “Louisiana College remains one of the top, private Christian institutions in the region and the country according to the latest rankings. We are asking the churches to help raise $12 million so we can repair our student dorms and housing, some of which are 40 to 70 years old.”
He introduced Rod Masteller, former LBC President and pastor of Summer Grove Baptist Church in Shreveport, as the head of the school’s fund raising effort. Because of the conditions of many of the student housing, LC has already begun repairs. They spent late spring and summer putting a new $473,000 roof on Cottingham Hall.
Aguillard asked for prayer for Oct. 8-10, which is when the SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) team visits the school.
Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home Executive Director Perry Hancock discussed the number of people the Home had helped this year.
“Without the churches there would not be a Children’s Home. So, I want to tell you what we have done for you. We have helped 6,400 children, families and individuals. We have 149 children here at the home. We have helped 46 women through Women Job Corps.
“Our Granberry Counseling Center has helped 2,582 individuals and 84 LBC ministers. More than 1,900 women have received help from our Sellers Mobile Pregnancy Care Center. More than 1,740 children have been helped in our Orphans Embrace and 26 girls have been rescued thanks to our Human Trafficking Ministry.”
Louisiana Baptist Foundation Executive Director Wayne Taylor also had good news to report.
The Foundation’s net assets have shown an increase and the group investment fund for the longer term monies managed by the LBF continued to be positive.
LBC President Waylon Bailey and LBC Executive Director David Hankins wrapped up the meeting by giving the Board a detailed account on the President’s 2020 Commission report. Hankins explained the report, its 10 recommended actions, implementation of those actions and 28 goals.
You can see the full report at www.baptistmessage.com.