NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) – Looking to God and not to headlines, members of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee prayed Feb. 20 for the work of the SBC’s two mission boards.
By Art Toalston
Baptist Press editor
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) – Looking to God and not to
headlines, members of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive
Committee prayed Feb. 20 for the work of the SBC’s two mission boards.
Addressing controversies that have buffeted the
International Mission Board and North American Mission Board in recent
weeks, EC President Morris H. Chapman asked EC chairman and California
pastor Rob Zinn to lead in a time of prayer for the two entities.
The IMB had called for the removal of one of its
trustees over accountability issues, but the board’s executive
committee recently called for the request to be dropped in light of
accountability guidelines to be proposed by a trustee committee.
NAMB, meanwhile, has challenged the accuracy and
fairness of an analysis piece in The Christian Index, newsjournal of
the Georgia Baptist Convention, alleging deficiencies in the entity’s
work in evangelism and church planting and its retention of fulltime
missionaries. NAMB also challenged the paper’s criticism of NAMB
President Robert E. Reccord on outsourcing NAMB initiatives, and on his
various speaking engagements.
Zinn acknowledged Southern Baptists’ love for the
two mission boards in his prayer and said, “We as a Southern Baptist
people are bound together to do the work of missions and evangelism….
“Father, we’re very aware that what is printed is
read by a lot of people, and a lot of people can spin it any way they
want to spin in,” Zinn continued in prayer. “So Father, I pray tonight
that You would put a hedge of protection around our two boards …
around our two presidents and the trustees of those boards.
“And I pray, Father, that we who are Southern
Baptists would be smart enough to want to believe the best before we
believe anything negative. That, Father, we would be faithful to pray
for those in leadership positions and that, Father, we would thank You
that You know their hearts far better than anybody else….
“And, Father, we pray that as they both are working
through issues … it would not hinder the support, it would not hinder
the work that goes on…. Father, it is our prayer that even through
this storm, You will show Yourself strong, Christ will be glorified,
souls will be won and we’ll reach more people than we’ve ever reached
Chapman commented after Zinn’s prayer, “There’s
nothing in Southern Baptist life that can’t be solved with God’s help.
God help us always to realize that He is bigger than any little ripple
about anything or any big ripple – God has the answer. Let’s trust Him
for it. Pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ [at IMB and NAMB]
and know that the Lord Jesus will get the victory in the coming days.”
In other business, the Executive Committee:
• Approved a 2006-07 Cooperative Program Allocation
budget of $195,948,423 for recommendation to the Southern Baptist
Convention during its June 13-14 annual meeting in Greensboro, N.C.
The proposed budget would continue to allocate 50
percent of receipts to the International Mission Board and 22.79
percent to the North American Mission Board. The percentage allocated
to the seminaries remains 21.4 percent. The Ethics & Religious
Liberty Commission would continue to receive 1.49 percent of the
budget, and .76 percent would go to GuideStone Financial Resources for
its ministry to retired ministers whose annuities were underfunded
during their careers.
The SBC Operating Budget, encompassing the SBC
annual meeting costs, the work of the convention between annual
meetings and the Executive Committee, would receive 3.32 percent of the
CP budget. The Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives would
receive .24 percent.
• Approved a 3.4 percent increase for the staff salary structure, effective Oct. 1.
• Employed for EC audits the firm of Lattimore,
Black, Morgan & Cain, P.C. The firm will conduct audits for three
years, beginning with the 2005-06 fiscal year which ends Sept. 30.
• Elected John G. Blackman Jr., a vice president at
SunTrust Bank in Nashville, Tenn., and Michael (Mike) L. Trammell,
pastor of Mt. Airy (Md.) Baptist Church, to three-year terms as
Southern Baptist Foundation trustees.
• Approved a $5 million fundraising campaign by the
North American Mission Board as part of its “New Orleans Area Hope”
volunteer initiative to rebuild and rehabilitate homes and churches
damaged by Hurricane Katrina. The fundraising campaign will begin in
March and continue through February 2008.
• Approved a $13 million five-year fundraising
campaign by Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, named “Partners
for the Future,” to enhance academic operations, improve facilities and
to build its academic program through endowments of faculty chairs.