Jerry Love, LBF Communications
ALEXANDRIA – The Louisiana Baptist Foundation’s Board of Trustees met for their regular quarterly meeting on Jan. 31 at the Louisiana Baptist Building in Alexandria.
Because of an unusual cycle in board members’ tenure, the Foundation welcomed seven new trustees for the coming year.
Cornelius Tilton, pastor of Irish Channel Christian Fellowship in New Orleans and the LBF Board President for 2012, presided over the meetings.
Tilton was elected at the last trustee meeting in October 2011.
The Foundation Board started the day with the Investment Committee Meeting. Lee Morris, managing director with Graystone Consulting, along with Mary Ann Akin, senior business consultant, presented the Board with a summary of economic activity from 2011, a forecast of what they expect in 2012 and a review of the performance of the LBF’s portfolio.
Morris recapped what he termed as an “interesting” year of events that had impact on the economy and the investment markets.
He referenced a timeline that showed the so-called “Arab Spring” and the earthquake in Japan, with economic collapse in the European Union, and the U.S. Congress failing to come to a consensus on anything related to the economy.
Despite the external factors pressing on the economy, the S&P 500 returned a modest 2.1 percent.
In terms of the coming year, Morris and Akin cited sluggish employment and slow growth in the Gross Domestic Product as factors that will cause concern for investors.
However slow recovery in the housing market and a continued rise in corporate profits could push returns to the positive side.
Morris also pointed out that traditionally the stock market is up during a presidential election year.
The Board reviewed the returns for the last quarter and for the year 2011. Morris pointed out that the equity returns were “not stellar.” The equity portfolio was hindered during the last year by the poor performance in international stocks.
The other major components of the LBF portfolio beat their benchmarks with the Fixed Income, Preferred Stock and Master Limited Partnership funds posting modest to solid gains for the year.
During the Operating Committee meeting, Barbara Bell, controller for the LBF, reported that the organization finished the year on target with its budget for 2011.
She also presented a Capital Budget for 2012 that included upgrading computers and other office equipment.
The Operating Budget for 2012 was approved in the October Board Meeting.
Planned Giving Director Jerry Love reviewed the gifts received on behalf of Baptist ministries.
More than $1.2 million was given by donors in 2011 to support various ministries that spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
During the afternoon meeting of the full Board of Trustees, the committee reports were heard.
There were no resolutions or motions that came from either committee meeting. The Board heard a report explaining the need for availability of loans for constructing missions and churches across the state.
The information was received by the Board with discussion about the possibility of beginning a church building loan program. That subject is to be taken up at the next meeting.
To learn more about the work and ministry of the Louisiana Baptist Foundation, to see a list of current Trustees or to review investment returns for the LBF managed funds go to www.LBFinfo.org.
The next scheduled meeting for the Louisiana Baptist Foundation Board of Trustees is April 24.