Executive Board recommends $35.42 million budget for 2016


DALLAS- At the Sept. 29 business session of the Baptist General Convention of Texas Executive Board, it was unanimously approved to recommend a 2016 net budget of $35.42 million to messengers at the Nov. 8-10 Annual Meeting.

The budget will rely on $31 million in Cooperative Program receipts from churches, a decrease of $900,000 from the 2015 budget. It also requires $4.42 million in investment income, a $1.82 million increase from 2015 made available in part due to invested proceeds from the sale of the Baptist Building.

The total budget, anticipating $300,000 from the North American Mission Board and revenue from other sources, would aggregate to a spending of $37,996,806—an increase of $212,509 from 2015.

In other business, the board approved the recommendation to re-designate Baptist Building sale proceeds. At February's meeting, the board approved to allocate $2.2 million for the building relocation. Since close to $300,000 was not spent in the move, the Finance Committee recommended $250,000 of unspent proceeds be designated to building operations and capital improvements of the Historical Collection, which is expected to move to Waco in mid-November. The committee recommended the remaining amount be used to support BGCT ministries.

As proposed by the Institutional Relations Committee, the board granted both Baptist University of the Americas and the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor authority to increase indebtedness beyond prescribed limits as outlined in policy 602.

The board also approved the following recommendations:

  • To revise policy 400 concerning Executive Board restructure, in order to reflect the reorganization of the convention staff, as proposed by the Administration Support Committee
  • To secure BDO USA, LLP to conduct the financial audit for the year 2015, as proposed by the Audit Committee
  • To adopt a reconfiguration of sectors as represented by a new map presented by the Executive Committee
  • 2016 proposed allocation of $1,470,000 of Cooperative Program Texas Worldwide Missions Initiatives and Partnerships to continue funding of strategic missions/partnerships, as proposed by the Finance Committee
  • To allocate one-half of the investment income from the J.K. Wadley Mission Fund to fund church starts as needed, as proposed by the Finance Committee
  • To use $750,000 of the proceeds from the sale of the Washington Street parking lot and vacant lot be used to establish the "Historical Collection Building Operations and Capital Improvement Fund," as proposed by the Finance Committee
  • To expand Capital Expenditures Fund to allow use of the earnings for infrastructure operational needs related to IT, as proposed by the Finance Committee

Also during the meeting, Texas Baptists' President Kathy Hillman delivered remarks encouraging the audience to open their hearts and to disseminate to Lord's message to those who have not heard.

David Russell of First Baptist Church in Amarillo was elected chair of the board for 2016 and Dennis Young of Missouri City Baptist Church was elected vice chair.

During Monday night's gathering, Executive Board members commissioned five Baptist Student Missionary directors as Texas Baptist missionaries by recognizing their roles and laying hands on them in prayer.

Additionally, the following individuals were named to boards and councils:

Texas Baptist Missions Foundation Council: Henry Beyer—Sugar Creek Baptist Church, Sugar Land; Elaine Eiland—FBC, Midland; Bobby Harrell—FBC, Grapevine; Bruce Julian—FBC, Perryton; Buster Snellgrove—FBC, O'Donnell; James Westbrooks—FBC, Richardson; and Jack Woodworth—Park Cities Baptist, Dallas.

Institutions Audit Group: Ken Holden—Park Cities Baptist Church, Dallas.

Baptist Distinctives Council: Jordan S. McKinney—Highland Baptist Church, Waco; and Sylvia Rogers—FBC, Georgetown.

Hispanic Education Initiative Council: Cory Hines—The Avenue Church, Waxahachie; R. Mark Grace—Bill Harrod Memorial Baptist Church—Dallas; Rafael Berlanga—Primera Baptist Church, Fort Worth; and Tony Celelli—Second Baptist Church, Corpus Christi.

Texas Baptist Ethnic Affinity Council: Hector Mendez—Iglesia Bautista Central, Fort Worth.

Christian Life Commission: Dwaina Six—Scotsdale Baptist Church, El Paso; Carol Shattuck—South Main Baptist Church, Houston; Jacob West—FBC, Stamford; Emily Roberson—FBC, Tatum; and Chuck Gartman—FBC, Cleburne.

Evangelism Strategic Planning Team: Victor Rodriguez—Life Church of San Antonio, San Antonio; Mark Forrest—Lakeside Baptist Church, Granbury; and Bryant Lee—Higher Expectations Church, Humble.

Theological Education Council: Meredith Pinson-Creasey—South Main Baptist Church, Houston; and Van Christian—FBC, Comanche.

Historical Collection Council: Debra McCammon—Elkins Lake Baptist Church, Huntsville.

Chaplaincy Endorsement Council: Gina L. Biddle—South Hills Baptist Church, Fort Worth; Bruce Lampert—Pioneer Drive Baptist Church, Abilene; and Joe F. Perez—FBC, Harlingen.

Missions Mobilization Coordinating Team: Bob Dean—The Heights Baptist Church, Dallas; and Charles Higgs—Cowboy Fellowship of Aggie Land, College Station.

Baylor Health Care System Board of Trustees: Donald (Don) H. Wills—Park Cities Baptist Church, Dallas.

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