DALLAS–The Executive Board of the Baptist General Convention of Texas approved a motion on Tuesday to form a committee to research ways in which the Convention could be more agile in response to emerging needs.
“This is about finding a way to become quicker in responses and providing more of what our pastors and church leaders are needing - tools to make disciples,” said Executive Director David Hardage.
The committee, to be comprised of Texas Baptists staff and other church leaders, will evaluate the feasibility of a biennial Annual Meeting, with alternating years focusing on equipping churches with training and resources in evangelism, discipleship and missions. After gaining input and considering options, the committee will report to the Executive Board in May.
In his address to the board on Monday evening, Hardage also encouraged members to join together to address critical social issues impacting Texans such as the foster care crisis and increasing needs for higher education.
“It’s time that we as, Texas Baptists, focus our efforts on reaching the next generation for Christ,” Hardage said.
Board votes to remove CBF as giving option
Chairman Dennis Young presided over the business session Tuesday morning, in which board members voted to accept a joint-recommendation from the Finance and Administration Support Committees to remove the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship from its church giving forms.
The move followed action taken by CBF’s Governing Board on February 9 to the accept recommendations from the Illumination Project, which opened up a number of employment opportunities to LGBTQ persons.
“I am very grateful for the consistent, steady way in which the BGCT has held to God’s Word. We lovingly say to all people the truth that marriage is to be between one man and one woman,” said Danny Reeves, BGCT President.
Churches choosing to continue giving to CBF are encouraged to give directly to the CBF National Office. New giving forms will be sent to all Texas Baptists churches, with a letter explaining the action taken.
Jill Larsen, treasurer/CFO, reported on year-end budget for 2017. Gifts to CP Texas totaled $26.8 million, which was 96.5% of the anticipated budget, and 97.8% of 2016 giving. Other gifts included $10.1 million to the Southern Baptist Convention; $1.1 million to Texas Initiatives and Partnerships; $800,000 to Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, for a total of $40.6 million.
Special mission offerings included $3.0 million to the Mary Hill Davis Offering; $9.0 million to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering; $3.6 million to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering; $600,000 to the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering; and $300,000 to CBF Global Missions
Other business included:
Approval to reallocate $454,000 of the 2017 JK Wadley Endowment Fund Earnings to ministries including a Houston Area Missionary; building maintenance for collegiate buildings; BOUNCE Student Disaster Recovery; Western Heritage and Intercultural ministries.
Revision of an internal policy for the Mary Hill Davis Ethnic Minority Scholarship Program to move administration to the Cultural Engagement Team.
Appointments to fill vacancies on several boards and councils.
Approval of an internal policy to better guide staff on the need for and use of background checks with volunteers.
Reports from Tamiko Jones, executive-director/treasurer of WMU of Texas; John Travis Smith, COO of Texas Baptist Men; and Gus Reyes, director of the Christian Life Commission.