On Monday night of the May 23-24 Executive Board meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, ten individuals received trophies and certificates of graduation from the first cohort of Leadership Texas Baptists.
Leadership Texas Baptists, which met for the first time last fall, is a nine-month program experience to engage, equip and inform emerging leaders from churches across the state. Participants gathered once a month to hear from and dialog with Baptist leaders as well as gain leadership training and experience.
The second cohort is set to convene this September, with applications due June 15, 2016.
During Tuesday’s business session, President Rene Maciel addressed the crowd of Executive Board members with an encouraging word about being present in people’s lives.
“God ordains moments for us to be kingdom-minded, to build His kingdom, to talk boldly, to talk persuasively about His kingdom,” Maciel said. “Wherever you are, be all there.”
In business, the Administration Support Committee presented recommendations pertaining to revisions of three policies, all of which were unanimously approved by the Executive Board:
- Policy 809 will be replaced to be more succinct and better reflect the current technology environment of the BGCT.
- Policy 705 will be replaced to be more comprehensive with better defined roles and responsibilities, and will clarify various considerations for investing funds by BGCT.
- Policy 701 will be revised to reflect the revised Policy 705 to bring it into alignment with common current business practices and to correct some technical issues.
Additionally, the Finance Committee recommended the investment income from the Sam Combs Fund be designated to CP-Texas to support the BGCT budget. It was also unanimously approved.
Executive Director David Hardage addressed the Board, encouraging churches to consider doubling gifts to the Mary Hill Davis Offering this year. He also spoke about Texas Baptists’ present and future involvement in cross-cultural missions.
“We think maybe God is opening doors for us in a missions venture, we’re calling it the Missionary Action Plan,” he explained.
Hardage pointed to an existing partnership with the Baptist convention in Brazil.
“Brazil is anxious to partner with Texas Baptists,” he said, explaining that the future of Texas Baptists missions could involve partnering with Brazil to support missionaries along the Amazon River.
In addition, Hardage discussed the creation of a legacy giving campaign through Higher Ground Advisors, which would allow individuals to continue giving and supporting Texas Baptists missions and ministries even after their passing.
Jill Larsen, CFO/Treasurer, gave a report on the current Cooperative Program giving standing at $7.9M of an anticipated $8.7M budget, or 91.1 percent of budget. Larsen noted a recent postal mishap in which the convention may not have received several hundred church gifts which were mailed between February and April due to a change of address. Staff are currently working to contact those churches and rectify the situation.
The new mailing address for Texas Baptists is 7557 Rambler Road, Suite 1100, Dallas, Texas, 75231-2310.
Reports were also given by Carolyn Porterfield, representing WMU of Texas; Mickey Lenamon, new executive director for Texas Baptist Men; Chris Liebrum, director of the Office of Cooperative Program Ministry; and Kathryn Freeman, director of public policy.