DALLAS—Messengers to Texas Baptists’ virtual annual meeting will consider a $34,266,688 total Texas 2021 budget—a decrease of $833,779 from this year’s budget.
The Baptist General Convention of Texas Executive Board approved the budget recommendation at its Sept. 21 meeting, conducted via Zoom video conference. The board also authorized a dollar-for-dollar match to forgive a $1 million loan to Baptist University of the Américas.
The board’s budget recommendation projects a $32 million net Texas budget—based on Cooperative Program giving and investment income—for 2021, down about $500,000 from the 2020 budget.
The recommended budget depends on $27 million in Texas Cooperative Program receipts from churches, compared to $27.5 million in the current year’s budget.
Ward Hayes, BGCT treasurer and chief financial officer/treasurer, reported $16.35 million in Texas Cooperative Program giving through July 31, compared to $16.59 million at the same time last year. Through the end of July, Texas Cooperative Program receipts were at 97.4 percent of 2020 budget requirements.
The recommended 2021 budget anticipates slightly more than $5 million in investment income, comparable to the 2020 budget.
The budget proposal also anticipates more than $2.5 million in additional revenue from conference and booth fees, product sales, the Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Mission Board and other sources.
Staff salaries in the proposed budget are relatively flat but include a 9.1 percent increase in health insurance. Institutional support remains relatively flat in the recommended 2021 budget.
Messengers from Texas Baptist churches will vote on the budget proposal as part of the Nov. 16-17 annual meeting, which will be conducted virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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The board also recommended continued division of undesignated receipts from affiliated churches, with 79 percent allocated for the BGCT and 21 percent for worldwide causes. Each church determines the recipient or recipients of its worldwide giving.
If approved at the annual meeting, an anticipated $1.05 million in worldwide missions initiatives and partnerships be allocated in this manner: $350,000 for missions mobilization, $210,000 for River Ministry and Mexico missions, $125,000 for Texas Partnerships, $60,000 for the Baptist World Alliance, $50,000 for intercultural international initiatives, $195,000 for Go Now Missions, $25,000 for the Hispanic Education Task Force and $35,000 for chaplaincy.
Loan forgiveness plan approved for BUA
The board also approved a proposal to forgive the $1 million loan approved three years ago for BUA in a manner that provides an incentive for the school’s fund-raising efforts.
In September 2017, the BGCT Executive Board had approved financial assistance for BUA, including a $1 million no-interest loan for five years.
The board-approved recommendation forgives $1 of the loan for every $1 BUA raises from any external source between Jan. 1, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2022.
In his address to the board, BGCT President Michael Evans reflected on the tension in the United States and anxiety related to ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. He reminded the board of Christ’s command to his followers to “love one another.”
“In the midst of chaos, we must abide in his love,” Evans said.
BGCT Executive Director David Hardage voiced his hope that Texas Baptists will become known as “GC2” people—Christians committed equally to both the Great Commission and the Great Commandment. As Texas Baptists seek to fulfill their mission and vision, he expressed his desire that they be guided by two imperatives: “Share Christ. Show love.”
In other business, the BGCT Executive Board:
- Elected Clint Davis of First Baptist Church in Mount Pleasant as chair and Bobby Contreras of Alamo Heights Baptist Church in San Antonio as vice chair of the BGCT Executive Board for 2021.
- Approved the allocation of $200,000 of investment income from the J.K. Wadley Mission Fund for church starts and $100,000 of income from the same source to fund campus missionary interns in 2021.
- Elected Brandon Skaggs of First Baptist Church in Belton, Irene Gallegos of Iglesia Bautista Getsemani in Fort Worth, Raymond Sanchez of First Baptist Church in Weslaco and Ryan Buck of Immanuel Baptist Church in San Angelo to fill vacancies on the Christian Life Commission.
- Authorized policy changes allowing BGCT employees to roll over up to 80 hours of earned and unused personal time off, an increase from the existing limit of 40 hours, and setting 6 percent of an employee’s regular base salary as the standard amount matched by the employer.
- Approved Weaver as the accounting firm to conduct the financial audit for 2020.
The board filled vacancies on councils by electing:
- Larry Landusky of Second Baptist Church in Lubbock, Ann Bradshaw of Tallowood Baptist Church in Houston, Don Allen of Sugar Creek Baptist Church in Sugar Land, Grady Tyroch of First Baptist Church in Temple, Robert Power of First Baptist Church in Richardson, David Lake of South Spring Baptist Church in Tyler, Jim Newman of First Baptist Church in Frisco and JoAnn Botts of First Baptist Church in Plano to the Texas Baptists’ Missions Foundation Council.
- Bart Howell of Eagles View Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Bryan Pinson of First Baptist Church in Midland, Chad Bertrand of South Park Baptist Church in Austin, Chad Mason of Calvary Baptist Church in McAllen, Edgardo Martinez of First Baptist Church in El Paso, Jeff Covington of Oakwood Baptist Church in New Braunfels, Nancy Jackson of The Woodlands Baptist Church in The Woodlands and Robert Watson of First Baptist Church in Tyler to the Missions Funding Council.
- Jeff W. Smith of Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas and Jimmy Garcia of First Baptist Church in Duncanville to the Baptist Distinctives Council.
- Linda Templin of First Baptist Church in Arlington and John Wheat of Trinity Baptist Church in Kerrville to the Baptist Student Ministry Council.
- Ronny Marriott of First Baptist Church in Burleson and Craig Curry of First Baptist Church in Plano to the Theological Education Council.
- Megan Maxwell of The Woodlands Baptist Church in The Woodlands, Nataly Mora of Park Lane Drive Baptist Church in Waco and Larry Soape of First Baptist Church in San Antonio to the BaptistWay Press Advisory Council.
- Larry J. Sanders of Keller Springs Baptist Church in Carrollton to the Cultural Engagement Council.
- Darin Wood of First Baptist Church in Midland to the Great Commission Team’s Evangelism Strategic Planning Council.
- George Will Bearden of First Baptist Church in San Antonio, Rochelle Binion of Agape Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Garry Patterson of Berean Baptist Church in San Antonio, Judy Collins of The Crossing Baptist Church in Mesquite, David Kirk of First Baptist Church in San Antonio and Elmo Johnson of Rose of Sharon Baptist Church in Houston to the Chaplaincy Endorsement Council. The board also elected as out-of-state representatives to the same council Robert Pipkin of First Baptist Church in Suffolk, Va.; Sara Hester of First Baptist Church in Oneonta, Ala.; Richard Brown of Bonsack Baptist Church in Roanoke, Va.; Clint Calvert of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Rochester, Minn.; and Kristen Curtis of First Baptist Church in Farmville, Va.