FRISCO—Messengers to the Baptist General Convention of Texas annual meeting will elect new officers, consider a $35.4 million budget and explore distinctive Baptist beliefs and polity.
“Deep Roots: Living Legacy” is the theme of the meeting, Nov. 8-10 at Dr Pepper Arena in Frisco.
Prior to the annual meeting, three Texas Baptists announced their willingness to be nominated for office—Rene Maciel, president of Baptist University of the Américas and incumbent BGCT first vice president, for president; Bedilu Yirga, pastor of Ethiopian Evangelical Baptist Church of Dallas, incumbent second vice president, for first vice president; and Danny Reeves, pastor of First Baptist Church in Corsicana, for second vice president.
At the recommendation of the BGCT Executive Board, Texas Baptists will vote on a $35.42 million budget, compared to $35 million for 2015. The proposed 2016 budget depends on $31 million in Cooperative Program receipts from churches—down about $900,000 from the 2015 budget.
However, the recommended budget anticipates $4.42 million in investment income, compared to $2.6 million from investments and $500,000 from individual donors this year. The $1.32 million increase is available in part due to invested proceeds from the sale of the former Baptist Building to Baylor University’s Louise Herrington School of Nursing. The BGCT Executive Board staff offices moved to a building at Rambler Park, near Presbyterian Hospital in North Dallas, at the end of August.
Including revenue from the North American Mission Board, conference and booth fees, product sales and other miscellaneous sources, the BGCT anticipates spending $37,996,806 next year—an increase of $212,509 over 2015.
The proposed budget includes no salary increases for staff, but it absorbs a 20 percent increase in medical insurance instead of passing along the cost to employees.
If approved by messengers, the BGCT will continue to divide undesignated receipts in the same manner as in recent years, with 79 percent allocated for BGCT and 21 percent for worldwide causes. Each church determines the recipient or recipients of its worldwide giving. The Executive Board proposal recommends $1.47 million for Texas worldwide missions initiatives and partnerships, unchanged from the 2015 budget.
A variety of workshops—including a panel discussion with BGCT Executive Director David Hardage and former executive directors Bill Pinson, Charles Wade and Randel Everett—will focus on Baptist distinctives.
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Featured preachers at the annual meeting include Joel Gregory, professor of preaching at Baylor University’s Truett Theological Seminary; Taylor Sandlin, pastor of Southland Baptist Church in San Angelo; and Ralph West, pastor of The Church Without Walls in Houston.
Prior to the annual meeting, affinity group rallies are scheduled at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 8. The African-American rally will be at Friendship Baptist Church in The Colony, and the Hispanic rally will be at Pilgrim Chapel on the Dallas Baptist University campus.
Texas Baptists’ annual meeting concludes with a concert at 7 p.m. Nov. 10 at Cottonwood Creek Baptist Church in Allen featuring The Singing Men of Texas, marking the group’s 40th anniversary.