News Articles

10/22/97 Baptist Foundation of Canada to aid several Baptist bodies

COCHRANE, Alberta, Canada (BP)–Leaders of several Canadian Baptist bodies have announced the formation of the Cooperative Baptist Foundation of Canada, a new agency to assist in building a financial platform to support Baptists in Canada.
A consultant to the group, Glen E. Crotts, retired president of the Baptist Foundation of Arizona, said the foundation’s creation marks “truly a historic day.”
“Working together, and under the leadership of the Lord, these leading Baptist convention executives have developed a comprehensive, joint strategy to meet the unique needs of Canadian Baptists.”
Although the experiences and financial structures of the Baptist Foundation of Arizona served as a valuable reference point in the planning process, the unique characteristics of Canadian Baptists require different approaches.
For example, the total number of Southern Baptists in Canada is considerably smaller than the number of Baptists in Arizona. With 7,000 resident members in 120 churches with only 100 members or more, there is no way this one convention could support an independent foundation. Allen Schmidt, executive of the Canadian Convention of Southern Baptists, said he saw the foundation as an opportunity to work with his Baptist colleagues in an initiative larger than any one convention.
In January 1997, representatives from several Canadian Baptist conventions and organizations met in Phoenix to visit with the staff of the Baptist Foundation of Arizona and discuss how they could work together to develop a single financial agency that would benefit all Baptist causes around Canada. Subsequent meetings identified procedures, corporate structure, capitalization needs and sources, benefits to agencies and to individuals, financial services and products to be offered and staffing requirements.
On Sept. 10, 17 representatives from Canadian Baptist conventions and agencies met in Cochrane, Alberta, to establish the Cooperative Baptist Foundation of Canada.
The group included Schmidt; Dave Phillips, executive of the Canadian Baptist Ministries; Abe Funk, executive of the Baptist General Conference of Canada; Gerry Fisher, executive of the Baptist Union of Western Canada; and Harry Gardner, executive of United Baptist Convention of Atlantic Canada.
The group engaged an attorney to draft a constitution and bylaws, in keeping with Canadian legal and tax requirements. The Baptist Union of Western Canada offered to advance the money for the legal expenses to the new Corporation.
“By forming the Cooperative Baptist Foundation of Canada, these leaders are moving toward a new, more comprehensive notion of stewardship,” Crotts said. “This new foundation will introduce the ideas of planned giving, equity building and entrepreneurial stewardship. There will be a role for every Baptist agency and every church in Canada as we form ways to enable Baptists to invest in the Lord’s work.”