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Further steps approved to change Annuity Board’s name, ministry

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–The process of changing the Annuity Board’s name and expanding its ministry opportunities moved forward as the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee approved recommendations to amend the entity’s charter and the charter of its affiliates during the committee’s Feb. 16-17 meeting in Nashville, Tenn.

Executive Committee members unanimously approved a proposal to change the entity’s name to GuideStone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention during their September 2003 meeting. Along with the original proposal, a recommendation to permit the entity to serve evangelical ministry organizations outside the SBC was passed.

The name changes of the Annuity Board and its affiliates and the amendments of the charters will require two successive annual votes of the convention to change the SBC bylaws, beginning at the June 15-16 meeting in Indianapolis. The original recommendation by the Executive Committee included a provision to allow the Annuity Board to begin using the new name after the first vote of the convention.

An Annuity Board statement to Baptist Press last fall described GuideStone as a composite word consisting of two words describing the board’s goals: The Annuity Board intends to be a guide to walk alongside its participants throughout their lifetime, helping them enhance their financial security, while the word stone refers to the Annuity Board’s enduring presence since its beginning more than 85 years ago. The name is adapted from the term, “guide stone,” which was commonly used in the Roman period as a directional, distance and warning marker placed along Roman roads. The stones were set up beside the roads by explorers, leaders and road builders to help those who traveled behind them.

The amendment to the ministry assignment of the Annuity Board would include other evangelical organizations in addition to the churches and denominational entities it already serves. Relief aid to retirees still would be exclusive to Southern Baptist ministers and denominational employees, but retirement plan programs, life and health coverage, personal investment programs and institutional investment services would be open to others who qualify.

Also during the Executive Committee meeting:

— A 2004-05 Cooperative Program Allocation budget of $183,201,694 was adopted and will be recommended to the convention at the annual meeting in June.

The new budget will continue to allocate 50 percent of receipts to the International Mission Board and 22.79 percent to the North American Mission Board. The percentage allocated to the seminaries is 21.4 percent. According to the seminary enrollment formula, Southwestern Seminary would receive 5.18 percent; Southern Seminary, 4.42 percent; New Orleans Seminary, 4.38 percent; Southeastern Seminary, 4.08 percent; Golden Gate Seminary, 1.83 percent; and Midwestern Seminary, 1.52 percent.

The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission would receive 1.49 percent of the budget, and .76 percent would go to the Annuity Board for its ministry to retired ministers whose annuities were underfunded during their careers.

The Executive Committee, encompassing the work of the convention between annual meetings as well as the costs for each annual meeting, would receive 3.32 percent of the CP budget. The Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives would receive .24 percent.

— A 2004-05 SBC Operating Budget of $7,975,000 was adopted and will be recommended to the convention in June.

— A 2 percent increase was approved for the Executive Committee staff salary structure, effective Oct. 1.

— Notice was given that Barry C. McCarty will serve again as chief parliamentarian during the June 2004 SBC annual meeting in Indianapolis.

— Butch Tanner, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Greenwood, Ind., was added to the 2003-04 SBC Committee on Nominations.

— Jerry Tidwell of Alabama and Tom Boyd of Tennessee were elected to three-year terms as Southern Baptist Foundation trustees.

— In response to a motion referred from the 2003 SBC annual meeting in Phoenix, a recommendation was approved for the Executive Committee to “continue to consider New York City in the deliberation process to select future cities for the site of the [SBC] annual meeting.”

    About the Author

  • Erin Curry