DALLAS (BP)–The GuideStone Property and Casualty Program, launched last November and now available in 33 states, is gaining momentum as a risk management solution for Southern Baptist churches and ministries. The program is offered through GuideStone Agency Services, an affiliate of GuideStone Financial Resources.
First Baptist Church in Duncanville, Texas, was the first church to participate in the P&C program, while the SBC Executive Committee is the first denominational entity to participate.
Rupert Robbins, associate pastor at the Duncanville church, explained that it was GuideStone Financial Resources’ commitment to churches that made him willing to consider GuideStone Agency Services’ P&C program. He said he wasn’t pleased with the service he was getting from the previous agency, so when he received a call from GuideStone, he was willing to explore a change.
Pastor Keith Brister likewise was open, noting, “Because of their years of faithful, consistent service, pastors trust the GuideStone name. So when Rupert said we were going with GuideStone, I had total confidence.”
Robbins said he is pleased with the decision. “GuideStone offers more than just a product,” he said. “They’re ministry-minded, and they have industry professionals who know what churches need and who understand the product. So the product fits the church far better than a product you find off the shelf. GuideStone offers a bundled package that more accurately describes where the risks and needs are in a church. It’s not one size fits all.
“You aren’t paying for things you don’t need and you’re getting coverage where you need it,” Robbins said. “GuideStone knows where we’re coming from, so their product is more customized for our environment.”
Robbins admitted that the church saved money with GuideStone, but he quickly asserted that it wasn’t the reason he made the change. “We chose it because it was a better fit, and we trust GuideStone to provide us the best possible product. The cost savings was just a blessing,” he said.
The Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention elected to participate in the program in February, offering their vote of confidence to the new GuideStone affiliate.
“My loyalty to GuideStone as an SBC entity made me interested in considering a switch, and I feel very strongly that we made the right decision,” said Donald Magee, Executive Committee associate vice president for finance. “I wanted a P&C provider that would have the best interests of the SBC at heart and saved a few dollars while I was at it.”
Magee, who is responsible for maintaining the insurance portfolio for the Southern Baptist Convention and its entities, said he was impressed with the ease of the transition.
“The agent I worked with kept the process as simple as possible,” Magee said. “He filled out a lot of the paperwork for me based on the information I gave him from my existing policies, so all I had to do was review and read and sign it. That was an immense help.”
“We are excited about the benefits we can offer churches through the GuideStone Property and Casualty Program,” said Doug Day, executive officer for GuideStone Financial Resources who gives leadership to GuideStone Agency Services. “For more than 90 years, GuideStone has served the financial needs of ministers and employees of Southern Baptist organizations. Now, through GuideStone Agency Services, we can more directly help the churches and ministries that employ our participants.
“We realize that churches have unique considerations when it comes to property and casualty insurance,” Day continued. “They face risks that are different from secular organizations. So we designed a program as unique as their needs. Ultimately, we hope to give churches the coverages and resources they need to protect their ministries.”
Magee said the Executive Committee’s selection of GuideStone wasn’t based on dissatisfaction with the previous provider. “We were very pleased with our previous coverage. But GuideStone is an even better fit for us. We feel that their interests and our interests are the same, as opposed to a private insurance company who has their own profitability as their goal. With GuideStone, we felt we had an ally that was on the same side as us, fighting for the same goals.”
Clark Logan, Executive Committee vice president for business and finance, who approved Magee’s recommendation, agreed. “Like most other organizations, we’re trying to make the best decisions for our needs. GuideStone gave us a very competitive proposal, and we were excited to keep the business in the family, so to speak. We have no doubts that GuideStone will take care of us. It was a competitive bid, and we like doing business with a Southern Baptist entity.”
The Executive Committee’s policy provides property and casualty coverage for three of Southern Baptists’ entities housed in Nashville, Tenn. — the Executive Committee, the Southern Baptist Foundation and the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission — as well as the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention.
GuideStone Property and Casualty Program now covers churches in eight states, is licensed to write coverage in 33 states and has applied to write coverage in seven additional states. To learn more about the program, call 1-877-455-GSPC (1-877-455-4772) or visit www.GuideStonePropertyCasualty.org.
Katie Aragon is a marketing development writer for GuideStone Financial Resources.