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Hawkins notes GuideStone’s servant role


DALLAS (BP)–GuideStone Financial Resources President O.S. Hawkins highlighted the Southern Baptist entity’s servant role in his remarks during the Feb. 25-26 meeting of GuideStone’s trustees in Dallas.

“In all we do, our attitude should be that of a servant. That attitude should be reflected in our actions and expressed through our lives and through our lips,” Hawkins said in remarks drawn from 1 Kings 12:7: “If you will be a servant to them and serve them and answer them and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.”

Hawkins noted that relief ministry to needy retirees has been a key servant ministry during the 90-year history of GuideStone (formerly the Annuity Board).

“We are now re-branding our financial assistance ministry,” Hawkins told trustees. “The new name, Mission:Dignity, declares that we are on a mission to bring dignity to those who have given faithful years of service to Southern Baptist work and have significant financial need.”

Last year, GuideStone’s trustees broadened the relief ministry by adjusting the qualifying income guidelines and doubling the financial assistance amounts for retired ministers or their widow who have long years of service and the greatest financial need.

Information concerning GuideStone’s Adopt An Annuitant ministry may be requested by calling GuideStone at 1-888-98-GUIDE (1-888-984-8433) or by emailing GuideStone’s financial assistance department at [email protected]

Also during the meeting, GuideStone’s chief operating officer, John R. Jones, updated trustees on GuideStone’s program areas (retirement, investments, insurance and financial assistance) and also previewed strategic initiatives for 2008.

“In a year of significant financial markets volatility, GuideStone Funds continued to perform very well compared to mutual fund peers,” Jones told trustees.

For the five-year period ending Dec. 31, 2007, eight of 10 GuideStone Select funds in the investment industry’s GS4 class exceeded their respective mutual fund peer median as measured by the Lipper Ranking, Jones said. Lipper Inc. is a nationally recognized Reuters company that compares the total return performance of mutual funds within a universe of funds having similar investment objectives.

Jones also noted that GuideStone Funds ranked 30 out of 228 mutual fund families in the most recent Fund Family Fiduciary Rankings prepared by fi360. These rankings assess mutual fund families based upon the percentage of their individual funds that pass fi360’s due diligence screens, Jones said. “These screens include the fund’s track record, assets, management tenure, style consistency, expense ratio, risk adjusted performance and performance relative to their peer group among other criteria,” Jones said.

Jones also reported to trustees, “As of Dec. 31, 2007, retirement contributions and rollovers into our retirement plans topped $500 million for the first time in GuideStone’s history. This milestone represents participants’ continued commitment to planning for their future retirements and confidence in GuideStone Funds.”

Turning to GuideStone’s medical plans, Jones reported that the medical plans’ net enrollment increased by 11.2 percent in 2007.

“We continue to see significant growth in both our personal and group programs,” Jones told trustees. “During the past four years, over 6,000 persons have been added to the medical programs.”

Concerning GuideStone’s initiative to offer property and casualty insurance to churches and ministry organizations, Jones reported, “We believe we can offer a competitive property and casualty program that provides risk management programs for churches and ultimately reclaim dollars for ministry that have been lost to for-profit insurers.”

The trustees’ relief committee affirmed the addition of 33 new applicants in the fourth quarter. Eleven applications were approved for grants.

Trustees accepted the recommendation of their officers nominating committee and re-elected for a one-year term Robert L. Sorrell of Tennessee as chairman and Timothy E. Head of South Carolina as vice chairman.

At the Monday evening dinner meeting, four trustees were honored for their years of service to the board: Sam Burk Jr., Colorado; David A. Galloway, Louisiana; William F. Hansen, II, Virginia; and Larry A. Standridge, Tennessee.
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Curtis D. Sharp is the executive officer for denominational and public relations with GuideStone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.

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  • Curtis D. Sharp