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Ky. board approves new staff structure

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP) — The Kentucky Baptist Convention’s Mission Board approved a plan May 8 to overhaul the structure of the convention and its staff.

The proposal, presented by KBC Executive Director Paul Chitwood, passed with a strong majority vote of the board. Only five dissenting votes were cast.

The convention’s organizational structure now will consist of five ministry teams, consolidated from the previous six. With the exception of the executive office team and the business services team, all other teams will undergo name changes to better reflect their purposes, Chitwood noted.

The ministry teams now will be known as the evangelism and church planting team; the church consulting and revitalization team; and the missions mobilization team.

The new structure will allow the KBC to achieve its newly stated mission, Chitwood said, which is to operate as a convention “created by churches, for churches, to help churches reach Kentucky and the world for Christ.”

While not the first reorganization in KBC history, this one was necessitated by an overall drop in Cooperative Program gifts from Kentucky Baptists over the last decade, Chitwood explained.

In March, all KBC employees were offered early retirement or voluntary resignation incentive packages. It was announced on Monday (May 7) that 23 full-time and four part-time employees accepted the offers and will depart June 30. Additionally, nine contracted employees will not have their work renewed as of Aug. 31. Chitwood indicated that enough employees accepted the incentive packages that further layoffs were not needed.

The staff reduction “brings the organization in line with current Cooperative Program funding realities and the desire of Kentucky Baptists to get more resources to the worldwide mission field,” Chitwood said. Kentucky Baptist messengers voted in 2010 to achieve an even split of CP funds to KBC and Southern Baptist Convention causes by 2020.

As part of the reorganization plan, Chitwood also intends to form a study committee to evaluate the convention’s “collegiate ministry strategy” and its relationship with its entities and institutions. “These two aspects of our work represent a huge investment of the CP funds coming from our churches,” he said.

Those entities and institutions include Campbellsville University, Clear Creek Baptist Bible College, Crossings Ministries, the Kentucky Baptist Foundation, Kentucky Woman’s Missionary Union, Oneida Baptist Institute, Sunrise Children’s Services, University of the Cumberlands and the Western Recorder.
Reported by the staff of the Western Recorder (www.westernrecorder.org), newsjournal of the Kentucky Baptist Convention.

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