ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP)–North American Mission Board President Robert E. Reccord said the agency “will continue to follow the Lord’s leadership in helping SBC churches start new churches and reach the continent for Christ” after a Baptist General Convention of Texas study committee released a recommendation to retain more than $1 million in NAMB funding.
NAMB trustees on May 9 unanimously approved a motion affirming Reccord’s leadership in all relationship between NAMB and Baptist state conventions as well as his response to the Texas funding situation.
“We fully support the firm stand he has taken regarding the recent Missions Sending Agency Study Committee report that will soon be presented to the Executive Board of the Baptist General Convention of Texas,” read the motion introduced by William G. Streich of Wichita Falls, Texas.
The trustees’ affirmation of Reccord came one day after the NAMB president responded to the BGCT’s missions study committee recommendation that the BGCT’s cooperative agreement with NAMB needs to be renegotiated.
The most obvious recommended change is to retain in Texas about $1.2 million in Cooperative Program money which would be returned to Texas by NAMB to pay for its part of cooperative missions endeavors agreed upon by the two entities.
In its recommendation, the Texas committee stressed that the retention of funds was not a defunding of NAMB.
“It is essential to understand that this is not defunding but simply is administering more efficiently that portion of Texas funds, which would be returned to Texas under the current agreement,” committee members stated in the report.
Reccord called the study committee’s recommendation a misrepresentation.
“Their proposal to ‘retain’ over one million dollars of BGCT funds that would be apportioned back to Texas shows a misrepresentation of the nature of our partnership because the funds NAMB invests in Texas through the BGCT are not gifts that originated in Texas,” Reccord said. “They are missions funds from every Southern Baptist church in every state convention in a cooperative effort to reach the lost in Texas.
“NAMB has not moved from the processes and positions historically honored by our predecessor, the Home Mission Board, or for the last four years, by our own agency,” Reccord added. “While the report addresses a perceived lack of a cooperative agreement between NAMB and the BGCT, the reality is that NAMB and all state conventions and fellowships have continued to work under the pre-existing agreements. The process to restructure those agreements with our state partners has already begun.”
The committee was chaired by Jim Denison, pastor of Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas. The church maintains a dual affiliation with the SBC and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, a group that broke away from the SBC nearly 10 years ago.
The subcommittee that studied the NAMB issues was chaired by Ophelia Humphrey, a member of the First Baptist Church of Amarillo, Texas, another church maintaining a dual affiliation with the SBC and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.
The committee’s recommendations will be considered by the BGCT’s executive board on May 22. If approved, the recommendations will become policy.