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Proposed 1999-2000 budget keeps current percentages for SBC entities


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Messengers to the June annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention will vote on a proposed 1999-2000 SBC Cooperative Program Allocation Budget of nearly $160 million which retains the current percentage distribution to SBC entities.
That was the decision of the Executive Committee, which proposes a budget each year for the Southern Baptist Convention. The proposed budget and numerous other business items were part of the committee’s regular meeting in Nashville, Tenn., Feb. 22-23.
Messengers will vote on a proposed 1999-2000 Cooperative Program Allocation Budget that, percentagewise, is identical to this year’s budget. Although this year’s budget, $155,005,723, is increased to $159,583,743, the percentage distribution to SBC agencies will be the same. The nearly $160 million budget proposal for 1999-2000 is the same as the receipts for the last budget year of record (1997-98), which is a policy the Executive Committee follows in setting a budget cap. The SBC budget year is Oct. 1 through Sept. 30.
With the same percentages as in this year’s budget, the International Mission Board will receive 50 percent or $79,791,872; the North American Mission Board, 22.79 percent or $36,369,135; the six seminaries 21.64 percent or $34,533,922 (which is divided among the seminaries according to a complex seminary funding formula based primarily on full-time-equivalent enrollment); Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, 1.49 percent or $2,377,798; Annuity Board, 0.76 percent or $1,212,836; and the SBC Operating Budget, 3.32 percent or $5,298,180.
The theological education ministries portion of the budget, which includes the six seminaries, will be distributed as follows: Southwestern Seminary, $9,916,319 or 6.21 percent of the total SBC budget; Southern Seminary, $6,127,389 or 3.84 percent; New Orleans Seminary, $6,149,656 or 3.85 percent; Southeastern Seminary, $5,895,034 or 3.69 percent; Golden Gate Seminary, $3,156,152 or 1.98 percent; Midwestern Seminary, $2,906,371 or 1.82 percent; and the Historical Library and Archives, $383,001 or 0.24 percent.
The SBC Operating Budget total includes $425,000 for the Baptist World Alliance, as well as funding for the Executive Committee and the SBC annual meeting.
Two other SBC entities, LifeWay Christian Resources and auxiliary Woman’s Missionary Union, receive no Cooperative Program funding from the SBC budget.
Interestingly, figures researched by the Executive Committee’s Cooperative Program office revealed the SBC’s 1926 budget, adopted by messengers to the 1925 annual meeting, included 50 percent for the Foreign Mission Board (the IMB’s predecessor) and 22.50 percent for the Home Mission Board (NAMB’s predecessor), nearly identical to the 1999-2000 budget proposal. The 1926 budget of $5 million was the first SBC unified budget following the establishment of the Cooperative Program in 1925.
The proposed budget also allows any receipts above the budgeted amount for the year to be distributed 50 percent to the Capital Needs Budget and 50 percent to Ministry Advance. However, if CP receipts continue as they have in recent years, there is a good possibility the remaining $3,151,520 of the 10-year Capital Needs Budget will be met through this year’s receipts. If so, all the receipts over the budget in 1999-2000 will be distributed to Ministry Advance which is the same distribution to SBC entities as in the regular budget. Nearly $5.7 million was distributed last year via the Capital Needs Budget (scheduled from 1990-91 through 1999-2000) as the result of overages above the 1997-98 budget.
SBC Cooperative Program receipts come mostly from state Baptist conventions and fellowships who share with the SBC a portion of the Cooperative Program receipts they receive from churches.
Adopting a resolution of appreciation for Dellanna W. O’Brien, executive director of Woman’s Missionary Union, who will retire Sept. 1, the Executive Committee gave O’Brien a sustained standing ovation.
Commending O’Brien for “exemplary leadership” during her 10 years leading the missions organization, the Executive Committee stated she “distinguished herself by effectively promoting the cause of missions in North America and around the world. … During her tenure, giving for North American and international missions reached record levels.”
Additionally, O’Brien “consistently demonstrated concern for the well-being of missionaries and their children, writing curriculum and addressing the educational needs of missionary children.” The Executive Committee also noted O’Brien and her husband, William, formerly served as missionaries for eight years with the International Mission Board (formerly the Foreign Mission Board).
The Executive Committee said it “expresses best wishes to Dellanna and William O’Brien for the years ahead and assures them of our prayers.”
In other actions, the Executive Committee:
— declined to act on a motion referred from the 1998 annual meeting proposing that Article I of the Baptist Faith and Message statement of Baptist beliefs be amended to include a reference to Scripture’s truth “in every area of which it speaks.” It was reported the Council of Seminary Presidents, at the request of the Executive Committee last September, discussed the proposed amendment and also recommended that no action be taken.
— recommended Indianapolis as the site of the 2004 annual meeting, for approval by messengers to this year’s annual meeting.
— voted to continue the current policy of requiring reimbursement by the SBC Pastors’ Conference for use of the meeting hall and facilities, setting the amount for years 2000 and 2001 at $38,000.
— approved the creation of a new publication by LifeWay Christian Resources of a monthly devotional magazine for new believers in Christ.
— named David Sommerville, pastor of First Baptist Church, Craigsville, W.Va., to fill a vacancy on the SBC Committee on Nominations and Kay Huggins, state student minister in North Carolina, to fill a vacancy on the Baptist World Alliance’s youth committee.
— approved for election as directors of the Southern Baptist Foundation, with terms to expire in 2002, John G. Blackman Jr. of Tennessee and Jerry L. Vaughan of North Carolina.
— approved an increase of 1.6 percent in the salary structure for Executive Committee staff.
Executive Committee members also were informed that C. Barry McCarty, longtime chief parliamentarian for SBC annual meetings, will again assume that role at this year’s meeting in Atlanta. McCarty is pastor of Lakota Christian Church in Cincinnati and an adjunct professor at Northern Kentucky University.

Art Toalston contributed to this article.

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  • Herb Hollinger