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SBC DIGEST: April financial update; Missouri Baptists rally for HLGU

April financial update with GuideStone’s David Spika

By BP Staff

NASHVILLE (BP) – David Spika, chief strategic investment officer for GuideStone Financial Resources, joined Jonathan Howe Monday (April 18) to discuss current economic challenges. The two talk about the highest inflation rate in decades and how severe COVID-19 lockdowns in China could affect supply chains.

Missouri Baptists rally to support Hannibal-LaGrange University

By Tim Howe/The Pathway

HANNIBAL, Mo. (BP) – Hannibal-LaGrange University’s (HLGU) financial crisis came as a jolt to many, but the families of faculty and staff bore the full force of impact. Amid the uncertainty, those most invested in the school began to look for a sign that God was still with them. Immanuel Baptist Church here has proven true to its name by providing just such a sign in the form of a $100,000 donation.

But Immanuel Baptist isn’t alone. Edgewood Baptist Church in Bowling Green and other churches across the state are also rallying to sustain HLGU’s mission of Christian higher education for generations to come.

Also, the Missouri Baptist Convention’s Executive Board voted during a Zoom meeting April 7 to forward $60,000 each month for the next three months to HLGU to help the school through this transitional period.

The funds, according to the board’s recommendation “serve as an advance of the approximate funds HLGU would receive from Cooperative Program giving in October, November and December.”

“Any excess funds made in advance to HLGU is considered a gift from the MBC,” the recommendation said. “If Cooperative Program does not meet its goal of $15 million, the available may offset the cost of the advance.”

Anthony Schindler, senior pastor of Hannibal’s roughly 200-member Immanuel Baptist Church, said that news of the university’s dire financial position gave rise to deep compassion within the church body.

“HLGU is not a distant, theoretical school for us,” Schindler said. “We know these families. We know their names and love them. Many of them come to our church and our sister churches.”

According to Schindler, individuals and families were experiencing grief and doubt, wondering whether they were going to be able to make ends meet and if they had made the right decision to come to Hannibal.

“When we heard about the need, we decided we needed to bring it before the church and ask whether the Lord was leading us to give,” Schindler said.

“The question we considered was what God was calling us to do. Here’s their situation. Here’s our situation. We were asking, ‘How can we be faithful?’”

On the evening of Sunday, March 27, the church held a business meeting where members heard a report from the church’s financial team, as well as a report from Robert Matz, Immanuel Baptist Church member and HLGU executive vice president. After the presentations, a member made a motion to give HLGU the $100,000 gift. The vote carried with a large majority.

Schindler said the presence of the Lord was evident in the church’s enthusiasm to give.

Read the full story here.

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  • BP Staff