News Articles

SBC DIGEST: Ministers’ tax guide released; SEBTS Global Missions Conference; Psalm 139 Project donation in Texas

GuideStone announces release of its Ministers’ Tax Guide

By Holly Taylor

DALLAS (BP) – GuideStone has released its most popular annual publication, the 2022 Ministers’ Tax Guide for 2021 Returns prepared by Richard Hammar, available now for GuideStone participants at GuideStone.org/TaxGuide. The tax guide includes tax highlights for 2021 — including 2022 annual contribution limits, 2022 standard business mileage rates and key features from The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) — along with step-by-step filing instructions for ministers’ personal taxes and comprehensive examples and sample forms.

Additionally, GuideStone participant churches and church administrators have access to the annual Federal Reporting Requirements for Churches. This publication is included in the full tax guide or as a separate electronic copy.

GuideStone participants can receive both free resources by visiting GuideStone.org/TaxGuide or by requesting a free printed copy of the tax guide by calling 1-888-98-GUIDE (1-888-984-8433) (printed copies are limited).

The guide was again written this year by Richard Hammar, a noted CPA, attorney and widely published author who specializes in legal and tax issues for ministers.

“The Ministers’ Tax Guide is just one tangible way that we are able to help the pastors and churches we are privileged to serve,” said GuideStone President O.S. Hawkins. “This free resource helps our pastors and their preparers navigate the complexity of ministers’ taxes.”

SEBTS Global Missions Week highlights work in Sub-Saharan Africa

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP) – As part of its Great Commission emphasis, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) hosts Global Missions Week (GMW) every spring to further highlight the work of mission activity around the world. This year, from Jan. 25-28, the focus was on the people of Sub-Saharan Africa.

“For one week every year, we raise up the task of missions as a focus point for students, faculty, and staff,” said Keelan Cook, associate director of the Center for Great Commission Studies. “Global Missions Week gives Southeastern a chance to celebrate that which we hold at the very center of our purpose, equipping students to fulfill the Great Commission.”

The week included updates and stories from the field from missionaries who visited chapel, classes, and other GMW events on campus. All day Wednesday, a guided prayer walk was set up around campus that included stations with specific prayer requests for missions in Sub-Saharan Africa. In the evening, students were also invited to join a missionary panel discussion and evening prayer and worship on behalf of the people of Sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, the week concluded with a North Korea Missions Seminar.

Each chapel service included a missions spotlight focused on Sub-Saharan Africa. Coy and Sherra Steele, International Mission Board (IMB) missionaries in Botswana, spoke about their involvement with theological education and leadership development. At the Baptist convention seminary where Coy teaches, he has seen the radical difference theological education has made for students like David, who came out of a prosperity gospel background. David experienced ministers who abused their power by profiting off their people. Through the influence of one his friends at the seminary, he was compelled to start taking classes at the school also. This training led to his wholehearted pursuit to preach the true Gospel and counter any signs of the pervading prosperity Gospel in his country.

Kevin and Susie Rogers shared in chapel that same week. They have seen a radical shift in Christianity since coming to Africa 25 years ago. In 2018, Sub-Saharan Africa became the epicenter for Christianity as it now had more believers and more churches than any other continent. The implications are significant, Kevin said, as the focus has now become training and sending out more missionaries from Sub-Saharan Africa. These believers are now the mission force of the world.

Want to learn more about ways SEBTS is equipping its students for mission? Check out the Center for Great Commission Studies website, where you’ll find podcasts, blog posts, upcoming trips, and more. Visit thecgcs.org to learn more.

Psalm 139 Project donates ultrasound to pro-life center in Texas

NASHVILLE (BP) – The Psalm 139 Project, a pro-life ministry of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, has donated a portable ultrasound machine for a mobile unit at Hope Pregnancy Center of Brazos Valley, Inc. The ministry will hold a dedication ceremony Wednesday, Feb. 2 from 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. CST at the clinic’s location at 205 Brentwood Dr. East, College Station, TX 77840.

The training course for the mobile unit took place in November 2021. ERLC Vice President of Operations and Life Initiatives Elizabeth Graham will be in attendance at the dedication ceremony.

“We are so thankful for our friendship with Philip Bethancourt that led to our connection with Hope Pregnancy Center,” Graham said. “Through generous donations, we are able to serve this community in East Texas by providing a life-saving ultrasound machine. When vulnerable women have the opportunity to see their preborn child in the womb, the likelihood that they will choose life rises to 80 percent. By God’s grace, Hope Pregnancy Center can continue to serve this region and work to make abortion unthinkable and unnecessary in our day.”

Hope Pregnancy Center first opened in Bryan, Texas, in 1985. They have operated at three different locations over the years, but presently have one location located in College Station, Texas. This location has been in operation for 20 years and recently started a mobile ministry to serve five surrounding counties that do not have pregnancy centers.

The center sees an average of 1,800 clients per year and offers services such as:

  • Pregnancy testing;
  • Options consultation;
  • Limited obstetric ultrasounds;
  • Parenting classes (especially geared towards the international students of Texas A&M University, which is three blocks from the center);
  • Pregnancy loss support;
  • Post-abortion healing;
  • Benevolence;
  • Fatherhood program.

“Our experience with ERLC has been unexpected and powerful,” said Hope Pregnancy Center Executive Director Carol Dodds. “We had no idea how we were going to get an ultrasound machine for our new mobile services program. A new pastor in our community, Phillip Bethancourt, came to visit the center and heard of our need. As the former executive vice president of the ERLC, he knew exactly who could help us. He made connections for us, and within weeks we were on the road to this tremendous blessing that came sprinkled with new partnerships and full hearts. In a time when the world is full of worry, the ERLC’s gift of an ultrasound machine for our mobile program lifted a very heavy burden. For that, we are eternally grateful. That window-to-the-womb can now reveal life to mothers in our community who might be unsure about their pregnancies.”

One hundred percent of financial contributions designated to the Psalm 139 Project go toward purchasing ultrasound machines and providing training for workers. No Cooperative Program resources are used for these machines. Tax-deductible gifts may be made online to The Psalm 139 Project, or via check to ERLC, 901 Commerce Street, Nashville, Tenn., 37203. Learn more at psalm139project.com.

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  • BP Staff