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Texas beyond-budget receipts recommended for SBC

GRAPEVINE, Texas (BP) — The Southern Baptists of Texas Convention’s Executive Board has voted to recommend that 100 percent of beyond-budget 2016 Cooperative Program receipts be forwarded to Southern Baptist Convention missions and ministries.

SBTC messengers will vote on the recommendation during the convention’s Nov. 8-10 annual meeting at Champion Forest Baptist Church in Houston.

The Executive Board also approved a 2016 SBTC proposed budget of $27,743,629.

The budget recommendation, adopted by the Executive Board during its Aug. 11 meeting in Grapevine, would continue to forward 55 percent of CP receipts for SBC causes and retain 45 percent for Texas missions and ministries.

“We’re just thrilled to be able to say to the Southern Baptist Convention that we believe in our partnership,” SBTC Executive Director Jim Richards told Baptist Press, “and we believe in the Cooperative Program method of giving.

“Our convention is blessed, and as we continue to receive funds over budget, we intend to forward those on to the Southern Baptist Convention for missions, education, ethics and religious liberty and all the causes that we do together as Southern Baptists,” Richards said.

Through the end of July, Cooperative Program receipts were $15,810,793 — slightly up from the $15,688,282 given through July 2014, SBTC Chief Financial Officer Joe Davis said. To date, net operating income through July was $808,837, mostly the result of underspending, Davis said, with SBTC designated giving and investment income also contributing.

Also during the SBTC board’s meeting:

— Affiliation requests from 30 churches were approved, bringing the total number of churches in the SBTC to 2,510.

— Church planter Shane Pruitt, 36, was elected as the SBTC’s new director of missions. Pruitt planted C3 (Connection Community Church) in the Dallas-area city of Rowlett in November 2010 through the support of the SBTC. The congregation has grown to more than 600 in less than five years. Pruitt replaces Terry Coy, who retired in June after serving in the position since 2008. Pruitt’s job description as director of missions includes the development of a church-planting network and recruiting and mobilizing church planters in Texas. He shared an immediate vision he believes God has given him called “Pray 100 Plant 100” for “all 2,500 of our churches to get on our knees before the Lord and plead with the sovereign Lord to raise up 100 planters that will plant 100 biblically-based, Kingdom-focused, missionally driven churches across the state of Texas.”

— Joshua Crutchfield, pastor of First Baptist Church of Trenton, was approved as the recipient of the 2015 H. Paul Pressler Distinguished Service Award during November’s SBTC annual meeting.

Richards, in his executive director’s report, noted recent events in the nation, such as the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage and President Obama’s nuclear arms deal with Iran. “With all these things happening around us, turmoil in the churches and in the culture, the Kingdom of God continues to move forward,” he said.

Richards rejoiced at the ongoing evangelistic impact of the SBTC student camps and Engage revival teams. He also noted that the number of SBTC-supported church plants continues to flourish, and he has been thankful for the statewide regional prayer gatherings led by SBTC President Jimmy Pritchard. Richards concluded his report by mentioning his excitement for the upcoming annual meeting, where the convention’s Reach Houston initiative will be launched and the SBTC and Baptist Missionary Association of Texas will gather together for a joint worship service.

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  • Keith Collier/Southern Baptist Texan