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Texas board OKs fifth CP giving plan option

DALLAS (BP)–A fifth option for Cooperative Program giving by Texas churches, which eliminates some Southern Baptist Convention entities, was approved by the Executive Board of the Baptist General Convention of Texas.
At its May 18 meeting in Dallas, the board endorsed the new giving option for its CP unified budget. The new option allows churches to channel 73 percent of their gifts to BGCT ministries with the remainder to four SBC entities and the Baptist World Alliance.
The four SBC entities are the two mission boards, the Annuity Board headquartered in Dallas, and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas. Left out of the giving plan would be the other five SBC seminaries, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission and the Convention Operating Budget which includes the budget of the SBC Executive Committee. The SBC’s LifeWay Christian Resources receives no Cooperative Program funds, nor does the SBC auxiliary Woman’s Missionary Union.
The option followed continuing criticism of various SBC agencies by some BGCT leaders, including BGCT President Russell Dilday, former president of Southwestern Seminary.
The BGCT changed the Cooperative Program in 1994, after seven decades, to include four options, some of which did not include the SBC.
The new option was initiated at the request of numerous Texas Baptists, claimed Leroy Fenton, chairman of a funding committee and Waxahachie, Texas, pastor, according to a story in the May 26 Baptist Standard, newsjournal of the BGCT. However, Robert Carter, Silsbee, Texas pastor, said the new giving option will prove to be divisive, according to the Standard.
“We’re not one big, happy family anymore. We’ll earn a lot more credibility from churches out there if we admit it. … This is moving away from the SBC,” said Bobby Broyles, Earth, Texas pastor.
Morris H. Chapman, president and chief executive officer of the SBC Executive Committee earlier criticized the new option which he said is an attempt “to drive a wedge between Texas Southern Baptist churches and the SBC.
“Leaders of the BGCT are attempting to erode support for the Cooperative Program as it has been defined for many, many years,” Chapman said.

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  • Herb Hollinger