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KBC Mission Board Report

KBC Mission Board report

KBC Mission Board endorses budget,
names team leader, department head

By Drew Nichter
News Director

Bagdad—Kentucky Baptist Convention Mission Board members voted last week to endorse the details of a $23.5 million Cooperative Program budget for 2010-11.

Meeting May 3-4 at Cedarmore Camp and Conference Center, board members also named a new KBC staff team leader and approved the creation of a multiethnic missions and ministries department.

The CP budget goal, approved by KBC messengers last November, is a 4 percent decrease over the current $24.48 million budget. It does, however, represent a 2.1 percent increase over the $23 million working budget the KBC has been operating under this fiscal year because of the economic downturn.

The KBC downgraded next year’s budget goal in order to get in line with giving during the current economic slump, noted Lowell Ashby, KBC’s business services team leader.

The 2010-11 budget does, however, include a 0.63 percent increase in Cooperative Program funds being shifted from Kentucky Baptist to Southern Baptist Convention causes. The percentage allocation will be 62 percent for KBC ministries, while SBC ministries will receive 38 percent.

The budget proposal came amid a slightly more positive report that Cooperative Program receipts had moved ahead of last year’s by about 1.6 percent.

According to Ashby, CP giving through March is right in line with the $23 million adjusted fiscal year budget.

While a great deal of discussion at last week’s meeting centered on the Cooperative Program’s future in the wake of the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force’s May 3 report, Ashby reiterated Kentucky Baptists’ “high dependence” on CP.

“Nothing affects the work in Kentucky more than Cooperative Program,” he said, adding that 90 percent of the KBC budget comes from Cooperative Program gifts.

Board members also addressed a pair of personnel matters at last week’s meeting.

Larry Baker was approved as the KBC’s missions growth team leader. He has led the team in an interim capacity since January following the retirement of former team leader Randy Jones last year.

Baker has served as the KBC’s new work and associational missions department director since 2004, overseeing church planting and ethnic ministries across the state. He will maintain those duties in addition to his role as missions growth team leader.

“I was concerned about overloading him, but he seems to have the capacity to manage this with the help of a great team,” KBC Executive Director Bill Mackey said of Baker.

Prior to his convention work, Baker was director of missions for Christian County Baptist Association. He also served as an International Mission Board missionary to Ecuador and Peru.

New department approved

In his new role, Baker will oversee the KBC’s new multiethnic missions and ministries department, which the Mission Board approved the creation of last week.

Ethnic work in Kentucky has expanded rapidly since the KBC began an intentional shift from ministry to church planting with Hispanics back in 2005, Baker said.

Since that time, “we have seen just a tremendous influx of other ethnic groups coming into Kentucky,” he noted, adding that the KBC currently is working with nearly 20 church plants of various people groups.

The department will be headed by Carlos De la Barra, whom the Mission Board approved unanimously as its director. De la Barra, a Chile native, has served as the KBC’s ethnic associate since 2008.

As director of the multiethnic missions and ministries department, De la Barra will supervise six Hispanic regional missionaries, a South Asian Indian missionary and a deaf missionary. He also will oversee four church planting specialists from the Nehemiah Project, a joint venture of the KBC, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and the North American Mission Board.

“I think it’s a historic day when we can say to all our Kentucky Baptists that we care about the people groups that we find right here in our own state,” Baker said.

Find It Here report

Mission Board members also heard reports and up-to-date tallies from the statewide Find It Here campaign that culminated on Easter Sunday.

Ross Bauscher, KBC’s evangelism growth team leader, reported that as of late April, 1,939 response cards distributed through the door-to-door packets had been received by the convention.

Of those responses:

  • 954 people indicated they would be willing to explore more about faith in Jesus Christ.
  • 553 people made a decision to come to faith in Jesus Christ.
  • 366 people said they wanted to make their faith in Christ public.
  • 898 people said they wanted to restore a relationship with Christ or rededicate their lives to Him.
  • 165 people said they wanted someone from a local Southern Baptist church to contact them.
  • 160 people indicated they wanted follow-up visits from a Southern Baptist church.

John Mark Toby, pastor of Beacon Hill Baptist Church in Somerset, reported that 1.4 million Kentucky households were reached through Find It Here; 68 of 71 state Baptist associations participated, encompassing approxmiately 1,700 churches; and as many as 2.8 million Kentuckians were reached at least three and a half times by the Find It Here advertising campaign.

“I saw a cooperative spirit—a sense of unity between churches, associations (and) state conventions,” Bauscher said. “I saw pastors cooperating with one another, not competing against one another. There was a kingdom mindset that has been renewed in Find It Here.”

In recognition of that cooperative spirit, board members approved a resolution of appreciation for Kentucky Baptists’ Find It Here efforts. The statement applauded the work of Kentucky pastors, directors of missions, church members, as well as the KBC staff and NAMB.

In other business:

  • Board members approved a resolution of appreciation for Kentucky Baptists’ disaster relief efforts for Haiti following the devastating Jan. 12 earthquake. The resolution recognized the 9,650 Buckets of Hope for Haiti donated by Kentucky Baptists, as well as the $490,000 in relief funds given through the KBC.
  • Alan Dodson, pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Lexington, will become chair of the administrative committee, filling the role vacated by Corbin pastor Darren Gaddis, who has accepted a call to become pastor at First Baptist Church of Ocala, Fla. Gaddis, a former KBC president, served as administrative committee chair for three years.

Western Recorder issue date: May 11, 2010

Larry Baker and Carlos De la Barra

KBC Mission Board, president reaffirm commitment to CP

By Drew Nichter
News Director

Bagdad—On the heels of the release of the final report from the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force, the Kentucky Baptist Convention Mission Board declared its support for the Cooperative Program, Southern Baptists’ primary missions funding channel.

The GCR Task Force released its final report and recommendations May 3, just prior to the start of last week’s Mission Board meeting. Thus, much of the discussion centered around the report’s details.

Recommendation No. 3 in the report calls for Southern Baptists to adopt a “Great Commission Giving” structure. According to the GCRTF report, “Great Commission Giving” would include “all monies channeled through the causes of the Southern Baptist Convention, the state conventions and associations”

Prompted by this recommendation, Mission Board members adopted a resolution to reaffirm the Cooperative Program as Southern Baptists’ “funding methodology to support a wide array of Great Commission ministries and missions.”

“We, as Kentucky Baptists, dedicate ourselves to finding the resources to reinforce the Cooperative Program as the essential avenue of support for missions and ministries,” the resolution states.

In remarks to Mission Board members, KBC President Don Mathis urged Kentucky Baptists to resist any effort to group Cooperative Program giving with that of other missions giving, “even under the banner of ‘Great Commission Giving.’”

“When we place other giving on the same level as Cooperative Program, that will be the destruction of the Cooperative Program,” he warned.

Acknowledging the growing trend among Southern and Kentucky Baptist churches away from giving to CP, the Mission Board’s resolution decrees Kentucky Baptists must “recommit ourselves to leading our churches to wholehearted and increased support of the Cooperative Program.”

“What we really need is CPR—a Cooperative Program resurgence,” Mathis declared.

The vocational evangelist suggested that if all Kentucky Baptist churches gave at least 5 percent more of their undesignated receipts to CP over five years, there would $4 million more for Kentucky Baptist missions and ministries. That even factors in a 50-50 split among Kentucky and Southern Baptist causes, he explained.

Kentucky Baptists also would be able to contribute millions of dollars more to both mission boards and the seminaries, Mathis noted.

“We do not need to be arguing over the pie; we need a bigger pie,” he said.

Noting that the SBC and KBC need leaders who value the Cooperative Program, Mathis said he no longer would vote for any officer candidate in SBC life who does not lead his church to give at least 10 percent to CP.

“We must have leadership that reflects by example—sacrificial Cooperative Program support,” he said.

Addressing other aspects of the GCRTF report, Mathis said he did not want to see the dissolution of the cooperative agreements between the North American Mission Board and state conventions.

The report calls for phasing out the agreements—which provide more than $50 million from NAMB to state convention work—over seven years. The task force initially proposed a four-year phase-out period.

Without the agreements, Mathis pointed out, the KBC would lose out on $1 million—4.3 percent of next year’s budget.

“Could we live without it in Kentucky? Absolutely,” he said. “It would be awkward, but we still … do not need to lose that.”

But the effect on neighboring state conventions would be devastating, Mathis said, pointing to West Virginia, Ohio and Indiana.

“All of the oxygen would be taken out of their bodies if the cooperative agreements are gone,” he warned.

Suggesting that even 99 years would not be long enough to phase out the cooperative agreements, Mathis insisted they should remain because they have unified Southern Baptists through the years.

“I’m convinced that the Cooperative Program and the cooperative agreements probably held us together when we did not agree on a lot of other things,” he said. “Let’s not dissolve it at all.”

New worship center dedicated at Cedarmore


Bagdad—As part of last week’s Kentucky Baptist Convention Mission Board meeting, Kentucky Baptist Assemblies held a dedication ceremony for the new Calvin D. Fields Worship Center at Cedarmore Camp.

The 15,432-square-foot facility was completed in time to host the Mission Board, making it the first group to meet there.

The worship center is named for Calvin Fields, who served for nearly 16 years in the KBC’s Brotherhood (now Baptist Men on Mission) department. But, Fields may have been best known as leader of Cedarmore’s Royal Ambassadors Camp for many years.

Recognizing the long history of Cedarmore, Assemblies President David Melber said the numerous stories of Fields’ impact on children’s lives over the years should inspire all Kentucky Baptists.

“You think about how many kids … listened to (Fields) give direction, offer them correction and share the love of Christ,” Melber said. “And to hear people in this room today share the stories of what it meant for him to be their leader, it challenges me. It should challenge all of us to consider what we are doing with our time.”

Fields’ youngest son, Randy, a member of Crestwood Baptist Church, said his father, who also served as a pastor for several churches, “was not focused on big things.”

Randy said his father believed a church should grow to only 250 members and then split. With the worship center bearing his name capable of seating 750 people, Randy joked that the facility would have violated one of his father’s fundamental principles.

Noting that more than 10,000 students and adults will attend Crossings Camps at Cedarmore and Jonathan Creek this summer, Randy Fields said, “The exciting thing for me is the opportunity for more people to continue to be reached for His kingdom in this facility. It just thrills my heart.”