PRESTONWOOD ESCROWS CP FUNDS, CITES ERLC ACTIONS

By David Roach
Baptist Press

170222prestonwood1PLANO, Texas (BP) — A Dallas-area megachurch has decided to escrow Cooperative Program funds temporarily in order to evaluate future support of Southern Baptist Convention causes.

At issue are what the congregation calls “various significant positions taken by the leadership of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission that do not reflect the beliefs and values of many in the Southern Baptist Convention,” according to a statement the church released to Louisiana’s Baptist Message newsjournal.

Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, will escrow what would amount to $1 million annually, the Message reported Feb. 16. [Read more…]

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CP, GOTM GIFTS INCREASE

Baptist and Reflector

Objective_4_CP_ICON_cpBRENTWOOD — Tennessee Baptist Convention churches gave $2,870,821 through the Cooperative Program in January.

For the year-to-date, Tennessee Baptists have given $9,029,537. The amount is $69,675 or 0.8 percent over the amount given during the same time frame last year.

After the first quarter of the fiscal year, Cooperative Program gifts are $279,537 or 3.19 percent over current budget needs. [Read more…]

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STATES BOOST CP GIVING

Baptist Press

Jeremy Westbrook, outgoing president of the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio and pastor of Living Hope Church in Marysville, delivers his address during the SBCO’s Nov. 2 annual meeting in Vandalia.

Jeremy Westbrook, outgoing president of the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio and pastor of Living Hope Church in Marysville, delivers his address during the SBCO’s Nov. 2 annual meeting in Vandalia.

NASHVILLE — Ohio Baptists approved the largest increase in the portion of Cooperative Program receipts sent beyond the state next year, moving from the current 59.75/40.25 ratio to a 50/50 split.

“Supporting missions from Ohio to the ends of the earth is the heartbeat of Ohio Southern Baptists,” said Ohio Executive Director Jack Kwok in praising the decision.

The State Convention of Baptists in Ohio (SCBO) joins four other conventions that forward half or more to the Southern Baptist Convention, without a “shared ministry” calculation, including the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (55/45), Florida (51/49), Iowa (50/50) and Nevada (50/50). [Read more…]

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TBC CP GIFTS AHEAD OF NEW BUDGET

Baptist and Reflector

cplogoBRENTWOOD — Tennessee Baptist Convention churches gave $3,234,452 through the Cooperative Program in December.

For the year-to-date, Tennessee Baptists have given a total of $6,158,716 to fund missions and ministries in Tennessee and around the world.

After two months of the 2016-17 budget year, Cooperative Program gifts are up $8,571 or 0.1 percent over the same time frame last year. [Read more…]

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NAME CHANGE, FIRES TOP STORIES IN 2016

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

View from back of Roaring Fork Baptist Church in Gatlinburg. The church and vehicle were destroyed by wildfires which swept through Sevier County on Nov. 28.

View from back of Roaring Fork Baptist Church in Gatlinburg. The church and vehicle were destroyed by wildfires which swept through Sevier County on Nov. 28.

BRENTWOOD — There was no shortage of news in the Tennessee Baptist Convention in 2016.

The story that garnered the most national attention occurred Nov. 28 when fires swept across Sevier County, primarily in Gatlinburg, leaving 14 people dead, injuring at least 160 others, and damaging or destroying 2,400 structures including three Tennessee Baptist churches in Gatlinburg — Roaring Fork Baptist Church, Banner Baptist Church, and First Baptist Church.

After the fires, hundreds of Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief (TBDR) volunteers provided assistance. Volunteers have done everything from providing hot meals and sack lunches to clearing charred trees off property and some demolition to sifting through ashes and debris in hopes of finding a family heirloom or simply an item with only sentimental value. [Read more…]

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A NEW DAY IN OBEYING THE GREAT COMMISSION

By Johnnie Godwin
Contributing Columnist, B&R

Johnnie Godwin

Johnnie Godwin

I believe in the Cooperative Program established in 1925. It is our best single-shot, laser beam approach in reaching the world for Christ. I say this at a time when most of our Southern Baptists are largely ignorant of their Baptist history and heritage and the history of missiology. They know little about the Cooperative Program and are tending to retreat to the old societal system. In that system, the “wheel” that hollered the loudest or squeaked the loudest got the most grease. James L. Sullivan was president of the Baptist Sunday School Board (now LifeWay Christian Resources) He wrote a book titled Baptist Polity — As I See It. That grand book could correct our fragmentation in missions today if we would read it and learn from it and grow by it.  [Read more…]

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WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT THE GATLINBURG FIRES

By Randy C. Davis
TBC Executive Director

Randy C. Davis

Randy C. Davis

Dear Tennessee Baptists,

You no doubt know of the devastating news this week coming out of Gatlinburg and Sevier County. As someone who called that area home for 20 years, it has been especially gutting to me to hear the reports. Jeanne and I have so many friends in that area and know personally many of the families affected. Some have lost everything.

However, I want you to know I have never been prouder to be a Tennessee Baptist. Because your churches gave through the Cooperative Program and Golden Offering for Tennessee Missions, Tennessee Baptists were on the scene responding to people’s spiritual and physical needs less than 24 hours after the fires destroyed lives and property. In fact, Tennessee Baptist Mission Board missionaries were able to get to the sites of three of our Tennessee Baptists churches ministering to pastors while their destroyed buildings still smoldered. [Read more…]

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SMALL MEMPHIS CHURCH GIVES OVER AND ABOVE CP

By Benjie Shaw,
BCM Director, University Of Tennessee Health Science Center

Benjie Shaw

Benjie Shaw

My introduction to McLean Baptist Church in Midtown Memphis was unremarkable. McLean was one of the many churches across the state the Tennessee Baptist Convention wished to recognize for uninterrupted contributions through the Cooperative Program since its inception in 1926. As a TBC staffer in Memphis, I had several churches with whom I was to make contact and, if possible, arrange a Sunday morning presentation to thank the church for their commitment to the Cooperative Program.

Being new to my position with Baptist Collegiate Ministries in Memphis, I was eager to make new contacts in the area and to express my gratitude to churches who contribute to the Cooperative Program. You see, Baptist Collegiate Ministries across the state of Tennessee are one of the myriad of ministries that receive funding from the Cooperative Program. While the details of each BCM’s funding vary somewhat, the vast majority of BCMs across the state receive funds for staffing and facilities from the Cooperative Program and the Golden Offering for Tennessee Missions. Making contact with a church that had such a rich history of Cooperative Program giving that also called Midtown Memphis home was a tremendous opportunity. [Read more…]

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A STRATEGIC MOVE TOWARD A 50/50 DISTRIBUTION

By Randy C. Davis
TBC Executive Director

split-cut-scissors-money-50-50-distributionYou are familiar with the story. Two mothers came before King Solomon with a baby, each claiming to be the mother. An argument ensued; accusations flew, and Solomon decided to divide the baby, thereby revealing the identity of the true mother.

Somewhere along the way, the Cooperative Program became the baby many in the Southern Baptists Convention want to divide. Impatience fuels a call for drastic action. We’ve become too quick to draw the sword without considering the broader consequences. Let’s take a breath, step back, and look at the bigger picture. [Read more…]

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COOPERATIVE PROGRAM GIFTS EXCEED BUDGET

cplogoBRENTWOOD — For the first time since 2006-07, Cooperative Program gifts from Tennessee Baptist Convention churches have exceeded the budget. What’s more, it was accomplished seven days prior to the end of the month and the fiscal year (Oct. 31).

The amount actually needed to meet budget was received on Monday, Oct. 24. By Friday, Oct. 28, Tennessee Baptists had given $2,398, 659 in October. For the year-to-date, Tennessee Baptists have given $34,366,396.

The amount is $497,376 over what was given last year and is 116,396 above budget needs with one counting day remaining on Oct. 31. [Read more…]

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