By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector
FRANKLIN — The directors of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board voted without opposition Sept. 11 to recommend a Cooperative Program budget goal of $34,500,000 for 2018-19.
The amount is the same as the 2017-18 budget, observed Steve Marcum of Bellevue Baptist Church, Cordova, chair of the Budget and Ministry Committee.
While the amount remains the same, the percentage that will be forwarded to the Southern Baptist Convention for national causes will increase from 46.64 percent in the current budget to 47.12 percent for 2018-19, Marcum said. The amount remaining in Tennessee will decrease from 53.36 percent to 52.88 percent.
Marcum said the convention is continuing to move toward a 50-50 distribution of Cooperative Program funds with the SBC but “at a slower pace.”
Board directors also adopted two other budget-related recommendations: a TBMB budget of $16,729,804 (based on a CP allocation of $10,309,000, Golden Offering for Tennessee Missions income of $2,100,000 and other income of $4,320,804) and a Convention Operations budget of $1,939,58 (based on a CP allocation of $1,659,580 and other income of $280,0000).
The budget proposal will require adoption by messengers to the annual meeting held during Summit, scheduled for Nov. 11-14 at West Jackson Baptist Church, Jackson.
TBMB directors also recommended a new missions partnership in Germany, elected a chair-elect, approved the name of a new welcome center currently under construction at Linden Valley Baptist Conference Center, and heard a number of reports related to the Five Objectives (Baptism and Discipleship, Church Revitalization, Church Planting, Cooperative Program and the Golden Offering for Tennessee Missions) and from TBC entities.
Convention president David Leavell, senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Millington, reiterated his John 3:16 Challenge, a goal for every Tennessee Baptist to share John 3:16 at least once a week with the intent to lead a lost person to Christ. “We need to activate our pews for evangelism,” he said.
Randy C. Davis, president and executive director of the TBMB, reminded directors of the Board’s mission, vision and values.
With the board meeting on the 17th anniversary of 9/11, Davis reminded directors of the resolve Americans had following the terrorist attacks in 2001. He said he sees that same resolve among Tennessee Baptists to reach the lost. “I’m confident that Tennessee Baptists are now seeing Tennessee as a missions field,” he said.
In addition, reaching Tennessee will positively impact national and worldwide missions, he noted. “If we don’t win the lost in Tennessee, it will be crippling to the International Mission Board and the North American Mission Board,” Davis observed.
Directors elected Clay Hallmark, pastor of First Baptist Church, Lexington, without opposition as chair-elect of the TBMB. He will serve as chair of the Administrative Committee next year. Current chair-elect Mike Kemper, interim pastor of First Baptist Church, Dyer, will assume the chair in November following the annual meeting. Cal Hampton, pastor of Second Mile Church, Clarksville, served this year as chair. Hallmark was nominated for the position by fellow Lexington pastor Chris Young of Union Baptist Church.
Directors approved without opposition a recommendation to enter into a missions partnership with the Germanic People Group Team of the IMB for five years, beginning Jan. 1, 2020 and ending Dec. 31, 2024 with 2019 as a planning year.
According to information provided to directors, the partnership will provide a means for Tennessee volunteers to assist the work of missionaries in reaching German speakers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Currently, only 1.7 percent of Germans are gospel-believing Christians.
The recommendation will require convention approval in November.
Board members approved a motion to name the new welcome center at Linden Valley in honor of Janet Bearden who served at Linden for a number of years with her husband and senior conference centers manager Tim Bearden, before dying of cancer. At the time of her death, family and friends contributed more than $25,000 to Linden Valley in her memory.
Board directors also authorized a campaign to individuals, encouraging contributions in memory of Janet Bearden. The contributions would be applied to the construction of the welcome center.
In other business, the directors, acting as the convention ad interim, approved a venue change for the 2019 Summit, originally scheduled for the Knoxville Convention Center Nov. 19-20. The dates will remain the same but will now be held at First Baptist Church, Concord, in West Knoxville.
Board members also voted to defer action on a definition of cooperating Baptist churches back to the appropriate TBMB committees for further study.