Executive Committee approves 2015 budgetby C. Walter Overman
The Executive Committee (Committee) of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) met Thursday, July 10, to consider the proposed 2015 Cooperative Program budget and other committee reports. However, few of the committees are meeting during the summer months so reports were limited.
The proposed $29 million budget presented by the Budget Committee reflects a $1 million decrease from the $30 million 2014 Cooperative Program budget approved by messengers during last year’s annual meeting in November.
Despite the decrease from 2014, Rob Roberts, chairman of the Budget Committee, said great things remain ahead for North Carolina Baptists.
“We are excited about what the Lord is going to do,” Roberts said. “We continue to struggle through some challenging economic times and we are trying to be good stewards of what God has given us during this time.”
The budget does include an additional one-half percent increase in the percentage of Cooperative Program receipts that are sent to the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). This is the 10th year in a row that the Budget Committee has proposed the BSCNC increase this percentage by one-half percent. The proposed allocation to the SBC for 2015 is 37.0 percent.
The budget also includes a two percent cost of living increase for BSCNC staff. The Budget Committee felt strongly about providing this increase as salaries were frozen for the 2014 budget.
The Committee approved the budget as presented. If the Board of Directors approves the budget during its Sept. 30-Oct. 1 meeting, the budget will then be presented to messengers for final approval during this year’s annual meeting Nov. 10-11 in Greensboro.
During the meeting, the Committee approved several motions related to the budget.
The Committee approved a motion authorizing BSCNC staff to utilize unrealized investment gain to offset anticipated deficits during the 2015 budget year in the GuideStone Church Retirement Plan and protection benefits allocation for North Carolina Baptist church staff.
John Butler, BSCNC executive leader for business services, said the BSCNC currently has about $3.3 million in unrealized gains in its investment portfolio. He said the projected budget shortfall for the GuideStone Church Retirement Plan and protection benefits for North Carolina Baptist church staff is near $600,000.
The Committee also approved a proposed “Challenge Budget” for 2015. The Challenge Budget sets aside amounts received over the $29 million budget to be equally divided with one-third going to the Cooperative Program, one-third to church planting with the final third divided equally between Baptist Children’s Home of North Carolina and the Biblical Recorder.
The Committee also approved a motion approving the allocation of $2.1 million for the 2015 North Carolina Missions Offering (NCMO.) The 2015 NCMO goal remains unchanged from 2014.
Beverly Volz, BSCNC director of accounting services, reported that Cooperative Program receipts through June 30 totaled $13,473,029.53, which represents a deficit of 1.2 percent as compared to the same time last year.