Exec. Committee recommends $31M budgetby Chad Austin, BSCNC Communications
The Executive Committee of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) unanimously approved a motion to recommend to the Board of Directors a $31 million Cooperative Program budget for 2018 during a conference call held Thursday, July 13.
The proposal, which came from the convention’s Budget Committee, reflects an increase of $625,000, or about 2 percent, over the 2017 budget. It also calls for 0.5 percent increase in the state convention’s allocation to Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) ministry efforts, moving from 40.5 percent to 41 percent. If approved, this would mark the 12th consecutive year that the allocation to SBC ministries has increased.
The budget will be presented to the full BSCNC Board of Directors for discussion and a vote at the board’s next regularly scheduled meeting on Sept. 26-27 at Caraway Conference Center near Asheboro. If approved, the budget will then be presented to messengers for discussion and a final vote during the BSCNC Annual Meeting scheduled for Nov. 6-7 in Greensboro.
In a separate measure, the committee also approved recommending a $2.1 million goal for next year’s North Carolina Missions Offering (NCMO), and leaving the allocation amounts for the offering unchanged. The NCMO supports the ministries of N.C. Baptist Men, also known as Baptists on Mission, church planting, mission camps, associational projects and mission mobilization projects. The NCMO measure will also go before the Board of Directors and messengers at the Annual Meeting for discussion and a vote.
Citing increased Cooperative Program giving from N.C. Baptist churches, John Butler, BSCNC executive leader for business services, said he and the convention’s Budget Committee felt comfortable proposing an overall budget increase for 2018, most of which would go toward supporting SBC ministries in North America and around the world.
If approved, more than $408,000 of the proposed $625,000 budget increase would go toward supporting SBC missions and ministries through the Cooperative Program, Butler said, bringing the total amount sent to the SBC in 2018 to more than $12.7 million if the budget is met.
The proposed budget also calls for increased allocations to N.C. Baptist institutions and agencies, as well as a 2 percent salary increase for state convention staff.
BSCNC Executive Director-Treasurer Milton A. Hollifield Jr. expressed his support for the budget proposal and thanked N.C. Baptists for their generosity. Hollifield also said that he was thankful for another proposed increase in SBC missions support through the Cooperative Program.
If the proposed budget is adopted, N.C. Baptists will have increased SBC support by 9 percent over the last 12 years, moving from 32 percent in 2007 to the current proposal of 41 percent. Hollifield said he hopes that trend can continue as leaders seek to strike a balance between supporting SBC causes and ministries in North Carolina.
“We’ve been trying to take a very healthy look at the whole picture, and I think God has blessed what we’re doing,” Hollifield said. “We’re trying to continue to move in that direction.”
Beverly Volz, director of accounting services, reported to the committee that as of June 30, Cooperative Program receipts for 2017, as well as receipts for the Annie Armstrong, Lottie Moon and NCMO offerings, were all up based upon the same time period from 2016.
“I’m grateful for the growth that we’ve had and that we are experiencing, and I’m thankful for the support that our churches are giving to the budget this year,” Hollifield said.