Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee members approved a 2008-09 Cooperative Program Allocation budget of $205,716,834 for recommendation to the SBC during its June 10-11 annual meeting in Indianapolis.
The budget continues traditional allocations to the Convention's ministries, including 50 percent of receipts to the International Mission Board and 22.79 percent to the North American Mission Board. The percentage allocated to the seminaries is 21.92 percent, up from 21.4 percent last year.
According to the seminary funding formula, Southwestern Seminary would receive 4.81 percent (up from 4.80 percent); Southern Seminary, 4.98 percent (up from 4.80 percent); New Orleans Seminary, 4.41 percent (up from 4.35 percent); Southeastern Seminary, 4.15 percent (up from 4.13 percent); Golden Gate Seminary, 1.81 percent (up from 1.74 percent); and Midwestern Seminary, 1.77 percent (up from 1.57 percent). Cumulative numbers may not match the sum of individual seminary percentages due to rounding.
The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission would receive 1.65 percent of the budget, up from 1.49 percent last year while the Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives would continue to receive .24 percent.
The SBC Operating Budget, encompassing the SBC annual meeting costs, the work of the Convention between annual meetings, and the Executive Committee, would receive 3.40 percent of the CP budget, up from 3.32 percent last year.
GuideStone Financial Resources President O.S. Hawkins announced last year that GuideStone would be willing to forgo the .76 percent of the CP Allocation Budget it had been receiving, and that percentage was redistributed in this year's budget.
In other business, the Executive Committee:
• received as information the report from the SBC Funding Study Committee, an eleven-member ad hoc committee appointed in 2002 to research funding issues facing Southern Baptists' national entities. The Executive Committee commended the group on their work and approved a recommendation ending the work of the panel. Three issues cited in the report will receive further study by the EC's Cooperative Program subcommittee, which also will handle any other matters related to the ad hoc committee's work.
• adopted a recommendation to be submitted to messengers at the June 10-11 SBC annual meeting in Indianapolis, stating the Southern Baptist Convention encourages "all SBC entities, churches, and new church plants, to intentionally involve people with disabilities in ministries, create appropriate new ministries in which they can participate, and remove as many impediments as possible to fully engage people with disabilities." The recommendation was in response to a motion referred from the 2007 annual meeting in San Antonio submitted by Graham Jones of South Carolina.
• responded to a motion referred from the 2007 annual meeting by Leslie Puryear of North Carolina calling for the SBC to ask each Convention entity to "study the feasibility of providing regular reports of the voting and attendance records of all trustees ... on all matters on which voting occurs and that these reports be available in a timely manner online and offline." The Executive Committee responded to the motion by noting that it will report "the attendance record of any member to an inquiring Southern Baptist, but declines to supply individual voting records, believing that doing so would invite efforts to further politicize trustee selection and service and would also undermine the principle that decisions of a board are rendered as a body."
• received notification that Barry C. McCarty will serve again as chief parliamentarian during this June's annual meeting.
• increased the honoraria for the SBC recording secretary and registration secretary to $3,500 from the $2,250 amount provided since 1987. The increase, according to the EC action, enables the two SBC officers to "provide for one or more paid assistants should they deem such to be necessary."
• filled a vacancy on the SBC Committee on Nominations by electing Al Litton, a member of Westside Church in Omaha, Nebraska.
• selected two directors for the Southern Baptist Foundation, with terms to begin in June and expire in 2011: Jack E. Shaw of South Carolina and William C. (Bill) Lovell of Tennessee.
• approved a 4 percent increase in the staff salary structure of the Executive Committee budget, effective October 1. The structure policy provides that at its February meeting the Executive Committee may adjust the salary structure effective the following October. The year-to-year percent increases typically have followed the Consumer Price Index from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The next meeting of the Executive Committee will be Monday, June 9, in Indianapolis.
Based on reporting by Baptist Press assistant editor Mark Kelly, editor Art Toalston, and staff writer Erin Roach.