Executive Board Commissions Outgoing Member at December Meeting
The Executive Board of the South Carolina Baptist Convention (SCBC) met Thursday, Dec. 13, at the convention building in Columbia. The year-end meeting included electing 2019 officers, conducting other business and, for the first time, commissioning an outgoing board member to serve in international missions.
Chairman Tommy Kelly welcomed incoming South Carolina Baptist Convention President Bryant Sims, and new board members. The board elected the following 2019 officers: Zach Little, pastor of Southside Baptist in Abbeville, as chairman; Albert Allen, pastor of First Baptist Newberry, as vice chairman; and, Cindy Sanders, member of First Church Varnville, as Secretary.
The board heard from Talmadge Tobias, chair of the Budget, Finance & Audit (BF&A) Committee, who reported that total Cooperative Program receipts are $24,559,112 as of Nov. 30. That amount is $166,657 more than receipts at the same time in 2017, reflecting an increase of .68%.
Tobias shared the committee’s approval for $70,000 to be sent to the California Baptist Convention to assist victims and churches in areas affected by the recent fires. Board members also voted to approve the business and financial plan of the Executive Board that was presented at the October meeting.
In other financial news, Tobias reported the committee approved a formula change for the allocation of a budget line item that stipulates .1411% of the total budget be divided among Anderson University, Charleston Southern University and North Greenville University by a certain percentage. The new formula for the budget allocation is 60% based on the base figure and the remaining 40% determined by enrollment for the schools, and will go into effect in June 2019.
Executive Director-Treasurer Gary Hollingsworth read Hebrews 6:10 as he recognized those members rotating off the board, saying it “describes what your work and service is through the executive board. It’s our heart as well, as staff members in our work here, to love our people and our churches, and doing it all in the name of Jesus.”
The board recognized outgoing member Landon Williams, pastor of Hillview Baptist in Graniteville, and his wife Megan, who are leaving to serve as International Mission Board missionaries to Chile. South Carolina Woman’s Missionary Union Executive Director-Treasurer Laurie Register presented the couple with a check given to South Carolina missionaries when they first leave for the mission field and a separate Christmas check, both made possible through the Janie Chapman Christmas Offering. Hollingsworth led the board in a commissioning prayer for the couple.
“I don’t know that there is anything more significant or important when it comes to having a Kingdom vision that we can do as South Carolina Baptists than to do what we are doing right now, which is sending our very best to the nations, to take the gospel to places that are underserved, underreached and lack a gospel witness,” said Jay Hardwick, associate executive director and chief strategist.
In his report to the board, Hollingsworth celebrated kingdom victories with the reminder that “the work we do – whether as a pastor, missionary, or lay person – is not our work, it’s God’s work.” He shared that 11,782 salvations have been reported as a result of South Carolina ministries in 2018, and highlighted South Carolina Disaster Relief response following the devastating storms and flooding across South Carolina and the assistance received from other states.
Hollingsworth also announced recent convention staff changes to the board, including Hardwick’s transition to his new role in October 2018. Of special note, Ken Owens, Director of Collegiate Ministries, has been named Missions Mobilization Team Leader effective January 2019. December marks 25 years of convention staff service for Owens.
Before adjourning, the board heard about the vision Bryant Sims has for the 2019 Annual Meeting. Under the theme Engage, Sims is working to intentionally focus on building future leaders from within the convention. Next year’s meeting will follow a new schedule with an even greater emphasis on worship. The Pastor’s Conference will be held Sunday afternoon, Nov. 10, and the meeting sessions will run from Monday evening, Nov. 11, through Tuesday evening, Nov. 12, all at Anderson Mill Road Baptist Church in Spartanburg.
The board will convene again in April at the convention building.