JACKSONVILLE, FL – God has richly blessed the churches of the Florida Baptist Convention. During this time of international crisis, we must focus our attention to our finances to ensure that ministry continues to go forward. In 2015, Florida Baptists made a strong commitment to reach the nations with the Gospel of Jesus Christ by forwarding 51% of giving through the Cooperative Program to the Southern Baptist Convention. “Now is not the time for that to change – reaching the nations must remain a priority. However, just as churches are making financial adjustments, we, as a convention, must proactively make adjustments as well,” said Dr. Tommy Green, executive director-treasurer, while speaking via videoconference with the Administrative and Finance Committees of the State Board of Missions.
The Florida Baptist Convention is committed to our cooperative partnership and the stewardship of our churches’ offerings through the Cooperative Program. Under the leadership of Dr. Green, along with the approval of the Administrative and Finance Committees of the State Board of Missions, the Florida Baptist Convention is initiating adjustments to our expenses in response to the coronavirus crisis with the expectation of its impact on giving through our local churches. Stating to committee members, Green commented; “As the steward of the Cooperative Program partnership in Florida, it is imperative that I lead in making budget adjustments in response to this crisis.”
The following reductions have been approved:
- Compensation to both salary and benefits for all Florida Baptist Convention staff reduced immediately.
- All Florida ministry-related budget line items reduced by 30% to include the convention’s contributions to the Cooperating Ministries of the Florida Baptist State Convention.
These immediate adjustments are designed for the utilization of resources which allows the convention to continue to be ‘right beside’ our local churches. This includes the following programs established for financial relief to Florida Baptist churches in financial crisis:
- Interest free Covid-19 emergency loans to churches as bridge loans to aid them in meeting immediate financial obligations over the next two months.
- A two-month moratorium on payment on all current loans administered through the Florida Baptist Convention for the months of April and May.
Additionally, convention leadership affirmed its continued promise to funding, without reduction, church planting efforts through SEND Network Florida.
The leadership of the Florida Baptist Convention remains committed to support, strengthen and encourage our local churches and pastors. As this crisis continues to develop and the financial implications are further understood, additional budget adjustments will be evaluated.
For more information about the Florida Baptist Convention visit http://flbaptist.org.
Contact: Micah Ferguson
Director of Strategic Initiatives