Rejoicing in Florida’s gift to the SBC
A word from Dr. Green…
On Tuesday, June 13 in Phoenix, more than two dozen pastors joined me during the Executive Committee’s report to the Southern Baptist Convention to present a $3,136,500 gift to Dr. Frank Page, president of the Executive Committee, for the Cooperative Program. The gift was 51 percent of $6.15 million received from the sale of the former Baptist Building in downtown Jacksonville, which was completed June 7.
I want to share with you the remarks I made to the SBC on your behalf, but first I want to tell you of a letter I received after the Convention from Dr. Page. He expressed appreciation to Florida Baptists and said the $3.1 million “is truly one of the most significant gifts we have ever received. We will send this immediately to the mission field. Please express to the churches of Florida the deep appreciation of the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention. What they have done will make a difference and impact eternity.”
Here are my comments to the messengers of the SBC on behalf of Florida Baptists:
“The pastors on the platform represent our Florida Baptist family, among many, who are seated in the Convention Center. Florida Baptists enthusiastically made a decision concerning our Cooperative Program distribution in 2015. Prior to this decision Florida retained 59 percent of CP gifts of our churches in the state. The decision led to a paradigm shift which changed our CP formula to releasing 51 percent to the SBC CP and retaining 49 percent of CP dollars in Florida.
This decision to send more than we keep of CP dollars from our churches has resulted in a reversal of a decade long decline in CP dollars in Florida. We are now trending upward and rejoice in a $3 million increase from Florida Baptist churches to the SBC’s Cooperative Program this past year. Florida Baptist ministries continue at a high level and we are grateful to report a 4.5 percent increase in baptisms through Florida Baptist churches this past year.
“51/49 is more than a business plan but a consistent driving missions mandate for Florida Baptists. We recently completed the sale of our Florida Baptist Convention offices located in downtown Jacksonville. The property sold for $6,150,000 and we committed 51 percent of the proceeds of this sale to the Cooperative Program of the SBC. This gift is over and above our regular CP giving and specific to the sale of this property. This morning we joyfully present this remittance of 51 percent from the sale of the building to the SBC CP which totals $3,136,500.
“Our prayer is that God will multiply these dollars in taking the Good News of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth! Dr. Page, thank you for the privilege of presenting this gift to the Cooperative Program of the Southern Baptist Convention on behalf of the 3,000-plus incredible Florida Baptist churches.”
Thank you, Florida Baptists, for your generosity and for your commitment to reach the world through the Cooperative Program.