State Board of Missions meeting highlights
The State Board of Missions of the Florida Baptist Convention met August 23-24, 2018 at the Baptist Building in Jacksonville to plan, pray over and give thanks for the ministry of Florida Baptists around the state. Here are some of the highlights:
- A budget of $30,000,000 was adopted and will be presented to the messengers at the State Convention meeting in November. Tommy Green noted that the budget amount is the same as the 2018 budget goal, with minor changes in distribution. The budget continues to support Green’s desire to designate 51 percent of receipts from Florida Baptist churches to the Southern Baptist Convention’s Cooperative Program, leaving 49 percent for ministry within Florida. For more on how money is used within the state and the “Be the Spark” cooperative program campaign, click here.
- For the past two years, the Denominational Polity and Practice committee has been discussing needed changes to several of the Florida Baptist State Convention bylaws. The committee presented and the Board adopted proposed changes to Bylaws 2, 7 and 12. The recommendation to consider these proposed changes will be brought to the messengers gathered at the annual meeting of the Florida Baptist State Convention, November 12-13, 2018 at Wayside Baptist Church in Miami.
- In Next Gen ministries, the Board previously approved the creation of a Baptist Campus Minister position at the Baptist College of Florida, making it the first time the Graceville campus will have a BCM on campus. Lance Beauchamp, formerly the BCM director for the Tallahassee area, was affirmed in the new BCF position. Barry Sproles, who previously directed campus ministry in the Jacksonville area and through Campus Church, part of First Baptist Church Jacksonville, was elected to the position of BCM Director, Tallahassee.
- The partnership between Confraternite Missionaire Baptiste d’Haiti and the Florida Baptist Convention was renewed. Since it began in 1995, 63,000 professions of faith have been made. Board members were reminded to continue to pray for these pastors as they continue to grow.
- The Budget-Allocations Committee reported to the Board on the results of the annual outside audit by the firm Batts, Morrison, Wales and Lee, P.A., of Orlando, Florida. The firm’s auditors found no material weaknesses in their review of the 2017 convention financial statements.
- After a recommendation from the Southern Baptist Convention Associational Leaders, the Board approved a name change for associational leaders from “Director of Mission” to “Associational Mission Strategist.” The move comes after an SBCAL study group, led by Jacksonville Baptist Association lead missional strategist Rick Wheeler, made the recommendation at the 2018 Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Dallas. Board member Ted Traylor, lead pastor of Olive Baptist Church in Pensacola, also served on the study team.
- Florida Baptist State Convention President Stephen Rummage, lead pastor of Bell Shoals Baptist Church in Brandon, gave the President’s Report and announced this year’s state convention theme – Faithfulness. Rummage said it has been a joy to serve as president of the Florida Baptist State Convention and he is looking forward to what God will do in the days ahead. The Florida Baptist State Convention will take place in Miami at Wayside Baptist Church November 12-13, 2018. Click here for more information.
- The Board approved a prison ministry grant that will allow more than 40 seminary graduates from Hardee Correctional Institute to be sent out in groups of four to serve as chaplains in prison churches. Board member Mike Wetzel, pastor of The Island Chapel in Tierra Verde, has been directing the seminary program at Hardee Correctional Institute for New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary for several years and has been encouraged by the success they’ve experienced so far.
- State Board of Missions President Mike Orr expressed appreciation for Green’s leadership, reminding fellow members and Convention staff that we must be praying for one another and for Green as he serves 3,000 Florida Baptist churches within our state. Green expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to serve.
The next meeting of the Florida Baptist Convention State Board of Missions will take place November 12, 2018 in Miami.
By Nicole Kalil, Florida Baptist Convention, August 29, 2018