MONTGOMERY (Jennifer Davis Rash) — The Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions (SBOM) unanimously voted Aug. 14 to recommend a 2016 Cooperative Program (CP) budget of $40 million with 53 percent funding state ministries and 47 percent going to Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) ministries.
While the dollar amount is a $500,000 reduction from the current year, it is the percentage breakdown between state and national causes that is the big news.
The trend has been growing in recent years in Southern Baptist life for state conventions to forward more money to the SBC.
Alabama Baptist State Convention (ABSC) leaders have a goal of parity with the SBC and began moving that direction about five years ago. The ABSC is currently at a 45–45–10 split when ministries that are shared between the national and state conventions are considered.
And while shared ministries are supported at all levels of Southern Baptist life, the phrase itself and the concept in general are no longer communicating the allocation of funds clearly, said SBOM Executive Director Rick Lance. So going forward, the budget language in Alabama will deal only with state and national percentages.
State convention ministries include all SBOM ministries, state convention entities (the colleges, The Alabama Baptist, etc.), Alabama Woman’s Missionary Union and Alabama Citizens Action Program.
National convention ministries include all SBC ministries (International Mission Board, North American Mission Board, the six seminaries, etc.) as well as the SBC Executive Committee, GuideStone Financial Resources and SBC CP Advance.
The $500,000 reduction for Alabama Baptist ministries in the 2016 budget recommendation will come from an across-the-board cut of the SBOM and convention entities’ budgets.
The increase in SBC ministries in the 2016 budget recommendation will come from the allocations for Samford University in Birmingham, The Baptist Foundation of Alabama and SBOM. SBOM also previously absorbed a $700,000 reduction from NAMB.
The goal will be to increase the SBC allocation by 1 percent annually, assuming a CP budget of $40 million for ABSC. Any budget increases will go to SBC until the equitable distribution is met.
The 2016 budget recommendation will go to a vote of state convention messengers Nov. 17 at Eastern Shore Baptist Church, Daphne.
More details about the budget will be provided in upcoming issues of The Alabama Baptist.