COLUMBIA, S.C. (BP) — The South Carolina Baptist Convention (SCBC) has pledged to send a $1 million year-end gift to the International Mission Board (IMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention at a time when the missions entity has announced a reduction in its worldwide force due to budget shortfalls.
IMB announced earlier this year that it would need to reduce its total number of missionaries and staff by 600–800 due to expenditures that exceeded revenues by $210 million over the past six years.
And even though SCBC did not meet its budget in 2013 and 2014, the convention’s Executive Board reached into the state’s fund balance — after agreeing to send $450,000 from the budget — to provide the $1 million gift to IMB.
Speaking to the Executive Board during its year-end meeting on Dec. 10 at the state convention building in Columbia, Marshall Blalock, chairman of the board’s Budget, Finance & Audit Committee, said, “As our committee looked at that gift, we unanimously decided to take an additional $550,000 from the fund balance and make a $1 million year-end gift to the International Mission Board.”
David Platt, president of IMB, responded to the news: “My heart was overwhelmed with gratitude and joy when I heard that South Carolina Baptists voted to approve a $1 million gift to the International Mission Board. … I praise God for the generosity of South Carolina Baptists and trust God will use these resources for gospel advance to the ends of the earth.”
Richard Harris, interim executive director-treasurer of the state convention, who has led the SCBC staff this year in keeping missions mobilization as a priority of its work, said, “The giving of an additional $1 million to the International Mission Board by our Executive Board speaks volumes about our commitment to fulfill the Great Commission.
“I am proud to be identified with a state convention placing such a high priority on intentional missionary deployment.”