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SBOM changes relationship with Bigbeecomment (0)

March 8, 2007

State Board of Missions (SBOM) members, meeting Feb. 26 in Birmingham, approved a change in relationship between the state convention and Bigbee Baptist Association. The change involves transferring convention-owned property to the ownership of the association. 
Executive Director Rick Lance explained that for the past 40 years, the Baptist campus minister at the University of West Alabama has also served as director of missions (DOM) for Bigbee Association. 
“This is the only association where the state convention chooses the director of missions for an association,” he told members of the SBOM. “I am a little uncomfortable with that relationship.”
Lance explained that the Baptist Campus Ministry is being restructured for the area. Instead of having a campus minister assigned only to the Livingston school, the campus minister will also focus on community colleges in west Alabama and work from Demopolis. 
The property in question has been jointly used by the campus ministry and the association. Now the association will have the option of selling the property and using the proceeds to help underwrite a DOM position or keeping the property, Lance said. 
The recommendation must be approved by messengers at the annual meeting of the state convention before the property transfer can be finalized. 
In other business, members of the SBOM approved salary assistance for 37 church starts across Alabama. Six of these are black churches, nine are language churches and the rest are Anglo churches. 
Also approved was financial participation in the support of DOMs for Sipsey, Bethlehem, Pine Barren, Bibb and Salem-Troy Baptist associations. 
Because Alabama Baptists failed to meet the 2006 Cooperative Program (CP) goal of $42,645,000, Lance told board members that he was hesitant to recommend an increase in the 2008 goal for CP giving. He recommended that the 2008 goal be the same as 2007 — $43,925,000 base goal and a challenge goal of $44,925,000. 
The recommendation was approved with the understanding that if CP giving increases during the first quarter of 2007, then the 2008 goal could be revisited. The 2007 goal calls for about $1.4 million more than was received last year. 
Board members also approved a revised distribution of interest income for 2007. 
These are funds earned on reserves and daily checking accounts. It is estimated these funds will amount to $650,000 during the year. The greatest amount will be directed toward reducing the debt on the Baptist Building in Montgomery — $200,000. Church-planting efforts and missions partnerships will each receive $175,000. 
Mobile chapels, such as those used to help burned churches, will receive $50,000. Emergency assistance to ministers will receive $40,000, and the Church and Law Center at Samford University in Birmingham will receive $10,000. 
For 2008, the distribution will be similar. The only change approved by board members is a $50,000 reduction in missions partnerships with the funds going to mobile chapels. That means missions partnerships will receive $125,000 in 2008 and mobile chapels will receive $100,000. (TAB)

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