Board members were treated to a first look at the new Wynn Center for World Missions and World Missions Prayer Park at Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center as they gathered for the meeting of the BGCO Board of Directors May 20.
Meeting in Massey Chapel in the tabernacle, the board voted an increase in the annual fee to cabin owners at Falls Creek to help provide water, sewer, garbage pick-up and road maintenance. The $20 increase, from $10 to $30 per bed, is the first increase since the fee went from $8 to $10 about six years ago.
BGCO Executive Director Anthony Jordan said civil engineers are working with DEQ to meet water requirements.
In other business, the board voted amendments to the Charter for Audit Committee and Affiliate Audit Oversight Review Committee be approved, and to achieve balance in terms among members, the 2008 nominating committee be instructed to nominate two persons for one-year terms and two persons for four-year terms.
The board also approved a request from Baptist Village Retirement Communities for authorization of 48 assisted living apartments and common areas to be located in Broken Arrow, as well as authorization to mortgage buildings and property to obtain financing for construction of the project.
After reviewing the financial records concerning the Mother’s Day Offering shared by Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children and Baptist Village Retirement Communities, the board voted that the Mother’s Day Offering continue to be shared between the two entities, and that BVRC and OBHC exert equal effort to promote the offering for the benefit of both ministries.
The action came after a motion was made at the 2007 BGCO annual meeting that the offering go only to OBHC. The motion was referred to the Executive Committee, which recommended no change.
In his remarks to the board, Jordan said “all we do must be born on the wings of prayer.”
“Dr. Frizzell (Greg, BGCO prayer and spiritual awakening specialist) and I have been conducting prayer conferences in associations with pastors and staff,” Jordan explained. “We have been pleased as well as surprised with the response we have seen. I sense a hunger among Oklahoma Baptists for prayer, genuinely seeking the face of God and believing God to bring a spiritual awakening.”
John Parrish, interim president of Oklahoma Baptist University told directors he did not choose to sit still and hold the status quo during the time OBU is without a president.
“To date, our applications for admission for fall 2008 are up 208 percent over this time last year,” he said. “The number of students admitted is up 156 percent, the number of students paying deposits is up 48 percent and the number of freshmen already enrolled is up 75 percent.”
This summer, Parrish said, OBU’s Avery T. Willis Global Outreach Center will send two student mission teams to Inida, one to the Azerbyjan and one to Canada.
In addition, OBUs international studies program is offering a European Study Program this summer with 17 students in residence in Strasbourg, France.
This fall, OBU will offer a master of science degree in nursing, the second master’s degree program. The other is a master of business administration, and both programs are offered at the OBU International Graduate School located in downtown Oklahoma City.
Parrish said OBU will begin celebrating its centennial in 15 months.
“The celebration will begin during the 2009 fall semester and continue through December 2010,” he said.
Robert Kellogg, Baptist Foundation president, reported the Foundation has an all-time high 283 million assets under management, and brought in 21 million new assets this year. So far this year, $12.2 million has gone to kingdom causes.
“With the declining interest rate environment, it is difficult to compete in the church building loan market,” Kellogg said. “But the money we are loaning is trust money, and we are obligated to invest those funds with the best investment possible.”
He added that the Foundation is beginning a five-year strategic plan to increase the competition for the charitable dollar.
Bill Pierce, president of Baptist Village Retirement Communities, noting BVRC is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, said he began at BVRC 29 years ago as a volunteer.
“We are building a $6 million assisted living center in Broken Arrow, where half the residents will be Alzheimer patients,” he reported. “Broken Arrow, First gave 40 acres to BVRC several years ago, and we have continued to develop the property.”
Tony Kennedy, presdient of Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children, thanked board members for their support of the Mother’s Day Offering and asked for prayer.
“OBHC is in the midst of many physical struggles,” he said. “A house mother is dealing with cancer, three staff are having troubled pregnancies and one is having a heart issue.”
He also asked for continued prayer as OBHC is in the sixth month of a strategic planning process.