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Back to the Future

BGCO Annual Meeting Podcast – Part 1

BGCO Annual Meeting Podcast – Part 2

The Baptist Messenger staff recently sat down with Anthony L. Jordan, Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO) executive director-treasurer, for an important preview of the 2012 Cooperative Program Financial Plan that will be considered at the Nov. 14-15 annual meeting at Moore, First.

Messenger: Each year, Messengers to the BGCO Annual Meeting vote on a financial plan to determine how Cooperative Program (CP) dollars will be allocated. How does the 2012 plan look?

Jordan: The 2012 BGCO CP financial plan could be described as back to the future. For the first time, we are going to move to a three-tiered financial plan, which was the design when the CP was initiated in 1925. It also is in keeping with the report of the Great Commission Resurgence (GCR) report approved by the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) Annual Meeting in 2010.

Messenger:  Could you give our readers even more of a background?

Jordan: During my entire ministry in the SBC, I have heard the idea of a 50/50 financial plan. The original goal was for the CP to be split 50 percent to the state convention and 50 percent to the national convention after shared ministry causes were deducted.  Shared ministry items were those items that the national and state conventions saw as mutually beneficial and, therefore, the cost should be shared.

Across the years, the SBC and its Executive Committee have approved items they saw as appropriate to be deducted before the dollars were split. Two state conventions, Oklahoma and Florida, tried to move to a pure split in the late 1970s (meaning, without shared causes being set aside first). This split did not work and soon, each convention moved back to a pure 60/40 division of CP receipts.

As we have prepared our “back to the future” financial plan, we have done so utilizing the agreed upon items as specified by the SBC through the years. During the GCR Task Force, Robert White, executive director/chief executive officer of the Georgia Baptist Convention, traced the history of the shared ministry items as set forth by action taken by the SBC. The SBC believes that they should equally share in the costs of these items because they are part of the work we do together.

Messenger:  OK, with that background in mind, could you tell us about the plan?

Jordan: Gladly. The new financial plan reflects three tiers: shared ministry causes, SBC and BGCO. The shared ministry causes as outlined by the SBC amount to $3.1 million. The proposed new division for the CP receipts will be 46 percent SBC and 54 percent BGCO. This moves us forward toward the SBC ideal of 50/50 after shared ministry causes are deducted. The bottom line is that we will give more to the SBC in 2012, and the years to come, than we would have if we continued with the old formula.

In addition, we are proposing that any receipts beyond the basic financial plan be split 50/50 with the SBC. We are also proposing that we set in motion a plan that will move us toward the 50/50 split. This is a goal, and it will need to be reviewed each year in light of changes in the SBC and economic conditions.

Messenger:  In terms of specific dollars, could you give us an idea of some of the larger numbers?

Jordan: Certainly. Of the $24.9 million total, as I mentioned, $3.1 million goes toward shared BGCO/SBC causes. These are primarily areas that are related to the promotion and accounting that are mutually beneficial for the work we do in cooperation with the SBC. Next, $10,024,866 will go toward SBC causes, such as the IMB, NAMB and the six seminaries. Finally, $11,768,321 will work toward Oklahoma causes, chiefly the BGCO missions and ministries, but also including support for our four affiliates: Oklahoma Baptist University, the Baptist Foundation of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children and Baptist Village Communities.

Messenger:  So the 2012 financial plan does represent a change?

Jordan: Change, even change back to the future, is hard for people to grasp and accept. We made an initial presentation of the financial plan in detail to the Board of Directors’ Finance Committee in May. In September, the board of directors approved this new financial plan recommendation to be presented to messengers at the Annual Meeting in November. We believe this is the right step that will place us in unison with the SBC and other state conventions in the days ahead.

Messenger:  What are other state conventions doing?

Jordan: This financial plan is in keeping with other states. In fact, some states will, like Oklahoma, seek to move to a three-tiered budget in 2012, while others plan to do so the next year.

Messenger:  How do these plans affect Oklahoma?

Jordan: This financial plan puts us in a great position for serving together, impacting lostness and making disciples. At a time when many denominations are having to shrink back, we are only growing stronger in our desire to impact Oklahoma in a great way, for time and all eternity.

To learn more, tune into the Messenger Insight Podcast on this topic, available at, or contact the Baptist Building at 405/942-3800.


Brian Hobbs

Author: Brian Hobbs

Brian is editor of The Baptist Messenger.

View more articles by Brian Hobbs.

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