DAVIS—From summer youth weeks to retreats to special events, God continually blesses activities that take place at Falls Creek. In early September, members of the board of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO) gathered at Falls Creek for a business meeting and called on God to bless ministry efforts in Oklahoma and around the world.

Board members met on Sept. 10 at Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center, voting to approve a 2020 Cooperative Program financial plan, to discuss ministry strategies for the future and more. Board meeting highlights include the following:

2020 financial plans propel ministry strategy

Speaking to the financial plans, BGCO Executive Director-Treasurer Hance Dilbeck said, “Oklahoma Baptists’ board of directors and staff recognize the responsibility to be good Kingdom stewards of every dollar given. We commit to use at least 50 percent of the Cooperative Program funds that are employed in Oklahoma to fund Next Generation ministries—children through college-age students.

Hance Dilbeck, BGCO executive director-treasurer, emphasized that the new financial plan was “aligned to be church-centered, pastor-connected and associational-partnered.”

“We commit to maintain an efficient ministry staff, so that we can share as much Cooperative Program funding as possible with our Southern Baptist partners to train and send workers who will advance the Gospel in North America and around the world,” Dilbeck said.

The BGCO approved a financial plan for 2020, which set the Cooperative Program objective be $26.1 million and be distributed in the following percentage allocations: 43 percent to the Southern Baptist Convention, 42 percent to the BGCO and 15 percent to BGCO affiliates, which include Baptist Foundation of Oklahoma (BFO), Baptist Village Communities (BVC), Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children (OBHC) and Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU).

Dilbeck added, “We will begin by changing our Cooperative Program allocation to send $1 million more from Oklahoma Baptists in 2020. If we achieve our Cooperative Program goal, Oklahoma Baptists will send an increase of $2.7 million to our Southern Baptist Convention partners by 2025.”

Dilbeck emphasized that the financial plan was “aligned to be church-centered, pastor-connected and associational-partnered.”

“Alignment properly connects, people, purpose and passion in order to allow for progress,” he said. “We established our mission, strategic patterns, strategic priorities and four big church-centered goals. We have adjusted and aligned our brand, Board, our budget, our organization and our staff. This 2020 financial plan is ambitious, focused, sacrificial and aligned,” Dilbeck said. The financial plan was unanimously approved by board members.

Regional ministry strategy unveiled

During the board meeting, Dilbeck announced details of the Convention’s staffing plans.

“Oklahoma Baptists are establishing a Church Relations Group of ministry partners who will work with a field-based strategy,” he said. “These ministry partners will encourage Gospel advance by providing contextualized support for our pastors and churches and challenging them toward the goal of church health and growth. They will seek to be directly connected to pastors, present and accessible.”

James Swain, who previously served as BGCO Equipping Team Leader and BGCO Conference Centers Director, was announced as associate executive director for the Church Relations Group. Swain will lead the Affinity Group Ministry partners and Regional Ministry partners. The following positions (noted with the person who will serve in the role or if it is yet to be filled):

  • Hispanic Ministry Partner (Ever Borunda)
  • African American Ministry Partner (Walter Wilson)
  • Native American Ministry Partner (Emerson Falls)
  • Ministry Wives’ Ministry Partner (To be filled)
  • Southwest Regional Ministry Partner (To be filled)
  • East Central Regional Ministry Partner (To be filled)
  • South Central, Regional Ministry Partner (Brett Selby)
  • East Regional Ministry Partner (To be filled)
  • Northwest Regional Ministry Partner (To be filled)

“Each of these ministry partners will be based in the field and carry a ‘ministry tool box,’ offering practical support and help to pastors and churches,” Dilbeck said. “The Bible commands us to encourage one another. Encouragement consists of support and challenge.”

In other staff developments, Alan Quigley will lead the BGCO Church Resources Group as an associate executive director. Joe Ligon, who is serving as BGCO senior associate executive director, will lead the Support Services Group on an interim basis, a role previously held by Scott Phillips, who is retiring from the BGCO in October.

Prayer, reports & more

Leaders with all four BGCO affiliates spoke, including OBU Interim President Pat Taylor, BVC President Bill Pierce, OBHC President Greg McNeece and BFO President Robert Kellogg.

BGCO Board meets at Falls Creek toward ‘Gospel Advance’ - Baptist Messenger of Oklahoma 2

Board members spent time in prayer for the future of Oklahoma Baptists.

In addition to approving the 2020 Financial Plan, the board approved three motions: one to restructure the board committees toward the regional strategy and new departments; a motion to amend the bidding policies of the Convention; and a motion to amend the document retention policy for the Convention.

Members of the board spent significant time in prayer, calling on the Lord’s help.

“All of our plans do not amount to anything if the Lord is not in it,” Dilbeck said. “We need our Lord to do what only He can do… stir up His people to join us in this cause of Gospel Advance. We need to fall on our faces and ask our Father to stir up the passions of His people. Alignment of mission, strategy, brand, board, budget and the brethren is vanity apart from the power of God’s Holy Spirit bringing a holy passion for Gospel Advance through the Church.”

The BGCO Board of Directors’ Report will be given at the 2019 Annual Meeting on Nov. 11-12 at Oklahoma City, Quail Springs.  For more information, visit www.bgco.org/annualmeeting. The next regularly scheduled meeting of the BGCO board is March 10, 2020 at the Baptist Building in Oklahoma City.