The board of directors of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma approved three items of business and heard reports from BGCO teams and affiliates during its meeting May 22 at the Baptist Building in Oklahoma City.
The board approved a 2013 Edna McMillan State Mission Offering goal of $1.05 million with a challenge goal of $1.1 million, with the bulk of the money going towards church planting, associational SAC outreach and the Robert Haskins School of Leadership. The challenge goal includes $25,000 each to hunger funds and Disaster Relief.
The board also authorized the president of Baptist Village Communities to enter into an agreement with Titus Construction Company of Oklahoma City to convert the former group home at Baptist Village of Ada into a 10-apartment, assistance-in-living neighborhood at a price not to exceed $410,000; and that additional expenditures projected not to exceed $40,000 be used for concrete work, furniture, equipment and other items needed to operate the neighborhood.
Finally, the board approved a Records Retention Policy to manage the amounts and types of documents that are retained and eventually destroyed. The policy accounts for the legal requirements for keeping certain types of documents, the organizational need for the information contained in the documents and the storage costs of retaining those documents.
In his remarks to the board, BGCO Executive Director-Treasurer Anthony L. Jordan, recalled that he stood before the board for the first time 17 years ago, slightly nervous, but with the realization he was coming before a people and a state that was unified.
Jordan said he came with a vision, and at the center of that vision was a little place called Falls Creek.
“But I never dreamed we would be where we are today,” he admitted. “My vision wasn’t that big.”
Jordan acknowledged he still has lots of visions about where Oklahoma Baptists are going in the future.
“Oklahoma Baptists are the most generous people, committed to missions, to winning the world to Jesus Christ,” he said.
As he looks ahead, he noted two things of utmost importance—paying off the $4.8 million Falls Creek Tabernacle debt, and making Sunday School an organization that will penetrate every area of the community.
“I am committed to leading Oklahoma Baptists to pay off the nearly $4.9 million still owed on the tabernacle,” he said. “It’s a lot of money to us, but just pocket change to our Lord. He desires to work through Oklahoma Baptists to reduce the debt.”
Regarding Sunday School, Jordan said it is the primary strategy to connect people to Jesus, to the body of Christ, to His truth.
“Sunday School is not just for studying God’s Word or for fellowship, but to connect people to God’s mission, and transform the lives of people in the community,” he proclaimed. “In every church, we already have the structure and organization. We just need people with a vision and with fire.”
He added that new units (not splits) need to be created that will reach people with the Gospel.
“If we work Sunday School, Sunday School will work,” he said.
Oklahoma Baptist University professor Mark McClellan, filling in for OBU president David Whitlock, said enrollment at the Shawnee school has increased for the third straight year with a fall enrollment of 1,871, January term of 742, and spring enrollment of 1,747 students. Spring commencement graduated 246 students, McClellan said.
Tony Kennedy, president of Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children, said with graduation of high school students, it is a thrill to be able to continue ministry to children through transitional living as they leave basic care.
“We can meet their specific needs as they transition into college, vocational school or the work force,” he said.
Robert Kellogg, president of The Baptist Foundation of Oklahoma, said after the stock market down turn of 2008-09, the Foundation has created a safety net by increasing its liquidity and generating positive returns in a number of markets.
Bill Pierce, president of Baptist Village Communities, thanked Oklahoma Baptists for their giving to the Mother’s Day offering, which among other things, helps provide funds for widows to live at Baptist Villages.
He said a new ministry, My Life Guide, is also aiding senior citizens in a personalized plan to help them decide what to do with the rest of their lives and to provide ministry opportunities for them.
The next BGCO board meeting will be Sept. 25 at Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center.