For more than three decades, Oklahoma Baptists arranged annual tax seminars for churches across the state to help pastors and church staff keep up with complex administrative challenges. This year, they have passed the baton to the financial experts at WatersEdge Ministry Services.
In September, WatersEdge will give the workshop a revamped focus on tax, internal control and legal issues—with two identical seminars for attendees and an option for virtual attendance.
The events were initially envisioned to meet a simple, vital, often unanswered need for Oklahoma Baptist churches: tax help. According to Brad Johnson, CFO at WatersEdge, that key focus will remain.
“Tax law is complicated and constantly changing,” he said. “These seminars are designed to connect church employees with valuable, up-to-date knowledge that can help them better succeed in their role within the church. But protecting the church doesn’t stop with tax compliance. We’ll connect attendees with industry experts who can teach on a variety of topics intentionally designed to protect the church from an array of pitfalls—fraud, insurance, cyber security and internal controls.”
These experts include attorneys, retirement and payroll professionals, insurance agents and WatersEdge’s own, in-house experts. For Norma Woodard, owner of EagleView Consulting and a past seminar organizer for Oklahoma Baptists, this expertise and experience in helping churches manage their resources made WatersEdge the perfect choice when it came time to shift the seminars.
“I am so very excited to see WatersEdge continue the legacy of these seminars, created by Barbara Spess and Henry Chennault over 30 years ago,” she said. “Their dedication and vision will go far beyond what we’ve done in the past, and I believe it will be exactly what Oklahoma churches need to ensure we are watching and caring for their resources going forward.”
In addition to the seminars, WatersEdge provides numerous services to churches and ministries, including loan services, ministry investments and ministry accounting—and this last service, currently expanding, creates a perfect opportunity to make the most of these tax seminars.
“We employ a team of highly trained professionals who care deeply for the success of the churches we serve,” Johnson said. “In addition to the professional training of our staff, we are also very well connected with industry experts; we love playing the role of connector between these resources and our churches. Our expanding work with church finances through Ministry Accounting Services makes this timing absolutely perfect.”
There are two dates for those interested in attending. The first seminar will be at Owasso, First on Tuesday, Sept. 27, from 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., with a virtual attendance option. An identical in-person event takes place Thursday, Sept. 29 at Oklahoma City, Northwest.
Attendees can receive a reduced registration rate through Aug. 31. For more cost information and to register, visit watersedgeservices.org/tax