Thomas “Call me Tommy” Hammond, Georgia Baptist Mission Board
Jim Futral; Mississippi Baptist Convention Board
Tommy Green; Florida Baptist Convention
Gary Hollingsworth; South Carolina Baptist Convention
Milton Hollifield; Baptist State Convention of North Carolina
Brian Autry; Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia
Todd Gray; Kentucky Baptist Convention
Randy Davis; Tennessee Baptist Mission Board
David Hardage; Baptist General Convention of Texas
Jim Richards; Southern Baptists of Texas Convention
Hance Dilbeck; Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma
Sonny Tucker; Arkansas Baptist State Convention
John Yeats; Missouri Baptist Convention
Steve Horn; Louisiana Baptist Convention
There’s an obvious flaw in the title. Surely you noticed it.
State conventions control most Cooperative Program revenues, about sixty percent of it. These fifteen state conventions are the largest and easily account for most of the spending of CP dollars. Since it’s football season, I’d group Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and the SBTC conventions as the “Big Five.” Note that these are big SEC states (we’ll happily claim A&M as the premier school there because of their stellar band and corps of cadets).
When your state convention meets this fall, take note that this is where the big money is, not Nashville and the SBC Allocation Budget. Just take a look at the 2018-2019 Cooperative Program Allocation Budget poster that you can order and put in your church. This shows 73.20% of the CP going to the two mission boards. Chances are your average church member will look at this and be pleased that so much of the CP from your church goes to missions. You’ll have to educate them on this.
I’m not criticizing any of these state CEOs and this is the system we’ve had for a long, long time. It’s just tough to make any meaningful changes in percentages. People get used to the money and can always build a case for keeping their share. Here in Georgia, around $20m is spent in the state and we have more than a decade running of population increases and baptism declines. New leadership is shuffling and reorganizing. We’ll see what happens. There is very little chance of substantial changes in spending patterns.
My state convention has no money, that is, the revenue comes from whatever amounts the several thousand churches decide to give to the CP. Our state was below average in CP percentage from the churches last time I checked. So, churches that are happy and optimistic may increase their CP giving. Those who think the GBMB is sclerotic and only moderately effective may give less.
Cooperative Program giving is one area where, indeed, churches are king. State conventions are, however, in charge of the CP treasury for the most part and these fifteen states and their leaders are in charge of the Cooperative Program.
Let’s pay attention and see how they do.