Messengers to the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina on Nov. 12 voted 431-354 to eliminate any possibility of contributions to the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship through the convention’s new single giving plan. The recommendation before the convention would have allowed congregations to continue a 10 percent contribution to CBF in Atlanta, but now that option will cease permanently beginning January 2010.
After that date, cooperative gifts given through the Baptist State Convention will fund Baptist State Convention Ministries, Southern Baptist Convention Ministries, and a significantly reduced number of ministry partners.
Larry C. Hovis, executive coordinator of CBF of North Carolina, said that CBFNC stands ready to assist churches in working through the changes ahead through its cooperative giving tool known as the Mission Resource Plan (MRP). According to Hovis, 85 congregations in North Carolina are already giving through the plan or have committed to begin using the plan in their coming budget year.
“Congregations who participate in the plan will still be able to fund ministries of historic North Carolina Baptist ministry partners, including Baptist colleges, Children’s Homes, Retirement Homes, the Baptist Foundation, WMUNC, and Baptist Men,” Hovis stated. “They will still have an opportunity to invest more significantly in the training of ministers at our four CBF related theological schools in North Carolina.”
Hovis also indicated that giving through the plan will provide support for global missions through the national Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, as well as the ministries of CBFNC.
“The Mission Resource Plan allows congregations the freedom to be faithful to their unique mission vision,” Hovis said. “Congregations may use the plan exactly as it is presented in its basic version or they may make any adjustments they desire to the plan so that it more accurately and faithfully reflects their priorities.”
Hovis expressed his excitement that the CBF movement is growing in North Carolina and beyond, and welcomed the participation of historic Baptist ministry partners as well as new congregations to the Fellowship.
“CBF is a ‘big tent’ Christian body,” Hovis said. “There is room at the table for all who share the desire to work together to engage in missions, evangelism, and ministry in the name of Jesus Christ.”