Funding career missionaries and adjusting the size of the Atlanta staff are the twin goals that the Coordinating Council of the Cooperating Baptist Fellowship of Oklahoma hopes the national Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s 2012 Task Force will recommend, according to a statement by the Oklahoma group.

The 2012 Task Force was approved with some dissent by CBF’s coordinating council in June.

Daniel Vestal, CBF’s executive coordinator, asked Hal Bass, CBF’s moderator, “to put together a task force to meet for two years,” according to a CBF press release.

“The task force…will address three items related to organizational models – models of community that foster missional collaboration, organizational structures that respond effectively to global challenges and ways Baptist churches and organizations can embrace their identity as partners,” said the press release.

The two-page purpose statement for the 14-member task force referred to a “new model of community” as well as refocusing and streamlining the organization.

It said the task force would hold listening sessions and bring reports and recommendations to the 2011 CBF general assembly scheduled to meet next year in Tampa, Fla. The final report would be presented in 2012.

In a letter to the chair of the task force, David Hull, pastor of First Baptist Church, Huntsville, Ala., Carolyn Steinig, moderator of CBF of Oklahoma, wrote that since no Oklahoman was on the task force that the group was seeking input through a statement. received a copy of the letter and statement.

The statement said that “financial realities would seem to indicate an urgent need to ‘right size’ the Atlanta staff and administrative budget. This could be achieved in part by outsourcing to state & regional organizations and to local churches some aspects of current ministry & missions.”

The brief statement added that “there is a strong feeling that CBF must continue to appoint fully funded career personnel as a central and vital aspect of our movement.”

Vestal said on the CBF blog that the task force “will be seeking input and ideas from the CBF family.”

He also encouraged his readers to listen to the presentations or read the manuscripts from the presentations made at the leadership retreat at Callaway Gardens in April.

In addition to Hull, members of the task force include Stephen Cook, pastor, First Baptist Church of Danville, Va.; Alan Culpepper, dean, McAfee School of Theology, Atlanta; Susan Deal, associate pastor for worship, College Park Baptist Church of Orlando, Fla.; Ray Higgins, coordinator, CBF of Arkansas; Laura Hoffman, member, Third Baptist Church of St. Louis; Hollyn Hollman, general counsel, Baptist Joint Committee; Tony Hopkins, pastor, First Baptist Church of Greenwood, S.C.; Larry Hovis, coordinator, CBF North Carolina; Kasey Jones, pastor, National Baptist Memorial Church in Washington, D.C.; Connie McNeal, coordinator of administration, CBF Atlanta; Rene Maciel, president, Baptist University of the Americas, San Antonio, Texas; Ruth Perkins Lee, minister of students, Auburn First Baptist Church, Auburn, Ala.; and Jean Willingham, laity, St. Petersburg, Fla.

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