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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Florida Baptist $1.5 Million CP Budget Shortfall

John Sullivan, executive director-treasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention, confirmed in an article published in the Florida Baptist Witness that giving through the CP by Florida Baptist churches fell 1.5 Million short of expectations in 2007.

Dr. Sullivan attributed the budget shortfall to the economic climate in the state and nation. "These are tough times financially for many of our Baptist families," said Sullivan. "As our families struggle, so do our churches.” Ed Johnson, director the Convention's Cooperative Program Department, concurred with Sullivan's assessment of the root cause of the budget deficit. "Simply put, the economy has impacted Cooperative Program giving during the past year."

To make up for the $1.5 million budget shortfall, Sullivan will recommend to the State Board of Missions several "belt-tightening measures" when it meets Feb. 8. He also is expected to make recommendations to reduce the 2008 Cooperative Program budget by $1.5 million.

Yes, it is time for some “belt-tightening” Dr. Sullivan. I could have missed it, but I do not recall reading of large CP Budget Shortfalls in other state CP budgets and I know that the general fund and missions giving in my congregation did not decline in 2007. So could there actually be something else going on in the State of Florida other than the excuse given by Dr. Sullivan of “tough financial times”?

No, I do not recall reading of large CP Budget Shortfalls in other state CP budgets… However, I do recall reading in the Florida Baptist Witness this same Dr. Sullivan telling the Baptist Churches of the State of Florida that if they did not abstain from all alcoholic beverages they would no longer be welcome to serve with the Florida Baptist Convention. I also recall reading in the Florida Baptist Witness this same Dr. Sullivan saying to the Baptist Churches of the State of Florida “and I am not taking a poll on this…” I also recall getting a mailing of sermons from Dr. Sullivan attacking the Calvinism of many Baptist in the State of Florida… In other words I recall getting the message from Dr Sullivan’s that it’s his way or the highway for the Baptist Churches of Florida in 2007

Well, perhaps the Baptist Churches of the state of Florida got your message in 2007 Dr. Sullivan, to the tune of 1.5 Million dollars... Did you get their message that narrowing the parameters of cooperation narrows the amount of giving to the Cooperative Program?

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Fault Lines are increasing. It seems that the princes of the SBC, Dr.s Sullivan, Vines, Allen, and many others are bent on dividing the convention. Let it rip! I am sick of the pragmatic, man-centered, false gospel being preached by the pulpiteers. Appreciate your blog!

G. Alford said...

Anonymous,

Yes, I agree the “Fault Lines are increasing”… One trend I did not mention in my post is that as increasing numbers of Baptist Churches refuse to submit to the Baptist Overlords at _______(fill in the blank) State Baptist Convention there is more and more pressure being applied to the churches that remain loyal to make up the shortfall.

John Sullivan is running a ten week series of articles in the Florida Baptist Witness on the importance of supporting the Cooperative Program… As those who have made the choice to no longer support the CP have effectively withdrawn from the Florida Baptist Convention, I wonder who this series of guilt trip articles are aimed at?

The Florida Baptist Convention is loosing the battle for Florida… regardless of the spin coming out of Jacksonville the numbers do not lie… as each year goes by under the leadership of John Sullivan a smaller percentage of the total population of Florida can be counted as Florida, or Southern Baptist… I do not want to give too much away, but I will post more on this soon.

By the way, I pretty much feel the same way as you concerning the current condition and the future of the SBC.

Grace Always,

Lee said...

I know of at least three state conventions with fairly large budget shortfalls in recent years. The Baptist General Convention of Texas fell about $3 million short of this year's budget and wound up laying off about 35 employees. It is already about $220,000 short of this year's budget in January. Missouri has struggled to keep up with their budget, even though they actually lowered the budget amount last year. I think they are in the $1 million range. Arizona has suffered extensively since the Baptist Foundation scandal, and though their convention and its budget are quite small compared to Florida, the percentage is just as high.

Interesting that they are blaming it on the "economy," while our conservative talk radio personalities and Dr. Land at the ERLC have been proclaiming how great the economy is.

More than half of the 5 million or so people who actually attend Southern Baptist churches on a weekly basis are past 60 years of age. They are the giving generation, and they are dying off. The day is coming, in the not so distant future, when those people and their money will be gone. If state conventions and the SBC do not begin planning for this now, they will be in dire straits in a decade or so.

G. Alford said...

Lee,

Thanks for stopping by… and thanks for the info on how other State Conventions are doing. The one thing that really leaped out at me when I read your comment was the fact that all of these States which are falling short in the C.P. giving have had some form of controversy in the last few years. Poor Leadership Decisions, and the Narrowing of the Parameters of Cooperation, both carry a price tag… apparently “Million Dollar” price tags.

As you mention, the old generation of Baptist which automatically wrote the check to the C.P. each month (no matter what) are dying off… and they are being replaced with a new generation of Baptist that are saying “Wait just a dog gone minute, Now why are we sending our missions dollars to an organization that has made it very clear that they do not want us?”

In my opinion the days of the C.P. are drawing to an end… The only people in the SBC who are really happy with it are those who have become Fat Cats drinking the C.P. Milk. And if the truth be told they are “Milking the life out of the Southern Baptist Convention”…

Grace Always,

Batchaps said...

Greg,
Sounds like Sullivan would be a great speaker for Hillary or Obama to use in the upcoming election :)

Russ+

G. Alford said...

Russ,

The “Executive Dictator” of the “Florida Banana Republic” would have to give up way to much power to ever enter into U.S. Politics.