​Texas Baptists approve 2015 budget, elect new officers at Annual Meeting


WACO - During the 129th Annual Meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, several important business items were discussed, voted on and approved.

On Tues., Nov. 18, at 9:30 a.m., Earl Ann Bumpus, chair of the Committee on Credentials announced 1,240 messengers and 515 visitors had registered for a total of 1,755 in attendance at the meeting held at the Waco Convention Center.

President Jeff Johnson presided over the business portions of the meeting, held on Monday afternoon from 1:00-3:00 p.m. and Tuesday morning from 9:00-11:30 a.m.

Officers were elected for 2014-2015 including President Kathy Hillman, messenger from Columbus Avenue Baptist Church, Waco; First Vice President René Maciel, president of the Baptist University of the Américas; Second Vice President Bedilu Yirga, pastor, Ethiopian Evangelical Baptist Church, Garland; Office of Secretary of the Corporation Bernie Spooner; and Registration Secretary Doug Powell, First Baptist Church, Garland. Click here to read a full story on the election of officers.

Ron Lyles, chair of the BGCT Executive Board, presented the Executive Board Report. The Ad Hoc Building Committee accepted the offer from Baylor University to purchase the Baptist Building in Dallas which should be concluded in January 2015. The Executive Board also assisted Baptist University of the Américas by purchasing the BUA campus for $4.173 million by paying off two notes. The Board also recommended Texas Baptists enter into a special agreement with the Christian Education Activities Corporation.

Two motions were presented from the floor, both by Ed Jackson, messenger, First Baptist Church, Garland. The first motion recommended the Evangelism Committee of the Executive Board study the feasibility of an annual statewide Evangelism and Missions Conference starting in 2017. The motion was approved by the messengers on Tuesday morning. The second motion recommending a study of the possibility of remote voting in multiple locations was declined by the messengers.

Dr. David Hardage presented the Executive Director's Report, sharing four initiatives including: the commitment of BGCT staff to serve Texas Baptists; change the organizational structure; change geographic locations; and give equal emphasis to the Great Commandment (Matthew 22) and the Great Commission (Matthew 28). Click here to read a full story on the Executive Director's Report.

Jill Larsen, Treasurer and CFO, presented the Treasurer's Report on Tuesday morning. She reported at the end of 2013, the assets of the convention were $141.5 million, an increase of $14 million from 2012. The 2015 budget is predicted to decrease slightly. The net proposed budget is $35 million or $37,784,297 total revenue. The budget was approved by the messengers. Click here to view the full 2015 budget summary.

Additionally, three resolutions were presented by the Committee on Resolutions expressing appreciation of hosts; appreciation to convention officers and staff; and a resolution on Christian Life. Click here to view the full resolutions.

To conclude the final business session, Hardage participated in a mock Bible Drill with several local drillers, much to the delight of audience members.

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