Missouri Baptists facing mass turnover
January 5 2001 by Shawn Hendricks and Bill Webb , Associated Baptist Press

Missouri Baptists facing mass turnover | Friday, Jan. 5, 2001

Friday, Jan. 5, 2001

Missouri Baptists facing mass turnover

By Shawn Hendricks and Bill Webb Associated Baptist Press JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - The Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) is experiencing what is believed to be the largest staff turnover in its history. A total of 28 employees are leaving their positions after accepting severance options expected to cost the convention nearly $770,000. The state convention has 101 staff positions. The large response to the severance offer is expected to be felt across the organization.

"To my knowledge, there has never been this much turnover at one time in the history of the MBC," said Jim Hill, the state convention's executive director. "We have a lot more staff leaving than I had anticipated."

The state convention offered an across-the-board severance package to employees in anticipation of a major staff restructuring this year.

Hill said employees taking the offer cited several reasons, but more than half indicated political conflict between moderates and conservatives was a contributing factor. Conservatives won officer elections for the third year in a row this fall and now control the process for nominating convention committees and boards of trustees.

Other reasons included difficulty with transition in the New Directions restructuring plan and the desire to take early retirement or move toward a new career or ministry opportunity.

Hill said the amount of experience leaving the Jefferson City offices adds up to 417 years. "That's a loss, because there is so much history," he said.

Hill said that although he did not expect so many people to accept a severance deal, offering it was the right thing to do.

Some areas of the day-to-day operation of the convention staff will be affected, he said.

"Any time there are this many vacancies in an operation, there will be a lull in the work," he said. "There will be a period when we won't be able to do an event, or there will be something we can't staff, or a request we can't respond to."

Hill said he hopes to fill many of the vacancies by Feb. 1.

"I think our organization will experience some grief over this - there is always a grieving process," he said. "And that is healthy and natural. I think, so far, they have been handling it well and are looking to the future. We're going to survive it."

The state convention's executive board met Dec. 11-12 and approved a plan for funding severance payouts ranging from two months salary to 12 months of salary and benefits, depending on tenure.

Nine of the 28 staff vacancies won't be refilled.

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1/5/2001 12:00:00 AM by Shawn Hendricks and Bill Webb , Associated Baptist Press | with 0 comments
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