CBF designated revenues at all-time high, undesignated revenues fall short : Wednesday, Nov 5, 200
November 5 2003 by Lance Wallace

CBF designated revenues at all-time high, undesignated revenues fall short : Wednesday, Nov 5, 2003
Wednesday, Nov 5, 2003

CBF designated revenues at all-time high, undesignated revenues fall short

By Lance Wallace
CBF Communications
ATLANTA - A recently completed audit of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship's (CBF) fiscal year 2002-2003 finances by its independent public accountant showed revenues for the fiscal year reached an all-time high of $24.5 million. Of that, $20.8 million came from churches and individuals while the remainder came from a grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc., resource sales and other earnings. Total revenue increased by 15.1 percent compared to the previous fiscal year with contributions from individuals increasing by 18 percent and contributions from churches falling by 2.1 percent.

While total revenue for the year was at an all-time high, undesignated contributions, which came in at $9.03 million, were flat compared to the previous fiscal year. The Offering for Global Missions raised $5.32 million, short of the $6.1 million goal but on par with the previous year. Softness in these two areas resulted in the Fellowship dipping into reserves by $513,000.

"We knew this was going to be a down year, the mid-year contribution numbers confirmed it, and we began making modifications and amending our plan early on," said Jim Strawn, the Fellowship's chief financial officer. "Without that fiscally responsible action, the deficit would have been more."

The Fellowship maintains operating reserves of $8.3 million. The Fellowship is also proceeding with a plan to restore the $513,000 to the reserves as contributions grow during the next few years.

Designated contributions have experienced a 28 percent increase over 2001-02. To break down the designated category even further, the Offering for Global Missions brought in $5.3 million during this fiscal year, roughly the same as in 2001-02. Other designated gifts jumped by 52 percent, from $6.04 million in fiscal 2001-02 to $9.2 million in fiscal 2002-03. This increase is attributed to the grant from the Lilly Endowment and an anonymous $5 million gift.

The $5 million gift in April allowed the Fellowship to commission 18 new global missions field personnel at the General Assembly in Charlotte. Without that gift, which designated $4.2 million for global missions over the next three years, the Fellowship would not have been able to send new field personnel. The gift also included $500,000 designated for endowment for the CBF Church Benefits Board, $250,000 for church starts and $50,000 for a new, shared database system in the Atlanta Resource Center.

The number of churches contributing to CBF increased for the fiscal year, and the number of individuals contributing also increased. More than 1,800 churches and 3,700 individuals made contributions to CBF in fiscal 2002-03, compared to 1,715 churches and 3,128 individuals in fiscal 2001-02. Church counts are approximate because CBF of Florida began reporting church contributions mid-year and because CBF does not receive the names of churches that contribute through the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. CBF also is a part of giving plans through the Baptist General Convention of Texas and the Baptist General Association of Virginia. Those two states provide church counts to CBF.

"We are committed to being the presence of Christ in the world," said Daniel Vestal, national coordinator of the Fellowship. "We do this through our missionaries around the world and through many, creative and innovative ministries. We also do this through our partners. As the economy provides us with windows of opportunity to improve our ministry and sharpen our focus, we will continue to look for ways to strengthen our relationship with our partners and allow them to share in the ups and downs of doing ministry in uncertain economic times."

The Fellowship has also begun several new projects under the leadership of Vestal and a new growth team. Because of this work, the Fellowship remains optimistic about future growth.

"We are grateful for the gifts that have sustained this movement of Christ from its earliest days," Vestal said. "We know there are more people who want to join in this movement, and we will continue to discover ways for churches and individuals to discover and fulfill their God-given mission."

CBF is a fellowship of Baptist Christians and churches who share a passion for the Great Commission and a commitment to Baptist principles of faith and practice. The Fellowship's mission is to serve Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission.

11/5/2003 12:00:00 AM by Lance Wallace | with 0 comments

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