The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship will vote next week on a deficit budget for 2020 fiscal year, CBF Executive Coordinator Paul Baxley announced in a blog June 12.
Baxley, preparing for his first General Assembly since his election in January as top executive of the 1,800-church network founded in 1991, said a budget proposed unanimously by the CBF Governing Board authorizes $16,321,955 in spending while projecting total revenue of $15,889,240. That adds up to a deficit of $432,715, about 2.5 percent of total expenditures.
“The Governing Board has proposed a budget that forecasts an increase in revenue for the 2019-20 fiscal year,” Baxley said. “This is despite CBF feeling the pinch from times when revenue does not reach our budget needs, as some other denominations, organizational partners and partner congregations can attest.”
Baxley said the budget will be presented initially during a “Fellowship at Work” session at 9:30 a.m. Thursday at the 2019 CBF General Assembly, scheduled June 17-21 at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.
Those interested can ask questions in a budget breakout session at 1:30 p.m. Thursday in East Ballroom A of the complex in downtown Birmingham, Alabama, with a final vote scheduled in plenary session on Friday morning.
“Because we prepared for decline in revenue in the current budget year, our reserves position allows us to absorb that loss in the coming year but would not allow us to continue to do so indefinitely,” Baxley said. “This budget is designed to give us a significant opportunity to seek an increase in support while also making decisions about where we strategically should invest God’s resources given by congregations and individuals in the years ahead.”
Next week’s assembly, in the same facility as the recently adjourned 2019 annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention, includes a Friday-night reception honoring Baxley, former pastor of First Baptist Church in Athens, Georgia, elected unanimously by the CBF Governing Board Jan. 15, and a dinner on Thursday celebrating the leadership of former Executive Coordinator Suzii Paynter.
Paynter, the first woman to hold the position, stepped down after nearly six years on the job when her successor was named. She now works as co-director of Pastors for Texas Children, a ministry and advocacy group for public education.