Randel Everett share this statement yesterday afternoon regarding the 2008 budget.
In these tough economic times the Baptist General Convention of Texas is committed to living within its resources. The BGCT also is committed to using Cooperative Program dollars in the most effective ways to have a direct impact on our churches and our world. These are driving principles for us.
As a result of income challenges this year, the Leadership Council and I are making budget cuts to match spending to income, and we are making budget decisions that place our resources in the most critical ministries to impact churches directly. In announcing our revised budget approach for 2008, let me share with you the following:
- 1) We will maintain full funding for our Missions, Evangelism and Ministry Team. This means that while the BGCT overall will operate at 90 percent of budget, we will continue to implement all of our plans in regard to missions, evangelism, ministry and congregation resources.
- 2) We will maintain funding for our Collegiate Ministries Team at 100 percent of budget. While fully funding our important Baptist Student Ministry work, we have reallocated some dollars to further bring campus minister salaries to an appropriate level.
- 3) We will reorganize our counseling ministry in order to better connect ministers around the state with competent counselors. This will require closing of the Dallas counseling office and elimination of two staff positions. One staff person will then serve to help connect more ministers and their families with approved, licensed counselors in their area of the state.
- 4) We will encourage WorldconneX to move its offices into the Baptist Building in Dallas. WorldconneX currently pays for office space in another Dallas location. Such a move would save money and help WorldconneX and the BGCT MEM Missions Team work more closely together.
- 5) We will eliminate the Research and Development Team. This will allow for a reduction of two staff positions, while some essential functions performed by this team will be moved to other teams.
- 6) We will eliminate the position of liaison of missions relationships in the executive director’s office. We will move most of these responsibilities to the MEM Partnership Missions office.
- 7) We already have announced elimination of the outbound calling function. This resulted in six staff positions being cut from the Service Center.
While these changes bring some real financial savings and make possible some better effectiveness in areas, they have not come without pain to individuals and to the convention. This grieves our Leadership Council and me; but financial realities forced us to make the best decisions we could in a short amount of time.
Today I am announcing the elimination of five more positions, but we expect this to be the final staff cuts. Those eliminated positions are:
- Director, Research and Development Team, Lynn Eckeberger;
- Associate Director, Research and Development Team, Ed Hale;
- Executive Liaison of Missions Relationships, Don Sewell;
- Counseling and Psychological Services Specialist, Rick Owen; and
- Marriage & Family/Pastoral Care Specialist, Kathy Owen.