The Board of Directors of the Arkansas Baptist Foundation (ABF) held its first Quarterly Board Meeting for 2021 on Thursday, February 25, 2021, at the Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC) building. This marked the formal beginning of ABF’s new board year. Steven Smith, Senior Pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church Little Rock, opened the day with a time of guided prayer with the Foundation board and staff. Board Chairman, Jay Shell, also led a review of trustee duties and responsibilities.
Larry Walker, Equipping Pastor of First Baptist Church Russellville, gave the opening devotional. Walker reflected on some of the struggles faced during the pandemic and recent times of uncertainty. He then reflected on the story in Zechariah, when Joshua, dressed in filthy clothes, stood before the angel of the Lord and Satan. The Lord was roused and came to Joshua’s defense, rebuking Satan for accusing Joshua. Walker encouraged that the Lord will fight on our behalf. Whatever may be holding us back or bogging us down, the Lord is ready and will not allow the enemy to take over.
Highlights of the board meeting included:
- ABF’s new 2021 annual report, noting distribution of $22,374,725 in 2020. This brings total distributions since ABF’s inception to more than $470million.
- Introduction of Donny White from Ray White Lumber in Sparkman, Arkansas, as the newest member of the Board.
- Celebration of record Cooperative Program giving by Arkansas Baptists in 2020, even despite the pandemic.
- Approval of 42 scholarship awards for the 2021-22 school year for students attending Ouachita Baptist University, Williams Baptist University, or seminary.