Each August, the Arkansas Baptist Foundation (ABF) provides an opportunity for their Board of Directors to learn more about the work and ministry of the agencies and institutions it serves by taking their annual Board Advance to one of their ministry partners’ location.
The 2021 meeting was held at Williams Baptist University (WBU) in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas on Thursday, August 12. While on campus the Board was given an opportunity to view Eagle Farms to learn more about the Williams Works program. Williams Works is designed to give students an outstanding Christ-centered education while working to pay for their education. After hearing from Dr. Stan Norman and several students the Board closed the day with a tour of their beautiful campus.
Jamar Andrews, Senior Pastor of Word Baptist Church in Jonesboro, led the opening devotional. Andrews opened with Acts 12 and his belief that the Body of Christ and the church are designed to be shaken and to handle intense pressure because many times they come out stronger for it. He encouraged everyone to be willing to trust the will of God, to recognize that God is with us in our challenges, and to trust that His timing is always right. When we face times of strain, we must give God the glory and keep our eyes on Him because our lives are changed and transformed after being shaken.
Highlights of the board meeting included:
- The Board voted to continue the 5% distribution rate from the Foundation’s Spending Plan Fund in order to maintain consistent ministry funding in 2022.
- Review of financial reporting through June 30, including year-to-date distributions of $10,910,177.
- Recognition of Board of Director nominations for 2022 to be presented for approval at this year’s Arkansas Baptist State Convention Annual Meeting. Nominees include Clay Cunningham of Benton, Jim Harris of Springdale, and Will Rusher of Little Rock, who are eligible for re-election. Sarah Young of Cabot and Chester Witherspoon of Marion will be new to the Foundation Board in 2022.
- Bobby Thomas and Patrick Henry gave an update on the partnership with WatersEdge Ministry Services. WatersEdge will offer ministry accounting services to churches in hopes of relieving the burden of managing ministry finances, allowing pastors and church staff to devote more time, energy, and resources to advancing the Gospel. These services are available immediately to all Arkansas Baptist churches. Starting this fall, three WBU students will be working for WatersEdge as a part of the Williams Work program. Thomas also announced that Henry will now serve as Vice President – Ministry Services for the Foundation.