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’ locations.
The 2023 meeting was held in Siloam Springs at Camp Siloam on Thursday, August 10. While there the Board was given an opportunity to hear from the camp’s executive director, Jason Wilkie, who shared that 2023 is their Centennial Anniversary and walked through the rich history of Arkansas Baptist Assembly—“Camp Siloam.” The ABF board also learned more about the overall vision for the future of Camp Siloam and the many ways they are prayerfully looking to grow and expand. The day concluded with a tour of the camp.
Highlights of the board meeting included:
- Clay Cunningham, Next Generation Pastor of First Baptist Church Benton, gave the opening devotional. Cunningham read Psalm 77, the cry of Asaph to God for help in his time of great distress. In the first half of the text, Asaph is lamenting with honesty about his troubles. In verse 10 he begins to reflect on the faithfulness of the Lord and His mighty deeds and miracles. Cunningham shared about his own experience of coming to know the Lord at Camp Siloam as a child and that his daughter also accepted Christ there this past summer. He walked through his own journey in ministry over the last 20 years on staff at FBC Benton. Cunningham testified that while we may walk some very hard days, face challenges, or feel discouraged, we too can bring that to the Lord. We must also reflect on the faithfulness and goodness of God to remind ourselves that He never fails.
- The Board voted to continue the 5% distribution rate from the Foundation’s Spending Plan Fund in order to maintain consistent ministry funding in 2024. They also agreed to keep the timing of the annual calculation to coincide with the determination of the distribution rate to give clarity in budgeting and cash flow planning for ministry partners.
- Review of financial reporting through June 30, including year to date distributions of $22,536,682, which is up 53% from this time last year and the highest ever through June 30th. Total distributions for the past twelve months were reported as $36.7 million, also a record high for distributions made through the Foundation.
- Recognition of Board of Director nominations for 2024 to be presented for approval at this year’s Annual Meeting. Nominees include Jay Shell of Batesville and Jeff Thompson of Fort Smith, both of whom are previous board members. Natalie Johnson of Little Rock and Donny White of Sparkman are current board members eligible for re-election. Aaron Andrews of Walnut Ridge will be new to the board as is Jordan Sharp of Rogers who is serving as a mid-term replacement.