By Patrick Henry

[Perspective] What can we do for you?

By Patrick Henry

The Arkansas Baptist Foundation (ABF) was created in 1949.  The main mission of the ABF is to serve, advise, and encourage the over 1500 Southern Baptist Churches in Arkansas. The Foundation includes staff members who are gifted in various ways. Daily conversations with ministry leaders cover anything from governing documents, estate planning, financial securities, and ministry accounting.  

What are “governing documents”? Governing documents are commonly referred to as bylaws. Bylaws consist of: 

  • Organization of leadership structure. 
  • Identifying those authorized to make decisions. 
  • Defining when and how meetings are held. 
  • The process of adding and removing officers. 

One of the most common mistakes with bylaws is that they are typically outdated. It’s very important for governing documents to be updated. The second most common mistake is not adhering to governing documents. Should a church ever be involved in a legal dispute, the first thing the church leadership will be required to produce is the governing documents of the organization. The Foundation staff is equipped to examine a church’s documents and SERVE as a resource for the church leadership team.  

Estate planning is an action that is often forgotten until it is too late. The ABF serves denominational leaders and lay people by helping create or update estate plans. The Foundation offers free estate planning for Arkansas Baptists working in denominational service and free drafts of estate planning documents for lay members who would like to leave at least ten percent (10%) of their estate to their church or designated ministry. The ABF aids local congregations to promote legacy giving and kingdom stewardship. To begin the process for estate planning, visit

Church members are becoming increasingly creative in giving to their local church. One way to give is through the donation of financial securities. This can be a complex process. Mistakes can be made that could cost a church valuable ministry dollars if these transactions are not handled expeditiously. The Foundation staff have the knowledge to ADVISE your financial staff and walk them through intricate processes.  

Ministry accounting is one of the more popular conversations we have with church leaders. Over the past three years, the ABF has talked with many local churches about their accounting processes and procedures. Churches are often understaffed and do not have the personnel to manage vital accounting processes with confidence. Two years ago, the Foundation partnered with WatersEdge to provide ministry accounting to churches who needed a solution to this problem. Currently, there are nearly fifty different churches who use WatersEdge for accounting services. WatersEdge provides four accounting services: 

  • Basic accounting 
  • Payroll 
  • Contribution tracking 
  • Online giving 

WatersEdge is a fee-based service that is dedicated to serving churches nationwide. For more information on WatersEdge you can visit  

The Foundation’s staff works daily to encourage ministry leaders across the state of Arkansas. The ability to help individuals and churches with administrative opportunities is the purpose of the ABF. The Foundation is grateful for open conversations with church leaders and for each opportunity to SERVE, ADVISE, and ENCOURAGE. What can we do for you? 

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