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.
Marcus Brown, Executive Convention Administrator of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention, led the opening devotional. Brown noted how the first few chapters of Acts all reference money and the power of financial resources in some way. He then specifically highlighted a conflict in Chapter 6 over the feeding of the widows in Jerusalem. The solution was how the resources were being distributed, not finding additional resources. Brown used this story to encourage the Board by comparing how the Foundation is in the ministry of helping people be good stewards of the resources they have been given and the importance of using the right people – those filled with Godly wisdom and the Holy Spirit.
Highlights of the board meeting included:
Bobby Thomas, President and CEO of the ABF gave an institution update on behalf of Ouachita Baptist University and Williams Baptist University. He shared how the Foundation has assisted Ouachita with Project Foresight, which involves the acquisition and redevelopment by the University of property southwest of campus. He also shared about the start of Williams Works this semester, which is designed to give students an outstanding Christ-centered education while working to pay for their education. Thomas closed by giving a personnel update on the addition of Patrick Henry as Administration Coordinator and the departure of Abigail Brizuela, who moved back to Honduras after her year of Optional Practical Training.
Additionally, the Board made the decision to continue the 5% distribution rate from the Foundation’s Spending Plan Fund in order to maintain consistent ministry funding. The Spending Plan Fund is used primarily for long-term ministry dollars such as scholarships and mission funds distributed at this rate set by the ABF board.
They also reviewed second quarter financial reporting and noting of 2020 distributions to date of $10,594,161. The review also showed that investment assets recovered faster than anticipated in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. These funds are primarily distributed to ABSC and SBC churches, ministries, agencies and institutions.
Lastly, they recognized the Board of Director nominations for 2021 to be presented for approval at this year’s Annual Meeting. Nominees include Eric Brown of Jonesboro, Natalie Evans of Little Rock, Matthew Shepherd of El Dorado, and Thomas Vaughan of Little Rock all eligible for reelection along with Donny White of Sparkman who would be new to the Foundation Board.