IMB Trustees Appoint 36 Missionaries, Celebrate Best Financial Year in History

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Above: John Brady, left, IMB’s vice president for global engagement, chats with Chris Wall, pastor of Owasso, First, center, left, and Doug Melton, pastor of Oklahoma City, Southern Hills, center right. Wall and Melton are both members of the IMB Board of Directors. IMB photo

Trustees of the International Mission Board (IMB) approved the appointment of 36 full-time, fully-funded people to bring the gospel to unreached people and places at their September 29-30 meeting near Richmond, in Virginia.

The meeting included the approval of a balanced budget for 2021-2022 and the orientation of 21 new directors. Chuck Pourciau, Trustee Chairman and Senior Pastor of Shreveport, LA, Broadmoor, chaired the meeting.

Hance Dilbeck, president-elect of GuideStone Financial Services and former executive director-treasurer of Oklahoma Baptists, gives a sermon based on Psalm 2 and Acts 4: 23-29 in Richmond, Virginia, Staples Mill Road. IMB photo

The 36 new missionaries were named at a special sending celebration hosted by Glan Allen, Va., Staples Mill Road. Special guest Hance Dilbeck, president-elect of Guidestone, entrusted new missionaries with a scriptural charge and greeted the trustees in plenary session.

Special guests also included Ed Litton, president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) and senior pastor of Saraland, Alabama, Redemption; Kristy Carr, senior hub manager for the Women’s Missionary Union; and Clyde Meador, Executive Vice President Emeritus of IMB.

“We have one mission, and that is to deliver the ‘goods’ to the nations,” Litton said, referring to the SBC’s primary purpose of bringing the gospel to the lost. “I don’t want to miss this opportunity that God has for us, and you are a strategic part of this mission.”

Important for the Great Commission

In his plenary address to the IMB Trustees, IMB President Paul Chitwood expressed God’s favor in the way the Lord led the IMB to tackle abuse and develop a plan to do so. everything in its power to guard against abuse and provide better care to victims.

In 2018-2019, the IMB underwent a review regarding the organization’s handling of past cases and current policies and practices related to the prevention and response to allegations of child abuse and sexual harassment (including sexual assault). The firm that conducted the review made recommendations for new policies and processes to the IMB.

“Over the past two years, we have methodically implemented every recommendation, diligently leading ourselves to the highest standards in abuse prevention and response, including providing compassionate and trauma-informed care,” Chitwood said.

He noted that the IMB has reported all known incidents of suspected child abuse by its staff or others affiliated with the organization that had not been previously reported. The IMB has adopted protocols to systematically report allegations of child abuse by its staff or others affiliated with the IMB to US government authorities, even in situations where there is no obligation. legal to do so, and has adopted protocols for reporting allegations of child abuse to strangers. government authorities. IMB has created and staffed a full-time, high-level position of “Prevention and Response Administrator” to oversee IMB’s prevention and response efforts in sexual abuse and harassment. Upon completion of the firm’s review, the directors and officers accepted and implemented all of the recommendations presented for changes to IMB’s current policies and practices.

“IMB remains absolutely committed to the continuing nature of this task as part of our work both now and into the future,” said Chitwood. “We will do what is necessary to better prevent cases of child abuse and sexual harassment (including sexual assault) and to better support victims while holding perpetrators accountable.

“We can do better than what we did. We must do better. We will do better.

Chitwood stressed that the IMB encourages anyone who has been abused by IMB staff to report it to authorities. In addition, the IMB invites all victims of abuse by IMB staff to contact a confidential hotline at 855 / 420-0003 or send an email to [email protected] or attorney @ imb.org, so that IMB can provide compassionate care to this victim and take appropriate action to keep others safe.

In addition, IMB is committed to providing accurate employment references for each former employee. To help make sound and informed hiring decisions, IMB strongly encourages any church, entity, or other employer who is considering working or partnering with former IMB staff to contact [email protected] to inquire about a reference about that person.

“Based on our experience here at IMB, I would also like to encourage all Southern Baptist entity and all The Southern Baptist Church must be intentional and proactive in reporting abuse, creating policies and procedures to help guard against abuse and to provide compassionate care to victims of abuse, ”said Chitwood. “It’s tough, but we’re incredibly grateful that we did it. “

“As the SBC executive committee is currently dealing with this issue, I have encouraged and continue to encourage them to move forward quickly and decisively with the external investigation,” he said. “In this, they will ensure transparency, regain any lost trust, ensure respect and care for victims, and preserve the cooperative mission work of the Southern Baptists on which [more than] 6,000 adults and children who have left their parents and their country depend, putting their lives on the altar of the Great Commission as our missionary families. “

“Whether we are talking about efforts to prevent abuse and victim care, efforts to develop our mission force, increase our income or provide for our retirees, all of these things are various means to a supreme end.” , said Chitwood. “This end is the fulfillment of the Great Commission.”

Faithful stewardship

On September 30, IMB closes the books for the best year ever, marking a second year of growth for the Lottie Moon® Christmas Offer. By adding donations received for specific Lottie projects to this total of offerings, the Southern Baptists met and exceeded the donation target of $ 175 million set for 2020-2021 in partnership with the Woman’s Missionary Union.

The official launch date for the 2021-2022 Lottie Moon® Christmas Offering was October 1. Churches can visit IMB.org/LMCO to find new resources for their missionary giving.

Chitwood and Price Jett, IMB’s CFO and Treasurer, presented the proposed budget for 2021-2022, balanced with revenue and expenditure both projected at $ 262.2 million, an increase of 6.9 millions of dollars over the previous year’s budget.

Chitwood also reported evidence of God’s favor in the IMB’s finances. In 2018, IMB had enough money set aside to honor just three years of financial commitments and benefits to retired missionaries and staff. Over the past three years, the IMB has prioritized saving sufficient to fully fund these commitments for the lifespan of retired missionaries, a provision which, “to our knowledge, has not been made. previously at IMB, “said Chitwood.

Trustees expressed their gratitude for the service of an active field worker who died on Monday September 27 from cancer. The worker, who served in a high security situation, could not be publicly identified for the safety of his family and national partners with whom he worked.

Trustees also expressed their gratitude to the families who donated nearly $ 1.5 million in estate donations to support IMB missionaries around the world.

Serve ahead

The week included orientation for 21 new trustees elected in June at the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Nashville, Tenn. The new IMB directors are: Tim Akin, Georgia; David Beauchamp, Florida; Pam Butler, Florida; Flossie Castle, North Carolina; Jamie Crutchfield, Texas; David Edmunds, Utah / Idaho; Lori Frances, North Carolina; Donna Garner, Alabama; Jason Gray, Texas; Warren Hessling, Michigan; Kalaishi Johnson, Mississippi; Maria Lopez Torres, Kentucky; Thomas McCormick, Nevada; Michael McMahon, New York; Brenna Norwood, Texas; Barbara Reynolds, Virginia; Arthur Roberts, West Virginia; Will Smith, Oklahoma; Ricky Wilson, Pennsylvania / South Jersey; Chris Winkleman, Illinois; and Benjamin Wright, Texas.

“Three years ago Michelle and I came to IMB with a sense of calling that I tried to communicate to our missionaries in these words: ‘God called us here to do whatever we can. to make sure you have everything you need. do what God called you to do by making disciples of all nations, ”Chitwood told administrators. “But it’s not just us. We’ve got a job to do, a role to play, but so do you, and all the Southern Baptists too. If God has not called you to go, he has called you to send and support those who are called to go.

“While we have a lot to celebrate as Southern Baptists and at IMB, there is still a lot of work to do,” he added. “In fact, our celebration is tempered by the fact that 3,000 groups of people around the world go without witnesses. Our celebration is tempered by the fact that in the world today, 155,473 people have died lost and entered an eternal hell. And that number is not decreasing, it is increasing.

“We cannot slow down. We cannot be distracted. We cannot be divided. We must not be discouraged. The vision of heaven is not yet fulfilled. Nations are waiting. We still have work to do. “

The next sending celebration for new IMB missionaries will be on November 8 in Columbia, SC, First, in conjunction with the annual meeting of the South Carolina Baptist Convention. The next IMB Board meeting is scheduled for February 2-3, 2022 in Richmond, Virginia.


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