Baptist News Summary: Nat'l CP 5.98% above YTD budget projection


Nat'l CP 5.98% above YTD budget projection

NASHVILLE (BP) — Contributions to Southern Baptist national and international missions and ministries received by the SBC Executive Committee in February were 5.98 percent above the projected budget for the first five months of the current fiscal year and 0.47 percent above the amount received during the same period last year, according to a news release from SBC Executive Committee Interim President and Executive Vice President D. August Boto.

As of Feb. 28, gifts received by the Executive Committee for distribution through the CP Allocation Budget totaled $85,669,790.34, or $397,478.32 above the $85,272,312.02 received through the first five months of the 2017–2018 fiscal year. The fiscal year begins on Oct. 1. The February YTD total is $4,836,457.01 above the $80,833,333.33 YTD allocation budget projection to support Southern Baptist ministries globally and across North America.

The Cooperative Program is Southern Baptists' channel of giving, begun in 1925, through which a local church can contribute to the ministries of its state convention and the missions and ministries of the SBC through a unified giving plan to support both sets of ministries. Monies include receipts from individuals, churches, and state conventions for distribution according to the 2018-2019 Cooperative Program Allocation Budget.

Univ. of Mobile president Tim Smith resigns

MOBILE, Ala. (BP) — Tim Smith, president of the University of Mobile since May 2016, has resigned, according to a news release issued by the university.

Tim Smith

Smith "cited personal reasons" for his resignation, the university's March 1 news release stated, providing no further information. A university spokesperson contacted by Baptist Press cited the news release as the only information being made available.

Trustees announced after a March 1 meeting that interim leadership for the university was named and a nationwide search for a new president will begin.

Current trustee chairman Fred Wilson was named interim president with David Conner becoming trustee chairman.

N.C. mission volunteer dies in Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (BP) — Paul Fisher, the leader of a North Carolina Baptist mission team repairing roofs in Puerto Rico, died Feb. 28 in a swimming accident near San Juan. He was 36.

Paul Fisher (right in brown shirt), pictured here earlier this week after fixing a roof damaged by Hurricane Maria, died Feb. 28 while leading a mission team in Puerto Rico. He is survived by his wife Carrie (left in hat and neon shirt). BAPTIST PRESS/Submitted

Fisher and his wife Carrie were heading up a team assembled by North Carolina Baptists on Mission to fix homes damaged by Hurricane Maria in 2017. On Thursday, the team completed their work for the day early and went to the beach to swim. A riptide pulled Fisher underwater and he drowned despite the team's 30-minute effort to resuscitate him, according to an email from Richard Brunson, executive director of North Carolina Baptists on Mission.

Paul and Carrie Fisher had opted not to buy a house in Charlotte, N.C., where they both worked -- Paul in construction and Carrie as an administrator for a mission organization -- so they could do missions fulltime, Brunson said. They both resigned their jobs earlier this year and moved at the beginning of February to New Bern, N.C., to serve for at least the next three years as assistant site coordinators for North Carolina Baptist rebuilding efforts following Hurricane Florence.

Jim Futral to retire as Miss. convention exec

JACKSON, Miss. (BP) — Jim Futral, executive director-treasurer of the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board, has announced his retirement, effective Oct. 31 of this year.

Jim Futral 

Futral, 74, has led the Mississippi convention for 20 years, since Sept. 1, 1998.

At the time of his unanimous election by the mission board, Futral was the convention's president and a pastor in Jackson. He also was a member of the Southern Baptist Convention's Executive Committee and a member of the local Metro Baptist Association's executive committee. Futral chaired the MBCB executive committee from 1993-96 and was a member the previous three years.

Futral had led Broadmoor Baptist Church since 1985, previously serving six churches in Mississippi and two in Texas dating back to 1964.

In a letter announcing his retirement, Futral stated, "While I was and am and always will forever be a pastor, it has been my joy to seek to shepherd the greater flock across our state.

IMB website to better serve Southern Baptists

RICHMOND, Va. (BP) — The International Mission Board's website — — has launched a new home page and renovation of other online pages to make it easier for Southern Baptists to partner with the IMB in global mission praying, giving, going and sending. Redesign — The International Mission Board recently redesigned its main site,, with streamlined design, simplified navigation and stunning images. 

"Successful cooperation," IMB President Paul Chitwood noted, "is dependent on successful communication, and improving our communication with you -- Southern Baptist churches and individuals -- is a primary, immediate goal at the IMB."

Visitors to the site are met with aesthetic changes -- streamlined design, simplified navigation and stunning images. Top navigation to the home page quickly leads users to ways they can: pray, give, and go.

The IMB web team said the current design update is the first step of a process to redesign the entire site and develop efficient and effective tools for deepening relationships and partnerships with Southern Baptist churches and church members.

LifeWay's Brad Waggoner named acting president, CEO

LifeWay Christian Resources Executive Vice President Brad Waggoner has been named acting president and CEO of the Southern Baptist entity until a new president is named.

Brad Waggoner 

Waggoner will serve in the role previously held by Thom S. Rainer who announced his retirement in August 2018, a LifeWay news release announced Mar. 4.

Since 2010 Waggoner has served as LifeWay's executive vice president and COO, overseeing daily operations and helping provide strategic leadership of the organization.

"It is an honor and privilege to take this role, even for a short season," Waggoner said.  "LifeWay is a global leader in providing relevant, trustworthy, biblical resources and events for all ages. We will continue to fulfill LifeWay's mission, build on the path set before us and serve to the glory of God."

IMB, Jim Futral, LifeWay, national CP, North Carolina Baptists, University of Mobile