28 Feb 2013
Facing a $642,000 budget shortfall, Florida Baptists are cutting cutting funds for the Baptist College of Florida, Florida Baptist Children’s Homes, the Florida Baptist Witness newspaper, and eliminating four staff positions with the Florida Baptist Convention.
The cuts, approved Feb. 7 by the State Board of Missions, reduces the Florida Baptist Cooperative Program budget from $31.6 million to $31 million, according to the Florida Baptist Witness.
Funding for the Baptist College of Florida was cut $101,150; the Children’s Homes lost $79,080; and Florida Baptist Witness will receive $19,770 less this year. The loss of four staff positions further reduces the number of employees with the Florida Baptist Convention, which has seen its workforce reduced by more than 30 percent.
The newspaper reports that giving by Florida churches has declined from $41 million in 2007 to $31 million in 2012. But it also quoted Orlando pastor Clayton Cloer, who said 37 more churches contributed to the Cooperative Program in 2012 than the previous year, and that 42 percent of the Baptist churches in Florida increased their giving in 2012.
Executive Director John Sullivan said the budget cuts were based on a commitment to avoid deficit spending, funding resunctions by the North American Mission Baord, and a pledge to increase funds dedicated to the Southern Baptist Cooperative Fund. The increase in Cooperative Fund from 40 percent to 50 percent means more money goes to programs and causes outside the state of Florida.
FROM The Religion World