By Caleb Stallings
RIVERSIDE—The Baptist Foundation of California (BFCal) established an endowment to benefit the California Southern Baptist Convention Pastors’ Conference.
The endowment will provide funds for the annual conference that takes place in conjunction with the CSBC annual meeting each October. The conference provides an opportunity for ministers to gather for fellowship and learn from nationally recognized leaders.
Dr. Anthony Chute, current conference president and professor of church history at California Baptist University, shared his excitement by saying, “The endowment will ensure that pastors in California will continue to hear from a wide variety of high-quality speakers who understand the unique challenges of the pastorate.”
The announcement comes after BFCal president and chief executive officer Dr. Jonathan W. Jarboe met with conference leaders in Riverside to finalize the details of the endowment.
“The successful establishment of this endowment has been a priority goal for us at the Foundation.” According to Jarboe. “We believe it is important for Southern Baptists in California to invest in our pastors as they lead our churches into the future. From conversations I have had with leaders in our state, I anticipate that we will have more than $50,000 in the endowment very soon.”
A CSBC official cheered the endowment saying it will help conference organizers. Pete Ramirez, CSBC associate executive director, said, “This endowment is the smart, right thing to help the upcoming president focus on putting together a great program rather than financial constraints. When I was a pastor, this conference was an important time for me to grow professionally and spiritually.”
The Foundation and its partners hope these funds will be a blessing to current and future generations of California pastors. “The benefit of endowments is to provide funds that last forever,” said Robert K. Duncan, BFCal chief investment officer. “Their rewards are always long-term and will be managed with
future generations in mind.”
Dr. Chute echoed Duncan’s sentiment by saying the endowment “represents an investment in serving pastors for years to come.”
Ramirez emphasized the need for institutions like the Foundation that develop and nurture those serving in ministry. “Pastors spend so much time pouring into people’s lives,” he said. “We need to remember that they need to be spiritually fed by experienced leaders who know how to invest in them.”
For Jason Robertson, senior pastor of Huntington Beach Baptist Church and president of the 2023 CSBC Pastors’ Conference, the endowment represents the best in Baptist collaboration. “The genius behind the Southern Baptist movement is the willingness to partner together to accomplish things greater than any one church or organization can accomplish,” he explained.
“This endowment is in that spirit. (It) will bring together everyone in California who wants to enhance the efforts of Southern Baptists.”
Individuals interested in contributing to the CSBC Pastors’ Conference Endowment can do so by going to
(Caleb Stallings is director of marketing for The Baptist Foundation of California based in Ontario.)