FRESNO – Changes in California Southern Baptist Convention bylaws related to the number of directors for California Baptist Foundation’s board of directors, and an amended exhibits policy for the CSBC annual meeting were approved during the spring Executive Board meeting May 8-9 in Fresno.
The Board approved the recommendation from the Foundation to reduce the size of its board from 21 to 16 directors. The request requires amending Article IV, Section 1 of the CSBC Bylaws, and will be considered by messengers at the CSBC annual meeting, Oct. 21-22 at Clovis Hills Community Church in Clovis. It must receive a super-majority (at least two-thirds) of votes cast by messengers.
Philip W. Kell, CBF president, said the recommendation was “one of many” that came out of a three-year process of assessing and improving the Foundation’s governance process. Background information for the recommendation noted Foundation directors play a “key role in ensuring the organization stay focused” on its duties assigned by the Convention, and does its work in a manner which is “legally compliant and commercially prudent.”
Kell added it is important for Foundation directors to have “financial and/or legal skills and expertise to oversee and monitor operations.”
The background information also noted that while assets under management at CBF are growing, “the size of the Foundation’s staff has been greatly reduced” to 11 full-time and five part-time employees.
Kell said other Baptist foundations that manage larger assets, have smaller boards than what CBF is requesting.
He explained the reduction would occur through attrition as terms expire, in response to a question from Teresa Juarbe, Executive Board member from Iglesia Bautista Hispana El Calvario in Mountain View.
The Board also approved a recommendation to amend its policy governing exhibits at the CSBC annual meeting to allow “other ministry organizations” to be considered if space is available.
Ron Barker, pastor of First Baptist Church in Tehachapi and chairman of the communications committee, reported the update is needed because of the “changing landscape of California Southern Baptist life” related to services that once were provided by either Southern Baptist Convention or CSBC agencies, which may no longer be available to messengers attending the annual meeting.
The amended policy also gives CSBC staff guidelines for vetting potential exhibitors.
Board members also were apprised of state and federal laws pertaining to churches. Rod Wiltrout, CSBC SENT specialist for Cooperative Program ministries and church finance, noted his ministry has changed during the past five years from basic stewardship services related to budgeting and finance matters, to a myriad of “governmental regulations” with which churches and other non-profit entities must comply.
In response, Montia Setzler, Executive Board chairman, said, “I believe we must be compliant with the law, but also be in a position to not let anything deter us from the mission God has called us to accomplish. Being compliant,” Setzler noted, “sometimes takes away from the mission, but we must be able to stand approved according to the Word, but also by the world (regarding laws).”
Setzler added that California Southern Baptists must learn “how to live in this world, but not be of this world.”
In other business, the Board approved the 2014-15 church planning calendar.
The next Board meeting is set for Sept. 11-12 in Fresno