Published Sep 20, 2022
FRESNO—The announcement that California Southern Baptist Convention has become Send Network California with the North American Mission Board was announced to the CSBC Executive Board at the fall meeting Sept. 16.
Board members also approved a 2023 proposed budget of $6.3 million which includes a Cooperative Program objective of $6 million, unchanged from the 2022 budget. The recommendation increases gifts to the Southern Baptist Convention to 36 percent, up 1 percent. The increase would provide an additional $60,000 to the SBC if the objective is met.
In announcing Send Network California, Pete Ramirez, CSBC executive director, said, “Now, more than ever, we have a clear understanding that we must work together as a Convention. We are in a post-Covid era and many of our churches have felt the impact. We have no choice but to rethink both how to plant churches and where to plant churches.” (See separate article.)
The announcement also came in conjunction with the retirement of Ross Shepherd who has led California’s church planting efforts for the past five years. Ross served as a longtime CSBC church planting catalyst. He also worked for NAMB as part of Send Los Angeles.
Establishing SEND Network California is not only in line with Ramirez’s “Better Together” vision, but signifies the return to an important gospel partnership. Board members presented questions regarding the new venture and agreed to step forward in supporting the endeavor with the intent to reevaluate in the months ahead.
Shawn Beaty, senior pastor of Clovis Hills Community Church in Clovis thanked Shepherd for his support through the years. “He was my church starting strategist when I was planting (in Oceanside). You have made an incredible impact in my life. Thank you for all you’ve done to minister to me through the years. I know God is not done with you.”
Beaty also shared his excitement about the new partnership. “I’m ecstatic! As someone who was part of SEND San Diego, I saw how beneficial it was and how many new works could get started. We are now going to see an emphasis on church planting, evangelism, and replanting from the top to the bottom of our state.”
He continued, “As a pastor, it feels like a new day of cooperation in California, and that gets me more excited about the Cooperative Program because our entities are working together.”
In the proposed budget, the allocations for The Baptist Foundation of California and California Baptist University were unchanged and remain at 1 percent and 2 percent, respectively. The 1 percent increase to the SBC was offset by a 1 percent decrease to CSBC Executive Board ministries from 62 percent to 61 percent.
The CSBC allocation is still the largest amount in the proposed spending plan at $3.66 million followed by the SBC at $2.16 million, CBU at $120,000 and BFC at $60,000. These allocations are only valid if the CP objective is realized. The proposed financial plan calls for gifts more than the goal to be administered at the discretion of the Executive Board.
The proposed recommendation will be considered by messengers attending the CSBC Annual Meeting on October 25-26 when they meet at Bryte Church in West Sacramento.
The Board also approved a 2023 California Mission Offering goal of $400,000. The goal is unchanged from 2022. As of Aug. 31, gifts to CMO totaled $180,106. Beginning in January materials for the 2023 offering will be available for churches to use anytime during the calendar year.
Members also approved 14 new churches for membership. In presenting churches for consideration, Dale Garland, chairman of the Convention Membership Committee, said the congregations represent the diversity of California. Those approved were Anselm Bible Church, Los Angeles; Arise and Go, Chula Vista; Believers Christian Center, San Bernardino; Bridges Christian Fellowship, Riverside; and The Holy Missionary Baptist Church of Pomona.
Also, Iglesia Cristiana Puente de Vida, San Diego; Iglesia Gracia, Vista; Iglesia mas Vida, Rialto; Knott Avenue Christian Church, Anaheim; and Kurdish Christian Church of America, El Cajon.
Additionally, Luz en Cristo, Solvang; Mountain View Community Church, Fontana; Primera Iglesia Bautista de Tulare; and Revival Christian Church, Sacramento.
Business Services Committee Chairperson Becky Duron reported the committee reviewed the CSBC Salary Administration for 2023 and approved a 5 percent cost-of-living increase for all Executive Board positions.
The Board elected officers for 2023 and include Beaty, who was elected chairman, and Jonathan Sakovich, senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Walnut Valley, who was elected vice chairman.
Board members also elected Bushawn Carpenter, pastor of Total Restoration Church in Barstow, to serve as the member-at-large representative to the Board’s Executive Committee in 2023.
The Board’s next meeting is slated January 25-27 in Fresno.
(*Sarah Graham, director, of the CSBC Office of Communications also contributed to this article.)