Springfield | The September 12 IBSA Board of Directors meeting was business as usual, with a surprise emotional moment.
Mark Emerson, associate executive director for the Church Resources Team, reported on the ongoing Illinois Baptist Disaster Relief efforts by volunteers serving in the Houston area following Hurricane Harvey. Emerson shared about the high cost of the deployment—about $1,000 per trailer and $500 per carload of people, plus expenses when they get there.
Board member Rodney Groff was so touched by Emerson’s report, he made a motion for the board to take up an offering. “If we could all give $10 each, we could send a carload of people to the flooded area,” Groff said. When the offering was counted, exactly $500 had been received.
Also during the meeting, IBSA Executive Director Nate Adams encouraged the board to invite their fellow church members to attend the IBSA Annual Meeting and Pastors’ Conference November 7-9 at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Decatur. The theme of this year’s meeting is “Pioneering Spirit,” celebrating the pioneer spirit “so needed in a state where the vast majority of people do not know Christ,” Adams said.
In his Executive Director’s report, Adams noted, “IBSA seeks to inspire giving in cooperation with churches,” and that he is “hopeful to see a rebound in Mission Illinois Offering giving” this year.
Adams also introduced a new pastor appreciation prayer emphasis for the month of October. In late September, IBSA staff will personally contact all of the Association’s nearly 900 pastors by phone or e-mail for their prayer requests.
“We’ll pray for ministry and personal prayer requests. If you have a confidential prayer request, we will pray,” said Adams. “We’ll also provide a prayer guide on our website for you to pray in an intense way for your pastor. As the church goes, there goes the pastor.”
In other business:
- Members elected Mark Davis (Woodland Baptist, Peoria) to serve as chair; Cliff Easter (First Baptist, Metropolis) to serve as vice chair; and Jeanette Cloyd (North Side Baptist, Fairfield) to serve as secretary.
- The board approved an overspend of up to $24,000 to be allowed for the properties budget related to the maintenance of the HVAC units at the IBSA Building.
- The board approved the 2018 Cooperative Program budget of $6.3 million, the same as in 2017. If approved by messengers at the Annual Meeting in November, IBSA will forward 43.5% of Cooperative Program monies to the Southern Baptist Convention, with 56.5% remaining for missions work in Illinois, the same as in 2017.
- IBSA staff members were recognized for years of service, including Sylvan Knobloch, (right in photo) director of church leadership for the Church Resources Team, who will retire in December after 38 years with IBSA; Drew Heironimus, director of information services for the Church Cooperation Team, who has served with IBSA for 20 years; and Pat Pajak, associate executive director of evangelism for the Church Resources Team, who has served on the IBSA staff for 10 years.