Reporting to messengers in Decatur, the Baptist Foundation of Illinois announced it has earned accreditation from the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA). The Foundation also has produced a new biblical stewardship study, Executive Director Doug Morrow said in his report at the IBSA Annual Meeting.
Morrow (pictured above) said the ECFA membership “recognizes BFI’s commitment to transparency and excellence as a ministry and servant of the church.” The ECFA has seven standards of responsible stewardship, all drawn from the Bible, which each ministry it accredits is required to uphold. Through Nov. 1, BFI has distributed $327,460 in gift endowments and has earned more than $1 million for its clients.
Morrow also announced BFI will release the first in a series of eight videos on Biblical Financial Management, along with a workbook for families and churches. The materials will be available Nov. 15 at baptistfoundationil.org. Each week, one new module will be released and sent at no cost to churches and individuals who register.
Describing the free series, Morrow said, “They will cover topics ranging from budgeting and margin creation to how to create a legacy plan and wealth transfer at the end of our lives here on earth. In short, this resource is designed to provide the church with an essential tool to help their congregations become excellent in the areas of stewardship and generosity.” Watch a brief video introducing the series here.
Through the Church Legacy Program, Morrow shared BFI helped 28 Illinois Baptist congregations create legacy funds before closing that “provide ongoing support for missions and ministry in the church’s name, ensuring that the good work God has done will not be forgotten, will be honored, and continues to help expand his kingdom.”
BFI also awarded nearly $80,000 scholarships to Illinois students in 2020. Applications for the 2021-22 academic year will be received beginning Jan. 1, 2021.
Discussing the overall mission of the Foundation, Morrow said, “We engage in this conversation about generosity and stewardship because it truly matters. As followers of Jesus, we are most like God when we give as he gave, when we sacrifice for others as an echo of God’s great sacrifice for us, and when our faith is placed in Him—our eternal provider—rather than in something as temporary as resources here on the earth.”
In business, messengers approved the 2021 operational budget of $359,390 and Board of Trustees officers: Chair David Grove, First Baptist Church, Fairview Heights Chair; Vice Chair Newlin Wollaston, Mt. Carmel Children of God, Chicago; and Secretary David Chumley, First Baptist Church, O’Fallon.