June 28, 2017
ATLANTA — Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Executive Coordinator Suzii Paynter announced at the Fellowship’s 25th Anniversary Celebration Dinner today that CBF has surpassed its $12-million fundraising goal for an endowment campaign it launched last June in Greensboro, N.C.
Total gifts and pledges for the campaign, which is focused on the long-term sustainability of Fellowship missions and ministries, has reached $12,103,062.98.
Driven by a passion to see spiritual and social transformation through Jesus Christ, CBF embarked on the effort to support the long-term presence of field personnel in global missions, to help form healthy congregations and to nurture young Baptists.
Nearly 80 percent of the campaign goal will increase CBF’s endowments, which will help sustain CBF ministry for the next 25 years. Additional funds will support block grants to the Fellowship’s 18 state and regional organizations for ministry in their areas.
On the state and regional level, the grants will support church starts and young leadership development, theological education and Together for Hope, clergy wellness and asset based community development, and retreats and camps for clergy, laity and students.
Lead contributors included the Eula Mae and John Baugh Foundation; Christ is Our Salvation Foundation and Patricia and Robert Ayres. CBF congregations gave in excess of $700,000, as well as CBF partner organizations, theological schools, foundations and many more individuals.
Of the $12 million, half will support CBF Global Missions. Specifically, that portion of the campaign will help sustain the long-term presence of field personnel ministering in 30 countries, reinstate a two-year mission apprenticeship program and impact the poorest counties in the United States through the Fellowship’s rural poverty initiative, Together for Hope.
At the 25th anniversary event, CBF named the mission apprenticeship program, called the CBF Global Service Corps, after Dick and Jesmarie Hurst for their commitment to volunteer medical missions alongside CBF field personnel. Dick Hurst died in 2014 and an estate gift given by Dick and Jesmarie Hurst formed the foundation of an endowment fund, the earnings of which will help fund the work of Global Service Corps missioners into the future.
CBF’s ministries that help form healthy congregations will receive $4 million in support from the campaign. Thriving churches are the cornerstone of the Fellowship, and the campaign will support an intentional congregational renewal process, advocacy work that assists others in finding their voice, church starting initiatives and financial literacy programs for congregations and pastoral leaders.
The campaign will also serve to equip and nurture young Baptists for their Christian journey by adding $2 million in endowment support for theological education, scholarships, retreat experiences and church internships.
CBF Executive Coordinator Suzii Paynter said this campaign celebrates our foundations as it assists in sustaining the future of CBF.
“Christ’s love is compelling us to greater ministry near and far to ‘unleash Heaven’s kingdom here on earth,’” Paynter said, quoting from the Fellowship’s commissioned anniversary anthem called “Christ’s Love Compels Us.” “Celebrating our 25th Anniversary has been an opportunity to invest in the future of CBF. It has been opportunity to invest in missions, in ministry, in our identity and in our young Baptists. It has been an opportunity to partner with other people and with other churches in support of the great multiplication of God’s work in the world.”
Jeff Huett, CBF’s Associate Coordinator of Communications and Advancement, who coordinated the campaign, expressed thanks to the dedicated campaign leaders and volunteers that spanned the Fellowship to spread the vision of sustaining the work of CBF into the future through this effort.
“In all, this was a two-year effort that has encouraged many people and churches to invest financially in our collective impact. It’s amazing what we can do together in this Fellowship when we’re responsive to what Christ is compelling us to do.”
For more information about the campaign, including options for making a gift, visit www.cbf.net/25thcampaign.
CBF is a Christian Network that helps people put their faith to practice through ministry efforts, global missions and a broad community of support. The Fellowship’s mission is to serve Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission.