Baptist World Alliance Proposes Budget Cuts

Mar 10, 2003 02:13 PM EST

WASHINGTON -- The BWA general secretary pointed to a volatile and declining stock market, decreased membership support, and a shift in local church offerings as the reason for the deficit.

The BWA "cannot continue to function in a deficit situation continually using its reserves," Lotz said. "Drastic situations require drastic measures."

The 53-member BWA committee proposed a reduction in the BWA publications and salary. For the first time in BWA history, the staff will not receive any salary or cost of living increases.

Lotz also introduced various initiatives for consideration by the Council including: the annual BWA offering, expanded BWA membership to incorporate local churches and institutions and a “fair share” document that would provide a financial guideline for existing BWA member bodies.

"There is only so much that staff can do to cut expenditures," Lotz said.

"We have to increase income as well as cut costs," Lotz continued, referring to the current BWA headquarter building.

"The good news is that our new building is completely paid for and has made living with our deficit possible these past two years."

Currently, the BWA building leases its first floor for revenue; 2000 additional square feet of space will be offered in the coming financial calendar.

Ellen Teague, the BWA's finance and administration director noted the 13.3 decrease in BWA investments; BWA equity funds have been moved to fixed funds in light of the unstable market, and will be moved back after the market retires.

Teague said the budget and finance committee had increased their meetings to address the problem and will now meet monthly to review the situation. The BWA general committee will assess the proposed budget during its annual meeting. The July conference will be held in Seoul, Korea.

By Pauline J.