The Coordinating Council of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship approved a doubling of funds to the Baptist World Alliance during a Feb. 20 meeting.
Although the addition of the $20 thousand is well welcomed, especially during this time in the history of the BWA, when its largest supporter- the Southern Baptist Convention – dedided to withdraw funding and membership. The messengers to the SBC are expected to approve the split this June, and reallocate their $300,000 to a different, SBC- led Global network of conservative baptist.
The reason for the split, as explained by the SBC, is due to a difference in theologies and goals between the two network of Baptists. However, many believe the CBF’s election to membership in BWA last year was the central reason for the split; the CBF is a “break-off” felowship from the SBC during the 90’s.
"Our acceptance into the BWA wasn't in our strategic plan," the CBF representative to the BWA, Daniel Vestal, said. "But it seemed to be the right thing to do."
According to Vestal, the CBF moderator-elect Bob Setzer f Macon, Ga., is studying on how CBF can relate most effectively with the BWA. Also, as a means to better unite, the BWA General Secretary Denton Lot will host a breakfast and breakout session during the upcoming CBF general assembly in Birmingham, Ala.
The proposed raise in funds are part of the $16 million budget assessed by the CBF. In addition to the additional $20,000 per year, the CBF also approved giving an additional “special offering” to the BWA.
Meanwhile, the council reduced funds for other partner orgniations, including the Associated Baptist Press, Baptist Center for Ethics, Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs, Baptists Today newsjournal and about a dozen institutions for theological education.