GuideStone Financial Resources trustees affirmed a new strategic plan for the Southern Baptist Convention entity during their meeting in Plano, Texas. Trustees also recognized Hawkins, president emeritus of GuideStone, by renaming a special fund, the O.S. and Susie Hawkins Emergency Grant Fund for Mission:Dignity recipients.
Meanwhile, trustees reelected John Hoychick Jr. chairman and David Cox vice chairman.
GuideStone President Hance Dilbeck told trustees.“The strategy pursues stronger, more efficient and effective SBC ministry partnerships in order to expand our Kingdom reach.
“A year ago now, when O.S. Hawkins passed the baton to me, he reminded me that the chair of his search committee told him, ‘take something great and make it greater,’” Dilbeck said. “We’re placing this new strategic plan under the word, ‘Reach.’ That’s what the word Reach is about — taking something great and making it greater. We’re thankful for the foundation that we are building on so we can make an even greater impact for our members and ministry partners.”
The new strategy flows from GuideStone’s vision (“Every servant of Christ finishes well”) and mission (“We enhance financial security and resilience for those who serve the Lord.”)
Dilbeck tied the mission and vision to 1 Timothy 4:16: Pay close attention to your life and your teaching; persevere in these things, for in doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers.
Along with executive leadership and staff at GuideStone, trustees Hoychick (LA), Cox (MI), Deana F. Hames (GA) and Randall T. Hahn (VA) participated in the development of the strategy.
With the retirement of longtime chief operating officer John R. Jones, the board elected Chu Soh to succeed Jones and Nadeena Kersey as chief insurance officer. Kersey joined the ministry last year, and Soh joined GuideStone as chief insurance officer in June 2020. Jones will serve the remainder of 2023 as special assistant to the executive office.
The Hawkins fund was established to provide the emergency needs of the financially poorest Mission:Dignity recipients. Those emergency needs could include hearing aids, eyeglasses, dentures, medical bills and home repairs. Today, Mission:Dignity recipients in this income level earn an average of $1,033 monthly.
“One of the dear pastor widows we serve makes even less,” Aaron Meraz, director of Mission:Dignity, told trustees.
“Her monthly income is less than $900, and recently she needed new eyeglasses that would cost her $550,” Meraz noted. “We were able to come alongside her because of these grants and help ensure she could have the glasses she needs.”
Meraz told trustees the Hawkins Emergency Grant Fund is in addition to gifts given to continue to provide monthly grants to more than 2,800 retired pastors and their widows.
EDITOR’S NOTE — This story was written by Roy Hayhurst and originally published by GuideStone Financial Resources.