O.S. Hawkins addressed messengers June 15 in his last presidential report for GuideStone Financial Resources.
Hawkins is retiring next year. At the March 2022 trustee meeting, he will move to president emeritus role having served 25 years at the helm of GuideStone. Hance Dilbeck, who starts July 1 as president elect, will move to the Hawkins’ former role as president and CEO. Dilbeck is leaving his role as executive director-treasurer of Oklahoma Baptists, where he has served since 2018.
Reflecting on the past year, Hawkins noted that “when the pandemic hit, we didn’t miss a beat.”
“We’ve just had the greatest year in the history” of GuideStone, he said.
Hawkins highlighted features of GuideStone, including Mission:Dignity and its insurance offerings. Hawkins pledged to continue writing his code books, such as “The Christmas Code” and “The Joshua Code,” which raise money for Mission:Dignity.
‘You are loved’
“Half a million Christmas code books were sold” last year, Hawkins said. “Every time someone purchases these” it helps Mission:Dignity.
“That check we send out every month, it is not an SBC welfare check. It is an honorarium” and a message to those who receive funds: “You are not forgotten and you’re loved.”
Hawkins said funds help those ministers and spouses who live on very limited incomes and with little to no retirement accounts helping them pay their bills with a monthly stipend and/or help with unexpected costs or extra costs.
The property and casualty part of GuideStone has a 98–99% renewal rate.
“We want to serve your church,” Hawkins stressed. “No one knows the church better than GuideStone.”
Messenger Mathew Vroman, pastor of First Baptist Church, Sikeston, Missouri, questioned Hawkins about insurance costs through GuideStone’s plan.
“We can’t force people to be in our health plan,” Hawkins said. “We have to compete every day. Health insurance is not affordable.”
But he promised the organization is working to make the costs as affordable as they can.
Dilbeck shared his “deep respect for O.S. and Susie” Hawkins and expressed his gratefulness to GuideStone’s trustees. He promised to serve well and asked for prayers. GuideStone’s report ended with a time of prayer over Dilbeck, led by Hawkins.