“When the pandemic hit, we didn’t miss a beat,” Hawkins said. “We’ve just had the greatest year in the history” of GuideStone.
Looking out across the convention hall, Hawkins said messengers have proved they are ready to get out and move around.
Hawkins highlighted features of GuideStone, including Mission:Dignity and its insurance offerings.
Referring to his 25th anniversary next year, Hawkins informed messengers that at the March 2022 trustee meeting, he will move to president emeritus role and 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.
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.
Hawkins pledged to continue writing his code books, such as “The Christmas Code” and “The Joshua Code,” which raise money for Mission:Dignity.
“Half a million Christmas Code books were sold” last year, he 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.
GuideStone’s booth in the exhibit hall was referenced for wellness checks (estimated cost is $150) and a place to discuss questions and concerns messengers had.
GuideStone’s report ended with a time of prayer over Dilbeck, led by Hawkins.