COLUMBIA, Md.—General Mission Board members of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware (BCM/D) voted at its last meeting to recommend that messengers honor a change in status request from Baptist Family & Children’s Services (BFCS), said Kerry Hinton, GMB president.
The recommendation will be brought to messengers during the BCM/D’s annual business meeting on Nov. 12 at Ogletown Baptist Church in Newark, Del.
In an official letter of request to the BCM/D, BFCS requested a change in status as an “agency” of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware to the status as an independent faith-based non-profit organization with its own 501(c) (3) status. This will allow the organization to expand its services in the Christian social service field and receive access to larger grants and designated funding opportunities.
“This requested change would benefit BFCS by allowing us to extend our efforts, outreach and working relationships to evangelical, Christian churches other than Baptists,” explained Sandy Wehunt, chairman of the BFCS trustee board. “With a change in status, BFCS would continue to honor our history as a Baptist entity with a defined Baptist heritage, a faith-based organization true to our founding principles.”
Wehunt added, “BFCS is grateful for our history of connection and support through a relationship with BCM/D and convention churches. That history would not change but continue with a strong commitment to serving our churches and working alongside the convention as we have done in the past.”
The status change would also mean election of trustees would become an internal process rather than a BCM/D function.
“Without an identified ‘parent organization’ such as the BCM/D, opportunities become available for a non-profit such as ours to seek grants and designated allocations to aid in ministry efforts,” Wehunt said. “In fundraising, the assumption is often made that the parent organization is capable of providing all the funding necessary to support programming.”
Wehunt said the goals, mission and ministry efforts of BFCS have always been and would continue to focus on giving children and families a new start with the ultimate purpose of pointing them to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
“It is our prayer that as we expand services and move forward under God’s direction, the arms of Jesus will continue to touch lives and reach souls in distress. We are committed to answer God’s call to service and to follow as He leads.”
“We appreciate the work of the Baptist Family & Children’s Services and want the very best for them,” said Hinton.