SBC EC eliminates staff positions

The SBC Executive Committee made staff adjustments on Sept. 13 that eliminated five staff positions and two contractor positions, according to a statement.

“Over the past few weeks, our current leadership and officers met at length to determine various ways to most effectively steward the resources provided to us by Southern Baptist churches,” said Jonathan Howe, EC interim president. “As a result, our financial realities have led to an organizational restructuring and the reduction of staff and operational expenses.”

The staff was made aware of the changes Wednesday morning. The restructuring leaves 21 full-time employees at the EC.

“We are thankful for the service those affected have given to Southern Baptists and the SBC Executive Committee. The continuing staff are fully committed to accomplishing the messenger-approved ministry assignments given to the EC,” Howe said in the statement.

The board is set to vote on the approval of a 2023-2024 SBC EC and SBC operating budget at its regularly scheduled meeting next week.

In February, EC members were told that the organization realized a significant net loss of more than $6 million in assets during the 2021-2022 fiscal year.

“Over the past few years, the EC has incurred significant expenses from investigations and legal fees,” said Mike Bianchi, the EC’s interim chief financial officer, in written comments for Baptist Press. “This has led to a substantial erosion of EC reserves, necessitating considerable expense reductions to avoid entirely depleting cash reserves.

“The adjustments are an important stopgap to extend the life of the cash reserves, but despite the expense reductions, the EC will still have to draw from reserves to cover ongoing investigation and legal expenses in the 2023-2024 budget,” Bianchi said.

According to the SBC’s website, “the Executive Committee receives and distributes funds given for the various missions, evangelism, educational, and ministry enterprises for the Southern Baptist Convention, plans and manages the annual meeting, publishes the Convention Annual, assists Convention committees, handles legal matters, and provides staff assistance to the elected officials of the Convention.”

In addition, the EC:

  • handles any matters that have not been otherwise assigned specifically to any entity arising between Convention sessions.
  • is responsible for Cooperative Program promotion.
  • manages the Southern Baptist Foundation.
  • operates Baptist Press.
  • provides a convention relations office.

The EC is scheduled to meet in Nashville Sept. 18-19.

— Brandon Porter serves as associate vice president for convention news at the SBC Executive Committee.