PADUCAH – Messengers to the 176th Annual Meeting of the Kentucky Baptist Convention will be asked to consider the partnership between KBC and Georgetown College Nov. 12 in Paducah.
Originally set for discussion at the 2012 KBC Annual Meeting, the convention’s mission board decided to table the issue following the announced retirement of then-Georgetown President Bill Crouch.
Acting on a recommendation from the convention’s administrative committee, the mission board agreed to postpone presenting a motion to messengers to end the partnership with the college until after a new president was in place.
Following a meeting last week between KBC Executive Director-Treasurer Paul Chitwood and Georgetown’s new president, Dwaine Greene, Chitwood said he anticipates the motion to conclude the partnership will make it to the convention floor this year.
He said the meeting was “cordial” and included an honest assessment of the current relationship between KBC and the college.
After Georgetown College’s decision to withdraw from its covenant relationship with the Kentucky Baptist Convention in 2005, Kentucky Baptists adopted a partnership agreement to guide future dealings between the two entities.
Georgetown College requested to end its covenant agreement with the KBC in 2005 to establish a self-perpetuating board of trustees, meet Phi Beta Kappa academic standards and to expand its donor base.
Georgetown has not received Cooperative Program funds since 2009.
According to the terms of the partnership agreement, either party may choose to terminate the partnership with a notice of one year.
In 2010, a special KBC committee was formed to review the partnership. The panel recommended to the administrative committee that the convention forego the partnership to place greater focus on affiliated agencies and institutions in covenant agreements with the convention.
Even if messengers vote to conclude the partnership, Chitwood and Greene noted that a cordial parting still allows possibilities for the future.
“We (KBC) left the door open for Georgetown to come back into the Kentucky Baptist family as a covenant partner anytime they choose, notwithstanding the expectations Kentucky Baptists have for any agency or institution in which we invest our missions offerings.”
Greene said he hoped that his meeting with Chitwood did not close avenues for future cooperation.
“I hope that there is a possibility that a different form of relationship could be established at a later point between the KBC and the college,” he said.
Such a relationship “would acknowledge the longstanding Baptist traditions of Georgetown College, and the desire of the college to find appropriate avenues for service with Kentucky Baptists,” Greene added.
Chitwood said he provided Greene his cellphone number and invited him to call anytime to share whatever ideas Georgetown might have to work with KBC.
The motion that the administrative committee will present to the KBC Mission Board Nov. 11 to consider placing before messengers to the Nov. 12 annual meeting at Lone Oak First Baptist Church in Paducah, reads:
“In these days of limited resources and a more focused ministry assignment, Kentucky Baptists are choosing to invest Christian education resources, energies and attention on our institutions that are in covenant agreement with the Kentucky Baptist Convention. Therefore the KBC will terminate its ministry partnership with Georgetown College pursuant to the memorandum of understanding between the parties dated Nov. 15, 2005. Upon expiration of the ministry partnership, the KBC will no longer maintain a partnership agreement with Georgetown College, which elected to terminate its Covenant Agreement with the KBC in 2005. We appreciate the Baptist foundation of Georgetown College and offer our prayers for their endeavors to serve Christ and His Kingdom.”
For complete information on the 2013 KBC Annual Meeting, visit www.kybaptist.org/annualmeeting.