While 2020 has been unprecedented on so many levels, GuideStone President O.S. Hawkins said the year has held its share of blessings for the ministry and its participants.
Mission:Dignity® is on pace for a record year in 2020, likely exceeding $10 million in gifts. In response to large numbers of churches not meeting earlier in the summer, Mission:Dignity Sunday, on the SBC calendar for the fourth Sunday in June, was moved for 2020 to August. Southern Baptists responded with more than $1 million given for Mission:Dignity Sunday — a record gift.
Another record set this year came on the annual #GivingTuesday, when almost $900,000 was received from donors.
100% of gifts to Mission:Dignity go directly to the aid of a retirement-age pastor or his widow; administrative costs are funded from an endowment established many years ago. The ministry is funded by gifts of individuals, churches and Sunday school classes. It receives no Cooperative Program gifts.
GuideStone® continues its work to reflect the ethnic diversity of the Southern Baptist Convention and recognizes the inherent strength of a diverse workplace. At the end of 2020, non-Anglo employees account for about 20% of GuideStone employees, up from 9.8% at the beginning of this millennium. Kasan Boyd, a 14-year veteran of GuideStone with experience in training and Human Resources, has moved into a new role to lead these intentional efforts.GuideStone currently has six African American trustees, including the first African American woman to serve as chair of an SBC entity trustee board.
Dr. Chu Soh, a retired U.S. Air Force officer and health care industry executive, and a native of South Korea, joined GuideStone as chief insurance officer in June. Prior to joining GuideStone, Soh served as chief operating officer for a large health sharing organization, growing it from 23,000 households in 2013 to more than 150,000 households last year.
As the churches and ministries GuideStone serves navigated the COVID-19 pandemic and began considering and implementing their regathering efforts, the ministry provided early and frequent updates on its website and through emails and social media. These were designed to help pastors and other church leaders navigate this uncertain year. More than 20,000 unique visitors accessed the content directly from the website, and many more accessed content provided through other channels.
While not directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic, GuideStone made proactive efforts to assist churches impacted from this record-setting year of hurricanes and tropical storms. GuideStone offered resources to help churches in its property and casualty program, as well as other churches they serve, navigate the claims process, reopening considerations and damage mitigation.
During a meeting of the GuideStone trustee board on September 28, trustees voted to establish a presidential search committee to begin the task of identifying the eighth president of GuideStone.
The action was taken at the request of our current president, Dr. O.S. Hawkins, who marked his 23rd anniversary as president on October 1.
No timeline has been set regarding Hawkins’ eventual retirement. He assumed the presidency of GuideStone in 1997 and has seen the ministry grow into the sponsor of the largest faith-based mutual fund family in the U.S. Including the mutual funds, GuideStone has almost $19 billion in assets under management as of November 30, 2020. Among GuideStone’s greatest accomplishments is in seeing Mission:Dignity raise more than $175 million during his tenure.
Recommendations and resumes can be sent to the committee by forwarding them until January 15, 2021. Resumes or recommendations can be sent via email to Tim.Head@GuideStone.org or through the mail to Timothy E. Head, Executive Officer of Denominational and Public Relations, GuideStone, 5005 LBJ Freeway, Ste. 2200, Dallas, Texas 75244-6152.
The presidential search committee includes:
The committee also includes trustee board Chairperson Renée Trewick of New York and trustee board Vice Chairman Johnny Hoychick of Louisiana as ex officio members of the committee.
Roy Hayhurst is director of denominational and public relations services for GuideStone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention®.