GuideStone® President O.S. Hawkins thanked Southern Baptists for their support, prayers and the opportunity to serve the 103-year-old ministry as he gave his final report to messengers meeting June 15, 2021, in Nashville. Hawkins last year asked trustees to appoint a Presidential Search Committee, chaired by retired Kansas pastor and trustee Steve Dighton. Last month, trustees unanimously elected D. Hance Dilbeck, Jr., to become GuideStone President-elect.
“For four months, we asked Southern Baptists to give us recommendations for the new head of GuideStone,” Hawkins said. “The search committee was determined that they were not going to look at a search firm. They were just going to let Southern Baptists nominate, and they were only going to consider those whom Southern Baptists nominated.
“Several nominations came in, and it wasn’t too long before the name of Hance Dilbeck began to rise to the top.”
After a period of transition and training, Dilbeck will become President and CEO on March 1, 2022, and Hawkins will assume the honorary, voluntary position of President Emeritus. Hawkins will have served almost one-quarter of GuideStone’s history upon his retirement.
Hawkins took time to recognize his “right arm,” John R. Jones, who has served as Chief Operating Officer throughout Hawkins’ tenure, along with both current Trustee Chair Renée Trewick, the first Black woman to lead a Southern Baptist entity trustee board, and John Hoychick, Jr., Vice-Chair of the Board.
Hawkins said Trewick was chosen not because of her race or gender but because the Board recognized her as a leader. Hoychick will assume the chairmanship when Trewick’s tenure ends.
Dilbeck provided a brief greeting during the report.
“My wife Julie and I have a deep love and great respect for Dr. Hawkins and for Susie, and for their quarter-century of service to the Lord and Southern Baptists,” Dilbeck told messengers. “I’m committed to following him, giving my best to serving the Lord with the integrity of heart and skillfulness of hands. I’m grateful to the GuideStone trustees for seeing fit to give me this stewardship, and I consider it an honor to serve Southern Baptists along with this great GuideStone team.
“We want to be a lifelong partner that helps you take care of yourself and take care of your household. Our goal is that you might be well and do well so that you can serve well and finish well so that one day you’ll do what we all want to do, which is stand before our Master, the Lord Jesus and hear, ‘well done.’ So I promise I’m going to do my best to serve you, and I ask for your prayers.”
Hawkins said that he and Dilbeck are committed to making this the smoothest transition in the history of any Southern Baptist Convention entity and, “God willing, a model for all the rest of them that follow.”
During the report, Hawkins said that the 2018 relocation of GuideStone to new offices helped pave the way for the entity to weather the pandemic and stay-at-home orders well. In addition, increased automation and reliance on affordable, efficient technology allowed employees to serve participants and prospects from home as efficiently as when they were in the office.
“We didn’t miss a beat in working from home,” Hawkins said. “Consequently, we just had, in virtually every measurement, the greatest year in the history of GuideStone.”
August 27, 2021, will mark the 20th anniversary of GuideStone Funds® , Hawkins noted. The funds are where retirement plan participants can invest their contributions to help them achieve their financial goals.
Hawkins noted that GuideStone Funds is a two-time winner over the past decade - in 2012 and 2019 - of the Lipper Award for Best Overall Small Fund Family. These awards demonstrate GuideStone’s commitment to delivering attractive risk-adjusted returns while helping investors invest according to their values.
In health care, Hawkins cited the addition last year of Chu Soh as the Chief Insurance Officer. An Air Force Academy graduate, Soh led one of the nation’s largest health sharing organizations before joining GuideStone. Hawkins said Soh has brought new energy to the health plans and, along with his team, are looking at a variety of options to continue to provide quality and affordable health care to the churches and ministries GuideStone serves.
Hawkins encouraged messengers to stop by the annual Wellness Center to receive a screening for their blood pressure, glucose and other measurements. The Wellness Center sees hundreds of messengers each year and offers a snapshot of their current health stats.
In property & casualty coverage, GuideStone recorded a 98% renewal rate.
“What that means is we’re out there serving folks with their property and casualty needs,” Hawkins said. “We want to serve your church. Nobody knows the church better than GuideStone. No one can keep you insured and safe better than GuideStone and Brotherhood Mutual®.”
Hawkins cited continued success with his Code book series, with all royalties and proceeds going to the benefit of Mission:Dignity®, GuideStone’s ministry that provides relief financial support to retired pastors and, in most cases, their widows near the poverty line.
More than 2 million copies of the books have been sold. This fall, a new book, The Prayer Code: 40 Bible Prayers Every Believer Should Pray, will be available. For calendar year 2022, the books’ publisher, Thomas Nelson, will take his first book in the series, The Joshua Code: 52 Scripture Verses Every Believer Should Know, and challenge churches to lead their congregations in a year of Scripture memory. The books will provide a year of preaching outlines while allowing the whole congregation to memorize the same Scripture together each week.
“One of the things I want to do as I conclude my race there and as I go into this role of President Emeritus is I want to make sure we get endowed our expense grants for Mission:Dignity,” Hawkins said. The expense grants assist with one-time expenses like new dentures, glasses or car repairs, above and beyond their monthly honorariums. “I know of a multimillion-dollar gift, the largest gift that has ever come to GuideStone, and one of the largest gifts ever to a Southern Baptist entity, is coming to us in 2022. We’re going to match that gift and seek to endow the expense grants to Mission:Dignity.”
Hawkins emphasized the checks provided to Mission:Dignity checks are truly honorariums.
“That check we send out every month to these Mission:Dignity recipients is not an SBC welfare check,” Hawkins said. “It is an honorarium for what they never got when they were out there serving and trying to make a living and never had an opportunity to do that, let alone save for retirement.”
Hawkins concluded his final report by telling pastors that, even if their retirement savings might not be sufficient, they can be in peace that GuideStone will be there for those pastors’ widows, providing them the financial support.
With Mission:Dignity Sunday coming up on June 27, churches, small groups and individuals have an opportunity to give “double honor” (1 Timothy 5:17) to more than 2,500 retirement-aged pastors, workers and widows in the SBC. GuideStone provides free bulletin inserts, promotional posters and a DVD with several brief testimonies of people assisted by Mission:Dignity. The materials are not dated and can be used on June 27 or anytime.
Churches and small groups can get involved by:
100% of every gift to Mission:Dignity goes to Mission:Dignity recipients. An endowment established many years ago provides for all overhead costs of the ministry.
Roy Hayhurst is the director of denominational and public relations at GuideStone.
The entire GuideStone Funds family won the Lipper Fund Award for 2012 Best Overall Small Fund Family over three years (out of 26 eligible as of November 30, 2011) and 2019 Best Overall Small Fund Family over three years (out of 29 eligible as of November 30, 2018). Awards are based on risk-adjusted total return.
Our first recognition as the Best Overall Small Fund Family came in 2012 for the Best Overall Small Company Award (out of 26 eligible fund families as of November 30, 2011). Of the 182 small fund families, only 26 met the standards to be considered for the Best Overall Small Fund Family with up to $40 billion in assets under management. At that time, fund groups with at least three equity, three bond and three mixed-asset classes were eligible for a Group Award, with the lowest average decile rank of the three years’ Consistent Return measure of the eligible funds per asset class and group determining the award winner over the three year period ended 11/30/2011. In case of identical results, the lower average percentile rank was determined the winner.
The U.S. Lipper Fund Award for Best Overall Small Fund Family is based on a review of 29 fund families for 2019 and based on risk-adjusted performance for the three-year period ended November 30, 2018.
In order to qualify for Lipper’s Overall Small Fund Family Group Award, a fund family will need to have at least three distinct portfolios in each of the following asset classes: equity, bond and mixed-asset. An overall Group Award will be given to the fund family with the lowest average decile ranking of its respective asset class results based on the three-year Consistent Return measure of the eligible funds per asset class and group. The Lipper Leader for Consistent Return rating, which is a risk-adjusted performance measure, is calculated over 36, 60 and 120 months. The fund with the highest Lipper Leader for Consistent Return (Effective Return) value in each eligible classification wins the Lipper Fund Award. The Lipper Fund Awards, granted annually, highlight funds and fund companies that have excelled in delivering consistently strong risk-adjusted performance relative to their peers. Additional information is available at LipperFundAwards.com.
Group Award Methodology: For the 2019 Lipper Fund Awards from Refinitiv, a small fund family is defined as having assets of $76.8 billion or less. Lipper Fund Awards from Refinitiv, © 2019 Refinitiv. All rights reserved. Used by permission and protected by the Copyright Laws of the United States. The printing, copying, redistribution or retransmission of this content without express written permission is prohibited.
You should carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of the GuideStone Funds before investing. For a copy of the prospectus with this and other information about the Funds, please call 1- 888-GS-FUNDS (1-888-473-8637) or visit GuideStoneFunds.com/Funds to view or download a prospectus. You should read the prospectus carefully before investing.
Past performance does not guarantee future results.
GuideStone Funds shares are distributed by Foreside Funds Distributors LLC, not an advisor affiliate. GuideStone Capital Management, LLC®, an affiliate of GuideStone Financial Resources®, provides investment advisory services for the Funds.