Just announced today on the Christian Index, the Georgia Baptist Convention received a grant in the amount of $24, 635, 300.13 from the Georgia Baptist Healthcare Ministry Foundation to pay in full the amount owed on the Georgia Baptist Missions and Ministries Center. Executive Director J. Robert White was understandably ecstatic. “I have been celebrating the payment of this debt with incredible joy...It still seems surreal."
According to the Index, Dr. Frank Cox, Senior Pastor, North Metro Baptist Church, first publicly expressed the vision for the ministry center in 2001 after which the notion "caught fire" by subsequently receiving the definitive green light from the Georgia Baptist Convention completing a four-vote-affirmation-process. "On May 9, 2001, the Committee, chaired by pastor Frank Cox of North Metro First Baptist Church, felt led by the Lord to consider the property where the building is currently located on Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth. In July 2001, a recommendation from the Committee and the Administration Committee was approved to relocate the Baptist Center to Sugarloaf Parkway and authorization was given to begin acquisition of the needed parcel of property."
Since the ribbon cutting ceremony, several Georgia Baptists have both privately and publicly expressed regret over what they began to view as a missional white elephant. However, now that the debt has been fully retired by a generous grant from a well-endowed foundation, complaints of this nature become functionally inconsequential. From my view, we should be celebrating that God has given us what we all desired--to be debt-free.
In addition, we should all be thankful to God for Dr. White, for surely his personal grace, undeniable vision for Georgia Baptists, and non-negotiable persistence in seeing this mammoth project complete remains a visible reason, at least in part, for Georgia Baptists being debt-free today.
Now on to reaching Georgia and beyond with the Gospel!
Thank you Georgia Baptist Healthcare Ministry Foundation...
Thank you Dr. White...
pictures courtesy of The Christian Index