The question I am often asked is, "What does the Kentucky Baptist Foundation do?" My answer is simple, "The KBF funds the Great Commission!" As former KBF President A. M. Vollmer said, "We exist to serve all the rest." The KBF is a fiduciary that serves the churches, agencies, and institutions of the KBC.
I am always thrilled to share that over the last 75 years, the KBF has distributed $203 million to advance the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. Already this year we have distributed nearly four million dollars! This is our mission, our ministry and our passion.
Like all ministries during the COVID-19 pandemic, this has been an uncertain season. But by God's guiding hand and His amazing grace, the KBF has experienced the favor of the Lord. Our assets under management have experienced a complete rebound and continue to grow during this market surge. As of March 31, 2021, our assets under management is now over $230 million. We are beginning to see economic recovery as the United States unemployment rate is declining, vaccinations are increasing and consumer confidence is stabilizing.
This past year…
- During the last few months, the KBF launched our new online giving platform (www.kybaptistfoundation.org/donate) where interested believers can contribute to endowment funds which are already benefitting our agencies, institutions and other ministry partners. We believe this will provide a significant financial impact over time for these ministries. The KBF will continue to be a committed fiduciary for the churches, agencies and institutions of the Kentucky Baptist Convention.
- As president of the KBF, I have connected with many churches by forming the KBF Pastors Council, reorganized our KBF Ambassador Program for laypersons and am setting the groundwork for our Businesspersons Roundtable. We are conducting in-person and virtual presentations for legacy, estate and stewardship training in local churches.
- The KBF also partners with PhilanthroCorp for personal estate planning consultation. This service is available at no cost by a grant from the KBC for every KBC church pastor. Imagine how wonderful it can be for local congregations when church members learn how to “tithe their estate” and discover how their gift can last a lifetime.
KBF in the present…
- Our partnership with the KBC links our hearts and hands to the gospel. The KBF desires to have a servant's heart and allow the Holy Spirit to guide our every decision. The scripture says, "In all of your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct thy path" (Proverbs 3:6). He has for 75 years and He will going forward.
- The KBF has had a great year as our longstanding relationship with PNC Bank has blossomed into a strong financial performer as it guides our “assets under management” that are socially screened in representing Kentucky Baptist values. PNC is the seventh largest bank in the U.S. and our KBF funds are being protected and placed into favorable positions for success.
- Your amazing KBF staff members are connecting with congregations throughout the commonwealth to establish endowments, trusts and foundation funds. Several churches have invited the KBF into their church to share the vision for stewardship from a biblical perspective. Thank you, Westport Road, Little Flock, FBC Hazard, Columbia Baptist, Okolona, Highview in Louisville, Severns Valley, Greenup Association and many more!
The KBF going forward
We are very excited about what the next few months can bring to the churches, institutions and agencies of the Kentucky Baptist Convention. Below are three new intitatives …
- SHORT TERM FUND. The KBF board of directors unanimously voted to provide churches, our agencies and institutions a way to invest their money and provide liquidity, protection and an excellent way to gain additional funds for ministry. Think of the new STF as a “church growth account” that can provide a solid return of investment with minimal risk (Not FDIC insured but with KBF reserve funds). We are targeting a 1% return for the STF with a target launch goal of June 1.
- BUILDING CONFERENCES. The KBF is looking to partner with the KBC, local churches and associations to assist in all phases of the church building process. We will invite Christian vendors to assist in bringing the latest resources for the congregations to consider. The pandemic has brought about changes and we want to give churches the latest building and financial information.
- STEWARDSHIP RESOURCES. SBC affiliated churches have not had a “Stewardship Commission” for several years. In my recent meetings at the National SBC Foundation Presidents gathering in Cincinnati, it was determined that individual state conventions should be proactive in producing new stewardship materials. I am asking our great KBC leaders to assist me in publishing transformational literature that will help shape our world through faithful giving.
I conclude by saying again how thankful we are to serve the Lord in this way during this season of ministry. The Bible says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18). The KBF has a vision and desire to serve our local churches. If we can assist you in promotions legacy, estate or stewardship education in your church, agency, or institution, please contact our office. Thank you, Kentucky Baptists!
French Harmon is president and CEO of the Kentucky Baptist Foundation.