By Tim Lubinus, BCI Executive Director/Treasurer
The executive board of the Baptist Convention of Iowa recently approved a new leadership structure for the Baptist Friendship Center, a ministry in a poverty-impacted community in Des Moines. Jon and Mindy Jamison have directed the Center for over sixteen years.
The new structure creates a closer connection with local church partners with the Friendship Center in order to better facilitate more involvement, connection, and support for the ministry. The new entity will be led by a new board of directors: Jon and Mindy will serve as the first chairmen, other members include John Jakes of Calvary Baptist in Indianola, Joni Wilkinson of CrossPointe Baptist Church in Des Moines, Rocky Vest of Westwind Church in Waukee, Todd Stiles of First Family Church in Ankeny, and Tim Lubinus, BCI Executive Director.
The Baptist Convention of Iowa will fully fund the Center though the end of this year and contribute most of the Center’s budget for 2017. This will assure continuity of the ministry and financial support for Jon and Mindy. When the transition is complete in 2017 the BCI intends to continue to be a major donor to the ministry including allocating a portion of the annual Hyde Iowa Missions Offering. Additional operating funds will come through donations of churches, individuals, grants, and other entities.
Nationally the North American Mission Board and nearly every state convention that supported a community center has either closed or transitioned these centers to local rather than national or state convention leadership. The Friendship Baptist Center is one of the last remaining convention sponsored community centers. The BCI strongly believes in the Center’s ministry and is offering multi-year transition in order to continue to impact the Centers’ neighborhood. Our prayer is that this new structure will enable the Center’s ministry to continue, expand, and facilitate better partnership among nearby churches.
If you have comments, suggestions or would like additional information write Tim Lubinus Tlubinus@BCIowa.org