News for the week of Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Best Kept Secret’ Turns 75
By Lonnie Wilkey
editor, Baptist and Reflector

Over the years leaders of the Tennessee Baptist Foundation have referred to themselves as the “best kept secret” in the Tennessee Baptist Convention.

Probably every ministry in the convention can feel that way at some time or another.

Whether it’s the best kept secret or not, the Tennessee Baptist Foundation has proven itself as a worthy ministry of the convention since it was established in 1938.

Due to wise investments of funds entrusted to its care, the Foundation has been able to give millions of dollars to Baptist causes over the years, including the Cooperative Program.

Tennessee Baptists will be given an opportunity to celebrate and honor the accomplishments of the Foundation which celebrates its 75th anniversary on Saturday, Nov. 16. The following day, Nov. 17, has been designated by the Executive Board of the Tennessee Baptist Convention as “Tennessee Baptist Foundation Day.”

The Foundation has created a two-minute video highlighting the institution’s first 75 years. The video can be shown or downloaded from the Foundation website at

The Foundation has helped fund ministries that most Tennessee Baptists aren’t even aware of.

Does your local Baptist association have a disaster relief or block party trailer? If so, there’s a good possibility that it was purchased with a grant from the Foundation’s special ministries fund.

The Foundation helped Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief purchase its first tractor trailer rig from that fund.

And, there are countless Tennessee Baptists in our pews today who helped pay for their college education with a scholarship from funds administered by the Tennessee Baptist Foundation.

Many more Tennessee Baptists have had assistance in preparing their wills and making estate plans with assistance from a TBF staff member.

I have been blessed to have known three of the Foundation presidents in my tenure with the Baptist and Reflector. What’s more, I can count all three as friends — Earl Wilson, W.L. “Bo” Childs, and current president Gary Coltharp.

All three have been an encouragement to me personally and to the Baptist and Reflector.

Years ago the Foundation began managing a fund when a B&R staff member was killed in an automobile accident in the 1970s. The Foundation also helped the B&R establish an endowment fund (see ad on this page).

Numerous churches, institutions, and individual Tennessee Baptists have benefited from the expertise and professionalism of the Foundation staff.

Since its establishment 75 years ago, assets have grown from $6,577 in 1938 to $140,222,110 in 2012 and that amount will increase this year.

Let’s not keep the Foundation a secret any longer. Take time to mention the Foundation on Nov. 17. Consider showing the brief video to your congregation on that Sunday.

The Foundation is to be commended for 75 years of faithful ministry and service.




View the original News article at

Copyright (c) 2016 Executive Board of the Tennessee Baptist Convention