Highlights of the 89th Session of the General Board
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Overland Park, Kansas
The 89th Session of the General Board, Church of the Nazarene, was held February 21-27 in Overland Park, Kansas.

The denomination’s General Board is made up of 48 pastors and lay leaders representing the global church and elected by the regional caucuses at General Assembly. Convening in late February each year, the board has governing responsibility for the International Church of the Nazarene in between General Assemblies.

It is also during this time when the Board of General Superintendents gives its annual report. To read the 2012 report, as prepared by David W. Graves, click here. To listen to a recording of its presentation, click here.

This year’s meetings ended on Monday evening with a missionary sending service, as is tradition.

General Board members and others called the 2012 Session of the General Board “one of the best sessions in recent memory,” said General Superintendent J. K. Warrick.

Highlights of the 89th Session of the General Board include:

Global Mission
  • The General Board elected Verne Ward III, regional director of Asia-Pacific, as the new Global Mission director. Ward will work with retiring director Louie E. Bustle through the month of March and then begin his official duties at the Church of the Nazarene Global Ministry Center on April 1.
  • The goal is to elect a new regional director for Asia-Pacific by June 1, 2012. That selection process is already underway.
  • The General Board commissioned 14 missionaries on global contracts.
  • The board approved entering three new world areas — South Sudan, Turks & Caicos, Creative Access Area 10 — increasing the total from 156 to 159.

Sunday School & Discipleship Ministries International, Nazarene Youth International
  • Responding to the Board of General Superintendents White Paper of 2009, the BGS voted to move Sunday School & Discipleship Ministries International and Nazarene Youth International to the Global Mission Department, reporting to Verne Ward, the new Global Mission director.
  • This change is effective April 1, 2012.
  • The BGS accepted “in concept” regionalizing these two ministries, but is committed to a global connection in place at the GMC—dividing the time of both directors between regional facilitation and general coordination from the GMC.
  • Woodie Stevens (SDMI) and Gary Hartke (NYI) will allocate approximately 85 percent of their time to USA/Canada and 15 percent to other global mission regions.
  • Further details are to be worked out but this decision is final and leadership will now move toward implementation.

Global Ministry Center 

Board of General Superintendents

  • Effective April 1, 2012, General Superintendent Eugenio R. Duarte will become chair of the BGS with jurisdiction over the GMC and Nazarene Publishing House.
  • NPH President Hardy Weathers announced his retirement, effective at the end of November 2012.
  • J. K. Warrick, current general superintendent with jurisdiction over the GMC and NPH, will be assigned to the Asia-Pacific Region effective April 1, 2012.

Church of the Nazarene Foundation
  • The General Board elected Ken Roney as president of the Church of the Nazarene Foundation. Roney was executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Foundation. He began his duties as president on March 1.
  • H. Melvin McCullough is retiring as the founding president of the Foundation the end of March, necessitating the change.

Pensions & Benefits USA
  • The General Board approved the action of the USA National Board to provide additional funding for the Single Defined Benefit Pension trust.
  • Under the new plan, the educational budget percentage for churches in the U.S. will decrease from 2.5 percent to 2.25 percent and the P&B budget will increase from 2 percent to 2.25 percent. (For more information on the BGS recommendations, click here.)
  • The effective date of the 2.25 percent is defined as applying to U.S. churches in the 2012-2013 USA district assembly years.
  • It is projected that this move will generate an additional US$1.4 million annually for the pension fund.
  • The plan was submitted by the USA Finance Committee and overwhelmingly approved by the USA National Board.

Budgeting Priorities 2013
  • The BGS has identified five priorities for the upcoming budgeting process:

The mission of the Church of the Nazarene is To Make Christlike Disciples in the Nations.

  1. Multiplication and development of local congregations
  2. Clergy and lay leadership development and education
  3. Evangelism and ministries of compassion
  4. Making disciples through accountability, fellowship, and mentoring and through Sunday School, small groups, and Bible studies for all ages
  5. Mission accomplishment at the local, district, and general levels

All ministry, programs, and budgets shall be justified by the mission.

  • The GMC Budget Planning Process for fiscal year 2012 will begin in April 2012 with strategic planning.
  • The 2013 revenue and operational expense budgets were approved by the General Board, projecting a 3 percent decrease in expenses.
  • Leadership is projecting stability in 2014 if nothing unforeseen occurs.

Office of Advancement
  • The GMC has focused on cutting expenses the past several years and now it has to think more about raising revenue.
  • To this end, the BGS is moving to expand this effort through the Office of Advancement under the leadership of General Superintendent Stan Toler.

General Assembly 2013
  • As the GMC looks ahead toward the 2013 General Assembly, General Treasurer Marilyn J. McCool announced a US$4 million budget for this international gathering in June of 2013. Funds have already been set aside.

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  • A positive and informative report! Very encouraging. I would be interested in the percentage of ... LITTLEFATMONK on 03/02/12