HBA Executive Meeting Minutes

Executive Board Meeting

Tuesday, August 14, 2018


1-The Executive Board of Harmony Baptist Association met in regular Session at 10:31 a. m. Tuesday, August 14, 2018 at Pine Bluff First Baptist, 6501 S. Hazel Street, Pine Bluff. Josh Blevins, Moderator and Pastor of Shannon Road Baptist Church, presided and welcomed everyone.


2-Bryan Bolton, Minister of Music at Pine Bluff First Baptist Church accompanied by Ms. Linda Works on piano led the group in singing “I Must Tell Jesus” and “I Love You Lord”.  Brother Bolton closed in prayer.


3-The minutes of the last meeting were adopted as printed.


4-Tommy Carter, Treasurer and member of Sulphur Spring Baptist Church, presented the July Treasurer’s Report for the Harmony Baptist Association and the July Treasurer’s Report for Hope Women’s Resource Center.  Don Taylor, Pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church ask about Harmony Baptist Association spending $20,000.00 more in the last seven months than funds coming in.  What were the steps being taken to change the short falls? Josh Blevins stated the 2019 Budget had several cuts and changes to have a balanced budget.  The 2019 Budget will be presented at the September Executive Board Meeting. It was stated the Administrative Team is aware of the short falls. Several steps are taking place to cut spending and save money.  Mike Manning’s insurance will be decreasing also office manager changes will save money. We are checking on internet services & utilities. There has been a drop in the contributions received. These reports were adopted as printed.


5-Josh Blevins, Moderator stated after the presentation of the Hope Center Policy at last month’s Executive Board Meeting the Administrative Team’s recommendation is to vote to accept Hope Center Policy. To change Hope to become an unincorporated association under the umbrella of Harmony Baptist Association.  Hope would have an Operating Board. Election of the Operating Board will be voted on at the HBA Annual meeting. Debra Burchfield, Hope Women’s Resource Center Director spoke about the Hope Center Policy hand out in today’s packet.  The need for changes to make Hope run more effectively & efficient. After having to go through all the committees, this triples the time it takes to get approval over the simplest decisions.  She pointed out the Hope Center Policy was designed by using template designed by: National Institute of Family & Life Advocates (NIFLA), Care-Net, Heartbeat International & Focus on the Family.  This template was submitted to AR State Convention. Crisis pregnancy centers are under attack. A lot of groups try to catch them on the smallest of details. The Hope Center Policy is the first step in protecting Hope & HBA.  Debra noted Hope Women’s Resource Center is not mentioned or listed in the Harmony Baptist Association Constitution & By-Laws. Josh Blevins, Moderator ask for any questions:  Don Taylor, Pastor Immanuel BC asks about the nomination of members to serve on the Hope Board. Debra stated it was by suggestions from Administrative Team or if someone call to suggest a person.  Debra explained each year there would be 3 positions needing to be filled. Debra said it would be great if local churches told their congregations about open positions. Debra stated Hope had lost some donations due to not having their own EIN (Employee Identification Number).  On tax receipt the donation would state Harmony instead of Hope. Ken Thornton, Pastor of Pine Bluff First Baptist Church asks if the Hope Center Policy had been reviewed by a Legal team.  Debra stated that was being done at this time. Matthew Watson, Interim Pastor of Northside BC Star City mentioned the progress & improvements Hope had made over the past 10 years he had been affiliated with HBA.

Todd Howard, Pastor of Watson Chapel Baptist Church compared Hope to a person with two bosses.  Hope has the new building and has done a lot of good. The facility being one of the best in the area.  His understanding is that Hope is trying to get the Freedom to do their business.

Matthew Watson, Interim Pastor of Northside BC Star City “Calling The Question”

Vote was taken to end questions:  11 in favor / 3 opposed

2/3 majority needed / several abstained

Vote was taken to pass Hope Center Policy: 10 in favor / 1 opposed

Ken Thornton, Pastor of Pine Bluff First Baptist Church stated he abstained from voting due to not receiving copy of Hope Center Policy before today, not having time to read & review.  He was not opposing the policy.

Mike Manning, Harmony Baptist Associational Missionary stated in the Hope Center Policy.

Article VI-Amendments Section 1. The policies may be amended by a majority vote of the Executive Board  of HBA at any regular or specially called meeting.

Josh Blevins, Moderator thanked everyone stating there has been a lot of work done to get this prepared.


6-Adam McCampbell, Seark BCM Director & PB First Baptist Youth/Missions Pastor spoke on the activities and changes for the upcoming year at Seark.  Adam said when the students come in, eat & have Bible study it did not leave much time to talk with students. He will be leading the Bible study each week in hopes for better communication with students.

Adam passed out information on how to be involved by sponsoring a meal - $50 feeding

20-30 students.  Sponsoring an Event $50-$100, such as dodge ball or bowling.  Giving instruction on donating & receiving text on upcoming events.  This year BCM will meet weekly. Last year they had three salvations and one baptized.  Adam ask for the local churches to get involved by coming to the meetings talk with students, talk to them about salvation.  Share the gospel. They will meet on Thursday’s 12:15 -1:00 pm. Need people to just love on the students, connect with them to be a part of their life.  He had a sticker Three Circles to help you know how to share the gospel.

Josh Blevins, Moderator stated Tarvoris Uzoigwe from UAPB BCM was unable to be present today, but was very busy working with the football team and on the campus.  They worked a lot with Watson Chapel Baptist during the summer.


7-No Mission Report.


8-Administrative Team Leader Josh Blevins, Moderator stated there is a van that has been donated from the Disaster Relief team.  The Children’s Home has expressed a need for the van. The Administrative Team recommends it be donated to the Children’s Home.  It has to be approved by the Executive Board. Matt Watson, Interim Pastor Northside BC Star City made a motion to donated the DR Van to the Children’s Home. The motion was passed.

Josh Blevins, Moderator stated the Admin. Team had discussed the frequency of Exec. Board meetings.  We would like you to think about meeting every other month instead of monthly. We do not meet in June (due So Baptist Conv) or November.  This would be three less meetings. We would meet: January, March, May, July, September, October (Annual Meeting) and December. We would like to have fellowships on the months with no meetings, maybe picnic or chili cook-offs.


9-Associational Missionary Mike Manning, discussed announcements stating church profiles are ready to be picked up.  Reminder need to have your church elect messengers for HBA Annual meeting. Next Exec. Board Meeting September 11th at Northside BC in Star City. Walk of a Woman ladies conference is Friday, August 17th.   Still having Bible study at Mike’s home on Monday’s at 6:30 pm.  Focused on Pastors and teachers but everyone is welcomed. Reminder Elaine is in the HBA office on Tuesday & Thursday’s  best to call make sure someone is there the other days. Mike expressed his appreciation to the Admin. Team. He reminded everyone the Admin. Team structure was being revised over 2 years ago when Paul Williams was Moderator, in attempt to stream line.  Mike stated we are about the Kingdom’s business, trying to get the spending in line with the giving. We are not trying to hide anything. Mike shared about the work the mission team from Macon MO accomplished. They worked on the youth house for New Fellowship, block parties at Family Church in Pine Bluff & White Hall First Baptist.  Worked painting & laid carpet at Stone Bridge. Mike thanked Family Church for allowing the mission team to stay at the Pine Bluff facility. There are plans to have another mission team in October and in the spring.

Mike stated this is your Association, he has responsibilities to oversee the ministries but he does not drive the Admin. team.  Mike spoke of rumors of the HBA office possibly closing, selling the building. It has been discussed; it was just conversation around a table.

Danny Allen, Pastor Rison BC spoke about the rumors.  He wanted everyone to know it was him not Mike that bought up about selling the HBA building. Danny stated people (Mike Manning) was more important than a building. Travis Thompson, Pastor at Altheimer First asks about evening meetings due to several pastors being bi-vocational.  Mike said the Admin. team had discussed maybe the July meeting. Mike asks everyone to think about these things.


11-Larry Page, Executive Director of the AR Faith & Ethics Council shared information about the casinos coming to AR.  Larry suggested we to be active in showing we do not support the casinos. There are three way to fight this: 1-Challenge the Signatures 2-Challenge the ballot title and 3-Campaign Election.  The signatures are done, will not be able to change; it will be on the ballot. Our best option is to challenge the ballot title. This is the wording on the ballot in the voting booth. The ballot is 12 pages long, it is summarized for voters to read. Russellville has an attorney looking at this.  Larry again stated these casinos will be a local problem. We will have our local people come to them, not like Vegas which are a destination where people travel to them. Local people, local problems. It is important for the pastor to educate your congregation. It is important that we show the state we are involved, show a united front. Larry has some business card available to contact him with any questions.  Larry will speak at Shannon Road on Sept. 20th.  He is available to speak to your group, just give him a call.


12-Prayer Request: Hardin Baptist Church, Mrs. Greta Lisenby passed away suddenly. Mrs. Greta was the church secretary & church members for over 30 years. Prayers for Hardin’s Pastor Johnny Taylor.

Boyce Miller’s son passed away unexpectedly

Elaine Hutcheson working at HBA

           James Watson ask prayer for church member’s family that lost their 49 year old son, Thursday.

Bonnie Watson upcoming knee surgery.

Josh Blevin’s father having surgery Friday for Colon Cancer.


The meeting was adjourned with prayer led by Ken Thornton, Pastor of Pine Bluff First Baptist Church.


There were 32 people in attendance with representation from Altheimer First, Central, Dumas First, Greenlee Memorial, Hickory Grove, Immanuel, Northside Star City, Pine Bluff First, Rison, Shannon Road, Shepherd Hill, Watson Chapel BC, Whispering Pines and Family Church


Respectively submitted:

Rev. Josh Blevins, Moderator

Mrs. Elaine Hutcheson, interim clerk/office manager