By Bob Allen
The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship announced Dec. 16 a $1 million gift from the Eula Mae and John Baugh Foundation to support projects including long-term support of global mission field personnel.
CBF Executive Coordinator Suzii Paynter expressed appreciation to Babs Baugh, head of the foundation named after her parents, along with her husband, John Jarrett, and daughters Julie Baugh Cloud and Jackie Baugh Moore, for the impact that the Baugh Foundation has made through its longtime support of CBF.
“No family in Baptist life has had a greater impact in helping people and churches fulfill their God-given mission than the Baughs,” Paynter said. “I give thanks to God for their witness and for their attitude of service.”
According to a CBF news release, the gift will fund ministries to nurture young Baptists including theological education as well as practical ministry experience through Student.Go and Student.Church.
The gift will also support CBF’s intentional congregational renewal process, advocacy work that helps others find their voice and a church starting initiative. CBF also plans to develop and deliver financial literacy programs for congregations and pastoral leaders funded by the grant.
The funding also supports the long-term presence of field personnel ministering in 30 countries and will impact the poorest counties in the United States through CBF’s rural poverty initiative, Together for Hope.
In announcing the gift, Babs Baugh described CBF as “a place where we don’t have to think alike but we are expected to think,” where “selfless missionaries express God’s great love for the least of these” and a” place where truth and integrity are valued.”
It’s “a place where one can feel at home,” she said. “Why would I not want to be a part of this place?”
Her father, Sysco Corporation founder John Baugh, for years a major benefactor of mainstream Baptist causes and institutions, died in 2007 at age 91. Her mother died six months later after suffering a stroke at age 89.
Other recent gifts from the Baugh Foundation include $150,000 for church outreach at Campbellsville University, which recently separated from the Kentucky Baptist Convention, and a gift to the Texas Hunger Offering allowing $15,000 in relief funds for Syrian refugees in Serbia.