KBC makes major donation to Sunrise Children’s Services
By BRANDON PORTER, Kentucky today
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (KT) – The Kentucky Baptist Convention comes with a large one-time grant to Sunrise Children’s Services as they begin a three-year ministerial transition. KBC’s mission committee voted to send more than $ 525,000 to the agency.
“Kentucky Baptists appreciate the work Sunrise is doing to serve some of the most needy and vulnerable children in the Commonwealth and want to see them funded so the work can continue unhindered,” said Todd Gray, executive director-treasurer from KBC.
Gray said the agency often struggles with its annual budget because state reimbursements for children’s services are typically less than expenses. He believes the one-time donation “will help Sunrise move towards a sustainable ministerial funding model.”
“The Kentucky Baptist Convention has confirmed the work Sunrise has done,” said Dale Suttles, President of Sunrise. He says the gift will give them a good start in the transition.
Sunrise’s board of directors, which the Kentucky Baptist Convention approves, recently voted in favor of a three-year transition plan to help the ministry include a private payment model for providing therapeutic services to children.
James Carroll, Chairman of KBC’s Business and Finance Committee, called this gift a valuable investment. “The Sunrise Children’s Services ministry is vital to many of Kentucky’s most vulnerable children and families. We recognize the value of their Christ-centered work and the challenges they face on many fronts related to financial resources in our current climate. . “
Carroll, senior pastor at Parkway Baptist in Bardstown, says the work Sunrise does is helping Kentucky Baptists fulfill the ministry of James 1:27, which calls Christians to care for orphans and widows.
KBC chairman Wes Fowler said the mission committee vote “provides additional stability to Sunrise during seemingly unstable times.” Sunrise faced difficult negotiations with the Beshear administration over the renewal of their annual contract, which expired on June 30. Sunrise requested an amendment to the contract to protect their deeply held religious beliefs in the area of sexual orientation and gender identity. The Beshear administration proposed the addendum after the favorable ruling by the United States Supreme Court in the similar Fulton v Philadelphia case in June.
The grant amounts to $ 526,741.
The funds originally came to KBC from the board of directors of Western Recorder. According to Jim Donnell, KBC’s associate executive director for convention operations, they had set aside the money to pay insurance premiums for retirees.
“When the Western Recorder organization ended, only one retiree was receiving this benefit,” said Donnell. “We then made the decision to pay these premiums out of KBC’s retiree insurance reserve fund, freeing up the Western Recorder fund for other uses.”
In March 2020, KBC’s mission committee voted to make the funds available in the form of short-term loans to churches likely to face hardship during the COVID pandemic. “We only had one church that received a loan of $ 2,500, which the mission board then voted to cancel,” Donnell said.
Sunrise Children’s Services provides foster care, adoption, residential and therapeutic services to children in Kentucky. They are currently caring for over 9,000 children, most of whom are in state care.
The agency has been part of the Kentucky Baptist Convention since 1869.