BAPTIST FINANCIAL SERVICES AUSTRALIA
David Slinn – CEO
We serve a God who we can trust in every circumstance! 2020 was a year like no other with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and all that involved. It is pleasing to see that it has been possible to effectively control the pandemic within the Australian community as things continue to normalise further. At the onset of the pandemic BFS was able to respond rapidly, particularly with a large number of church enquiries. BFS was able to create some specific resources to support churches switching or increasing their online giving together with other initiatives.
Approximately 15% of BFS loan clients required some form of COVID relief or support and of these only 3% are currently receiving COVID relief, which is quite remarkable in the circumstances, but can also be attributed to the effective government support provided through the height of the pandemic.
BFS gratefully acknowledges, with appreciation, the many Churches, Baptist denominational ministries and other supporters who pool their financial resources with BFS to enable these resources to be available for Kingdom purposes. As at 31 December 2020, total assets exceeded $500 million. BFS capital has increased to over $37 million.
Throughout 2020, our client funds grew by 7%, loans and advances for churches and Christian ministry also grew by about 7%. Notwithstanding the COIVID environment new loans were made as churches identified opportunities to purchase properties or undertake renovations or improvements whilst they could not use their facilities.
Over $1 million in grants were made to the Association of NSW & ACT Baptist Churches including $500,000 as a return on capital invested. Over $2 million of grants were made by BFS to Baptist work nationally. Several sponsorships were also provided to support ministry events and activities around Australia, although this was highly constrained in 2020 due to COVID with a number of events either cancelled or conducted online. BFS is proud to be a sponsor of the National Domestic Violence leadership training project under the auspices of Australian Baptist Ministries (ABM) and has increased its overall financial support to ABM.
BFS’s GiveWay online platform (www.giveway.org.au) enables payments to be made easily to Churches and Organisations to facilitate offerings, donations and other types of payments for Church and ministry activities or appeals. This is currently undergoing a major redevelopment and there will be more announcements about this in the near future.
BFS was able to conduct a client survey which feeds into a number of significant improvements we have planned over the coming year to support clients, churches and ministries. We praise God for continued growth to support the extension of God’s Kingdom.
You can visit our new website (www.bfs.org.au) to find out more information about how to get involved with BFS, either for yourself or for your church or ministry.