In the previous edition of Together, part 2 in our history series ended with the appointment of Graeme Mitchell as General Manager (now Chief Executive Officer) in July 2001 – BFS having at that time total assets of around $51 million and loans advanced around $30 million.
The continuation of the development and expansion of BFS ministry services over the next 6-7 years was significant. Along with the tremendous growth in client support from Baptist Churches, associated ministries, and many individuals, this growth provided an increased opportunity to explore the resourcing of more financing opportunities to Baptist churches and other Church organisations.
Some developments that occurred between 2001 and 2007 include:
- Launch of BIF website
- Introduction of BIF Cheq accounts
- Commencement of Electronic Offerings service to Churches 2003
- BIF office redevelopment & relocation to street frontage within Baptist Union of NSW premises at Glebe
- Appointment of Beryl Notias to new position of Corporate Services Manager, now Operations & Loans Manager
- Major upgrade of Ultradata client financial software system to facilitate improved services for clients
- Development of BIF Vision and Values statements and a 5 year Strategic Plan
- Memorandums of Understanding were entered into with State Baptist Unions acknowledging the terms of agreement to expand BIF services into Vic, SA & NT: – Appointment of Vic State Manager Jeremy Peet, SA/NT State Manager Annabel Lundberg and national Marketing Manager Ross Curtis
- Launch of BIFOnline account access for client users
- Change of Government regulations for regulated Charitable Investment Schemes by ASIC
- BIF 20th Anniversary Celebration Dinner held at the recently constructed Parkside Baptist Church. This new church facility was funded with the assistance of BIF
- BIF Constitution altered with approval of Members and the Baptist Union of NSW to allow expansion of operations to all Australian States/Territories, for appointed Directors to be members of any Australian Baptist Union affiliated Baptist Church, future Directors to be appointed on the nomination of a participating State Baptist Union, and for any Member of an affiliated Baptist Church to be eligible for membership of BIF
- Memorandums of Understanding were entered into with State Baptist Unions acknowledging the terms of agreement to expand BIF services into Tas and WA: – Appointment of Tas State Manager Lesley Hancock and WA State Managers Michael Carter and Terry Hicks
- the introduction of Banking Exemption regulation by Government’s Australian Prudential Regulation Authority
- BIFOnline Business account access and management launched for Churches and organisations
- BPay available through BIFOnline account access service 2007 • Australian Financial Services Licence granted by ASIC
- Agency established with Indue Ltd, approved by APRA, to provide Induemoney Cheq facilities for non-Baptist clients The growth and expansion of services over this period of 6.5 years saw total assets increase from $51 million in July 2001 to around $147 million by the end of December 2007 with loans Resourcing Christian Ministry now at $77 million.
The final article will be published in the next edition of Together.
The resourcing of BFS’ ministry is made possible by the many clients & churches who lodge their funds on investment and make use of the financial services available, thereby providing the support for the Resourcing of Christian Ministry across Australia.