GuideStone trustees name Stephen Allen chief legal officer


DALLAS, Texas — GuideStone trustees have unanimously elected Stephen Allen as their new chief legal officer to replace Harold Loftin Jr. who plans to retire later this year.

Allen is the former senior vice president, general counsel and assistant secretary for ONEOK, a publicly traded Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Fortune 500 company where he worked for almost 18 years. He will oversee the Legal and Government Affairs teams within GuideStone as chief legal officer.

Allen, the son of a Southern Baptist Home Mission Board church planter in New England, received his bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma Baptist University and his law degree from Vanderbilt University School of Law. He is licensed to practice law in Texas and Oklahoma.

“We are thankful for the deep bench of Christ-honoring professionals who are faithful Southern Baptist churchmen and churchwomen that the Lord is bringing to serve alongside us,” GuideStone President Hance Dilbeck said. “Stephen Allen has already proved himself a trusted adviser and an able leader in our enterprise.”

Both Dilbeck and Chief Operating Officer Chu Soh commented on GuideStone’s Reach strategy, which is focused on growing the ministry’s already robust relationship with Southern Baptists.

“Hance and I have the immense privilege of inheriting this enterprise built on a strong foundation,” Soh said. “We are here to steward and to do so in a way that honors the Lord.”

Everything the enterprise does is built to come alongside members and ministry partners to help in living out the mission to “enhance financial security and resilience for those who serve the Lord,” Dilbeck said.

“We’ve spent a lot of time working on the simple language of our mission and vision, which led to our strategy,” he said. “It is very connected to language from the past. Financial security is the lane we run in. The reason we do that is so that people who are serving Christ can be financially secure and can put their focus on their calling. Financial security has a real impact and affects how you feel, impacting how you lead.”

Dilbeck also affirmed the work of Mission:Dignity®. This relief ministry provides financial assistance to more than 2,800 retirement-age Southern Baptist ministers, workers and their widows every year with extra money needed for housing, food and vital medications.

“Aaron Meraz and his staff continue to do a great job,” Dilbeck said. “Last year, 2,908 individuals and 2,164 households were served. As we serve, 60% of the time, it’s the widow of a minister, missionary or church worker. The neediest couples we serve through Mission:Dignity receive $750 per month.”

Dilbeck celebrated the 13th check arrangements Mission:Dignity had with 20 state conventions and foundations in 2023, including South Carolina, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Oklahoma, Texas (SBTC), New Mexico, Tennessee, California, Nevada, North Carolina, Virginia (SBCV), Michigan, Minnesota-Wisconsin, Arizona, Pennsylvania-South Jersey, Ohio, Indiana and the Dakotas. Separate long-standing arrangements are also available in Louisiana and Georgia, serving Mission:Dignity recipients in those states.

“We are thankful to ensure these retired servants who served well are able to live out their last years with a well-deserved dignity and independence,” Dilbeck said. “Many times, too, thanks to Mission:Dignity, these men and women can continue serving the Lord.”

In other business, the Board honored four trustees whose terms of service concluded with the March meeting — Robert Bachman (Colorado), Randall Blackmon (District of Columbia/Maryland-Delaware), Kevin Cummings (Virginia) and John (Johnny) Hoychick (Louisiana). New trustees to replace those rolling off the Board will be elected in June by messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Indianapolis.