Board elects officers, hears committee and ministry updatesby BSCNC Communications
During the first meeting of 2013, the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s (BSCNC) Board of Directors elected officers, heard an update on the Strategy Development Committee, and celebrated God’s work among North Carolina Baptists.
Michael Barrett, pastor of Pleasant Garden Baptist Church in Pleasant Garden, was re-elected as Board president. Barrett has devoted his life to serving local congregations, having just celebrated 25 years at Pleasant Garden. He served as chairman of the former BSCNC Program, Place and Preacher Committee, now the Committee on Convention Meetings, and the Committee on Nominations. For eight years he served as a trustee for the International Mission Board and two years he was vice chairman of the trustee board.
Perry Brindley, pastor of Mount Zion Baptist Church in Canton for 15 years, was elected Board vice president. Brindley has led Mount Zion to increase Cooperative Program giving, with the church giving about 18 percent of its budget to missions through the Cooperative Program. Brindley has also served North Carolina Baptists as a member of the Fruitland Baptist Bible Institute Board of Directors and as a member of the Convention’s Committee on Nominations.
Outgoing vice president Phil Qualls served as pastor of Apex Baptist Church from 1980 until his retirement in September 2011.
During the January Board meeting the Board’s committees each elect a chairman who not only helps lead that committee, but also serves on the Convention’s Executive Committee.
Individuals elected to serve this year are: Business Services Committee, Jimmy Adams, layperson, Cornerstone Baptist Church, Greensboro; Christian Higher Education, Rit Varriale, pastor, Elizabeth Baptist Church, Shelby; Christian Life and Public Affairs, Jarrod Scott, pastor, Green Pines Baptist Church, Raleigh; Christian Social Services, Wanda Dellinger, layperson, Green Street Baptist Church, High Point; Church Planting and Missions Development, Jeff King, Director of Missions, Macon Association; Communications, Micheal Pardue, pastor, First Baptist Church of Icard; Congregational Services, Patrick Fuller, pastor, Southside Baptist Church, Greensboro; Evangelization, Phil Addison, pastor, Stony Point Baptist Church.
The four individuals elected to serve as at-large Executive Committee members are: Kevin Seger, associate pastor of Pitts Baptist Church, Concord; Chuck Campbell, Director of Missions, Transylvania Association; Tracey Bolick, layperson from Laurel Springs Baptist Church, Deep Gap; and Sandy Marks, pastor of Alexis Baptist Church, Alexis.
The Board of Directors heard from Jimmy Huffman, director of Caraway Conference Center and Camp, and former director Charles Harris, as Caraway is celebrating 50 years of ministry. Since beginning in 1963, Caraway has served more than half a million guests. More than 67,000 boys have participated in summer camp at Camp Caraway, and in 2012, 42 boys prayed to receive Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior during summer camp.
Huffman encouraged Board members to support the New Beginnings Campaign, which is 7.5-million dollar capital campaign to fund Caraway expansion projects such as a new auditorium, indoor recreational building and new hotel. For more information visit www.caraway.org.
Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSCNC executive director-treasurer, brought a report on the work of the Strategy Development Committee (SDC). Hollifield created the 18-member committee, comprised of BSCNC staff, in response to the Vision Fulfillment Committee report.
The Vision Fulfillment Committee conducted 16 listening sessions across the state in 2011 and brought recommendations back to the Executive Committee in August of that year. The Executive Committee received the report, and then directed Convention staff to develop appropriate response to the report.
“The single most significant matter addressed in the Vision Fulfillment Committee’s report was the need for a Convention-wide, five-year strategy,” Hollifield said. “The Strategy Development Committee has prayed, reviewed the work of subcommittees, debated and developed the foundation for the five-year strategy. I am very proud of the work that they have done thus far.”
The SDC began working early last year and continued its work throughout the year.
The Executive Committee will review and consider the SDC report during its April meeting, during which time Hollifield will also bring a proposal to restructure Convention staff.
“In a process of corporate strategy development, structure follows strategy. Therefore, while the Strategy Development Committee has been working to develop the strategy, I have been working separately to develop the necessary staffing structure to support the strategy,” he said.
If the Board of Directors endorses the new strategy during their May meeting, the report will be presented to Convention messengers in November during the annual meeting, with strategy implementation expected to begin January 2014.
“In simplest terms, the strategy will be all about strengthening churches in order to impact lostness through the making of disciples. This includes impacting lostness in North Carolina, North America and internationally as we work in partnership with the North American Mission Board and International Mission Board,” Hollifield said.
The SDC has identified the top 100 pockets of lostness in North Carolina, or areas where the greatest concentrations of lost people have been identified. These 100 pockets are found in eight areas across the state, therefore; part of the SDC’s work has focused on developing plans to assist churches in reaching lost people in these areas through two primary channels: strengthening existing churches and planting new churches.
“The value of lost souls outside of these eight areas is equal to that of the lost souls within each of these eight areas,” Hollifield said. “Our goal is to assist churches across the state in an effort to impact lostness through the making of disciples. That will be our focus.”
Although the Convention finished last year 10.67 percent behind budget, it still came in about $48,000 in the black. Giving to support international missions through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering was up 7.19 percent, and giving to support North American missions through the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering was up 2.7 percent.
The North Carolina Missions Offering finished last year 3.14 percent behind budget. The goal for this year remains $2.1 million. This year’s offering theme is “Compelled by Christ: Release, relief and redemption,” based on Luke 4:18.
Great Commission Partnerships
Michael Sowers, senior consultant for Great Commission Partnerships, reported on the North Carolina Metropolitan Areas People Identification (NCMapID) Project. NCMapID is a partnership with the Metrolina Baptist Association, Piedmont Baptist Association and Baptist State Convention of North Carolina to identify the unreached people groups living in the Charlotte and Greensboro metropolitan areas.
“We want to help mobilize North Carolina Baptists to identify who is living in the borders of these two great cities and to engage the people groups with the gospel,” Sowers said.
Sowers shared that in the Charlotte Mecklenburg School System, 165 different native languages are spoken, and in the Guilford County School System, 150 different native languages are spoken. As God continues to bring the nations to North Carolina, North Carolina Baptists must be ready to engage a diverse state with the gospel.
Sowers also encouraged Board members to join a vision tour to Boston, New York or Toronto. More information is available at www.ncbaptist.org/gcp.
NC Baptist Men
John Gore shared during the NC Baptist Men report that Hurricane Irene disaster relief efforts are ongoing in areas such as Pamlico and Bertie counties and volunteers are still needed.
Teams are also needed to serve in Vermont, as well as the Appalachian Coalfields regions of Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina.
Gore reported that since Hurricane Sandy, NC Baptist Men volunteers have recorded more than 11,000 volunteer days, served 600,000 meals and made 1,450 chaplain visits.
The annual NC Baptist Missions Conference will be held April 5-6 at Calvary Baptist Church in Winston-Salem. For more information about NC Baptist Men visit www.baptistsonmission.org.
NC Baptist Aging Ministry
Sandy Gregory, director of North Carolina Baptist Aging Ministry (NCBAM), brought the report to the Board. Gregory reported that last year NCBAM served 2,267 clients, logged 7,921 volunteer hours, made 104 evangelism and spiritual outreach contacts, and distributed 8,299 Red Bags (Red Bags are insulated for temperature-sensitive medicines).
Gregory shared that NCBAM has begun a new Servant Care outreach to North Carolina Baptist ministers age 65 and older. “We are to take care of our brothers and sisters who have served,” he said. “One of the hardest things for ministers to do is to ask for help.”
Through Servant Care volunteers, these ministers will receive regular calls and visits, a plan of care should the need arise, and help with various projects as needed.
NCBAM is also working with the North Carolina Fire Marshal’s office to provide aging adults with smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
The Board also heard an update on the Fruitland Baptist Bible Institute Scholars Program, a cooperative effort involving the BSCNC and its five affiliated educational institutions. The two-year scholarship would be awarded to Fruitland students who, upon graduation from Fruitland, desire to continue their education at one of the affiliated institutions.
A maximum of two students at each institution would be eligible for the scholarship, with the scholarship renewable up to two years. The affiliated institutions will match the annual contribution of the BSCNC up to $7,500 per Fruitland transfer student. In addition to funding provided by the BSCNC, the scholarship may receive funds through a future endowment to be established at the North Carolina Baptist Foundation.
The BSCNC is providing $10,000 toward establishment of the scholarship for fall 2013.
The Business Services Special Committee brought for consideration by the Board a policy regarding naming Convention facilities and buildings, as well as investment policy guidelines. The Board approved both policies.
Mark Creech, executive director for the Christian Action League, addressed the Board during the Christian Life and Public Affairs Committee report. Creech urged the Board to be aware of possible legislation with potential to impact North Carolina, such as legislation concerning video sweepstakes gambling, privatization of liquor sales, human trafficking and changes to the state lottery.
The next Board of Directors meeting is May 21-22 at Caraway Conference Center.