Messengers approve budget, other itemsby Emily Rojas, BSCNC Communications
Gathered in Greensboro for the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC), messengers cast their votes on Tuesday for a new proposed budget, resolutions, bylaws and miscellaneous business.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, Tony Honeycutt, chairman of the budget committee, presented the proposed budget to the convention. Messengers approved the Cooperative Program budget for 2017, which totals $30.375 million, a nearly 3 percent increase from 2016’s budget of $29.5 million.
The 2017 budget will allocate 40.5 percent ($12.3 million) to missions and ministries of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), which represents an increase of .5 percent from 2016. The new budget also allows for an increase in funding to all BSCNC agencies and institutions.
Messengers also approved a goal of $2.1 million for the 2017 North Carolina Missions Offering (NCMO), which remains unchanged from 2016. The NCMO supports the missions and ministries of N.C. Baptist Men (also known as Baptists on Mission, as well as church planting efforts.
The messengers approved a resolution brought by Phil McRae, chairman of the convention’s Resolutions and Memorials Committee. The resolution expressed appreciation for the staff of the Z. Smith Reynolds Library at Wake Forest University.
This library staff has played an active role in collecting and preserving documents that are relevant to North Carolina Baptist history, McRae explained, and they help to keep present and future generations of N.C. Baptists informed.
McRae further moved that the messengers commend Tanya Zanish-Belcher, director of Special Collections and Archives at the library for her work in this area. He also moved that a copy of this resolution be presented to the president of Wake Forest University and to the dean of the Z. Smith Reynolds Library.
John Compton, chairman of the Articles and Bylaws Committee, presented proposals for changes to the bylaws. The messengers approved all four motions for amendments.
The proposed amendments addressed the necessity for flexibility in the meeting dates of the board; removing limitations on employees, directors and trustees of BSCNC affiliated educational institutions to serve on the board and committees of the convention; clarified of the role of members of the convention’s Committee on Convention Meetings; and addressed other miscellaneous matters in the bylaws that need to be updated, corrected and edited for consistency.
When convention President Timmy Blair opened the floor for miscellaneous business, Nicholas M. Muteti, senior pastor of Forestville Baptist Church in Wake Forest, asked that the board consider creating a better strategy to bring about diversity within the convention and the SBC.
“For the last 19 years, I’ve been attending this convention, and every year I look around and don’t see enough work done for the diversity of the local church,” Muteti said, expressing a desire for a new strategy for reaching minorities across the state.
Muteti’s sentiments will be shared with the board during its next meeting.
Page brings greetings from SBC
Frank Page, president and chief executive officer of the SBC’s Executive Committee, also brought a word to the messengers during this session. Page challenged those in attendance to turn their hearts toward collaborative missions and ministry, explaining that it is the only way to give all Southern Baptists a voice.
“Cooperative, collaborative ministry gives everybody a spot at the table and a place to do ministry,” he said, acknowledging the fact that the Southern Baptist Convention has grown increasingly diverse, which only furthers the need for unification within the convention.
Page encouraged messengers to embrace a spirit of unity, but not for the sake of unification itself. “We must understand always the why of what we do,” Page said. “It is because of the lordship of Jesus Christ.”