Newly elected president Bordeaux on life and ministry
    December 27 2013 by K. Allan Blume, BR Editor

    C.J. Bordeaux, pastor of Gorman Baptist Church in Durham, is a North Carolinian to the core. Born in Whiteville, Bordeaux has seen what church ministry looks like from childhood. His father, Garland, was a pastor of small churches for 55 years prior to his death in 2007. “My dad was a church planter before we ever heard the term ‘church planter,’” he said.
    Bordeaux preached his first sermon at the age of 12 in a youth service at White Lake Baptist Church in Elizabethtown where his dad pastored. Later it became the first church he was called to pastor. He attended Chowan College for a short time before entering the Army, where he met his first wife, Linda. Her father was a Baptist preacher in Texas. “We got married and were sent to Germany. There I felt God’s call to preach, but Linda already knew it,” Bordeaux said.
    They left the Army in 1976 and returned to N.C. “On Friday, December 31, 1976, I announced my call to preach at a watch night service. A day-and-a-half later on Sunday, January 2, I preached at Emmaus Baptist Church in Pittsboro, and I’ve been busy preaching ever sense,” he said.

    C.J. Bordeaux

    He and his wife entered Campbell College and three months later White Lake called him as a part-time pastor. He also served Bear Creek Baptist Church and Maysville Baptist Church.
    “We had been at Maysville two months when Linda began her last semester at Campbell,” Bordeaux said. “On Thursday, January 8, she was in a car wreck and was killed on her way home from Campbell. We did not have any children. We were married about seven years. It was a very tough time in my life – a very trying time.
    He had entered Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary only a few months before the accident.
    “It was good that classes didn’t start back until later in January, because it gave me some time to get myself together,” he said. “I went to Texas and stayed three weeks with her family and came back right at the drop-add time to continue. It was so hard to do. My life had been turned upside down.” He finished that semester at Southeastern, but never returned.
    While preaching a revival at her church, Bordeaux met his present wife, Donna. Her husband had died and left her with a 3-month-old son.
    “I was really struggling – spiritually, emotionally, mentally and in every way,” he said. “When you’re 26 years of age and a widower, it’s unusual. [Donna] was a big inspiration.”
    They fell in love, and 32 years later they are faithfully serving the Lord together. Bordeaux transferred to Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind., where he finished the master of theology and doctor of ministry programs.
    He served as pastor of Antioch Baptist Church in Lumberton for 10 years and West Monroe Baptist Church for 12 years.
    “The burnout rate is incredibly high in ministry, and I was on the borderline of becoming one of those guys,” he said. “West Monroe was a wonderful ministry, but I lost my zeal for preaching.”
    Bruce Martin, pastor of Village Baptist Church in Fayetteville asked Bordeaux to join his staff as an administrative pastor, where he also preached every Sunday night.
    “I began to regain that fire for preaching. Then the Lord brought me and Gorman Baptist Church together,” he said. He has been at Gorman for more than five years. “I love what I do there. I have two young staff men. They are helping this old man regain some energy.”
    Bordeaux served as the N.C Pastors’ Conference secretary-treasurer for four years, and later as president. His involvement in the state includes service on the Committee on Committees and the Giving Plan Study Committee. He has completed two terms as the convention’s second vice president and two terms as first vice president.
    He served eight years on the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention, including two years as secretary. “I really, really enjoyed that time of service,” he said. “It’s so great to meet people from all over the United States and other parts of the world.”
    Bordeaux is excited about the direction of the BSC, but concerned that many are not aware of the broad ministries of the convention. “I wish all N.C. Baptists could see what I have seen in this convention,” he said. “I see guys coming on the [BSC] board of directors for the first time. After their first meeting they walk out and say, ‘Man, I didn’t know we did all of that.’
    “I wish we could have an annual meeting where we just show every department of the convention and what they do. Maybe that would open some eyes,” he said. “We do so much more than people realize. Those who want to be critical are critical because they don’t know.”
    He admits that there was a time when he was very critical of the state convention. “We’ve fought a lot of battles together along with Mark Corts, M.O. Owens and others. ... and we saw this convention changed through the efforts of these men. I couldn’t be sitting here 10 years ago. What a change! God has given us the strength to stay the course.
    “I deeply love to serve in our convention. The things that I was critical of years ago are so different now,” he said. “The face of this convention changed with the election of Milton Hollifield. I love him, I respect him, I have learned so much from him. He is a godly man.”
    Bordeaux is concerned that many young leaders are not involved in the work of the BSC. “We have some brilliant young people in this state, and they have a hot heart for Christ. They just love Jesus,” he said. “They think they don’t need the convention because they are so involved in their church. ... We need their input. As president I would like to say to them, ‘Guys, we need your fire, your energy and your excitement.’”
    There is the impression among most Baptists that much authority accompanies the president’s position. However, the president of the convention’s board of directors has much greater power to influence the work of the BSC.
    “I understand that the president of the convention doesn’t have any power, but he does have the opportunity to be heard,” Bordeaux said.
    “I’ll go speak in any church of any size if they invite me, but I really want to talk to small church pastors who feel like they don’t have a voice and help them be encouraged to impact the lostness of their community.”
    12/27/2013 12:44:25 PM by K. Allan Blume, BR Editor | with 0 comments
    Filed under: BSC, N.C. Baptists, president

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