BSC Board focuses on vision forums
    February 1 2011 by Dianna L. Cagle, BR Assistant Managing Editor

    A new year translates as new faces at the January Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC) Board of Directors meeting.

    The meeting Jan. 25-26 at Caraway Conference Center allowed new directors to wet their feet on Convention business and learn about various ministries in which N.C. Baptists are involved.

    One focus of the meeting was the upcoming 14 vision fulfillment forums from February through July. Members of the Vision Fulfillment Committee (VFC) will study perceptions of the BSC’s effectiveness in funding and implementing Convention’s vision, as set forth in the Seven Pillars for Ministry, written by Milton Hollifield, executive director-treasurer (see column).

    The BSC Board voted to create the VFC committee at its September 2010 meeting. It includes: Allan Blume, chairman, pastor, Mount Vernon Baptist Church, Boone; Aaron Wallace, vice chairman, pastor, Hephzibah Baptist Church, Wendell; Jairo Contreras, pastor and church planter, New Hope Church, Rutherfordton; Donna Elmore, member, Southside Baptist Church, Greensboro; Tadd Grandstaff, church planter and pastor, Pine Ridge Church, Graham; Al James, pastor of Carey Baptist Church, Henderson; Rick Speas, pastor, Old Town Baptist Church, Winston-Salem; Bobby Blanton, Board president; Ed Yount, Convention president; CJ Bordeaux, Convention second vice president; and Phil Qualls, newly elected Board vice president.


    Other committees

    Now that new directors are on the board, Blanton said he will be forming two committees soon that will deal with issues brought up at the November annual meeting.

    One committee will consider the adoption of the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 by the Baptist State Convention.

    A second committee will examine the development of a policy related to alcohol consumption.

    Executive Committee
    Four members of the Board were elected to serve as at-large members of the Executive Committee: Lee Pigg, Hopewell Baptist Church, Monroe; Mike Ivey, West Cramerton Baptist Church, Cramerton; David Horner, Providence Baptist Church, Raleigh; Michael Barrett, Pleasant Garden Baptist Church, Pleasant Garden.  

    Biblical Recorder
    Gerald Hodges, chairman of the Biblical Recorder Board of Directors, said he is excited about the direction of North Carolina’s newsjournal.

    The search team is accepting resumes for its vacant Editor/President position.

    “It is a new day, a new direction,” Hodges said. “We need to put our money where our mouth is. We’ve said for a long time we want something different.”

    He plugged a “Great 8” promotion which gives eight key church leaders a year-long subscription for $96.  

    EDT report
    In Hollifield’s report he focused on church plants and enduring temptation.

    “God is doing some wonderful things,” he said. In 2010, the BSC added 145 new churches, most through church plants. In the last five years 613 churches have been added to the Convention.

    He used most of his time to share how to endure temptation successfully using James 1:12-15.

    He felt that the examples of spiritual failure lately warranted repeating it to board members.

    “It’s important that we live godly lives,” Hollifield said. “You are a child of God; live like a child of God.”  

    Partnership update
    Michael Sowers, senior consultant in the office of Great Commission partnerships (GCP) highlighted the new partnership with Metro New York Baptist Association (see related story). More than 400 N.C. Baptists served the greater New York area.

    Chuck Register, left, executive leader of the church planting and missions development team at the Baptist State Convention, talks with Bobby Blanton, who was re-elected president of the BSC Board of Directors during its January meeting. Phil Qualls, pastor of Apex Baptist Church, was elected vice president, and Teresa Jones was re-elected secretary for the seventh year.

    A partnership with Boston is in the works. The Partnerships office is waiting on the North American Mission Board to complete its vision before the Convention begins to send teams. A strategy should be in place by fall.

    The Moldova partnership begins in March with a pastor’s conference, women’s retreat and youth event. These events begin a three-year partnership.

    Sowers highlighted a new ministry as well: Next Generation Missional Journey. This is a three-year journey for students who have completed sophomore year. Twenty students will get classroom time and interact with Convention employees dealing with missions, evangelism, etc.

    Each year they will participate in service starting in North Carolina, then North American then internationally.

    The Eastern Canada partnership is ending. The Board approved a 10-year commitment to the Greater Toronto Area. Sowers pointed out the extreme lostness in that particular area.

    Teams are going to be needed to help with all the partnerships. Contact (800) 395-5102, ext. 5626, or  

    Dana Hall gave the North Carolina Baptist Men’s report, sharing some highlights from various ministries including Haiti: 744 salvations, 35,411 meals, 55,678 total patients, and 539 volunteers.

    Baptist Men is being asked to provide a logistical team for a mobile medical disaster hospital.  
    Baptist Men receives most of its funding through the North Carolina Missions Offering, which while not reaching the goal of $2.1 million, did bypass 2009 levels by more than 3.9 percent, totaling $1.87 million.  

    Fruitland Baptist Bible Institute
    “This is not the time to throttle down,” said David Horton, Fruitland’s president. “This is the time to move into a higher gear.”

    Horton reported 20 full-time and four part-time students at the Monroe satellite. He mentioned others: Hispanic campuses in Winston-Salem, Statesville and Wilmington; and several others scattered across the state.

    Horton said enrollment has jumped from 160 in 2009 to 265 in 2011. Fruitland is also working with The College at Southeastern, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and other college campuses to help students complete bachelor’s and master’s degrees.  

    Christian Life and Public Affairs
    Jarrod Scott, chairman, said it’s a new day in North Carolina. Fall elections has brought a change in leadership. Some of the key issues before the legislature this year: 
    • A Woman’s Right to Know — This law, if enacted, would provide information for women seeking abortions, including risks of abortion and options available if she should choose to carry the child to term. It would also require abortion providers to refer women to a web site or printed material with information and photos of the different gestational phases of her unborn baby, and if the doctor uses ultrasound during the procedure, the doctor must offer the woman an opportunity to see the ultrasound images.
    • Marriage Protection Amendment — North Carolina has a marriage law but not a constitutional amendment, which leaves the state vulnerable to the ruling of a judge who might advocate for same-sex marriage.
    • Privatization of Alcohol Sales — Those who support privatization of alcohol sales contend it will bring about a much-needed infusion of income to our cash-strapped state. Those who oppose privatization suggest that, after that initial payout, the state would draw far less from alcohol sales, that the price of alcohol would fall, and that this new affordability and increased availability (in terms of numbers of retail outlets and hours for purchase) would cause consumption to go up and make liquor more accessible to minors.
    • Choose Life License Plate — If approved, the cost of the plate would be $25 per year with $15 per year going to pregnancy resource centers. In the 24 states that have these specialty license plates, more than $12.3 million has been raised.
    The committee will launch an educational campaign to help pastors reach out with compassion to homosexuals in their congregation and community.

    In fall 2011, N.C. Baptists are being encouraged to participate in 40 Days for Life, a national movement in which churches conduct 24-hour, 40-day prayer vigils outside local abortion clinics. Visit

    The group also discussed adopting schools. Follow happenings at  

    Christian Higher Education
    “All our universities are experiencing growth numerically,” said Rit Varriale, chairman, who mentioned Wingate and Gardner-Webb universities specifically. He also highlighted special news at each campus.

    The Board approved money for Baptist Theological Grants be put in a North Carolina Baptist Foundation endowment to disperse funds to students at Gardner-Webb and Campbell divinity schools. Through previous giving plans, the Convention had been giving $200,000 annually to help students at those schools. There are no longer Plans B and C that allowed churches to donate straight to the Convention and have money distributed to specific ministries or funds.

    There is $300,000 left in the account. The money given was specifically given by N.C. Baptists to distribute to these schools.

    The deans will be able to determine how to disburse money to the students. Only students from Baptist State Convention churches will be allowed to receive funds.  

    Christian Social Services
    Cameron McGill, chairman, discussed the Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina (BCH), North Carolina Baptist Aging Ministry (NCBAM) and the North Carolina Baptist Hospital.

    “The Bible has much to say how we treat the oldest and the youngest,” said McGill.”

    Within the BCH, there were 74 professions of faith in 2010. He also pointed out the annual food roundup in April as well as workdays: Kennedy Home, April 30; Oak Ranch, May 7; Mills Home Cameron Camp and Odum Home, May 14.

    McGill and Sandy Gregory shared ways the North Carolina Baptist Aging Ministry (NCBAM) helps churches and individuals with senior citizens.

    NCBAM won a regional award for its service. So far NCBAM has received 1,600 calls in Thomasville seeking some form of assistance. More than 90 percent of those calls are from unchurched people.

    NCBAM has materials available to give ideas to church members to help. They also have a 30-day devotion for an elderly person or caregiver. Staff members are available for training to help caregivers as well as seniors know resources available to them.

    The hospital is “one of those things you hope you never have to use,” McGill said. Ministers receive discounts and the Mother’s Day Offering helps offset costs for people who can’t afford their care.

    McGill also said a useful ministry is CareNet, which provides resources and counseling to individuals and churches.  

    There are three upcoming conferences that will help with evangelization, said Randy White, chairman: state evangelism conference (Feb. 28-March 1); prayer conference (March 11-12); intentionally evangelistic church strategy (April 5-7).

    White also said the Find It Here (FIH) emphasis is coming in April. “There are a lot of great things in store for the state of North Carolina,” White said.  

    Congregational Service

    Scott Faw, chairman, also referenced Find it Here: Embracing Christ and yielded time to Lynn Sasser to showcase FIH.

    “God is not through with His church,” Sasser said. Materials are available at  

    The Convention handles numerous web sites to highlight ministries and to increase web traffic, said Jon Hall, chairman.

    Hall said a policy that was being considered in his committee is now being reverted back to the Convention staff because a board policy would be “unnecessarily restrictive.” The policy concerns mass e-mails. The committee believes the staff should be able to adjust this policy as needed.  

    Business Services
    Harvey Brown, chairman, said the committee has five objectives in 2011: Caraway’s capital campaign; Caswell master plan adoption; Hollifield study to examine business model and assess ministries; evaluate self-insured health insurance program; and complete 2010 audit and report to board.

    Financial report
    The Convention did not make its budget in 2010.

    “I’m not going to sugarcoat it, it was a tough year,” said John Butler, executive leader for business services. Receipts were down 7.36 percent yet the Convention ended the year about $100,000 in black. “That was a difficult thing to do this year,” Butler said. “It meant a lot of times our staff saying we can’t do this … or we’re going to scale this down.”

    Butler said staff members have been creative to try to save money, including using technology to cut mileage. Using conference calls or computer communication helps save the Convention money.

    There was an anomaly on the report with the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering (LMCO). There was a tremendous decrease from 2009 to 2010, but Butler reminded board members that in 2009 there were essentially two offerings for LMCO because of the expected shortfall. The 2010 levels are near 2008 levels.  

    At the end of the meeting, directors recognized staff members for service:
    • Five years: Sandra Allred, food services at Caraway; Mark Gray, team leader for church planting; Jeremy Jackson, associate for Camp Caraway; Maria Luoni, ministry assistant in multi-cultural ministries; and Brian Smith, maintenance worker at Caraway.
    • Ten years: Rick Hughes, church health team; and Martha Honeycutt, food services at Caraway.
    • Fifteen years: Russell Schwab, information technology.
    • Twenty years: Linda Flecken, administration assistant and HR representative at Caraway; and Judy Meredith, housekeeping at Caraway.
    • Twenty-five years: Rick Holbrook, director at North Carolina Baptist Assembly.
    • Thirty years: Mike Adams, maintenance at North Carolina Baptist Assembly.
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    2/1/2011 6:37:00 AM by Dianna L. Cagle, BR Assistant Managing Editor | with 0 comments

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