Executive Committee takes first run at bylaws, articles changes
    July 10 2008 by Norman Jameson, BR Editor

    BR Photo by Norman Jameson
    George Holley, chaplain at Craggy Correctional Center, said a double murderer pulled a prison knife on a chaplain and said he didn't need that weapon since he'd become a Christian. Holley told Executive Committee members about chaplaincy.
    The Baptist State Convention (BSC) Executive Committee on July 10 took its first detailed look at changes being proposed by the Articles and Bylaws Committee for consideration by messengers to the 2008 annual meeting in November.

    They heard details about how the BSC is managing the budget shortfall, and also heard how some associations are not managing so well.

    "We're in a situation where churches are deciding where funds are going for missions," said Roger Nix, director of missions for Raleigh Baptist Association. Nix was filling in for associational missionary representative Billy Honeycutt, who is recovering from a fall.

    "A great amount of that funding is staying in the local church," Nix said. "Baptists are reevaluating how they are doing missions. Associations are taking a pretty big hit at that level"

    Harvey Sharpe, director of missions for Yancey Association, was elected to fill the unexpired term of Samuel Rodriguez on the Board of Directors for Region 9.

    A position was approved for a senior consultant to lead the new Embrace women's ministry.

    Bylaws changes presented

    Shannon Scott, chairman of the Articles and Bylaws Committee, said the changes presented for consideration came from his committee unanimously. "That doesn't mean we didn't have discussion," he said. "We had a lot of it."

    He said there was some, "controversy even in our committee" but "we are unanimous in bringing it to you."

    Several awkward structural issues existed when the BSC incorporated in 2004, but they were ignored in favor of working on incorporation, according to Brian Davis, who presented the committee's report.

    Davis, BSC executive leader for administration and convention relations, is staff liaison with the Articles and Bylaws Committee.

    Aside from editing the articles and bylaws for brevity, clarity and consistency, some definition is offered in relationships.

    Among them:

    Woman's Missionary Union of North Carolina (WMU-NC), whose president is on the board and Executive Committee, will be reduced in the proposed changes to a non-voting representative on the Board of Directors. Davis said the change reflects an historical status for WMU-NC.

    Before 1946, he said, WMU-NC was recognized as one of five Convention departments. In 1946 WMU-NC was recognized as an auxiliary of the Convention. In 1968 the WMU-NC president became an ex officio, non-voting member of the board. In 1980 the WMU-NC president received ex officio, voting status and in 1986 the WMU-NC president got a position on the BSC Executive Committee.

    Since WMU-NC staff resigned their BSC positions in December 2007 and moved their offices to separate quarters, there has been a question of its status on the BSC Board of Directors and Executive Committee. The proposed changes would grant the WMU president membership on the board, in an ex officio, non-voting status.

    Many items will be moved from the Articles of Incorporation to the Bylaws, especially those regarding BSC institutions where relationships have changed so dramatically since November. That does not include the relationship with Baptist Retirement Homes, which has not changed officially.

    The Council on Christian Social Services has asked Baptist Retirement Homes to notify the Council about its intent to continue participating on the Council. Chairman Scott Eanes met with BRH President Bill Stillerman July 3. According to Eanes, Stillerman said he will respond after meeting with his board.

    New terminology was created for the relation to the Convention of Mars Hill College and the four universities, which used to be referred to among "institutions of the Convention." They are in the process of changing relationship to the Convention and the proposal refers to Wingate, Campbell, Gardner-Webb, Mars Hill and Chowan as "affiliated educational institutions."

    Wake Forest University and Meredith College will be referred to as "historical institutions." Baptist Hospital has its own category.

    Campus ministry will be represented on the Board of Directors.

    Rules for committee members meeting through technological means will be included. Terms for service on committees will be consistently four years instead of varying lengths. Minimums and maximums for Board committee size will be changed to make it easier to fill those seats.

    Mission Growth Evangelism and Congregational Services committees, for example, require a minimum of 25 members. Membership size of the Board is a function of population. When churches do not fill out their Annual Church Profiles, it presents a smaller population, which dictates a smaller board and more difficulty filling committee slots.

    All committees will have a minimum of 10 under the proposed changes.

    WMU materials

    A letter was distributed at the meeting from national WMU Executive Director-Treasurer Wanda Lee to Phyllis Foy, who leads the North Carolina woman's ministry task force. It clearly indicated that WMU would provide mission education materials through channels other than the state WMU. It will, however, continue to recognize only one statewide WMU organization, as Ruby Fulbright, WMU-NC executive director, has been saying.

    Fulbright said after the meeting however, that while WMU national will provide educational materials, Week of Prayer materials for the national and international missions offerings are distributed through the state WMU organization, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

    7/10/2008 11:00:00 AM by Norman Jameson, BR Editor | with 0 comments

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