Following its annual team building retreat, the Executive Committee of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC) met to receive several reports, which included some reassignments of convention staff.
The primary personnel update focused on the reassignments in the Evangelism and Discipleship Group. This group structure has been reduced from three teams to two teams. The new group structure maintains the Church Strengthening Team and Disciple-making Team, but brings the assignments of the Church Health and Revitalization Team under the Disciple-making Team.
These and other staff changes were announced to the Executive Committee on March 3 at Caraway Conference Center near Asheboro.
Brian Upshaw will serve as team leader of the Disciple-making Team, after initiating the newest BSC efforts in the areas of church health and revitalization. Over the past 15 months, Upshaw served as team leader for the Church Health and Revitalization Team, which was formed in November 2015. Upshaw had previously served as the Disciple-making Team leader from that team’s inception in April 2013 to November 2015.
The Church Health and Revitalization Team, comprised of Upshaw, an administrative assistant and numerous contractors, will all move under the umbrella of the Disciple-making Team with Upshaw serving as team leader.
Upshaw will continue to provide leadership to church health and revitalization efforts, and he will be joined by a new senior consultant for church health and revitalization as a member of the Disciple-making Team.
Lynn Sasser, executive leader for the Evangelism and Discipleship Group, and BSC Executive Director-Treasurer Milton A. Hollifield Jr. both said the BSC would continue to focus ministry efforts on the need for church revitalization across the state and would begin the search for a new senior consultant immediately.
Additionally, two other BSC consultants are moving into new roles. Sammy Joo will move from the Collegiate Partnerships Team to become the senior consultant for Asian ministries on the Church Strengthening Team. Guillermo Soriano will also move to the Church Strengthening Team as the senior consultant for Hispanic ministries.
The staff changes took effect on Monday, March 6.
Board President Marc Francis also announced several committee appointments.
Francis made the following announcements related to the Articles and Bylaws Special Committee, which comprises individuals serving on the board as well as members who are non-board members.
Rob Roberts, pastor of Brookdale Baptist Church in Siler City, will fill the 2019 unexpired term of Jeff Broadwell, a non-board member.
Ashley Reffit, layperson at Turner Memorial Baptist Church in Garner, will fill the 2020 term for a non-board member.
John Compton, pastor of Mountain View Baptist Church in Hickory, will serve as the 2017 committee chair.
The committee also has one vacancy for a 2020 term for a board member.
Francis also made the following announcements related to the Budget Special Committee.
Much like the Articles and Bylaws Special Committee, the Budget Special Committee comprises both board members and non-board members.
Bob Garbett, pastor of Scotts Hill Baptist Church in Wilmington, will fill the 2017 unexpired term of Harry Thetford, a non-board member.
Melanie Wallace, a layperson at Hephzibah Baptist Church in Wendell, will fill the 2019 unexpired term of Tony Honeycutt, who is ineligible to serve.
Reggie Bakr, a layperson at St. Paul Baptist Church in Greensboro, will fill the 2020 term for a non-board member.
Donnie Parks, a layperson at Biltmore Baptist Church in Asheville, will fill the 2020 term for a board member.
Jeff Isenhour, pastor of Arran Lake Baptist Church in Fayetteville, will serve as the 2017 committee chair.
The Executive Committee also approved the recommendation of Jennifer Thoppil of Salem Baptist Church in Dobson to serve on the BSC’s Committee on Nominations. BSC President Cameron McGill announced that Charles Brust, pastor of Cedar Grove Baptist Church in Lumberton, will serve as this year’s chair of the Nominating Committee.
In other business, the Executive Committee also voted to authorize the convention to transfer $250,000 to support the Luther H. Butler Scholarship for N.C. Baptists, which is managed by the N.C. Baptist Foundation.
The funds would come from a BSC reserve fund that receives payment from church loans previously extended by the BSC. The church loan program moved to the foundation in 2009 with the creation of N.C. Baptist Financial Services, a ministry of the foundation.
In 2015, the Board of Directors voted to discontinue the N.C. Baptist scholarship program concurrently with the establishment of the Luther H. Butler Scholarship for N.C. Baptists by the foundation.
As part of that decision, the board agreed to provide funds as available from existing reserves to help build the endowment that funds the scholarships. The convention no longer provides scholarship funds through the Cooperative Program budget.
The endowment provides merit and need-based scholarships to students of N.C. Baptist churches attending one of the five universities historically affiliated with the convention.
Beverly Volz, director of accounting services, shared a budget update with the committee. As of Feb. 10, the convention had received more than $3.8 million in 2017 Cooperative Program receipts, which is nearly 9 percent ahead of budget to date and slightly more than 6 percent higher than the same time period in 2016.
Associate Executive Director-Treasurer Brian Davis reported that nearly $167,000 had been received so far for the 2017 N.C. Missions Offering (NCMO), which is generally emphasized in September. This year’s NCMO theme is “Eyes to See” and is based on John 4:35.