Board discusses Fruitland satellites, CP
    May 28 2010 by Norman Jameson, BR Editor

    Fruitland Baptist Bible Institute will begin three satellite campuses by October President David Horton told the Baptist State Convention (BSC) board of directors May 26.

    Other business of the board, meeting on its regular schedule at Caraway Conference Center, was routine until the closing minutes. Austin Rammell, pastor of Venture, moved that the board ask its executive committee to study the feasibility of replacing “non-priority missions items” in the Cooperative Program budget with items “we say are our priority” that are now funded primarily through the North Carolina Missions Offering (NCMO).

    Before he made his motion Rammell apologized to BSC Executive Director-Treasurer Milton Hollifield Jr., saying “God had to grow me up some” in his four years on the board and his “passion sometimes gets ahead of me and I’ve sometimes been over critical and that can come off as arrogant.”

    During his board term Rammell has often pushed in discussions for the budget to fund the priorities currently included in the North Carolina Missions Offering. He feels that will both diminish the need for special offerings and increase the eagerness of churches like his to support the Cooperative Program (CP).

    The NCMO’s priority items are church planting and Baptist Men, which coordinates two of the highest profile ministries under the Convention’s umbrella: partnerships and disaster relief. If those are truly Convention priorities, Rammell reasons, they should be fully funded through the Cooperative Program and not dependent on a special offering.

    “The problem is not marketing for the Cooperative Program,” Rammell said. “GenX pastors get it. The problem is CP itself … changing how we spend our money is the key, not just changing how we market how we spend our money.”

    John Butler, BSC executive leader for business services, said because all entities share the rise or fall of Cooperative Program giving, the priorities in the NCMO would have received less money had they been in the CP budget last year than they received through the special offering. Board member Don Greene said such a change would require a reeducation process for everyone and “there would be chaos in all the churches” because “it takes years to do that, to reeducate everybody.”

    After a clarification that the motion’s only intent is to ask the executive committee to examine the feasibility of such a move, the motion passed on a raised hand vote with many abstentions. The executive committee’s findings are due back to the board in September.  

    Fruitland satellites
    Horton, making his report one year after starting as president of the Bible Institute, said satellite campuses were a clear dream from his first days.

    BR photo by Norman Jameson

    David Phelps, left, director of missions in Atlantic Baptist Association, lobbies Fruitland Baptist Bible Institute President David Horton for a satellite campus in New Bern.

    He learned when he took office that directors of missions had advocated for Fruitland satellites for years. Two hispanic satellites will open in July, one in Winston-Salem and one in Warsaw at Eastern Baptist Association. A third satellite, to open by October, will be in Union Baptist Association in Monroe.

    Horton anticipates as many as five new satellites starting in 2011.

    “We want to move slowly but methodically, to make sure the campuses we start will be done right to assure long-term success,” Horton said.

    He anticipates costs to be just $150 per course, including textbooks.

    Acknowledging the “difficult days for all of us,” Horton said, “I’m just a firm believer that we’ve got to put something out there in front of people so they have something they want to give to and be a part of … We’re gearing up to move forward. We’re not crying retreat.”  

    Three soldiers in uniform received a standing ovation when they came to report on chaplaincy ministries in which North Carolina Baptists are involved.

    Larry Jones, who works with military/chaplaincy ministries in BSC’s congregational services, is a colonel in the National Guard about to begin a four-month leave of absence from the BSC to direct a government funded study to determine ways faith communities can be more effectively utilized in helping soldiers deal with the stresses of returning from the battlefield.

    Chaplain Capt. Tommy Watson, who just returned from Iraq, said chaplains have an opportunity to minister to the “subgroup” that is soldiers.

    “We have a group of people who want to put their lives on the line, literally, to serve their country and to serve you,” Watson said. “Many are in our churches. If they’re not in your church, they’re probably in your neighborhood.”

    The chaplains want to see churches rally around soldiers and soldiers’ families even those outside the church family. 

    Watson said when that happens, both the military family and the church will be strengthened.

    When soldiers tell him about a problem at home Watson said his best resource is always to call a church at home and ask them to go see the family.

    Watson said he hears so many stories for which he has no answer other than Jesus. But churches can fill in gaps at home that will make a real difference.

    Military families are real workers, Watson said. Their involvement in a local church will strengthen that church. 

    “They want to get in there and do something,” he said. “They need to be invited. They’re probably not going to come to you first unless it’s like they come to me with a bank account that’s empty or a home torn apart.”  

    Other reports
    With CP income through April 9 percent below the same period last year, budget committee chair Steve Hardy said he anticipates a lower budget for 2011.

    Cameron McGill, chairman of the social services committee, reported enthusiastically about the 125th anniversary activities of Baptist Children’s Homes, the thousands of persons receiving counseling through Baptist CareNet and of the new senior adult ministries through North Carolina Baptist Aging Ministries, which receives an average of 30 calls per day asking for help connecting to services.

    “These are great days in spite of a few bumps along the road because of the ministries that are being done, and I’m thankful for that,” said McGill, pastor of First Baptist Church, Dublin.

    Dana Hall, president of N.C. Baptist Men said the older of two widely used medical/dental buses is worn out and must be replaced. A new vehicle will cost as much as $400,000.

    The Church Planting and Missions Development Committee reported 112 churches in the funding cycle for the first quarter of 2010.

    Embrace women’s ministry is taking its first international mission trip — to Argentina. They plan to hold teas to host locals, prayer walk, visit in the schools and do evangelism activities.

    Fifteen teams are scheduled to help Baptists in the Metropolitan New York Baptist Association this summer, including two construction teams and 13 evangelism teams.

    Fruitland students will participate in an Urban Plunge in New York, as well.
    5/28/2010 5:38:00 AM by Norman Jameson, BR Editor | with 0 comments

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