BSC Board focuses on vision, Great Commission
    May 23 2011 by Dianna L. Cagle, BR Assistant Managing Editor

    Members of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC) Board of Directors met recently for the second time this year to conduct business.

    During the May 17-18 meeting at Caraway Conference Center near Asheboro, members heard from a variety of committees as well as updates about other ministries.

    Bobby Blanton, Board president and pastor of Lake Norman Baptist Church in Huntersville, presided over the meeting.

    Great Commission Partnerships
    Mike Sowers, senior consultant for Great Commission Partnerships, introduced Board members to three men helping lead efforts with the Toronto partnership: Peter Blackaby, mobilization director with the North American Mission Board (NAMB) for the Canadian Region; Dan Collison, director of Toronto Church Planting and the southern Ontario lead church planting catalyst for the Canadian National Baptist Convention and NAMB; and Jeff Christopherson, vice president of the Canadian Region with NAMB. “The kinds of people immigrating to Canada are world leaders,” said Chistopherson. “If we can reach them there we are reaching world leaders.”

    He said the partnership has “been a blessing already.”

    Sowers also updated the Board about the kickoff to the Moldova partnership with a trip in March and the continuing partnership with New York.

    Sowers said the Boston partnership will be more defined by the September Board meeting as NAMB appointments put key people in place.

    Biblical Recorder report
    Pastor Gerald Hodges of Westwood Baptist Church in Roxboro, who is chairman of the Biblical Recorder Board of Directors, gave a synopsis of the search process for the Biblical Recorder’s new editor. The board met April 18 and announced the election of K. Allan Blume as editor/president. He officially started May 25.  

    BR photo by Dianna L. Cagle

    Jeff Christopherson, standing, vice president of the Canadian region for the North American Mission Board, shares with the Baptist State Convention Board of Directors about the need for the partnership in Canada.

    “My desire is simply to take the first word of the paper’s name and live up to it,” said Blume, who left Mount Vernon Baptist Church in Boone where he was pastor. In his time with the Board, Blume asked them to pray for him, his wife and the staff at the Biblical Recorder. He also encouraged them to subscribe. One way Blume hopes to bring change is to appeal to a younger audience. In that regard he encouraged the use of The site will still be available but the is easier to remember and spell.  

    Board members welcomed Blume as Recorder editor in a reception following its first day’s meeting.

    Vision Fulfillment
    Milton A. Hollifield Jr., executive director-treasurer, distributed a printout to the Board members to highlight the ministries of the Baptist State Convention and yielded his time to Blume, who was chairman of the Vision Fulfillment committee.

    Blume led the Board through a Vision Fulfillment Forum to get feedback on how the BSC is doing in promoting its Seven Pillars for Ministry, which was written by Hollifield shortly after becoming executive-director treasurer. One of the younger Board members thanked those who had held the line against liberalism.

    The group kept returning to one of the questions — how to reach a younger generation. They also wanted to know how the institutions and agencies of the Baptist State Convention fit in the seven pillars. Blume stepped down from his chairman role after taking his new position at the Biblical Recorder. Aaron Wallace, who was the vice chairman, will now take that role.  

    The next vision forums are:
    • May 26 at Highland Baptist Church, New London
    • June 23 at Elizabeth Baptist Church, Shelby
    • June 30 at Cape Carteret Baptist Church
    • July 14 at Village Baptist Church, Fayetteville
    • July 21 at Lewis Fork Baptist Church, Wilkesboro
    North Carolina Baptist Hospital
    Paul Mullen gave an update of the North Carolina Baptist Hospital (NCBH) and Mother’s Day Offering (goal = $700,000).

    “God is working in very powerful ways with what we do together,” he said.

    One of the largest CareNet Counseling facilities operated by NCBH is in Fayetteville. Mullen said 750 military families are served here every year.

    Articles and Bylaws
    After looking over the articles and bylaws, Shannon Scott, pastor of Mount Vernon Baptist Church in Raleigh, indicated the committee has more changes in store. Scott said two pages of changes will be available before the next meeting.

    Study committees
    Blanton announced that study committees for the Baptist Faith and Message and Social Use of Alcohol have begun meeting. Both committees were formed in response to recommendations at the 2010 annual meeting.

    Business Services
    Board members approved the following: The Business Services committee moves that the annual audit report be accepted and that 20 (percent) of the operating net revenues from Convention activities be transferred to the Contingency Reserve.

    The Board also approved the first phase of Fort Caswell’s master plan to build a youth cottage building to hold approximately 100 young people and their chaperones. Initial estimates have the cost at $1.8 million but leaders feel that they will be able to hit below that mark when all the proper permits and contracts are made. This is the first of a four-phase plan for Caswell.

    Board members were also reminded that Caraway Conference Center is in the midst of its capital campaign New Beginnings. Pastors are invited to special lunches June 28 or July 19 to raise awareness of the $7.8 million campaign.

    Christian Life and Public Affairs
    Jarrod Scott referred to the Vision Fulfillment forums and how it applies to this committee. “We don’t speak for Baptists; it’s not our role,” said Scott. “But we do speak to Baptists.”

    Scott mentioned HB 854 which is before the North Carolina House and encouraged Board members to call their representatives in support of a woman’s right to know, a bill about abortions.   Scott also mentioned that the committee hopes to present a breakout session at this year’s annual meeting in Greensboro on how to minister to homosexuals as well as work with Eddie Thompson, senior consultant for marriage and family, on creating materials for pastors and other church leaders to use in ministry.

    The committee is also promoting 40 Days for Life (, a national movement in which churches conduct 24-hour, 40-day prayer vigils outside local abortion clinics. They are looking at March 2012.

    He also highlighted the committee’s blog:

    Church planting and missions development
    Todd Marlow shared that in the first quarter of 2011, church plants in North Carolina are averaging 6,835 in worship and have amassed 794 professions of faith and 406 baptisms.

    “God’s doing something,” said Marlow. “It’s pretty exciting.”

    He reported that 91 church plants are receiving financial and training assistance from the Convention; 37 more await approval and funding. Since 2006, the Convention planted 613 new churches through the end of 2010.

    After sharing about the importance of church planting, Marlow yielded some of his time to BSC’s Chuck Register, executive leader of the church planting and missions development group. Each Board member received a personalized demographic study to help churches build its ministries. Other N.C. Baptist churches can get a survey for $20 via Shirley Sells at If churches are thinking about planting a church they can upload names and addresses of church members and find out members’ drive time. Visit

    Fruitland Baptist Bible Institute
    David Horton reported that the school is adding to its satellite campuses. In conjunction with the BSC’s articles and bylaws committee, Horton said changes have been made to update Fruitland’s constitution. Copies of the new document were made available to the Board members and were approved.

    Financial report
    While the Convention continues to operate in the black, John Butler, executive leader for business services, said the entity is five percent behind where it usually is at the end of April 2010. Butler credited the late Easter holiday with the shortfall.

    Butler said the budget was ahead at the end of March but fell $500,000 behind by April. The Convention had reduced that shortfall by half on May 6, and Butler said money for the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering was expected to jump as well.

    Butler also reported that the Convention’s auditing firm issued a clean audit.

    Woman’s Missionary Union
    Ruby Fulbright, executive director of Woman’s Missionary Union of North Carolina introduced the organization’s new president to the BSC Board.

    Tana Hartsell, who is from Concord, is a member of First Baptist Church in Kannapolis. Hartsell was elected as president at the WMU-NC April meeting, which drew 1,100 participants. WMU-NC is celebrating 125 years. She praised the “courageous women who laid the vision.”

    “We remain diligent, and we remain faithful,” she said.

    (SPECIAL NOTE — Thank you for your continued support of the Biblical Recorder site. During this interim period while we are searching for a new Editor/President the comments section will be temporarily discontinued. Thank you for your understanding and patience in this. If you do have comments or issues with items we run, please contact or call 919-847-2127.)
    5/23/2011 8:19:00 AM by Dianna L. Cagle, BR Assistant Managing Editor | with 0 comments

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