November 2010

NC Baptists plan shorter meeting, smaller budget

November 15 2010 by BR staff/BSC Communications

North Carolina Baptists meeting Nov. 8-10 in Greensboro decided they no longer want to take three days to conduct their annual business and approved two-day meetings for the future. They also adopted a budget six percent smaller than in 2010, re-elected their officers, passed motions that reopen controversial discussions related to alcohol and doctrinal positions, and passed resolutions affirming the Cooperative Program and the work of the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force.

During his address Nov. 8, Executive Director-Treasurer Milton A. Hollifield Jr., also stated his support for moving the Convention to a 50-50 split of Cooperative Program receipts from churches with the Southern Baptist Convention.

The 2011 budget inches CP sharing with the SBC up half a percentage point to 35 percent. It is the sixth consecutive such increase, despite declining gifts pushing the 2011 budget down to the size of the 1999 budget.

BSC photo by K Brown

Each of the Baptist State Convention officers were re-elected to second terms without opposition. From left: CJ Bordeaux, second vice president and pastor of Gorman Baptist Church, Durham; Beth and Mark Harris, first vice president and pastor of First Baptist Church, Charlotte; and Tanya and Ed Yount, president and pastor of Woodlawn Baptist Church, Conover.

Some 1,746 messengers passed two motions and three resolutions. One motion, presented by Phil Addison, pastor of Stony Point Baptist Church, asked the Board of Directors to adopt the Baptist Faith & Message 2000 as the doctrinal statement of the BSC.

A motion by Tim Rogers, pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Indian Trail, asked for a study on the use of alcohol, especially in relation to funding church plants, people in leadership and hiring of personnel.

Two resolutions, published in the Oct. 23 Biblical Recorder and available online, thanked the host city and embraced the Cooperative Program as Baptists’ primary missions funding channel.

The Cooperative Program resolution, also offered by Tim Rogers, acknowledged the “value of concerted, cooperative ministries of our churches to reach the peoples of our state, the nation and the world” and a resolve to “embrace the Cooperative Program model as the most accountable, effective and compelling method for fulfilling the Great Commission of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

A resolution rejected by the Resolutions Committee, but approved by messengers who had to vote by two-thirds majority to suspend the rules to hear it, thanked the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force for its work. The resolution was offered by Brent Hobbs, pastor of Severn Baptist Church.

Of the 1,746 messengers, 599 were pastors, 243 were church staff, 199 were spouses and 703 were laity. Visitors totaled 182 bringing the total in attendance to 1,928, 127 fewer than last year and just 27 more than the number that attended the 1952 meeting.

Shrinking budget

This will mark the sixth year of the past eight that CP gifts from churches have been lower than the previous year. Messengers adopted a 2011 budget of $32.7 million, which is six percent lower than last year and the size of the 1999 budget. Yet in 2011, for the sixth consecutive year, the SBC allocation of CP gifts has been increased one-half percent.

In the North Carolina budget, 44.2 percent of gifts fund North Carolina board directed ministries and 20.8 percent support North Carolina’s institutions and agencies. The rest, 35 percent, is sent to the Southern Baptist Convention for national and international missions and education.

Hollifield said in his address that he wants to move toward a 50-50 split “over a protracted period” as North Carolina Baptist churches step up their giving.

The only budget opposition voiced was to the reduction in funds to the Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina. Budget Chairman Steve Hardy explained that budget recipients’ income is tied to percentages and a decrease in anticipated income results in fewer dollars, even though the percentage of the budget remains the same.


All officers who served this year were re-elected with no other nominations from the floor. Ed Yount, pastor of Woodlawn Baptist Church in Conover, maintains his presidency. Mark Harris, pastor of First Baptist Church in Charlotte, stays on as first vice president, and C.J. Bordeaux, pastor of Gorman Baptist Church in Durham, is second vice president.

Committee news

In other committee reports, the Historical Committee recognized Roger Bullard, member of First Baptist Church in Wilson, as winner of the 2010 History Writing Contest. Bullard won for his “The Life and times of First Baptist Church Wilson, 1860-2010.”

Messengers approved the Committee on Nominations report brought by chair Perry Brindley with no discussion.

The full list of persons to serve on the BSC board and as trustees of institutions and agencies has been printed in the Biblical Recorder.

The next annual meeting will be Nov. 7-8, 2011 at the Koury Center in Greensboro. The convention will return in 2012 to the Coliseum, followed by two more years at the Koury Center.

11/15/2010 9:23:00 AM by BR staff/BSC Communications | with 3 comments

Motions: Convention to study alcohol, BFM

November 15 2010 by Norman Jameson, BR Editor

Motions approved by messengers to the Baptist State Convention (BSC) Nov. 9 call for studies on North Carolina Baptists’ position on alcohol and on adopting the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 as the statement of doctrinal parameters for the Convention.

Tim Rogers, pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Indian Trail, introduced the motion on alcohol because of concerns that failure to address the issue specifically was implying approval of moderate social drinking, when he believes abstinence is the only appropriate stance for a Christian.

Mark Creech, a member of Carter’s Chapel Baptist Church in Selma and executive director of the Christian Action League in North Carolina, supported the motion, saying he is disturbed about the “loose and even irresponsible way” the church approaches the issue of beverage alcohol use.

“We have a whole new group coming up that don’t have a strong biblical position on alcohol use,” Creech said from his booth in the exhibit hall later. “They advocate moderation rather than abstention.”

Creech said he’s seeing “slippage in the Baptist ranks” concerning their attitudes toward social drinking. “We need to draw a line,” he said.

Yet in his comments supporting the motion, Creech said the motion “would do nothing to violate a person’s personal convictions on alcohol use” but rather would develop a policy that “requires Convention leadership and various ministries set the highest example.”

BR photo by Dianna L. Cagle

Tim Rogers, pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Indian Trail, looks at his notes Nov. 9 before talking about his motion before the Baptist State Convention annual messengers.

Rogers’ goal is a policy that employs, releases funds for church planting, and nominates only persons serving on the board of the BSC, or any agency or institution, who personally do not uses and publicly advocate total abstinence from the social use of beverage alcohol.

Rogers was prompted to present the motion by photographs of non-BSC church planters with alcohol, and statements by a prominent North Carolina Baptist pastor that he would consume alcohol if “not drinking” would be a stumbling block to winning a person to Christ. To argue that there is any situation where not drinking “would hurt the cause of the gospel” is a false argument, said Rogers, who found encouragement from other pastors to present the motion, but none that would help him place it before the Convention. Rogers said after he presented his motion, “I was concerned that if we continued down the road we would end up affirming the social use of beverage alcohol.”

While a motion against beverage alcohol was approved at the 2006 Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Greensboro, it did not pass without opposition and Rogers was dismayed at the picture offered to the public that had Baptist pastors arguing against abstinence. He says his motion does not address a church’s position, but “merely directs a policy to be implemented that states to the world, the Southern Baptists that make up the North Carolina Baptist State Convention oppose the moderate use of beverage alcohol and we will not employ anyone that advances its use.”  

Motion for BF&M
Phil Addison, pastor of Stony Point Baptist Church in Stony Point and a member of the BSC board of directors, asked messengers to “direct the Board of Directors to study and come with recommendations concerning the adoption of the Baptist Faith and message 2000 as the doctrinal statement for the North Carolina Baptist State Convention.”

Addison said it is time to adopt “doctrinal parameters” that will be beneficial to church planting, discipleship and church health.

“Many issues we face in the Convention would not have been issues years ago if we’d have had doctrinal parameters,” Addison said. “Somehow we’ve never decided we’re Southern Baptist” and will work with the Baptist Faith and Message, he said.

“It’s time we get this mess behind us,” he said, without detailing the “mess” to which he referred.

Adopting any creedal statement has long been anathema to Baptists until the “conservative resurgence” in Southern Baptist life prompted a restatement of “Baptist beliefs.”

No statement is binding on any autonomous church, although the arguments that result in discussion about such statements have caused significant controversy wherever it has been introduced.
11/15/2010 9:10:00 AM by Norman Jameson, BR Editor | with 10 comments

NCBAM reaches across state

November 15 2010 by Dianna L. Cagle, BR Assistant Managing Editor

North Carolina Baptist’s ministry to an aging population was just introduced at last year’s annual meeting but has already begun making a difference in a number of communities and in individual’s lives.

“We do not build retirement homes but we sure do help people in need,” said Michael Blackwell, North Carolina Baptist Aging Ministry’s president. In the report for NCBAM, given Nov. 9 at the annual meeting of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, Blackwell called himself a doting grandfather and updated messengers about the safe arrival of his “children” early that morning.

The “children” are from Baptist Children’s Home (BCH) who had come to Koury Convention Center the first night of the meeting for its presentation. Blackwell also runs BCH.

For many aging men and women, they are “sometimes just a little too proud to ask for help,” Blackwell said.

Through NCBAM, someone had help getting a glass eye, houses were cleaned, dishes were washed, etc.

Blackwell said NCBAM was in 63 associations and 60 churches across North Carolina. Around 600 helpers have been sent out through NCBAM to serve the elderly; 21 grants have been given to churches or associations to help with NCBAM ministries; and 16 training sessions were held.

A World War II veteran has been alone for 32 years since his wife died from cancer in Alamance County. Because of NCBAM, he now has access to Meals on Wheels.

Blackwell said this man has no church affiliation. “You and I as North Carolina Baptists could provide God’s face,” he said.

The pamphlet provides “help for the journey to show how you can get involved” with seniors in the local community.

“Too many aging adults today are falling through the cracks,” Blackwell said.

In his closing comments, Blackwell offered some advice:
  • Be well
  • Stay strong
  • Know your numbers (blood pressure, cholesterol)
  • Wear sunscreen
  • Take vitamins
Blackwell encouraged people to be aware of the needs around them. “Friends that is NCBAM in the flesh,” he said.

Volunteers and staff members distributed “Passport: Help for the journey,” a handout to give ideas to help senior citizens for each month of the year.
11/15/2010 9:03:00 AM by Dianna L. Cagle, BR Assistant Managing Editor | with 0 comments

Missional discipleship essential to GC

November 15 2010 by Melissa Lilley and Norman Jameson, BSC Communications/BR

Dennis Pethers was drawn to faith by reading the copy of Mere Christianity his boss gave him. He was embarrassed to be reading a Christian book, but did it out of obligation to his boss.

Pethers, now founder of Viz-a-Viz Ministries in the United Kingdom and International Director of More to Life, was one of six panelists in a question and answer session about “missional discipleship” Nov. 8 in conjunction with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC) annual meeting. 

“Missional discipleship is not a new way of recruiting people for church. Missional discipleship is living out the reality that the Son of God came to seek and to save the lost,” Pethers said.

For someone who had never in his life thought about God in a country where only four to seven percent of people attend church, believing in God was not easy. Pethers eventually came to receive Jesus as Savior and better understands why so many people want nothing to do with God or the church.

“We don’t present a credible Christ,” he said. “We often present the completely wrong message.”

Too often Christianity and the gospel become a set of rules or a recruitment campaign.

Alvin Reid, professor of evangelism and student ministry at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, began the discussion by fleshing out the term “missional discipleship.”

“Missional is an adjective,” he said. “It is taking the posture of a missionary and living the life of a missionary.”

BR photo by Norman Jameson

Winfield Bevins, left, pastor of Church of the Outer Banks, and Dennis Pethers, founder of Viz-a-Viz, served on a missional discipleship panel Nov. 8 in Greensboro before the start of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina annual meeting.

Missional discipleship will not happen when believers see the church as a building they go to. Believers must get out into the world, investing in peoples’ lives and always being mindful of opportunities to share the gospel.

Reid said disciples must “confront the idols of our time” among which he numbered consumerism and sexuality.

Reid also said “there is a crisis of manliness in our culture.” The church has been “neutered” Reid said, and it values “virtues that are feminine” such as compassion, mercy, love and kindness. Not many are championing qualities more typically associated with maleness, such as risk, wisdom, boldness and discipline.

The answer may not be explicitly spiritual, he said. Christians need to get a clue what’s happening in the culture and be able to theologically, spiritually and biblically confront those idols.

Nate Akin, Southeastern’s student development liaison to the churches, put it this way: “Missionaries create disciples, they don’t create converts. The gospel creates disciples.” Akin said the church should be the primary means of accomplishing the Great Commission and thus of making disciples. “Discipleship takes place best in community,” he said.

One reason missional discipleship is not part of the lifestyle of more believers is because families do not take responsibility. “Discipleship begins at home,” said Winfield Bevins, founding pastor of Church of the Outer Banks. “We have privatized Christianity in North America; we need to walk together.”

Brian Upshaw, BSC church ministry team leader, can relate. He shared during the panel that although he grew up in a Christian home, he was raised in an “attractional, programmatic church” that viewed attendance as the platform for making disciples. Now, Upshaw is trying to do things differently. He is leading his family to reach out to their neighbors and to begin a Bible study in their neighborhood, all in an effort to share Christ and make disciples.

Missional discipleship is not without challenges, one of the most prevalent being lots of church programs.

While programs do not need to be tossed out and can be platforms for evangelism and discipleship, “programs can replace personal responsibility for discipleship,” Bevins said.

Bevins also said churches often silo evangelism and discipleship and fail to realize the cost of either. Whether time, money or inconvenience, “real discipleship will cost us something,” he said.

Missional discipleship begins with leadership. “We have to start in the mirror,” Reid said.

“An air of humility from leaders would go a long way,” said Sean Cordell, pastor for preaching and mercy ministries at Treasuring Christ Church in Raleigh. Cordell said believers must speak the truth in every opportunity they get.

“You must gospel with your mouth every day,” he said. “When people see a beautiful Jesus, then they will want to be like Him.”   

Discipleship also requires humility. Believers must never come to the point where they see themselves as having any sense of entitlement. “We are only entitled to hell,” Reid said. “Everything else is grace.”

Upshaw is being intentional about sharing the gospel in his neighborhood, providing a “safe place” in his home where neighbors can “ask some pretty scary questions about God.”

“I may be planting a church in my neighborhood. I don’t know. But I am planting the gospel in my neighborhood,” Shaw said.

Pethers said “membership” will not be the way churches measure their success in the future. “If we started a Baptist movement now, like we did centuries ago, our measurement would not be about members … it would be something more meaningful, deeper. In missional discipleship are we even about wanting to recruit more members or are we about wanting to make more disciples?”
11/15/2010 8:48:00 AM by Melissa Lilley and Norman Jameson, BSC Communications/BR | with 0 comments

Skype bridges gap in Greensboro

November 15 2010 by Melissa Lilley, BSC Communications

The International Mission Board report Nov. 9 came as a personal testimony from missionaries seeking to live out the Great Commission in a South Asian country void of almost any gospel witness.

Thanks to a live Skype connection, James and Sharon* shared with messengers about how God called them to minister in Nepal as church planters once James graduated from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest.

They then returned stateside for a few years and are now back in South Asia, this time in a different country to focus on unreached people groups.

The state where James and Sharon live has a population of 70 million. One percent is Christian. Out of 54,000 villages and towns, 8,000 have a Christian presence and that presence may only be one believer.

“It’s a very, very dark place,” James said. Yet, the couple feels “honored to have been sent out.”

James and Sharon spoke about the importance of the Great Commission not just to their calling to South Asia but to their teaching in their country.

“We go out and we encourage and work alongside brothers and sisters to help make new disciples,” James said.

James said they often use storytelling as a means to share the gospel, and a story they like to tell is of the woman who poured perfume on Jesus’ feet and then wiped His feet with her hair. It is an example of an extravagant love and devotion to Jesus.

“That love is the basis of discipleship,” James said. “Being a disciple is being obedient to what we know-no matter how much it is.”

Sharon thanked North Carolina Baptists for supporting international missions.

“This is from our heart,” she said. “We are so thankful for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and the Cooperative Program. That’s what makes living here easier for us. The offerings your churches give, we do not take that for granted.”

*Names changed for security reasons
11/15/2010 8:47:00 AM by Melissa Lilley, BSC Communications | with 1 comments

Surgery sidelines BR editor

November 12 2010 by BR staff

Severe abdominal pains sent Norman Jameson to the emergency room Nov. 10.

After spending the day in the emergency room and undergoing numerous tests, doctors operated to try to find out the cause of his pain.

Apparently adhesions and scarring had taken place where he had his appendix removed 30 years ago.

The doctors believe had the surgery not taken place when it did that they would have had to remove part of his intestine.

He was admitted to the Wesley Long Community Hospital in Greensboro Nov. 10 where he will remain for several days.

Friends and family who saw him, before and after surgery, say he’s feeling better and the pain, while not gone, has diminished tremendously.

Jameson was in Greensboro covering the Baptist State Convention annual meeting at the Koury Convention Center.
11/12/2010 10:22:00 AM by BR staff | with 15 comments

Hollifield commits to 50/50 CP split with SBC

November 10 2010 by Norman Jameson, BR Editor

North Carolina Baptists’ top administrator declared his commitment to move the state convention to a 50-50 split of Cooperative Program (CP) funds with the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) “over a protracted period” in his address to messengers Nov. 8.

At the same time, he said it could not be done without increased giving from North Carolina Baptist churches.

“It is imperative that we all understand that a move to increase the SBC portion must be accompanied by an increase in CP support by our churches,” Hollifield said.

This will mark the sixth year of the past eight that CP gifts from churches have been lower than the previous year. Messengers adopted a 2011 budget the size of the 1999 budget. Yet in 2011, for the sixth consecutive year, the SBC allocation of CP gifts has been increased one-half percent. 

BSC photo by K Brown

Milton Hollifield addresses messengers and visitors at the Baptist State Convention annual meeting.

“If our churches do not increase their support of the Cooperative Program we can’t reach the goal without deep cuts in church planting and partnership ministries that I’m convinced God is calling us to do … ministries that the churches of this state voted to establish and support,” Hollifield said.

Hollifield pointed out that if churches had maintained their CP giving percentage of 1995, $15 million more would have been available for missions throughout the state and world annually.

While Hollifield affirmed each church’s autonomy to determine how it will invest mission dollars, including avenues other than the Cooperative Program, he said, “If a congregation wants to have a strong voice in how a convention uses the dollars, they need to be strong givers.”

His call to dramatically alter the division of Cooperative Program gifts between the Baptist State Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention is evidence that he is “deeply committed to strengthening the partnership between the Baptist State Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention.”

Hollifield’s declaration comes after a year of vocal pushing for such a division by supporters of the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force study and report. During a panel at last year’s annual session GCR task force member and Calvary Baptist Church’s pastor from Winston-Salem Al Gilbert called a 50-50 division “a good start.”

Hollifield said lower gifts in churches and from churches “is just a symptom of a larger problem of church health. When this problem is solved then stewardship will naturally be addressed with our people.”

If more churches were spiritually healthy, Hollifield said, “we would see them doing things differently,” including seeing members who tithe instead of giving an average of two percent of their income.

In his annual address, Hollifield said 2010 has been a year both of “difficulty and challenge” and a year of “great celebration.”

He said challenges included the economy which has negatively affected all but a “few churches,” and a growing diversity that includes “many newcomers (who) bring religious practices that many North Carolina Baptists are not prepared to address.”

He encouraged his audience not to be distracted by difficulties “or we’ll miss the great and mighty things God is accomplishing through His church.”

For Hollifield such evidence includes planting 98 churches in 2009; financially sponsoring five ethnic church plants in New York City with a gift of $50,000; and 20 percent growth in baptisms.

As people push the Baptist State Convention toward a closer identity with the Southern Baptist Convention, Hollifield drew distinctions between the work of each organization. Each has “different and distinct assignments … but we partner with the SBC to accomplish some things that require joint efforts,” he said.

Lamenting too many Christian’s moral failures, Hollifield committed to “pray, share, and to personally seek to disciple and mentor” more persons in 2011. If others would make such a commitment but are unsure how to do it, he urged them to call the Baptist State Convention and staff would come help.

He said he is “disturbed at the infighting that continues to paralyze the ministries of so many churches.”

Such conflict leaves people “wounded and discouraged.” “I do not know about you,” Hollifield said, “but I am committing before you this evening to work to bring peace, and healing, and unity without uniformity to this convention in the hopes that this convention might indeed be a model for the churches.”  
11/10/2010 2:50:00 AM by Norman Jameson, BR Editor | with 7 comments

Children light up first night of meeting

November 9 2010 by Dianna L. Cagle, BR Assistant Managing Editor

GREENSBORO — More than 250 children and staff from Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina (BCH) impressed messengers at the Baptist State Convention annual meeting with a colorful presentation about “growing hope.”

Their presentation Nov. 8 started with a video thanking North Carolina Baptists “for keeping the love story alive.”

Baptists rose to their feet and applauded as children and adults streamed into the meeting room from the back and front. Dressed in varying shades of green, children and staff entered the meeting room carrying flowers and butterflies.

BR photo by Norman Jameson

Young ladies at the Baptist Children’s Home of North Carolina enter the meeting hall Nov. 8 for the BCH report to messengers of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.

A young lady began singing and everyone joined in the chorus.

“I would like to thank Dr. Blackwell and all North Carolina Baptists for plenty of food and my own bedroom,” said a 15-year-old young man who lives at Broyhill. He came to BCH at age 12 weighing 32 pounds. He had never been in school.

Paulina, who was featured this year in a BCH article in the Biblical Recorder, talked of her abusive father. “At BCH, I have a refuge where I am safe and loved,” she said.

Michelle, 10, shared that she was failing school before she came to live at the BCH. Now, she’s on the honor roll.

Jim Dyer, placed at Kennedy Home at age 8, left at age 16 shared that “Kennedy Home will always be my earthly home.” He told messengers, “You made an eternal difference in my life.”

Ed Yount, Baptist State Convention president, introduced the BCH presentation, highlighting the “helping hurting children, healing broken homes” theme. Yount introduced Michael Blackwell, BCH president since 1983.

Blackwell met Dyer, the Thanksgiving offering poster child in 1955, the first week he was at BCH. He held up the youngest resident, Alex, who lives at Care House with his mother.

“We have been around for a long time,” said Blackwell, referring to BCH’s 125-year anniversary which will be celebrated Thursday in Thomasville.

He called the Thanksgiving offering the “umbilical cord of support.”

Blackwell predicted another tough financial year next year and encouraged churches to pray and receive an offering to support BCH’s ministries in 18 North Carolina communities. 

Cloth squares painted and sewn with messages of hope from individuals and churches were sewn into three tapestries and lined the walls of the meeting hall and exhibit hall. About 6,200 one-foot-square cloths decorated the halls.

Other BSC news
Music for the first night was provided by North Carolina Baptist singers and orchestra.

Milton Hollifield, BSC executive director-treasurer, declared his commitment to moving the convention to a 50-50 Cooperative Program split if churches increase giving (story to come).

Messengers voted to hold a two-day annual meeting next year and to limit debate on all matters by requiring that each speech be no more than three minutes.
11/9/2010 4:05:00 AM by Dianna L. Cagle, BR Assistant Managing Editor | with 0 comments

Camp Duncan fulfills long dream

November 5 2010 by Blake Ragsdale, BCH Communications

Nearly 500 guests who have shared the dream of a wilderness camp for girls, based on the Cameron Boys Camp model, helped to dedicate Camp Duncan for girls in Aberdeen Oct. 30. “Ladies and gentlemen … dreams do come true,” Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina  (BCH) President Michael C. Blackwell announced to the crowd.

Several attempts through the years to create a girls camp fell short. But when the late Haskell and Gay Duncan made their expansive residential property in Aberdeen available to BCH, they provided the ideal location. Now, during BCH’s 125th anniversary and 30 years after the opening of Cameron Boys Camp, Camp Duncan for girls has arrived.

BCH photo

Arwen Hays, a counselor at Camp Duncan, gives a tour of the girls’ campsite to guests attending the dedication. Girls will live at the campsite with Arwen and other female counselors as part of the therapeutic camping program.

“This is God’s timing,” Blackwell proclaimed. “When God opens the door you have to be ready to move through it. That is what has happened with Camp Duncan.”

Through the help of North Carolina Baptist Men, contractor Chuck Scott, and hundreds of volunteer laborers, BCH has repurposed the Duncan’s residential land and its existing facilities for the camp.

“There has been so much support ... so many churches involved in building Camp Duncan,” said Camp Duncan Director Paul Daley, a 30-year veteran of BCH, most of which he spent directing Cameron Boys Camp. “You are part of building a spiritual heritage. It’s all about Jesus and what He’s wanted us to do.”

Since early 2009, more than 2,000 volunteers have worked to transform the property.

“The volunteer efforts and numerous donations have been vital,” Blackwell said. “Without the overwhelming generosity of North Carolina Baptists and so many others there would be no Camp Duncan.”

Camp Duncan will serve school-aged girls. The children will live outside year round in a highly-structured, wilderness environment. Three female staff members called chiefs have been hired to serve as the counselors to the initial group of ten girls. The goal is to help girls and their families overcome the challenges and obstacles in their lives and reunify the household.

Like all of BCH’s programs, Camp Duncan is Christ-centered. A very special place on the property is the outdoor chapel where the girls will worship

“This has been one of the most remarkable years ever at BCH,” Blackwell said, “And the dedication of Camp Duncan is one of the events that has made it even more remarkable.”
11/5/2010 9:46:00 AM by Blake Ragsdale, BCH Communications | with 0 comments

Hurricane Tomas bears down on Haiti

November 5 2010 by Barbara Denman, Baptist Press

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — An embattled Haiti is bracing for Hurricane Tomas, which strengthened into a hurricane today before its projected hit.

In the 10 months since the Jan. 12 earthquake, Haitians have lived in fear of two potential threats, with more than 1.3 million homeless in unsanitary and unstable tent cities: disease and hurricanes in the tropical climate.

Those living in tent cities are most at risk. What the strong winds do not destroy, the floodwaters will, as thousands of tents line riverbanks and low-lying areas.

Florida and Southern Baptist disaster relief teams on the ground in Port-au-Prince are making preparations for the worst, said Eddie Blackmon, Haiti Rebuild coordinator for Southern Baptist Disaster Relief.

“We are sending two medical teams from Pensacola back to the U.S., getting our water supplies together in a safe place and filling up our vehicles with gas, much like we do when a hurricane is threatening Florida,” said Blackmon. Construction materials being used to rebuild homes also are being secured, he noted.

Although media reports suggest that the government is moving people out of the tent cities, Blackmon said he had driven through the tent cities in Port-au-Prince during the past two days and “seen no movement. My biggest concern is for the people in the tent cities.”

“There is really no place for them to go,” Blackmon added. “If there were, the government would have moved them before now.”

Fritz Wilson, incident commander of the Haiti earthquake response and Florida Baptist disaster relief director, reported that the convention has 17 tons of rice positioned in warehouses across Haiti, with pastors trained for making distributions if needed.

“We have our supplies and resources on the ground,” Wilson said.

“In God’s timing,” he said, “next week we are scheduled to take more than 4,000 Buckets of Hopes to Jeremie and Les Cayes,” towns in southwestern Haiti where the hurricane is likely to hit. Each bucket, packed by Southern Baptist hands, contains enough food to feed a Haitian family for more than a week.

Related stories
Haiti relief turns from rescue to rebuild
Spoke’n: Storm approaches
11/5/2010 9:24:00 AM by Barbara Denman, Baptist Press | with 0 comments

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