Annual meeting highlights lostness
    November 18 2013 by Dianna L. Cagle, BR Production Editor

    Messengers to the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC) Annual Meeting Nov. 11-12 learned about the convention’s strategy for impacting lostness, elected officers, worshiped with multicultural choirs, changed the name of Fruitland Baptist Bible Institute and encouraged one another to make disciples.
    Building on the 2012 theme, “Awaken,” messengers to the Nov. 11-12 meeting were asked to “Arise,” based on Isaiah 60:1-3. “There is … a passivity that God prefers to activity,” said Steve Corts, senior pastor of Center Grove Baptist Church in Clemmons. “It’s a passivity that comes from the realization that unless God goes first in a matter our going means nothing.” Corts, along with Larry Doyle, director of missions for Piedmont Baptist Association, spoke about the theme during the BSC’s 183rd annual meeting.
    With 1,899 people gathered together at Koury Convention Center in Greensboro, the number of messengers was up from 1,605 messengers in 2012 with a total of 1,648 messengers. The number of visitors was also slightly higher than the 2012 year. There were 774 churches with registered messengers, a rise from 762 in 2012.

     BSC photo by K Brown
    Part of a multiethnic choir performs Nov. 12 during the annual meeting for North Carolina Baptists.

    Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer, presented a plaque to M.O. Owens for his ministry over the years. At age 100, Owens can still be found each Sunday morning preaching at his church, Parkwood Baptist Church in Gastonia, and Sunday night at his retirement home.
    “I am grateful to have served Southern Baptist churches for 75 years and the privilege God has given me,” Owens said. “God has been so good to me.”


    The last 10 years messengers have consistently approved increases to the Cooperative Program (CP) Mission Budget. The 2014 budget will be $30 million, a decrease of $3.5 million from the 2013 budget. It includes another one-half percent increase in CP receipts that will be sent to the Southern Baptist Convention.


    Fred Luter, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, challenged messengers to return to the gospel.
    “Before we talk about what it’s going to take to change America, what is it going to take to change you?” Luter said during the convention sermon. “The only hope for America is the Word of God.”
    Messengers also heard from Mark Harris, outgoing BSC president and pastor of First Baptist Church in Charlotte, and Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer. “We are still not desperate enough to turn back,” Harris said, referring to N.C. Baptist’s sinful lives. “We will not come before the Lord and pray until we are really desperate.”
    Hollifield asked if N.C. Baptists are being effective. With 5.8 million lost people in North Carolina, Hollifield stressed the importance of the “Impacting Lostness” strategy developed by the convention. “We must create a culture in our churches, and in our personal lives, that is focused on disciple-making,” he said.


    It was the first time since 2005 that two candidates for BSC president were nominated. There were also two nominees for second vice president.
    With 1,082 ballots cast, 692 messengers gave 64 percent of the vote to C.J. Bordeaux, senior pastor of Gorman Baptist Church in Durham, who defeated Bobby Blanton, senior pastor of Lake Norman Baptist Church in Huntersville. Bordeaux was serving as the first vice president and replaces Mark Harris, senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Charlotte, as president.
    Blanton received 390 votes or 36 percent of the vote. Twenty-two ballots were spoiled and unable to be counted. Greg Mathis, senior pastor from Mud Creek Baptist Church in Hendersonville, nominated Blanton, and Ed Yount, senior pastor of Woodlawn Baptist Church in Conover, nominated Bordeaux.

    Timmy Blair Sr., senior pastor of Piney Grove Chapel Baptist Church in Angier, was the only candidate nominated for the office of first vice president. Messengers raised their ballots to approve his nomination. Stan Welch, pastor of West Asheville Baptist Church in Asheville, nominated Blair.

    The second vice president office was decided by cast ballot. Scott Faw, senior pastor of Moon’s Chapel Baptist Church in Siler City, nominated Marc Sanders, senior pastor of Sandy Creek Baptist Church in Bear Creek. Richard Hicks nominated Cameron McGill, pastor of Dublin First Baptist Church.

    With 677 ballots cast, 381 messengers voted for McGill, who defeated Sanders by 85 votes. Twenty-three ballots were spoiled and unable to be counted.


    During the Board of Directors report messengers heard amendments to the BSC bylaws as well as to Fruitland Baptist Bible Institute constitution. BSC motions included changes addressing the new structure of the BSC and the name change of Fruitland Baptist Bible Institute to Fruitland Baptist Bible College. Clarifications were also made related to voting at the annual meeting. Fruitland’s changes addressed the change of its name and purpose statement. “Even with this name change, the school will continue to retain an atmosphere that encourages development of the whole person for Christian ministry,” said David Horton, Fruitland’s president.

    Miscellaneous business

    During miscellaneous business David Gasperson, pastor of Warsaw Baptist Church in Warsaw, asked for clarification about the convention’s rural strategy.
    “When a new baby is born the older siblings worry about where they stand in the family. It isn’t encouraging when Mom says ‘I’ll fix dinner as soon as I feed the baby,’” Gasperson said. He pledged rural churches’ support of disaster relief and the “clarion call” to the cities in the eight population centers, but also asked the convention to not forget rural areas. “In Warsaw and a thousand crossroads communities across North Carolina we face a number of challenges,” he said, listing closing businesses and plants as well as farms that are now corporate owned entities. “I would request to all of our entities that efforts be made to clarify on an ongoing basis how the rural mission is to be continued.
    Both Hollifield and Brian Davis, associate executive director-treasurer, addressed Gasperson’s concerns.
    “I do not have any intention for us to neglect the rural areas of the state,” Hollifield said. “My desire is that in the rural areas we will not only be working to continue reaching people in those rural areas but my hope is that people living in the rural areas will see the eight population centers as an area of missions.”
    Phil Addison, senior pastor of Stony Point Baptist Church and member of the Board of Directors, made a motion to share about the Christian Action League’s financial shortfall. Messengers approved a motion referring Addison’s motion to the Board of Directors.

    “The history of the Christian Action League of North Carolina begins with the Baptist State Convention,” Addison said.
    Addison said the Christian Action League had helped in his county with an alcohol referendum and had been battling for more than 10 years to pass the marriage amendment. Currently they are facing funding problems which could cause the organization to suspend its efforts. “If they had not been here for the past 10 years we would definitely be in a different society than we’re in now,” he said. “If you think it’s bad now try doing it without the Christian Action League being there on our behalf.”

    Convention committee reports

    Charlie Martin, chairman, brought the report from the Committee on Nominations. The report was approved. 
    Albie Brice, chairman of the Historical Committee, presented the 2013 History Writing Contest award to Rick Blanton. Blanton was recognized for his book, Saint Paul Baptist Church: A Living History, written about Saint Paul Baptist in Casar. The Committee on Resolutions and Memorials directed messengers to their program book for a list of individuals to whom the 2013 annual is dedicated. Prior to the Annual Meeting, the committee received no outside resolutions for consideration. 
    Next year’s annual meeting is scheduled Nov. 10-11 at Koury Convention Center in Greensboro.
    (EDITOR’S NOTE – Michael McEwen, BR content editor, and Melissa Lilley, BSC communications coordinator, contributed.)
    11/18/2013 3:59:30 PM by Dianna L. Cagle, BR Production Editor | with 0 comments
    Filed under: annual convention meeting, BSC

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