N.C. Baptists minister through various agencies
    November 17 2015 by Dianna L. Cagle, BR Production Editor

    Three entities shared reports Nov. 3 during the morning session of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s (BSC) annual meeting. The convention has a rotating schedule for agencies and institutions of the BSC. For the 2015 meeting, the Biblical Recorder had a longer report time (see story page 9) and the N.C. Baptist Foundation (NCBF), N.C. Baptist Hospital and the joint Baptist Children’s Homes of N.C. (BCH)/N.C. Baptist Aging Ministry (NCBAM) had a shorter time limit.



    Clay Warf, NCBF executive director, said the organization is celebrating its 95th birthday in November.
    It all started in 1920 when someone left $1,000 to support the NCBH. The person didn’t want the gift spent but invested over time to help the hospital in perpetuity.
    NCBF was the first Baptist Foundation; now there are more than 30 foundations associations with conventions. Warf said NCBF’s purpose remains “undergirding Baptist churches, institutions and missions endeavors on a permanent basis.”


    BR photo by Dianna L. Cagle
    Clay Warf, executive director for the North Carolina Baptist Foundation, shares his report to messengers to the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina Nov. 2-3.

    It wasn’t until 1962 that the first full-time employee was hired. By then, that $1,000 investment had grown to $250,000. When the second director was hired in 1972, assets had grown to exceed $2.5 million; when he retired in 1997, that total was $70 million.
    Today, NCBF manages 2,264 charitable accounts. More than half are permanent endowments – 1,387 permanent endowments benefiting 541 different ministries on a permanent basis “from now until the Lord returns,” Warf said. Ministries that the money helps include the BSC along with some of the BSC’s agencies, churches and various Christian social and medical ministries.
    NCBF provides a $200 monthly stipend to more than 50 retired pastors or spouses “who have serious need” as well as one-time gifts to help pay for specific needs like a roof or medical costs. The foundation provides Christian estate planning and endowment document preparation at no cost. He announced the establishment of the N.C. Baptist Scholars program in 2016. The goal is to provide meaningful scholarships to students, Warf said. “You can see there is much to celebrate,” he said.
    At the end of 2014, NCBF managed $152.6 million. During its first 94 years, NCBF distributed $115.8 million to charities and ministries and $47.8 million in charitable trusts which will eventually roll over to support those same charities and ministries.
    “The Lord continues to bless this ministry,” Warf said, encouraging leaders to tell church members about the foundation and how NCBF might help them plan for the future.


    Leland Kerr, FaithHealthNC liaison for Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, highlighted the beginnings of North Carolina Baptist Hospital more than 90 years ago. Today, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is ranked in the top 50 hospitals nationally in several critical areas, Kerr said.
    FaithHealthNC was started three years ago as a partnership between churches, hospitals and community resources. He focused on a Winston-Salem church that has started a transportation ministry to take people to the doctor, the pharmacy and other appointments. That church launched a free clinic that offers services monthly. Kerr said the church wants to expand it to open weekly.
    “They continue to reach out to the most vulnerable in the community with the love of Jesus Christ,” he said. The goal is to connect Baptist associations, churches and chaplains to better serve the community.
    He announced a partnership with the General Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, the largest African-American convention in the state.
    “We’re also grateful for the Cooperative Program, support of FaithHealthNC and CareNet Counseling,” Kerr said. “Through your giving, we can say no client is turned away because of lack of resources.”
    Through the Mother’s Day Offering each year, N.C. Baptists “continue to touch lives with hope … as [people] face daunting medical bills.”
    “Together we’re making a difference in people’s health and in their lives as we continue to find new ways to extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ especially to the needy,” he said.


    Michael Blackwell presented a report covering both BCH and NCBAM. BCH celebrated its 130th birthday Nov. 11, and NCBAM has existed for six years.
    In 2014, both agencies reached 15,690 people.
    “That is an incredible, verifiable number of lives touched,” Blackwell said, highlighting 100 decisions for Christ. Two boys who made that decision were featured in the 2015 BCH Thanksgiving Offering materials.
    Jonathan and Thomas, brothers who came to BCH in June 2014, both think BCH is “ a good place to be,” Jonathan said. Both boys are looking forward to being baptized. Their grandmother told messengers, “I just can’t begin to tell you how God has blessed our family and blessed these boys. We just thank God for (BCH).”
    Blackwell introduced J. Billy Graham, who received some help from NCBAM.
    Just over a year ago, Graham lost his wife.
    “We were there with Billy when his beautiful wife … began her descent into the darkness of Alzheimer’s,” Blackwell said.
    Graham, who was married for 62 years, found out about NCBAM through his association. NCBAM offers help to retired pastors, directors of mission and missionaries. Graham said with NCBAM’s help he was able to choose the best care for his wife. NCBF also met with Graham to revise his will, name power of attorney and pre-plan funeral arrangements.
    Last year, NCBAM helped 7,572 clients. “We will continue our ministry of hope and health and healing,” Blackwell, who is in his 33rd year as president, said. “We will never turn a child away who has suffered trauma or neglect. We will not turn our backs on the frail elderly. Stand with us North Carolina Baptists.”

    11/17/2015 12:59:15 PM by Dianna L. Cagle, BR Production Editor | with 0 comments
    Filed under: 2015 annual meeting, N.C. Baptists

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