September 2010

AA co-founder scaled back references to God

September 24 2010 by Whitney Jones, Religion News Service

The basic text used for Alcoholics Anonymous programs, known as “The Big Book,” initially used stronger religious language but was reduced to appeal to a wider audience, The Washington Post is reporting.

Hazelden, a nonprofit addiction treatment center, will release the working manuscript of the book written by AA’s co-founder, Bill Wilson, including hand-written edits and comments, according to The Post.

The changes marked in red, black and green reveal a debate on how openly God should be a part of addiction recovery in the published manuscript, according to The Book That Started It All: The Original Working Manuscript of Alcoholics Anonymous.

The adoption of more vague religious terms in “The Big Book,” including phrases like “higher power” and the “God of your understanding,” show how Wilson scaled back the religious tone to engage a broader group of people.

Worship terms were also taken out of the revised version of the book. The seventh step of the 12-step recovery program, which is “humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings” originally stated “humbly, on our knees, asked Him to remove our shortcomings — holding nothing back.”

Nick Motu, senior vice president of Hazelden publishing, agreed with Wilson’s decision to take out the strong religious language.

“If it had been a Christian-based book, a religious book, it wouldn’t have succeeded as it has,” he told The Post.
9/24/2010 5:38:00 AM by Whitney Jones, Religion News Service | with 0 comments

Old Town clinic meets medical, spiritual needs

September 22 2010 by Dianna L. Cagle
, BR Asst. Managing Editor

WINSTON-SALEM — Shade beneath the oaks did little to stop the sweat trickling down the forehead of a woman seated outside Old Town Baptist Church in Winston-Salem on a recent Monday night in August.

She had come for a free eye check at the church’s medical clinic. Another came about her blood pressure. The first 10 people or so arrived almost two hours before the clinic opened to make sure they were seen. The line grew behind them.

A woman who works in fast food said her income does not cover expenses. “(The medical clinic) means a lot because we have no work,” said another.

For four years, Old Town has run this clinic — each first, third and fifth Monday – from 7 p.m. until all are seen.

Missions pastor Mark Harrison loves this ministry and the volunteers who range in age from youth to seniors.

“There’s something for everybody,” Harrison said. “It’s an avenue for service … whether you have medical skills or not you can make a difference.”

“The coolest thing about missions to me is it’s one of the greatest opportunities to do multi-generational ministry,” Harrison said.

The church offers evangelism training members can apply while serving in the medical clinic and other church ministries.  

Coordinating volunteers
Debbie Parker serves as volunteer coordinator. A retired registered nurse, Parker communicates with around 100 people via e-mail and phone. Most volunteers are from Old Town but some come from other churches and the medical community. The clinic needs 35 to 40 people to operate.

“We have a core group (of about 10) who are just always there,” Parker said. “Without them it would be hard to run the clinic.”

With that baseline she feels comfortable that the rest will fall in place.

“There are nights I ride down the road (toward the clinic) and I’m not sure how it’s all going to come together … but we’ve never had a clinic that hasn’t been balanced. God always provides enough people,” she said.

The beginning of the school year is a busy time because of physicals.

“I think the clinic was one thing God had in mind for me when I retired,” said Parker, who retired in 2006, several months before the church held a mock clinic to test the idea.

Until she broke her ankle recently, Parker only missed one or two clinics a year.

“For everybody that volunteers I think they enjoy being able to use the skills and abilities that God has given them to serve the community,” she said. “I know the patients that come are so grateful to be able to have free care.”

Some patients come for ongoing medical needs like hypertension or diabetes.

“If it weren’t for our clinic they would have a chronic disease that would kill them,” she said.  
Eye care
Dr. Van Teague sees “a ton of folks” each clinic. Old Town’s clinic is unique in offering eye exams. On a recent clinic Teague and his colleagues saw 17 patients within a couple of hours.

Teague said the clinic relies on nonmedical volunteers like the translators, file runners and child care workers.

BR photo by Dianna L. Cagle

Dr. Susan Yee prepares for another eye exam at Old Town Baptist Church’s medical clinic. Yee, along with Dr. Van Teague, background, volunteer regularly to help people in the community. They check eye pressure and vision before writing prescriptions. See photo gallery and video.

“Without our translators we are dead in the water,” Teague said. “A lot of people that come here have jobs but (don’t earn enough) for insurance.”

For the number of people served each year, the budget is “ridiculously low,” Teague said, calling it a loaves and fishes ministry. “We always seem to have enough.”

“What I would like is for other churches to do the same,” Teague said. “They have the resources. Let’s look at what Jesus did. He met physical needs.”

Teague said Christians are to be the “salt and light of the world.”

“If you have the capability and the means and don’t do it,” he said, “you’re missing out on a blessing.”  

Hearing test
Linda Mock, an audiologist for 25 years at Baptist Hospital, doesn’t come to every clinic. Her main job is to come in the fall when children need hearing tests for school.

A member at a nearby Methodist church, she says her clients are about four or five years old.  She tests various decibel levels and frequencies to make sure they are ready for school.

“There were a lot of kids not getting services anywhere else,” said Mock, who is in her third year volunteering at the church. “It’s an opportunity to give back to the community.”

“This church has really supported this ministry,” she said. “They’ve really done a lot of work.” People at the clinic are the “nicest people to work with … They all have big hearts.”  

How it began
Old Town’s medical clinic began in the mind of member Jim Johnson, a physician assistant. He was inspired after reading Robert Foster’s The Sword and the Scalpel about a missionary physician in Africa.

Johnson wondered “why people don’t get excited about local medical missions.”

He began praying and planning with several people. They made a list of people with talents that could help at a medical clinic — from medical training to administrative. For three to four months they planned and asked other free clinics to share good and bad experiences.

“We wanted to use medicine as a ministry tool,” Johnson said. “People who came through would also hear the gospel.”

Johnson’s wife volunteers in the church pharmacy, which she helped get licensed in North Carolina as a fully functioning pharmacy. Of course, their stock is low compared to your average drug store.

“Probably the most important thing to me is seeing God work in so many aspects,” Johnson said. “We try to be open, to be obedient.”

The very first clinic they saw one patient … and it was a church member. But soon their numbers began to build. Now they average 25 each clinic.

Initially the clinic shared space with Sunday School rooms so set up and take down for each clinic was laborious. Now, the clinic has its own space in the church’s former children’s wing.

They started with commitments from two physicians and five to six physician assistants and nurse practitioners. That pool has expanded.

“Seeing so many people getting to use their skills” in ministry is exciting, Johnson said. “They register the people to the glory of the Lord. They feel like they are fulfilling their call.”

Clinic medical director Landon Weeks looks forward to each clinic, in which sees six or seven patients. Some come for routine refills.

“So many folks work but don’t have money for a doctor,” Weeks said. “We see many working poor.”

Weeks said that even if access to health care becomes mandatory, there will always be people who will fall through cracks of the system.

Weeks said he had been involved in free clinics before his church started this one. They “petered out” fairly quickly. “These are dedicated people,” he said. “I just really love them.”  

Acts 1:8 challenge
The clinic’s budget is handled through a special offering through the church — Acts 1:8 offering. Harrison calls the offering the church’s “commitment to embrace all the mission fields … and to do it simultaneously.”

Last year this offering collected more than $100,000, part of which went to pay for the clinic. The rest goes to other ministries like Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina and Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem.

The offering is above the people’s regular gifts and is separate from other offerings.

The church not only focuses on its immediate community but works in other areas as well. Harrison said they have partnerships with villages in India, Brazil and West Virginia. Members also recently spent time in Myanmar and Ukraine.

“God can use whatever skill or abilities you have to demonstrate His love and passion for people,” Harrison said. “People are motivated to be a part of this (because they) get to see the difference it makes.”

9/22/2010 7:28:00 AM by Dianna L. Cagle
, BR Asst. Managing Editor | with 2 comments

N.C. volunteers build, serve in Tennessee

September 22 2010 by Mike Creswell, BSC

SURGOINSVILLE, Tenn. — Tina and her mother came out onto a porch that wasn’t there three days earlier.

Tina, 28, nearly died in an auto accident; she is still in a wheelchair. Until the new porch was built, Tina and her chair had to be lifted straight up to get through the front door. If home alone and fire broke out, she could not have escaped.

So 10 North Carolina Baptist volunteers led by Ken Funderburk worked three days to tear down the old porch and steps, then build a sturdy, covered front porch with a ramp and concrete sidewalk at the base. Now Tina can wheel herself out the front door for the first time in months.

“If a general contractor had done this, it probably would have cost $8,000, but for the good it does, it’s priceless,” said Ken Marshbanks, a building contractor and Baptist Men director at Cornerstone Baptist Church, Charlotte.  

A successful project? Sure, but it was just one part of a week of work done by the 64-member volunteer team from Cornerstone and eight other churches, some as far as Mayodan and Garner. Team leader was Susan Justice, Cornerstone’s minister of music.

BSC photo by Mike Creswell

Laura Jernigan and Josh Wyse, both members of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Charlotte, provide flying balloons to kids during the classic car “cruise in” in downtown Rogersville, Tenn. See photo gallery.

“This is only a four-hour drive from Charlotte. It’s not so far to come to a place that’s so completely different,” she said. The team worked in the rippling hill country west of Kingsport and Johnson City.

Get off the main roads around here and you’ll see some of the worst poverty in the Southeast; houses or mobile homes falling apart with outhouses out back. 

Spiritual needs abound as well. “On any given Sunday here, 80 percent of the people in Hawkins County will not be in anybody’s church,” said John Parott, director of missions for the 55-church Holston Valley Baptist Association.

The North Carolina team’s work came under the Appalachian Coalfields Ministry, a ministry of N.C. Baptist Men targeting poor areas of Tennessee, Virginia, Kentucky and West Virginia. Baptist Men are partnering with Appalachian Regional Ministries across the Appalachian area, supported by the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina and 12 other state Baptist conventions, plus the Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Mission Board (NAMB) and the national Woman’s Missionary Union.

Gifts to the North Carolina Missions Offering help to support this outreach because they provide the operating funds for N.C. Baptist Men.

North Carolina Baptists Dewey and Kathie Aiken are self-supporting Mission Service Corps missionaries assigned to Appalachian Regional Ministry by NAMB. They are veteran missions workers who earlier coordinated thousands of volunteers in Vermont for N.C. Baptist Men. 

In 2009 about 1,000 North Carolina Baptist men and women volunteers served in Appalachia. 

But the most important local element of the North Carolina team’s work was Of One Accord Ministries led by Sheldon Livesay. A Rogersville native, Livesay worked in retail sales in South Carolina and Shelby before heading back to his hometown, where God called him into full-time ministry.

Of One Accord has grown to be a well-respected multi-million dollar collection of ministries that includes thrift stores, three food pantries, medical clinic, evangelistic outreach and other work that helped well over 30,000 people across a two-county area last year. An international missions program has work in seven countries. 

More than 300 local volunteers provide manpower, with 25 volunteer teams from outside, including the North Carolina one. A long-time member of First Baptist Church, Rogersville, Livesay had high praise for the North Carolina Baptists.

Such visiting teams allow Of One Accord to expand its work during the summer months. Livesay tells the volunteers, “It’s God’s ministry but you’re the ones that make it happen.” And he says they should watch for how God creates ministry opportunities that became possible just because they are here.

Another North Carolina construction team, headed by Ken Marshbanks of Cornerstone shored up a woman’s house whose floor had rotted away, forcing her to live in the garage.

Dentist David Kwan, a member of Hickory Grove Baptist Church, Charlotte, joined with Lloyd Price, a local dentist and Baptist, to treat some 80 patients at a free dental clinic. Mandy Campbell was dental assistant. She is a member of New Hope Baptist Church, Charlotte, where her husband, Mike, is pastor. 

Also assisting was Shannon Paulo, a missionary with Wycliffe Bible Translators in Waxhaw. Gracie Frank, a New Hope member, managed patient records. Glenn Stuart, who drives one of the two medical-dental bus clinics of N.C. Baptist Men, also helped. He is a member of Aversboro Road Baptist Church, Garner.

Coordinating the ministry was Elizabeth Locklare of Cornerstone, a registered nurse with the Mecklenburg Nursing Fellowship’s dental ministry. She works regularly in the dental ministry at East Baptist Church, Charlotte, and many other locations.

“We’ve seen terrible needs among the people here. Most people needed multiple extractions and deep cleaning,” she said. The dentists had done 45 extractions by Friday morning and estimated that over just two days they provided dental care that would have cost more than $16,000 in standard office visits.

But the clinic provided more than dentistry. Brenda Coleman talked with every patient and presented the plan of salvation, giving out 36 Bibles during the week. She is a long-time member of Beaver Island Baptist Church near Mayodan.

“It was been a heartbreaking week. Dental problems are just part of it. There are school problems, drug problems, alcoholism problems, housing problems,” she said. 

The case that hurt her heart, she said, was a 28-year-old man who was a diabetic. He told Coleman he would be living in a park by the weekend because he was losing his house. His insulin must be temperature controlled yet he has no place to lay his head, she said.

Back at the Shepherd’s Center, Of One Accord’s ministry center on East Main Street in Rogersville, four volunteers — April McDermott and Virginia Crawford of Cornerstone; Jeff Smith and Charlotte Stuart, New Hope — packed food for needy families.

Three volunteers helped prepare meals for senior adults: Marilee Funck of Aversboro Road Baptist Church, Garner; Sandra Duncan and Trish Marshbanks, Cornerstone.

Jeff Smith and other North Carolina volunteers also worked in the thrift store: Bobby and Betty Branson, Westwood Baptist Church, Cary; Joan Brown, Joanne Potter and Joanna Potter, Cornerstone; and Teresa Smith, New Hope. Eddie Walker of Cornerstone provided help and counseling to people using Of One Accord’s computer lab. He also spent many hours updating the ministry’s web site and teaching the staff how to maintain it. Mike Justice of Cornerstone, a retired Charlotte police officer, helped with fingerprinting, another Of One Accord service to the community.

Paul Talbert and John Watson of Cornerstone mowed and trimmed many lawns into shape, including one for a woman who is sick and undergoing dialysis.

Friday night before the team returned to North Carolina on Saturday, the town of Rogersville closed off the downtown area and brought in about 100 classic cars, from hot rods to early 1950s Fords and Chevys — a “Cruise-In.”

As visitors oohed over the cars, Baptist volunteers sang Christian songs from the steps of the historic courthouse; Susan Justice directed. North Carolina volunteers helped kids play games while Laura Jernigan and Josh Wyse of Cornerstone, did ballooning and Sandra Duncan, Joanna Potter and others painted kids’ faces.

For the North Carolina volunteers, it had been an eye-opening, productive week.
9/22/2010 7:18:00 AM by Mike Creswell, BSC | with 1 comments

Chapman named EC president emeritus

September 22 2010 by Erin Roach, Baptist Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — In appreciation for his service, Morris H. Chapman was named to the honorary position of president emeritus of the Executive Committee and was presented the M.E. Dodd Award for Cooperative Program support during a retirement dinner Sept. 20 in Nashville, Tenn.

“Dr. Chapman, no entity leader has been a greater ambassador for the Cooperative Program and its promotion convention-wide than you,” Roger Spradlin, chairman of the Executive Committee, told Chapman.

Throughout his tenure as pastor of four churches over a span of 25 years and as president of the Executive Committee for 18 years, Chapman led the way in his support of Southern Baptists’ method for funding missions, Spradlin said.

“During each of his 13 years at First Baptist Church, Wichita Falls, Texas, the church’s Cooperative Program gifts were in the top 1 percent in the Southern Baptist Convention,” Spradlin said. “As president of the Executive Committee, he never let circumstances dampen his enthusiasm for what God is doing with Southern Baptists through the Cooperative Program.”

As an M.E. Dodd Award recipient, Chapman received a bronze sculpture of a farmer sowing the Word as he walks across the world, depicting international evangelism. While other recognitions honor annual accomplishments in CP support, the Dodd award is for sustained achievement.

Spradlin also reported that the Executive Committee (EC), in addition to EC personnel policy retirement provisions, will make additional contributions to health insurance costs for Chapman and his wife Jodi; provide a life insurance policy; and pay travel expenses for the Chapmans to the SBC’s annual meetings.

Spradlin also presented Chapman with the title to the vehicle that has been furnished to him by the EC, and made a tribute to Jodi Chapman.

“Jodi, it was the desire of the Executive Committee that we also give you a special gift for all of your years of service to the Executive Committee,” Spradlin said. “Many of us kind of subscribe to the axiom, though, that it may not be wise for any man to shop for any woman. So we thought it not wise to presume what you might want. So we want to present you a gift tonight for $5,000 for you to use how you see fit.”

Photo by Morris Abernathy

Morris H. Chapman, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee, voices his appreciation to Southern Baptists during a Sept. 21 retirement dinner in Nashville, Tenn.

Also at the dinner, Jerry Vines, a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention and former pastor of First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla., acknowledged Chapman’s role in the Conservative Resurgence.

“It was not difficult for some of us to take a stand for the inerrancy of scripture and be willing to fight the battle for the Bible during the Conservative Resurgence because our churches were very, very conservative,” Vines said. “They were behind us all the way, 100 percent.

“Morris Chapman took a stand for the Bible at First Baptist Church of Wichita Falls when there was tremendous pressure upon him. He took that stand, and he took it with great, great courage,” Vines said, referring to a small but strong group of moderates at the church.

When Chapman was elected president of the convention in 1990 by a 60 percent to 40 percent margin, Vines said, “his election basically resolved the issue.”

“From that point on, it was very, very clear that conservatives had won the battle and the Southern Baptist Convention was turning back to its conservative roots,” Vines said. “It is because of men like Morris Chapman and others that we now have a denomination where we are on record as believing the Bible is God’s inspired, infallible, inerrant Word. You don’t have to worry about your students going to our schools and being taught there are errors in the Bible.”

Other tributes to Chapman were given by friends and family.
  • Julian Motley, who was chairman of the Executive Committee’s presidential search committee at the time Chapman was elected president, said Chapman has represented Baptists well as an able statesman and strategic leader. “I think of Dr. Chapman especially as a man with a passionate commitment to evangelism and missions,” Motley said. “Any attempt to characterize his leadership must take into account his passion to reach people for Christ. It is obvious that he is a man driven by what 2 Peter 3:9 describes as God’s unwillingness that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”
  • Roy Sparkman, a former member of First Baptist Wichita Falls and former Executive Committee member, thanked Chapman for providing a strong biblical foundation for Sparkman’s family and for always leading by faith and by the Scriptures.
  • Stephen Davis, executive director of the Indiana State Baptist Association, expressed gratitude for Chapman’s friendship and counsel, including advice for discerning God’s leading.
  • Jay Lowder, a vocational evangelist who surrendered to the ministry through the influence of Chapman and his wife Jodi at First Baptist Wichita Falls, recalled Chapman telling him many times, “God always blesses faithfulness.”
  • Chris and Renee Chapman, Chapman’s son and daughter-in-law, provided a musical tribute followed by an expression of love from Chapman’s young grandchildren in the form of an acrostic for Grampy.
  • The evening also included a historical montage of photos from Chapman’s life, narrated by D. August Boto, executive vice president of the Executive Committee.
“It’s been a great privilege to serve the Lord Jesus through all these years among Southern Baptists,” Chapman said. “My mother was a Methodist and my dad was a Baptist. When they were married, my mother joined the Baptist church, so I was born into the Baptist faith. I began to go to church before I can remember.

“But I do remember at the age of 7 coming to know the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior. ... If I had started at that point and tried to imagine the steps I would take through life, I could have never imagined it,” Chapman said.

The Bible doesn’t mention retirement, Chapman said, so the occasion simply marks “the finishing of a page, and there’s another season coming.”

“The best of life is to know wherever you are, whether the world knows your name or not, whether the convention knows your name or not, whether only your family knows your name and loves you, that God has you exactly where He wants you,” Chapman said. “As a missionary said years ago, there’s no safer place than in the will of God.”

Among letters to Chapman from friends upon his retirement, a letter from evangelist Billy Graham was read at the dinner.

“I praise God for the 18 years of faithful service you have given in providing leadership,” Graham wrote. “You have carried a heavy load, and God has certainly used you and blessed your vision and efforts in amazing ways during that time. ... Only when we get to heaven will we fully realize the number of lives that God used you to impact for the Kingdom.”

(EDITOR’S NOTE — Roach is a staff writer for Baptist Press.)
9/22/2010 7:13:00 AM by Erin Roach, Baptist Press | with 0 comments

Foundation helps Baptists invest eternally

September 21 2010 by Norman Jameson
, BR Editor

The Baptist Foundation serves North Carolina Baptists who want to discuss how to leave a legacy for ensuing generations through Christian estate planning. The Foundation maintains that everyone should have a will and it encourages every Christian to include ministry organizations as beneficiaries in that will. With certain estate planning vehicles, the donor may realize income and tax benefits while he or she yet lives.

To discuss the possibilities for your life, contact the Foundation at (800) 521-7334 or through   

Founded in 1920, North Carolina’s Baptist Foundation observes its 90th anniversary this year and three-fourths of its executive directors are on hand to help celebrate.

The Baptist Foundation, an agency of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, functioned its first 42 years simply by having its five-member board supervise assets and investments, which started with a $1,000 gift for Baptist Hospital. That gift prompted the Convention to create an agency to handle endowment giving, but it did not employ a fulltime director until Gordon Maddrey was hired in 1962 when assets had reached $250,000.

Today Clay Warf is only the fourth executive to oversee Foundation work. Assets under management now total $128 million and its mission remains unchanged to help Christian stewards undergird and enable ministry “until Jesus comes.”

North Carolina was the first Baptist state convention to create a foundation, an idea that originated with Gilbert Stevenson who was Wachovia Bank’s first trust officer, according to Ed Coates, who retired as Foundation exec in 1997. Stevenson was a prominent churchman and lawyer from North Hampton Country.

According to Coates, Stevenson spoke for two or three successive years at the annual Baptist State Convention meeting to push the notion that the Convention needed a trust agency.

The first such agency in Southern Baptist life, Coates said North Carolina’s Foundation is still considered “a pilot, a key foundation and it is admired for what we do here in terms of management.”  

Area managers
Coates was just the second executive director, serving for 25 years after succeeding Maddrey in 1972. Upon retirement in 1997 Coates was succeeded briefly by Scoot Dixon who returned to Gardner-Webb University after just a year at the helm.

Warf succeeded Dixon and is the first pastor to claim that seat.

To improve access to key Foundation personnel, the Baptist Foundation inaugurated the concept of area managers with Tom Denton operating out of New Bern in the east; Charles Fox in Winston-Salem and David Webb in Morganton. That move multiplied the face of the Foundation and puts personal service very near the vast majority of North Carolina Baptists.

It also cut a lot of miles off the schedules of Warf and Development Director Bill Overby, who started with the Foundation in 1991. The Foundation’s current strength “has a lot to do with the area managers who are out there every day,” Warf said.

BR photo by Norman Jameson

Clay Warf, left, is only the fourth executive director in the 90-year history of the Baptist Foundation of North Carolina. Ed Coates, right was the second. Bill Overby, center, has been on staff since 1991 and is director of development.

He believes people are very receptive to Foundation representatives because they aren’t selling anything.

“All we’re trying to do is help them be good stewards and use their God-given assets to support the very things they’ve loved and supported all their lives,” Warf said.

“No one profits from anything an individual does in their estate plans,” Overby said. “We are just there to help.”

The Foundation staff finds their work “a joy” Warf said because they work daily with “the most generous people in the world.” Staff gets excited about the generosity of people who are looking for a way to support the ministries and institutions they love when they no longer need the resources God has blessed them with in this life.

The Foundation took the lead 36 years ago when it began to sponsor an annual meeting for development officers of North Carolina Baptist agencies and institutions. Coates came back from a (now defunct) SBC Stewardship Commission event determined to be as knowledgeable about trusts and financial instruments as he could and he put training at the top of his list for all staff members.

For almost four decades the Foundation has been instrumental in helping other development officers be knowledgeable as well.  

You can start small
People can establish an endowment at the Baptist Foundation with as little as $100, an amount unheard of in other foundations, and one that makes no business sense, Overby said.

But it makes the Foundation accessible to anyone and “makes a lot of friends,” he said. No endowment will begin to pay out to beneficiaries until it grows to $1,000.

Working with the Baptist Foundation for estate planning makes sense for many reasons, said Coates, Overby and Warf while visiting around a conference table in the Foundation building in Cary. The building was erected on land donated by the Baptist State Convention, whose staff office building is across the parking lot.

Persons establishing a trust can typically enjoy capital gains tax savings, secure an income for themselves and gain favorable income tax treatment. A single trust can support multiple ministries.

The purpose of the Foundation has not changed in 90 years, but laws have changed and new vehicles that benefit both donors and institutions have arisen.

The Foundation has expanded into church fund management. Churches with funds beyond what they need for operating can invest that money with the Foundation and enjoy favorable returns without the worry and hassle of managing the funds themselves. And the money is available to the church with 30 days notice.

In longer term investments, churches are starting endowments with funds designated for missions, scholarships or the cemetery, etc., Overby said. “The church can control the investment but they can’t pull the principle back so the next generation can’t pull the money for a new roof or to pave the parking lot.”

The Foundation cautions new donors not to be so specific in designating the funds’ use that they will become impractical in 100 years. With even moderate earnings, an endowment may grow beyond the vision of its donor and if it is too severely limited earnings may be restricted beyond being useable.

The Foundation charges a management fee for the assets in its control.

The fee is one-half percent for churches, and one percent annually for individual endowments. The Cooperative Program funds about seven percent of the Foundation’s budget.  

You need a will
Fewer than one-third of persons have a will that directs distribution of their estate upon their death, Warf said.

That means they are trusting the state to know and carry out their wishes, which is impossible. Warf encourages every Christian to create a will and to at least tithe his or her estate to Christian work.

“From a Christian perspective you haven’t taken care of your family; you’ve given up any potential opportunity to give to your church or other Christian ministries when you don’t have a will,” Overby said.

Even churches that are disbanding have turned to the Foundation to handle their assets and to utilize them for new work.

In April 2009 the Foundation launched North Carolina Baptist Financial Services to provide loans to churches affiliated with the Baptist State Convention.

The Convention made an initial investment into the loan pool, which was also opened to individuals purchasing certificates of participation.

With 26 loans approved for $15.6 million, the new venture has “probably gone better than we could have anticipated,” Warf said.

While the Foundation is celebrating its past, Warf is excited because the future holds “so much potential as more people are taking seriously their estate stewardship opportunity.”

Foundation leaders emphasize that estate planning is for everyone, not just for those with large assets.

“It doesn’t matter how much you have, just be a good steward of whatever it is,” said Overby. “When you bring it all together, it is significant.”

“Imagine the last 20 years in your church,” Warf said. “What if all those good people you knew and loved who have gone on to their reward had left a tithe of their estate to the church? Where would you be today?

“Think about 20 years from now. You can do something about that.” 
9/21/2010 10:13:00 AM by Norman Jameson
, BR Editor | with 0 comments

Oct. 8 deadline to submit resolutions

September 21 2010 by BSC Communications

The Baptist State Convention Memorials and Resolutions Committee is now receiving resolutions for consideration.

North Carolina Baptists have until Oct. 8 to submit resolutions.

Resolutions approved by the Committee will be presented to messengers attending the annual meeting in November (Nov. 8-10 at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro).

Resolutions approved by the Committee will be printed in the Biblical Recorder prior to the annual meeting, and will also appear on the annual meeting web site:

Resolutions should be sent to: Committee on Resolutions, c/o of Business Services, Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, 205 Convention Drive, Cary, NC 27511.
9/21/2010 9:25:00 AM by BSC Communications | with 0 comments

Morganton Scouts set high bar for service

September 20 2010 by Norman Jameson, BR Editor

As Scouting in America celebrates its centennial year Troop 184 in Morganton and Girl Scout Troop 553 are proving young blood still flows through 100-year-old veins.

First Baptist Church in Morganton sponsors both troops and their younger feeder groups. First Baptist has sponsored a Boy Scout troop since 1931 and a Girl Scout Troop since 1996.

Churches have long supported the scouting movement, appreciating both its commitment to develop responsible citizens, and the opportunity for the church to impact its community by providing meeting space, leaders and teachers to help scouts achieve their religious development goals.

“Sometimes coming to a Scout meeting here is the first time people walked in the door of a church,” said Marla Black, Senior Girl Scout Troop 553 leader and active youth leader in the church.

Of the 52 boys in Troop 184 this year, only four are members of First Baptist. Of the 23 adults registered to work with the Troop, seven are members of First Baptist.

First Baptist sponsors Troop 184 and Pack 184 for Cub Scouts. Girl Scouts has four age group divisions and the church sponsors a group in each. The church was recommended by Baptists in Scouting leader Chip Turner as an outstanding example of an effective Baptist sponsor of an accomplished Scout troop.

Boy Scouts of America office in Dallas, Texas, reports that in North Carolina 1,038 Troops are chartered by churches, including 188 at Baptist churches.

First Baptist Girl Scout and Boy Scout Sundays are “heavily attended” by visitors who come to see their sons and daughters recognized.

Pastor Tom Bland said those annual Sundays provide opportunity to share the gospel with “a wide variety of people.”

That is a pattern Bland sees in church sponsored Scouting.

“Both Boy Scouting and Girl Scouting are incredibly effective ways to reach young people and their families with the gospel and to participate in the formation of character in general,” Bland said.

Their Scout troops are active in Mission Morganton, a sort of Operation Inasmuch that First Baptist has been doing since 1998, partnering for a special day of service to vital area social ministries.

BR photo by Norman Jameson

Marla Black and Steve Bailey lead Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts at First Baptist Church, Morganton where Tom Bland, right, is pastor.

Black, executive director of Burke County Habitat for Humanity, helped her Girl Scout troop break ground when they led the first “women build” project for Habitat in the county.

With eight active girls at the time, they were looking for a project through which to complete their Gold award, equivalent to the Boy Scout Eagle award.

Their “Gold House” was the first Habitat house built solely by women in Burke County, and was the first Habitat house built in North Carolina and in the Southeast with a Girl Scout partnership.

Habitat Founder Millard Fuller participated in dedications at the house site and at First Baptist.

The participating girls raised $50,000, enlisted workers and participated in every part of the process Black said.

“As Girl Scouts young women are exposed to so many good things,” said Black, who was a Girl Scout and whose daughters achieved the highest ranking. “The No. 1 thing coming out of Scouting is leadership and character building. It is a wonderful way to expose girls to leadership skills and give them tools to help them use their God given talent to grow into all God intends for them.”  

Boy Scout Hut on campus
Boy Scouts at First Baptist have a separate building dedicated solely for their use as a Scout Hut.

It is the converted garage of an adjoining property the church bought years ago.

Deacon Steve Bailey, who retired after 38 years as a state prison system administrator, leads the Boy Scout Troop. He loves the outdoors and the active arena in which to model Christian life.

The service held after each outing often is the first church service for some of the boys.

“The big thing with Scouting is being outdoors in beautiful, beautiful places and to look around at creation and all the wonder around us,” Bailey said.

“It’s neat to tie that to God and help the boys understand that anything this beautiful and miraculous couldn’t just happen. There has to be a creator behind that.”

Scouting is so “strong, comprehensive and effective in outreach” at First Baptist that the church does not have traditional Royal Ambassador or Girls in Action programs, although it still conducts mission groups on Wednesday nights, Bland said.

Bland is district chairman of Table Rock Swamp Fox district of the Piedmont Council.

A number of church members are on the Piedmont Council’s executive board.  

Not cool in school
Bailey and Black both recognize it is not always cool in school to be a Scout. Black warns her middle school teachers that their Troop members may be “closet” Scouts for a year of two until they break through their insecure period and achieve goals that make them proud again to wear the uniform.

“To be involved in Scouting you have kids who are really stepping out a bit and doing things that aren’t really considered to be cool,” Bailey said. “But the kids gain so much, and the leadership is what is really so big.”

As boys mature and achieve more in Scouting they are more openly proud of it, Bailey said.

It doesn’t hurt that the adult community loves them and gives plenty of accolades. Bailey, who said two of the best decisions he ever made were to join First Baptist and to be active in Scouting, admits every troop has ups and downs. But what has kept Scouting strong at First Baptist for nearly 80 years is “a lot of support and recognition that Scouting is really a good thing in terms of its ideals.”

Scouting’s effects are cumulative, Bailey said.

He’s been in it 17-18 years and sees boys growing in character and leadership skills as they grow in Scouting. Scouts are given responsibility for Troop and event leadership as they gain skills and stature in the group.

Each trip has a designated Scout in charge. “When you think about that, here you have a 14-15-year-old kid telling other kids what to do, and organizing them. There’s not too many places you get that experience at that age,” Bailey said.

Bailey can’t get away from Scouting because he loves the activities that make Scouting unique and integral to their community: the backpacking and camping in “the most beautiful area of the world” and the myriad ways they serve through projects associated with earning their merit badges.

“How many of these boys would have that experience?” Bailey asked. “How many would be sitting in front of TV? Communing with nature in a lot of respects is how they start to appreciate where it all came from … connecting to God and hopefully connecting to Jesus Christ through all this.”
9/20/2010 9:10:00 AM by Norman Jameson, BR Editor | with 0 comments

BSC annual meeting set for Nov. 8-10

September 20 2010 by BSC Communications

The 2010 annual meeting of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC) will be held in Greensboro at the Koury Convention Center Nov. 8-10.

North Carolina Baptists should make sure their calendars reflect the correct meeting dates.

Prior to January, BSC calendars indicated the 2010 meeting would be held Nov. 15-17. However, at the January Board of Directors meeting, the Board unanimously approved a resolution to officially establish the dates for the 2010 meeting. The dates for this year’s meeting — set years ago — did not adhere to BSC bylaws, and changing the date would have been cost prohibitive.

Messengers must be elected by their local church. Messengers and guests to the annual meeting will be able to stay at the Headquarters Hotel, the Sheraton Four Seasons in Greensboro, for a discounted rate of $99 per night, $112.61 including tax.

The Sheraton Hotel is located on the same property as the Convention Center. This pre-pay rate, which is the same for king and double rooms, is only available at the BSC annual meeting web site.

Reservations cannot be made by calling the Sheraton or the BSC. A reservation is refundable if notice of cancellation is given at least 24 hours prior to time of check-in.

For more information about the annual meeting, visit
9/20/2010 9:08:00 AM by BSC Communications | with 0 comments

A man of worth celebrates 50 years at Ivy Hill

September 20 2010 by Teresa Buckner, Special to the Recorder

Worth Emory believes Jesus never really stopped being a carpenter.

“The Bible doesn’t say, but I just have an idea that if Jesus went to Mary and Martha’s house and they needed something fixed, He fixed it,” Emory said.  “I just believe that was the kind of thing Jesus did.”

A carpenter himself, Emory has thought a lot about the ways Jesus may have used his carpentry skills, as he “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38).

Recently, Emory celebrated his 50th anniversary as pastor of Ivy Hill Baptist Church in northern Buncombe County. 

It is rare for a pastor to be in active ministry for 50 years, and exceedingly rare that his entire ministry would take place at one church.

Also remarkable is the fact that Emory has led this small country church in northern Buncombe County, with Sunday attendance of about 80, to reach out in ministry across the world. Ivy Hill has sent teams of builders to erect dozens of churches and homes in several states, Venezuela and Honduras. 

And usually at the helm of the team is Emory, hammer in hand, working alongside Christians from around the world wanting a building in which to live or worship.

“Jesus wasn’t just concerned about the spiritual, He was concerned about the whole of mankind,” Emory said. 

“He cares about everything about us. And when He told His followers to go to Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria and to the uttermost parts of the earth, He wasn’t just talking to them, He was talking to me too.”

That belief feeds an insatiable desire to help people, and for Emory, helping people is not just a matter for words, but of actions.

“I’m a firm believer that sometimes before you can really tell people about Jesus you’ve got to do something for them to let them know you care about them. If somebody’s hungry and you go and say, ‘Now, Jesus loves you,’ and don’t feed them, what good is that?” he said

Emory gives his wife, Marie, much of the credit for allowing him to pursue his love of missions. 

“She’s been as big a part of this as I have,” he said. “I tell people quite often she has carried more of the load than I have. She took care of the family more, since I was gone so much on mission trips and preaching revivals.”  

Buncombe County native
Emory’s deep, slow drawl marks him as a Buncombe county native. His church is about a mile from the house in which he was born — the ninth of 10 children.

Emory married Marie Whitt in 1956, and announced his calling to preach in the same year. He preached his first sermon at North Black Mountain Baptist Church in Barnardsville in November 1956.

After an Army stint, the Emory family returned to the Ivy Hill community in 1959. 

Worth did carpentry work as a youth, and in fact, he helped build the current Ivy Hill Church. He began doing carpentry to support his family, and he preached at several area churches. Then in 1960, the pastor of Ivy Hill Church resigned and the church called Emory for a one-year trial.

Mars Hill photo

Worth Emory has been pastor at Ivy Hill Baptist Church in northern Buncombe County for 50 years.

He passed.

He knew he wanted to encourage the church to be more involved in missions and he felt impressed to buy small world banks for every family in the church. The next Sunday, he preached on giving to missions, and he passed out the banks, asking each family to put money in the bank every time they thought of missions. When they brought the banks back together, they had raised quite a bit of money. 

“That sold that church on missions,” he said, “and we’ve been a giving ever since.”

Unable to go to seminary, he read voraciously to educate himself, often taking recommendations about reading material from religion professors at nearby Mars Hill College.

He also took seminary extension courses through the French Broad Baptist Association, earning a diploma in pastoral ministry and numerous certificates of completion.

Then in 1971, Emory volunteered to go with a group of Baptist men to build a church in Twin Falls, Idaho. Little did he know it was to be the start of a chain of events that would make his carpentry skills an integral part of his ministry as he participated in or led teams every couple of years.

In 1980 Emory went to build a church in a small village in Honduras called Santa Cruz. There, Emory experienced the culture shock that Americans often encounter in Central American countries.  

Culture shock
“When I went into Santa Cruz on that first trip, the water was so polluted we couldn’t even wash in it,” he said. “There wasn’t a building in the village that had anything but a dirt floor, and some of the children had swelled bellies where they didn’t get enough to eat.”

Emory and his team built a church during the visit and later returned to install a tile floor.

“Somehow that building just gave those people hope,” he said. “That first time we went back, everything looked a little better.” 

Ivy Hill started sponsoring church members to participate in building teams to Honduras yearly. Each time the team stayed in the city of Choleteca and ventured into the nearby villages for building projects. For the first 20 years, the teams built churches in the surrounding villages. Nine years ago, Ivy Hill began organizing and leading trips to build houses for especially needy families.

Soon after the Ivy Hill groups started coming, Southern Baptist missionaries came to the area and dug wells, further raising the standard of living for the people around Choleteca.

With each trip, the Ivy Hill team members started jamming their luggage full of extra clothing that they could leave with the people in the village where they worked. In addition to raising money for the buildings, the church began sending additional funds which were used to buy corn, beans and rice in bulk to be distributed to people in need. People from the church also began coming to hold a Bible School for the children during the building project.

“I’ve watched a village be transformed,” he said. “They have a nice school house now, a good deep well with good water, a lot of the houses have floors now, and you very seldom see the children looking undernourished.”

At 76, Emory is remarkably fit, but a recent quadruple bypass made his doctor wary of the heat and hard work involved in a Honduran trip.

About 200 people came to Ivy Hill Church for Emory’s Aug. 1 anniversary celebration. As the congregation filed outside after church to head to the fellowship hall, Emory noticed that someone had parked a car on the grass. At first he believed that the presence of numerous visitors had necessitated parking on the grass — until he saw the big gold bow on top. 

As a bi-vocational pastor, Emory had made a habit of buying used cars. In celebration of his 50th anniversary, the church had purchased a brand new Nissan Altima for its pastor who had taught them so much about giving to others.  

(EDITOR’S NOTE — Buckner is media relations coordinator at Mars Hill College.)
9/20/2010 9:02:00 AM by Teresa Buckner, Special to the Recorder | with 0 comments

Faithful witnesses still ready to ‘insert truth’

September 20 2010 by Melissa Lilley, BSC Communications

CENTRAL ASIA — With his oldest daughter sick and his wife not feeling well, Seth* was exhausted, but hanging in there during two weeks of leadership training for missionaries in Central Asia.

Seth and Sara’s* children stayed busy with a team of volunteers from Providence Baptist Church in Raleigh and South Woods Baptist Church in Memphis, Tenn., that provided childcare.

For this family of seven, ministry is a team effort. Sara wanted to be a family on mission ever since second grade when she met a retired missionary and knew she, too, wanted to go. Seth took a little more persuading. He was living for the American dream until one day in college the Lord put this question in his heart: what is the eternal significance in what you are doing?

God opened Seth’s heart to understand the truth of Philippians 2. “I realized Jesus walked among the filth. He was our greatest example. That cut me to the heart,” he said. “I surrendered. He finally had my future.” Seth graduated from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and he and Sara asked God to send them to serve somewhere in the 10/40 Window.

And so, this family from a small North Carolina town moved to a city of six million in Central Asia. Their first two years in the country focused on language school and trying to start a business in order to get a work permit.

Seth and Sara have lived among the six million for seven years now. Of this six million, about 300 are believers in Jesus Christ. Of the people Seth and Sara have met and ministered to and shared the gospel with, no one yet has received Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.

If Seth and Sara said this statistic discouraged them, it’s unlikely anyone would fault them. But they don’t see it this way. Seth said they know they are where God wants them to be and that’s enough. Seth sees evidence of God working in peoples’ hearts every time he is able to share the gospel. Or every time he is able to show love to someone and they want to know why.

Simple, ordinary things become not so simple for Seth. Like the time a guy at the pool Seth often visits asked him why he talked to everyone — why he talked to the lifeguards and even the janitor. Seth told him why he cared about others, no matter their job or status. “People are attracted to the difference Jesus makes,” he said.

Seth’s goal is to, “in every conversation, insert a piece of truth.”

For seven years this family has lived away from family in Greensboro and from friends and other believers.

“What do you do when all that is stripped away?” Seth said. Learn the importance of abiding in Christ and looking unto Him for spiritual refreshment. “You can only minister out of the overflow of your heart,” Seth said. “If you are dry, you have nothing to give.”

Seth has also learned the beauty of worshipping with other believers — and it’s something he no longer takes for granted.

Too often he sees believers living in comfortable, safe environments “squandering the opportunity for worship I yearn for.”

Seth remains focused on the task of bearing witness to the truth of the gospel because he knows it is God who gives growth and God who gives opportunities to share the truth. Seth talks about 1 Cor. 3:5-9 as one living in the promise — one experiencing firsthand — that all believers are servants, whether they water the soil or reap the harvest. Seth and Sara will continue to serve the Lord in their city and pray for the God of the harvest to make light shine forth from a city still in darkness. 

* Names changed.

(EDITOR’S NOTE — Lilley, who writes for the Baptist State Convention, was part of the Providence team.)
9/20/2010 9:00:00 AM by Melissa Lilley, BSC Communications | with 0 comments

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