September 2018

Don Hadley retires after 45 years in Havelock

September 5 2018 by K. Allan Blume, BR Editor

First Baptist Church of Havelock, N.C., recently celebrated the ministry of Don and Sara Hadley at the close of his 45 years as their pastor. The Aug. 25 celebration drew 200 church members, community leaders and friends to the Havelock Tourist and Event Center.
 

BR photo by K. Allan Blume
Don Hadley jokes with a well-wisher after his retirement celebration Aug. 25.

Hadley began serving the church Sept. 2, 1973, and preached his last sermon as pastor Sept. 2, 2018.
 
David Phelps, associational missionary of the Atlantic Baptist Association (ABA) read a letter from Milton Hollifield, executive director-treasurer of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, who was unable to attend.
 
“The legacy that you leave will be one of love for the Lord and your fellow man, which has served as an example for everyone who has known you,” Hollifield said.
 
The letter commended Hadley for his leadership at the church, the ABA, the state convention and his “positive impact on the lives of many people. ... From serving the Marines and the Navy personnel at Cherry Point Marine Air Base to discipling chaplains and numerous pastors, you have provided consistent and diligent counsel for many.”
 
Phelps also read a letter from Keith Hamilton, ABA’s previous associational missionary who now serves with Baptist ministries in Georgia.
 
“While your tenure at First Baptist Church and the association have impacted so many lives, your personal investment in developing military ministries within local churches was profound,” said Hamilton.
 
Hamilton said he used military ministry training learned from Hadley in his work in Georgia and at military installations in other countries, including eight years in Germany. He commended Hadley for his “passion for seeing our military personnel experience a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.”
 
Phelps noted that the average tenure of a Southern Baptist pastor is less than two years, making Hadley’s record “quite remarkable.”
 
“The church is like a ship,” Phelps said. “It has a mission to perform. ... The church is not a cruise ship. It is a battleship. Dr. Hadley, you have stood in the pulpit faithfully for 45 years.”
 
He noted the balance between the pastoral and prophetic roles in which a pastor “comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable. ... Your personal integrity, fidelity to the word of God and integrity of your private life has made a positive influence in this community.
 
“Your influence in the Atlantic Baptist Association is without compare,” Phelps added. “You’ve served every position in the association except director of missions and administrative assistant.”
 
Steve Epperson, a retired Navy chaplain, now pastor of Cherry Point Baptist Church, shared his strong respect and love for the Hadleys. He commended them for being an “amazing” husband and wife team who made their family a priority and “made an indelible mark on a town, a church and thousands of military personnel.
 
“Don Hadley recognized years ago that the military and the [Cherry Point] base is a people group that need to be reached,” said Epperson. “He has demonstrated great commitment to this group.”
 
Hadley’s ministry on the basketball court was a priority. “The Marines were surprised that this ‘elderly’ man could play so well and beat them,” Epperson continued. “His love of basketball was a great vehicle to witness to young and old marines who greatly respected Dr. Hadley.”
 
The church presented the retiring couple with a number of gifts, including two season tickets to UNC Chapel Hill men’s basketball games.
 
Other guest speakers included a former mayor of the town, military personnel, church members, staff and family. Music was featured by the pastor and wife team of Havelock Korean Baptist Church and representatives of the Havelock Community Church.
 
The Hadleys’ two children, their spouses and grandchildren were recognized at the event. Their son, Dane, serves as pastor of Tabernacle Baptist Church in Raleigh. He told the Biblical Recorder, “My Dad’s most remarkable accomplishment is the integrity he consistently modeled in both the church and our home. He lives what he preaches. I pray God’s grace would enable me to model the same consistency for my own family.”
 
A native of Evansville, Ind., the senior Hadley holds degrees from the University of Evansville, Oregon State University and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C.
 
He served as a campus minister and pastored several churches before coming to Havelock. In 1992 his book Ministry with the Military was published by Baker Book House.

9/5/2018 11:00:48 AM by K. Allan Blume, BR Editor | with 0 comments



NCMO supports evangelistic church planting

September 5 2018 by Carolina Barnhill, BSC Communications

Columbus County is the third largest county, in terms of landmass, in the state. More than 59,000 people call it home – and 65 percent of them are unchurched.
 
“We knew if there was a pocket of lostness, this is one of them,” said Billy Roy, pastor of Crossroads Church. “We wanted to come and make an impact here.”
 
Roy, with the help of Michael Pittman, the pastor of Vertical Church in Lumberton, N.C., planted Crossroads Church in Whiteville in December 2017.
 
“We talked over three years ago about planting,” Pittman said. “I had the opportunity to walk with him step by step and month by month through where he’s at and through the process of what it looks like to plant a church and the fears that go along with that.”
 

Within the first three weeks of the launch of Crossroads Church, Roy saw 17 baptisms and a lot of growth reaching into the community.
 
“It’s very exciting to see,” Roy said. “It’s a lot of hard work, but it’s a calling and we answered that calling. You know it’s very important that we understand that we were sent, so that we need to be sending.”
 
With approximately 4,300 existing Baptist churches in North Carolina, some may wonder whether planting new churches is a necessary strategy to reaching the lost. However, statistics repeatedly demonstrate that new church plants are one of the most effective ways to reach unbelievers with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
 
According to a 2015 study by LifeWay, 42 percent of people worshipping in churches launched since 2008 never attended church previously or had not attended in many years.
 
As North Carolina continues to be one of the fastest growing states in the nation, we have a unique opportunity to reach the lost – estimated at 5.8 million in our state alone.
 
And as our state becomes more culturally and ethnically diverse, planting disciple-making churches is essential in pushing back darkness and impacting lostness.
 
The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC) works with churches, associations and church-planting networks to facilitate the launch of new churches.
 
The North Carolina Missions Offering (NCMO) is vital to the convention’s church planting efforts, providing approximately one-third of the Church Planting Team’s annual budget.
 
Since 2017, the BSC has worked with more than 1,000 new churches across the state. Last year, those new churches reported a total of 6,756 professions of faith, 5,410 worshippers in attendance and more than $139,000 in Cooperative Program giving.
 
The convention believes that God, in His sovereignty, is continuing to bring the nations to North Carolina. BSC church planting consultants are committed to getting the gospel to these individuals in their heart language by planting churches to reach, evangelize and disciple individuals within these language communities.
 
“Every church can be a sending church and the requirement is willingness,” Pittman said.
Twenty-eight percent of this year’s offering will go toward planting new churches in North Carolina.
 
By giving to the NCMO, churches help plant churches that make disciples of Jesus Christ.
The NCMO is recognized each September.
 
Visit ncmissionsoffering.org.

9/5/2018 11:00:33 AM by Carolina Barnhill, BSC Communications | with 0 comments



Gordon’s Gulf flood risks put DR volunteers on alert

September 5 2018 by Diana Chandler, Baptist Press

Anticipated flooding from Tropical Storm Gordon has Southern Baptist volunteers on alert in three Gulf Coast states, and may extend responses in the already-flooded Midwest as Gordon moves inland.
 

Screen grab from The Weather Channel video
Tropical Storm Gordon is expected to strengthen to a Category 1 hurricane as it makes landfall tonight along the U.S. Gulf Coast, most likely in Mississippi, forecasters said.

The storm will likely intensify to a Category 1 hurricane as it comes ashore between western Alabama and eastern Louisiana Sept. 4, the Weather Channel reported, but will quickly weaken again to a tropical storm as it moves inland, perhaps over Arkansas.
 
In Mississippi, where a moderate (20 percent) risk of flash flooding covers the largest swath of land among the four states in Gordon’s coastal path, the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board (MBCB) had already sent a trailer load of blue tarps to southern counties when Baptist Press spoke with Shane McGivney Sept. 4.
 
“I have placed our Mississippi Disaster Relief Task Force (of 170 trained volunteers) on alert and we’re on standby to respond post-storm,” said McGivney, MBCB director of men’s ministry and disaster relief. “I reached out to my associational mission directors that are on the coast; they’ll get the first brunt of the impact with the high winds and the surge. I just let them know that we’re on standby and if we can help them in any way, we’re ready.”
 
Gordon could drench Mississippi with as many as eight inches of rain in some locations, push about five feet of water ashore from the Gulf of Mexico, and drop as many as 10 inches of rain in some areas, the Weather Channel said.
 
Midwestern residents hundreds of miles inland, already suffering flooding from intense rainfall, could get even more rain as Gordon’s remnants linger inland, forecasters said.
 
Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (SBDR), a ministry of the North American Mission Board (NAMB), is available to help, director Sam Porter told BP.
 
“My main concern for this storm is not mass destruction from wind and storm surge, but the continued rain,” Porter said. After hitting the coastal states, Gordon is forecast to “travel across Arkansas then wrap back around the Mississippi and Ohio river valley region that already has flooding issues.” Volunteers began responding to flooding in Minnesota and Wisconsin, Porter said, as volunteers continue to help flooding victims in the Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey.
 
Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama governors have declared states of emergency, but minimal storm damage is expected.
 
“We are really not anticipating a lot of damage; we’re hopeful,” McGivney told BP. “But you never know if tornadoes will spawn off of the hurricane, so that’s always a problem, and then of course flooding in low-lying areas.”
 
Mississippi has 1,170 trained volunteers across the state who have training certifications that must be updated every three years, McGivney said.
 
Marginal (5 percent) to moderate risks of flash flooding extends from the westernmost Florida Panhandle to eastern Louisiana, and north into the lower half of Arkansas, the National Hurricane Center forecast today.
 
In Louisiana, Southern Baptists are bracing for rainfall on already saturated ground, Gibbie McMillan told BP today.
 
“It is early to say what the damage will be,” said McMillan, who handles Louisiana disaster relief as men’s ministry leader and volunteer strategist. “We have previously had a lot of rain and in many areas the ground is saturated, which will allow trees to be blown over without much effort. So we are sharpening our chainsaws and have placed our people on alert. We will be ready to respond when the need arises.”
 
Gordon drenched southern Florida Monday (Sept. 3) with as many as 10 inches of rain before advancing to the state’s panhandle today, the NWS reported, leaving no damage nor deaths in its wake there, the Florida Division of Emergency Management told Reuters. Gov. Rick Scott has not declared a state of emergency.
 
Street flooding from 10 inches of rain in Galveston, Texas, on Labor Day (Sept. 3) was unrelated to Gordon, the NWS told the Associated Press Monday.
 
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Diana Chandler is Baptist Press’ general assignment writer/editor. Reprinted from Baptist Press, baptistpress.com, news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.)

9/5/2018 11:00:19 AM by Diana Chandler, Baptist Press | with 0 comments



N.C. Baptists launch immigrant ministry centers

September 4 2018 by Biblical Recorder Staff

The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC) is launching a new initiative that will provide legal help to immigrants concerning U.S. immigration laws and facilitate outreach opportunities for churches.
 
Baptist Immigrant Services, led by Hispanic strategy coordinator Amaury Santos and immigrant ministries strategist Larry Phillips, will operate offices across the state, according to a convention announcement.
 
The first center is set to open this fall in Lincolnton, N.C., with others launching gradually at later dates. Each location will have advisers on staff that are certified by the U.S. Department of Justice to provide legal counsel to immigrants.
 
Santos and Phillips have been involved in similar ministry efforts for the convention in partnership with a nonprofit organization in Raleigh called the Council on Immigrant Relations (CIR).
 
“We will not be activists taking political positions on immigration,” Santos was quoted as saying in the announcement, “but we will help immigrants who are here get sound legal counsel as they file forms or meet with immigration officials.”
 
A resolution passed by messengers at the 2015 BSC annual meeting called the arrival of immigrants “a divine opportunity” and prompted convention leaders to establish Baptist Immigrant Services.
 
The resolution also urged churches to “pursue opportunities to tangibly meet the needs of immigrants within their community as a demonstration of the love of Christ and in order to build relationships so as to more effectively be able to proclaim the hope of the gospel.”
 
BSC staff will lead a breakout session called “Loving Your Neighbor Through Immigration Issues” at this year’s annual meeting about the work of Baptist Immigrant Services.
 
Read the full announcement at ncbaptist.org.

9/4/2018 2:19:56 PM by Biblical Recorder Staff | with 0 comments



McGill resigns Dublin church, focuses on The Lake Church

September 4 2018 by K. Allan Blume, BR Editor

Cameron McGill, former president of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC), announced his resignation as pastor of Dublin First Baptist Church to assume responsibilities as pastor of The Lake Church in White Lake, N.C. He has led both churches since The Lake Church launched in 2014.
 

Contributed photo
Cameron McGill is resigning from Dublin First Baptist Church to commit his full-time attention to The Lake Church, a church he and the Dublin congregation started in 2014.

“After 18 years at Dublin, we made the decision to step out in faith and follow the Lord to focus full-time at The Lake Church and White Lake Christian Camp’s ministry, and also doing revival meetings as the Lord opens doors,” he told the Biblical Recorder. “I love Dublin and I appreciate God allowing us to be there that long.”
 
He announced his resignation Aug. 5, and will preach the final sermon Sept. 9 at Dublin.
 
“[The Lake Church] grew far beyond our expectations, averaging 400 people in the summer and 150 in the winter,” said McGill.
 
Each functioned as separate churches, but McGill preached in both pulpits every Sunday and served both congregations.
 
“The strain of trying to pastor two churches is real – it’s a challenge,” he said. “For the last year and a half, Tiffany and I felt the Lord was pulling us full time to The Lake. There’s great potential here if someone could lead each church full time. God has confirmed this and has given us real peace about it.”
 
The Lake Church grew rapidly in a rented facility in the resort community. A three-acre property came available last year on White Lake, and they were able to acquire it.
 
“We’re making it a small camp for church groups and families,” McGill said. “Retreats for all ages are held in the facility. It will also include a permanent home for The Lake Church. We plan to break ground for a church building soon.”
 
He said the ministry shift includes three ministry roles. He will serve as pastor of The Lake Church, camp pastor at White Lake Christian Camp and Retreat Center and in an itinerant revival ministry.
 
“I want to credit our involvement with the Baptist State Convention for growing our mission vision that led to partnerships with churches in New York and Moldova,” he said.
 
“The pastor of our partner church in Moldova came to Dublin and challenged me to plant a church. So it came full circle and The Lake Church was birthed after that challenge.”
 
McGill said he was not aware of the many resources available through the state convention until he began serving on the board of directors in 2008.
 
“That was a great learning experience,” said McGill. “It connected me with so many people like Brenda Gray, Dr. [Michael] Blackwell and so many others, and it changed my perspective. That was a turning point in my ministry and my family’s focus. We would not be doing what we are doing if it were not for the influence of the convention. Tiffany and I both served on the board and learned so much. We’re excited about God’s plans for us.”
 
Gray and Blackwell serve at the Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina.
 
McGill is available for revival services and other events. Contact him at (910) 872-1726 or pastorcam74@gmail.com. Learn more about the camp ministry at whitelakechristiancamp.com.  

9/4/2018 1:46:23 PM by K. Allan Blume, BR Editor | with 0 comments



North Carolina women lead immigrant outreach

September 4 2018 by Liz Tablazon, BR Staff Writer

Two North Carolina Baptist women have established relationships with Yemeni families in the state – the first known instance of N.C. Baptists engaging this unreached people group after four years of prayer, Zac Lyons told the Biblical Recorder July 5.

Lyons, senior consultant for Great Commission partnerships at the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, said there are only 35 known believers in northern Yemen.

“There’s no church … God has seen fit to bring those people right here,” Lyons said, referring to the 4,000 Yemenis living in the state.
 

Joy Mikhail, director of church engagement and training for cross-cultural ministries at Waypoint Church in Chapel Hill, N.C., met two Yemeni women when they brought their children to a weekly backyard Bible club in a Durham community where the majority of residents are refugees or immigrants.
 
Over the past year, Mikhail befriended both women and their families, “building relationships, establishing trust and sharing the gospel in love.”
 
“People are not projects,” Mikhail said in an interview with the Recorder July 28.
 
“It’s not, ‘I’m gonna get to know you so that I will share the gospel with you,’ but rather ‘I love you, and because of that, I’m sharing the gospel.’”
 
Mikhail’s interactions with them are about being part of the family, she said.
 
“You can go there and spend hours sitting and drinking tea. … From filling out their paperwork to going to the labor room when they give birth – that’s basically, for me, how it looks.”
 
Cultural understanding is crucial to this ministry, Mikhail said. She gave the example of how Western and Eastern cultures hold different perspectives on vulnerability, which is essential to establishing trust. She explained that while Americans tend to have a guilt-driven culture, as seen in how often one might hear “I’m sorry” even in casual conversations, Eastern cultures are more influenced by shame.
 
“For them to be vulnerable is really hard because you would feel the shame of what they’re dealing with. … Be an example for them that it’s OK, we all mess up; we’re all in need of grace.
 
“One thing the church can fall into is the holy mask. We go there and we’re like, ‘We’re gonna fix you.’ It’s hurtful in two ways. One, if we’re all right and all fixed, why do we need Christ? We’re good, which is not the truth. Two, it keeps them from being vulnerable.”
 
Today, Mikhail sees growth in the relationships through her friends’ transparency about their lives. She said they are now more open about conflict in their marriages and thoughts on their own culture, and they have even started attending English as a Second Language classes at Waypoint.
 

Finding opportunities

 
In Franklin County, Emily*, a former public school teacher and now part-time tutor, met two adult sisters from Yemen when she accepted an invitation to teach them English in their home.
 
“At the time, being a mostly stay-at-home mom of two little ones and another on the way and working part-time, I was not in the position to go to the nations to form relationships and spread the gospel, so it seemed this was a way that God was bringing the nations to me,” she said.
 
Like Mikhail, Emily found herself “staying an extra half hour to an hour because they would share food with me or show me pictures of their loved ones, or we would talk about their favorite soccer teams or TV shows” after tutoring sessions ended.
 
Emily, too, tried to understand and be sensitive to the sisters’ culture before and during their meetings.
“I worried excessively about what I should wear … I painstakingly proofread the ESL lessons and worksheets that I was using to remove any potentially offensive material,” she said.
 
It didn’t take long, however, for her attention to shift from their differences to their similarities. “I bonded with these ladies over things we had in common like being mothers to boys, being wives, doing housework and loving our families who live far away,” she said.
 
When the sisters asked to be excused to pray during lessons, Emily spent the time waiting for them also in prayer – “that God would open my eyes and burden my heart more for them, their families and their salvation.”
 
Mikhail, with years of missions experience both in the United States and internationally, and Emily, a mother and teacher leveraging her calling, are serving in intercultural ministry by meeting needs and making friends where they are.
 
“The Church is to embrace her calling and live intentionally as ambassadors of Christ among the nations and be moved by the perfect love that is found in Christ and not by fear,” Mikhail said.
 
“Step out to create mutually beneficial relationships, and treat everyone with dignity and respect as image-bearers of God.”
 
Individuals or groups interested in ministering to immigrants or refugees should seek opportunities to get connected, Mikhail said.
 
She suggested getting in touch with someone else or a church that already has established connections with refugee communities, volunteering with resettlement organizations and intentionally looking around them.
 
“There might be some immigrants or refugees in their neighborhoods or at the grocery store or the gas station nearby where they can stop by and have a conversation with them that leads to building relationships.”
 
*Name changed

9/4/2018 1:46:09 PM by Liz Tablazon, BR Staff Writer | with 0 comments



University Hills pastor moving to Botswana

September 4 2018 by K. Allan Blume, BR Editor

On Aug. 12, the senior pastor of University Hills Baptist Church in Charlotte shared with the congregation his plans to serve in a different mission field. Fourteen years ago, Coye and Sherra Still left their work as Southern Baptist missionaries in South Asia to serve the University Hills church.
 

Contributed photo
Coye and Sherra Still are preparing to leave their Charlotte church for ministry in Africa.

Now the couple plans to leave the strong bond of a healthy church. This time, when the appointment process is complete, they hope to serve in Botswana, Africa, through the International Mission Board (IMB).
 
“If the IMB approves us, Sherra and I will be serving with the Baptist Convention Seminary of Botswana,” Still said in an interview with the Biblical Recorder. “It’s a new seminary that was a vision some leaders in Botswana have had for some time. It’s small but growing.
 
“The purpose is to train pastors and leaders for churches in Botswana – also to train and mobilize Botswanan believers as missionaries to unreached peoples of Africa and Asia. Evangelism and church planting are still the core task of IMB missionaries, wherever they are serving, so that will also be our primary work in Botswana.”
 
Still said many missiologists are convinced the next great sending wave of missionaries to unreached and unengaged peoples will be from Africa.
 
“We have a tremendous opportunity to be part of this wave to help cast vision, train in biblical theology and to send people out as evangelists, church planters and pastors who will have more ready access and cross cultural effectiveness than many of us.”
 
Still’s first pastorate was in Kentucky when he was a student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS), where he earned master and doctoral degrees.
 
After graduation he was called to pastor Sunset Avenue Baptist Church in Rocky Mount, N.C., where his father had served in previous years.
 
“Sunset Avenue became our sending church when God called us to serve through the IMB in Asia,” he said. “We served from 2001 to 2004 as a strategy coordinator in a major city in South Asia, working with church planters. It was a great experience, but we felt God was calling us stateside for the next chapter – however long that would be.”
 
At that time, University Hills was searching for a pastor and contacted Still while he was living in South Asia.
 
“We had already planned to return to the states when the church contacted us,” Still explained. “I had to be in Richmond to participate in a church planting conference, so the University Hills search committee arranged to meet with me. They extended an invitation to preach in view of a call when we moved back to North Carolina.”
 
The church called Still as pastor in May 2004. Charlotte became the new mission field for the couple and their five children. The children are now adults and will not be moving to Botswana with their parents. One son is a doctoral student at SBTS, one lives in Greenville, S.C., and the others live in the Charlotte area. All but one are married.
 
Reflecting on the family’s ministry in Charlotte, Still said, “It’s been a great experience here. University Hills has loved us so well and encouraged our family in so many ways. We’re going to miss these folks so much, but we are so glad they are going to be our sending church. That’s an honor for us.”
 
“It is a real privilege to be going on a team with Sherra,” he said. “When we served in South Asia, she excelled as a missionary. I am very confident that as the Lord works through her in our new assignment she will serve faithfully again.”
 
If the IMB approves the Stills, he will preach his last sermon at University Hills Sept. 16, and they will participate in a “Sending” service Sept. 26 at Grove Avenue Baptist Church in Richmond, Va.
 
“We are profoundly grateful that God has chosen to give us this opportunity to be part of making Christ known to the nations. He’s been so good to us.”  

9/4/2018 1:45:54 PM by K. Allan Blume, BR Editor | with 0 comments



Multifamily housing spurs mission strategy

September 4 2018 by Seth Brown, BR Content Editor

The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC) initiated a strategy last year to help churches engage a mission field that is estimated to be 95 percent unchurched. The targeted group, said to number in the millions, includes people from all over the world who span the economic spectrum.

It is one of the most significant outreach initiatives in the state, according to Zac Lyons, senior consultant for the BSC Office of Great Commission Partnerships, but many churches may be surprised to discover where these people are located. They are at the nearest apartment complex.
 
Multifamily housing units account for one of every three occupied homes in the state, according to the latest U.S. Census data. There could be well over 3,000 apartment communities in North Carolina, said Lyons, or possibly more.
 
BSC contract workers are spear-heading the plan to start or partner with existing ministries in the Metro Charlotte, Triad and Triangle regions. There are currently 86 “engaged” multifamily housing communities in North Carolina.
 
“We have committed to a vision of seeing a reproducing gospel presence in every single multifamily housing community in the state,” Lyons told the Biblical Recorder.
 
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development categorizes apartment complexes, mobile home parks, townhouse neighborhoods, condominiums, assisted living facilities and other structures with five or more dwelling units as multifamily housing.
 
Lyons outlined three basic approaches for churches interested in outreach to these environments:
 

  • intentional  a church identifies and begins ministering to a community;

  • incarnational – a person or group of people moves into a community to minister;

  • indigenous a ‘missional community’ is started on-site by leaders already residing there.

 
Lyons also noted the presence of many foreign-born people in multifamily housing communities. Although it is impossible to develop accurate estimates about residential trends in relation to ethnicity, religion and national origin, since those classes are protected by federal discrimination laws and unmonitored by the government, he said anecdotal evidence can offer clues about the presence of internationals in multifamily housing communities.
 
Traditional immigrants and international students often find multifamily housing communities more accommodating due to convenient locations, access to public transit, lower costs and the likelihood of living near someone with a similar background. Refugees and asylum seekers are strategically placed in apartment complexes by resettlement agencies, Lyons explained.
 
“We have 1.5 million foreign-born people and children of foreign-born people in the state – about 15 percent of the population of North Carolina,” he said, pointing out the likelihood that significant numbers of those people live in multifamily housing communities.
 
Joe Maye, pastor of Rise Church in Winston-Salem, N.C., serves as a multifamily housing ministry catalyst for the BSC. Statistics show minimal interaction between residents at these communities, he said in an interview with the Recorder Aug. 30.
 
“People are in close proximity without community,” Maye said. “With the gospel and the mission that we’ve been given … in this particular mission field – multifamily housing – we have something that the people are hungry for whether or not they would articulate it.” 
 
State convention staff are leading multiple breakout sessions at this year’s annual meeting on best practices for engaging multifamily housing communities, how to get started and evaluating existing outreach ministries.
 
Lyons encourages interested churches or N.C. Baptists living in multifamily housing communities to contact the state convention for resources and training.
 
“If you live in a multifamily housing community, you are the access point to that community, or you can be,” he said. “Let us train you to be a missionary where you live, and we’ll help you mobilize your church to come alongside.”
 
Visit ncbaptist.org.

9/4/2018 1:45:36 PM by Seth Brown, BR Content Editor | with 0 comments



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