October 2010

Please come to the annual meeting

October 18 2010 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC Executive Director-Treasurer

In just a few weeks North Carolina Baptists from all over the state will gather together in Greensboro Nov. 8-10 for the 180th annual meeting of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. Your presence and voice is very important to the life and future of this Convention so I hope you are planning to join us for this important time together.

I’d like to share with you just a few highlights for our time together. First and foremost we want to honor and glorify God in all we do during these three days. We want to help you grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord, and our program committee has worked faithfully to plan times of rich corporate worship to help accomplish this.

Our theme verse is Colossians 2:6-8, and we will spend time considering what it means to remain rooted and built up in Jesus Christ.

I will present an address on Monday evening and Ed Yount, our Convention president, will give the President’s Address Tuesday morning.

Johnny Hunt, pastor of First Baptist Church in Woodstock, Ga., will bring the Convention Sermon Tuesday evening. Your heart will be blessed as these men teach us truths from God’s Word.

During last year’s annual meeting you learned about a special evangelism emphasis known as Find it Here.

Many churches participated in this statewide evangelism emphasis and as a result, God changed many lives.

In November you will learn about the second component of Find it Here, which is discipleship.

During the 2011 Find it Here: Embracing Christ emphasis we are challenging churches to commit to an intentional focus on discipleship.

You don’t want to miss two other special presentations.

Dr. Michael Blackwell will lead us in a time of celebrating the 125th anniversary of the Baptist Children’s Homes on Monday evening. God has used the Baptist Children’s Homes to provide children with a safe place in which to grow up in a caring, Christian environment.

We will also hear a report from the new Office of Great Commission Partnerships. Come learn how your church can get more involved in missions stateside and around the world.

During business sessions we will report to you how your Cooperative Program and North Carolina Missions Offering dollars are making an impact. Messengers will also be asked to vote on our 2011 operating budget.

A variety of breakout sessions will be offered to help equip you for Kingdom ministry. You can visit with our staff and other ministry leaders in the exhibit hall. They are here to serve you so I hope you will plan to spend some time visiting with them and other vendors in the exhibit hall.

If you have questions or would like more information about the annual meeting, please visit www.ncannualmeeting.org.

I look forward to seeing many of you soon. Thank you for all you continue to do to make the gospel known throughout North Carolina!
10/18/2010 9:49:00 AM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC Executive Director-Treasurer | with 2 comments

Praying for the persecuted

October 1 2010 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC Executive Director-Treasurer

We are blessed in this country with a religious freedom that people in other parts of the world cannot even begin to imagine. Every week you and I can worship wherever we choose and with any group of people we choose.

We can carry our Bibles in public and say we are Christians without fear that the government will put us in prison or kill us.

Every day Christians around the world suffer persecution. Open Doors, an organization serving persecuted Christians, includes a list on its web site of the latest news about persecuted Christians and churches. Nearly every day this group has a report of some kind of persecution — or martyrdom — happening around the world. They report that about 100 million Christians face persecution because of their faith in Jesus Christ, with millions more facing alienation and discrimination.

I can hardly bear to read the personal stories on the Open Doors web site about Christians dying for their faith. In the Middle East, a mom and her two children waited for dad to come home from work, but he never did because five men stormed the Christian publishing company where he worked and tortured and then killed him. A bomb exploded in a church in Southeast Asia and a man watched as the fire consumed his wife. The man and his wife had only just been married.

North Carolina Baptists, are we praying for the persecuted church? Are we regularly falling on our faces before God and pleading with Him on behalf of our brothers and sisters around the globe?

Prayer is so important in the life of a Christian. Through prayer we get to know the heart of God. God has invited us into His presence at any time. We can approach His throne of grace with confidence, knowing our prayers are heard and are treasured by God.  If we believe all that to be true, I challenge you and I challenge myself to get more serious when it comes to intercessory prayer, especially for the persecuted church.

Nov. 14, 2010, has been designated as an international day of prayer for the persecuted church. We may not be able to go overseas and minister to these Christians, but we can each pray for them. They need our prayers more than anything else.

I encourage you to mark Nov. 14 as the beginning of a new commitment for your church to boldly pray for persecuted Christians. Pray for those who are being sent away from their homes and their families because of their faith. Please pray for those who will ultimately give their lives for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

If your church would like materials to help promote this important day of prayer, visit www.opendoorsusa.org.

“Lord, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear: To judge the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may no more oppress.” Psalm 10:17-18
10/1/2010 6:05:00 AM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC Executive Director-Treasurer | with 0 comments