October 2015

Tribute to a faithful pastor, professor and president

October 20 2015 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

During the September meeting of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s Board of Directors, we had the privilege of honoring and recognizing my friend and colleague Jerry Wallace for his many years of service to both Campbell University and North Carolina Baptists.
Over the summer, Wallace retired after 45 years at Campbell, the last 12 of which he served as the university’s president. I am grateful that we had the privilege as a board to recognize, celebrate and thank him for his dedication to and outstanding leadership of Campbell University.
In the many roles that Wallace has held at Campbell – professor, administrator, dean, provost and president among them – one role has undergirded them all. Wallace still considers himself a Baptist pastor at heart. His wife Betty shares that sentiment. “He is a preacher first. Always will be,” she says. “That is the essence of who he is.”
Wallace served as pastor of Elizabethtown Baptist Church from 1960 to 1975. In 1970, while continuing to pastor, Wallace began teaching part time at Campbell as an adjunct professor of sociology.
As he transitioned from the pastorate to the classroom and later into administration, Wallace always taught, led and served with a pastor’s heart.
Wallace recognized the important connection between academic pursuits and the spiritual formation and development of students. He has given his life to both ministry and education, and Wallace believes the two are not to be separated.
The link between academic training and ministry is clearly seen in Wallace’s efforts to establish Campbell’s school of medicine. From the very beginning, Wallace had a vision that the medical school at Campbell would produce more doctors and medical professionals for the mission field and missionary endeavors than any other school in the nation.
Throughout his tenure at Campbell, Wallace has valued the historic relationship between the universities and the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.
The ongoing relationship that the state convention presently has with the affiliated N.C. Baptist educational institutions is due, in large part, to the efforts of Wallace.
He has been a trusted voice in the establishment of this new relationship with the convention and the universities.
For as long as I have known him, Wallace has always personified what I think it means to be a Christian southern gentleman. I agree with the sentiment expressed to him on behalf of the convention’s Christian Higher Education Special Committee during a reception in his honor. “Your passion for providing a strong Christian worldview to students of all disciplines has set you apart as a minister of the gospel, educator and statesman.”
Thank you, Dr. Wallace, for your many years of service to North Carolina Baptists and for your faithfulness as a pastor, professor and university president.
And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry” – 1 Timothy 1:12 (NKJV).

10/20/2015 12:15:05 PM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments

May our BSC Annual Meeting be an ‘Echo’ for God’s glory

October 6 2015 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

As the seasons begin to change and fall arrives, I look forward with great anticipation to our Annual Meeting. This year’s meeting, scheduled for Nov. 2-3, is now less than a month away, and if you have not made plans to attend, I hope that you will join us in Greensboro in a few short weeks. You can find all of the details about the meeting at the event website, ncannualmeeting.org.
This year’s Annual Meeting theme is “Echo: Reproducing Gospel Life in Others,” and I believe that it embodies the true spirit of God’s call for this Convention of churches.

This theme, which is drawn from 2 Timothy 2:2, exhorts us to make disciples who make disciples. The verse reads, “And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (NKJV). With this theme, we will celebrate the progress that has been made to create a disciple-making culture and impact our state for Christ as we give Him all the glory.
An echo, which begins as a small sound, becomes something much greater when it reflects off a large surface. It becomes a repetition of sounds – not by the ability of the one who produced it, but by the power of something much greater.
Just as God made Abraham into a great nation following his act of obedience, I am confident that if we act in obedience to Him, He will bring our small actions of personal discipleship to fruition for His glory. Today, there are still more than 5.8 million lost people in our state. That number is high, but God has called us to make disciples, and we know that when He begins a work, He will “carry it on to completion” (Philippians 1:6). What a mighty God we serve!
What can you do in your day-to-day life to pour into the lives of others so that they may also be able to spread the gospel? Perhaps you have a friend who is searching for answers about God. You can tell them the story of how the Lord worked in your life and how He changed you. You can also pass down the message of God’s love and saving grace to the next generation by praying with your children or grandchildren and having discussions about their salvation decision and spiritual walk with Christ.
Will you join me in praying for the lost in our state? Pray that their hearts will be open to God’s Word and that they will be obedient to God’s call. Create an echo effect with the gospel for His glory. I look forward to seeing you in Greensboro!

10/6/2015 1:10:52 PM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments