October 2017

Many lives ‘saved’ through Baptist Children’s Homes

October 31 2017 by Milton A. Hollfield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

For more than 130 years, the ministry of the Baptist Children’s Homes (BCH) of North Carolina has been saving children out of desperate situations and providing them with a loving and stable environment in which they can live and grow.
 
Along the way, many of these children are introduced to the life-changing message of the gospel and come to a saving knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
 
Appropriately, the theme of this year’s BCH annual offering is “Saved,” based upon Luke 19:10.
 
I recently had the opportunity to watch a promotional video for this year’s offering which recounts the story of a 9-year-old boy who rescued his two younger sisters from an abusive family situation.
 
Early one morning while their mother and stepfather were still sleeping, the boy packed a bag and took his sisters by the hand and led them away from their home.
 
Some time later, a police officer discovered the boy and his sisters walking along the road.
 
The young boy begged the officer to take them to foster care.
 
“We can’t live with our mom and stepdad anymore,” the boy explained. “They beat us and they starve us, and my stepdad pulls my little sister’s hair out.”
 
A few hours later, those children were brought to the BCH where they found a home free from the abuse and trauma they had experienced up until then.
 
Soon those siblings were introduced to the unconditional love of Christ by their house parents, and the big brother who had saved his sisters found his own Savior by entrusting his life to Christ.
 
In 2016 alone, 147 children and individuals had their lives eternally changed like this young boy by being introduced to Jesus through the ministries of the Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina.
 
We give glory and praise to God for the testimonies of how He has worked to draw these individuals to Himself.
 
We also thank you, North Carolina Baptists, for your faithful prayers and generous financial support of BCH’s ministries.
 
Please join me again this year in praying for the BCH’s annual offering and considering how you and your church might participate.
 
A special week of prayer for the offering has been designated from Nov. 12-19, and this year’s offering goal is $1.5 million.
 
Your gifts are making an eternal impact and are resulting the lives of children and others being saved both in the here and now, as well as for all eternity.
 
If you would like more information on the ministries of the BCH and the annual offering, please visit bchoffering.org.
 
There you will find additional resources and promotional materials for this year’s offering.
Also, I encourage you to watch and consider showing the video of how the 9-year-old boy rescued his sisters from their abusive home and found hope at the Baptist Children’s Homes.
 
It is available at bchnc.org/bchsaved.
 
For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” – Luke 19:10 (NKJV).
 

10/31/2017 8:34:53 AM by Milton A. Hollfield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments



Reflections on the Reformation

October 16 2017 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

Oct. 31, 1517, is widely recognized as the day that a monk named Martin Luther nailed a document known as the 95 Theses to the door of the All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg, Germany. Historians, scholars and theologians mark this event as the beginning of what we know as the Protestant Reformation.
 
This year marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, a significant and momentous event in church history. While in some contemporary conversations the Reformation is often associated primarily with Reformed theology, the importance of the Reformation goes far beyond contemporary conversations.
As Southern Baptists, we are the beneficiaries of the Reformation in many ways. One of the lasting impacts of the Reformation has been the recovery of core doctrinal beliefs that we as evangelicals in general and Southern Baptists in particular hold as foundational to our faith.
 
The theological convictions of the Reformers are often summarized in what are known as the “five solas.” These short Latin phrases convey core truths about Christianity. They are: sola scriptura (Scripture alone); sola fide (faith alone); sola gratia (grace alone); sola Christus (Christ alone); and sola Deo gloria (to the glory of God alone). When we consider these truths, we can understand how the Reformation continues to influence how and why we worship God today.
 
Baptists have long been called a “people of the Book.” We believe scripture alone is our ultimate source of authority, and all of God’s Word is inspired, inerrant and infallible. The Bible is the believer’s guide for faith and practice.
 
As followers of Christ, we know that salvation is a free gift, and it is available to anyone who receives it by faith. We also know that salvation is only made possible because of God’s grace. We cannot do enough good works to earn our salvation. The apostle Paul reminds us of this glorious truth in Ephesians 2:8-9.
We also know that salvation comes only through Christ Jesus. He is the sinless Son of God whose death on the cross paid the penalty for our sins. Acts 4:12 tells us that “there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (NKJV).
 
For all that God has done for us, we should be compelled to live our lives to the glory of Him alone. The apostle Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 10:31 that “whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (NKJV).
 
To coincide with the Reformation’s 500th anniversary, the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s Historical Committee is sponsoring some special events during our upcoming Annual Meeting on Nov. 6-7 at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro. On Monday, Nov. 6, the committee will be screening a film on the Reformation titled “This Changed Everything” at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. in Auditorium I of the Koury Center. The committee will also offer a “Reformation Symposium” panel discussion that same day in Auditorium I from 3-5 p.m.
 
We hope you will make plans to attend these events to learn more about the historical significance and the lasting legacy of the Reformation.
 
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” – Ephesians 2:8-9 (NKJV).
10/16/2017 1:29:36 PM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments



Backpacks full of blessings

October 2 2017 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

In Baptist life, we are blessed to have many wonderful ministries that God uses to bless those in need.
Once again this year, the Appalachian coalfields ministry that is part of N.C. Baptist Men/Baptists on Mission (NCBM) is partnering with the Appalachian regional ministry of the North American Mission Board (NAMB) to provide backpacks filled with toys, candy, a Bible and other helpful items to needy children at Christmas as part of the Appalachian Christmas Outreach 2017.
 
The children who receive these backpacks live in poverty-stricken areas, and the backpacks may be the only Christmas presents that these children receive. I was personally moved by the gratitude expressed by some of last year’s backpack recipients. Their words demonstrate how their lives were touched by your generosity. Here are just a few of their responses.
 
I want to thank you for the backpacks. Mine was filled with joy and fun. I got a flashlight. I use it to feed the horses at night. I also got socks! Thanks for the candy and all the great stuff!” – Austin
 
Thank you for the backpacks. I’m so thankful for all the cool stuff I got. My friend and I both got some gloves and a Holy Bible. We are reading the Bible together. Thank you!” – Gracie
 
Thank you so much for all the wonderful items I received. I played with the toys a lot. I now read the little book I got. I also use the lip balm. Again, thank you for the backpacks.” – Hannah
 
North Carolina Baptists have historically been among the top contributors to this ministry.
 
Last year church groups and individuals from N.C. Baptist churches gave more than 9,000 backpacks to this ministry. Will you join with others again this year in praying and giving to provide backpacks for these children as a tangible expression of God’s love for them during Christmas?
 
Our statewide goal for 2017 is to collect 10,000 backpacks for Appalachian children and the national goal is to collect 65,000 backpacks.
 
You can learn more about this ministry opportunity by visiting the Baptists on Mission website at baptistsonmission.org and looking under the section devoted to the Appalachian coalfields ministry.
 
There you will find information on items to include in a backpack, a list of collection sites across the state to drop off your backpack, as well as opportunities to volunteer at a collection site or in delivering the backpacks at a ministry site.
 
Backpack collections are scheduled at various locations across the state on Sat., Nov. 4, so make plans now to be a part of this special ministry. You may also contact Mark Abernathy with NCBM at (919) 459-5607 or by email at mabernathy@ncbaptist.org for more information on this outreach.
 
Thank you for your prayers and partnership in this wonderful opportunity to show the love of Christ to these many children. We express special appreciation to Bill Barker from NAMB along with Mission Service Corp volunteers Dewey and Kathie Aiken from Brevard. The Aikens have helped with this ministry since 2010.
 
Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God” – Mark 10:14b.
 

10/2/2017 3:26:28 PM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments