June 2013

Open letter to N.C. Baptists concerning campus ministry

June 3 2013 by Don Rogers

(EDITOR’S NOTE – The following is an open letter written May 20 to North Carolina Baptists and Milton Hollifield Jr., executive director-treasurer of the Baptist State Convention of N.C. by Don Rogers, a retired campus minister from University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Read related story.)
 
Dear Milton:
 
Since I have been stunned at your recent decisions regarding campus ministers and campus ministry in general, I must tell you and others how I feel.
 
Your recent article in the Biblical Recorder indicates that you hope to establish “collegiate partnerships” with local churches to carry out the convention’s mission with students. In doing so, you hark back to the early days when churches which began student ministry requested that local associations and the state convention provide help because they were unable to meet the need.
 
Going backwards is hardly a worthy goal.
 
I remember how excited I was to be invited to come to Charlotte in 1978 to join one of the most outstanding group of men and women who were dedicated to the task of doing the Lord’s work on campuses throughout the state. The reputation of North Carolina Baptists and their vision for campus ministry were widely known and appreciated by those who understood the breadth and depth of that vision.
 
When I retired in 1999, I did not anticipate that you would move so directly to diminish the work on the campuses that others had so carefully, thoughtfully, and prayerfully established over decades of ministry.

I urge you to reconsider your position; and I am encouraging North Carolina Baptists to refuse to follow leadership that would reduce the effectiveness of ministry to students, staff and faculty. Clearly, this is a poorly thought-out plan of action. Also, it is obvious that no one who was knowledgeable about campus ministry was included in this decision making.
 
Numerous former students who were associated with North Carolina Baptist Campus Ministry are now leaders and faithful church members all over the world. Their testimonies would provide strong support for the continuance of campus ministry in North Carolina as they experienced it.
Don Rogers
Trade, Tenn.
6/3/2013 3:05:35 PM by Don Rogers | with 2 comments