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
    Filed under: campus ministry




Comments
BR Editor
Dr. Thompson,
You will be happy to know that campus ministry is thriving under the new strategy. In the two years since the new strategy began, the Biblical Recorder has published several stories about the effective ways that campus ministry is indeed alive and vibrant. We thought you might be interested in reading this blog from one of the model campuses. http://mikepuckett.org/2015/04/03/the-legacy-of-campus-ministry/
4/5/2015 2:49:12 PM

Dr. Justin Thompson
I am one of those many students that Mr. Rogers refers to as having come through campus ministry and now being a church member. I am a deacon in my church, a board member of a local Christian school, a professional, and an author of Christian living books. I've preached in a church in Nigeria where worshipers meet in fear of Boko Haram. And I am in complete agreement with Mr. Rogers. In fact, his own ministry made a tremendous impact on my life and perspective on my own faith. It gives me great pain to know that this ministry has been defunded and is now relying on local churches who may, or may not be able to provide the needed support. Campus ministry is a tremendously valuable way to reach students for Christ, to mentor young believers for a lifetime of ministry, and to build new leaders for the church of tomorrow. Through campus ministry I was exposed to opportunities to lead Bible studies, share the gospel with internationals, experience the perspectives of Jewish students and faculty to traditions I took for granted or overlooked (thus seeing new meaning in the teaching of Christ), and share God's grace with sinners that felt abandoned by the church.

Please reconsider the plan. Keep campus ministry alive and vibrant. Take advantage of the opportunities to share the gospel with a lost world that comes to you, and to disciple young believers that will become the leaders and ministers of tomorrow.
3/30/2015 4:04:57 PM

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