August 2004

Two choice gifts : Friday, Aug. 6, 2004

August 6 2004 by Tony W. Cartledge

Two choice gifts : Friday, Aug. 6, 2004
Friday, Aug. 6, 2004

Two choice gifts

By Tony W. Cartledge
BR Editor

Western North Carolina lost two of its most stalwart Baptists in recent weeks, and two of the best friends that N.C. churches and associations ever had.

Elizabeth Campbell died June 19. Campbell served as associational missionary for the Caldwell Association from 1944 through 1980. Like Laura Mae Hilliard in the Yancey Association, Helen Crater in the Theron-Rankin Association, and Mabel Couch in the Stone Mountain Association, she worked tirelessly to introduce new-fangled ministry programs like Sunday School and Vacation Bible School to small mountain churches that traditionally relied on "preaching" alone.

Sadly, most associations in today's theological climate will no longer consider hiring a woman as director of missions, but women like Campbell and Hilliard, who served from 1944-83, clearly proved their worth.

Those who knew Campbell say she could be brusque at times, and was known to ruffle a few feathers. But, they also note that she was utterly devoted to the churches and the people she served. She was a mentor, friend and encourager to young pastors, especially, and there are many who will miss her.

Tom Lolley, who served 19 years as a western area missionary, died July 22. Lolley was known and loved across the state, but was most at home among the many mountain churches and pastors he befriended before suffering a major stroke in October 2000, necessitating his retirement.

Lolley was known for his outgoing personality, his warm friendliness, his steadfast humor and his genuine concern for others. Rarely did he begin a sermon without telling at least one dog story, a habit that became his trademark.

In the last weeks of his life, Lolley often said he was ready to go home. Pointing to a corner of the room in the rest home where he lived, he would speak of "the Rock" who was waiting for him there, because "my house is almost ready."

Lolley's unwavering faith enabled him to face death with courage and assurance that continues to offer gentle encouragement to those who remember him.

I don't know if there are any dogs in heaven, but I'm sure there has been a rapid rise in the number of dog stories.

As we count the many blessings North Carolina Baptists have enjoyed, let's be sure to include Elizabeth Campbell and Tom Lolley on our list. They were two of God's choicest gifts.

8/6/2004 12:00:00 AM by Tony W. Cartledge | with 0 comments

Stock your tool kit this fall : Friday, Aug. 6, 2004

August 6 2004 by Jim Royston

Stock your tool kit this fall : Friday, Aug. 6, 2004
Friday, Aug. 6, 2004

Stock your tool kit this fall

By Jim Royston
BSC Executive Director-Treasurer

Our world must be made of cotton - it's shrinking with every wash.

The "dark continent" is a plane hop away. Unreached people groups are within arm's reach. From Cary today, I can be in Australia tomorrow - well, almost.

So when we refer to "world missions" we're no longer talking about distant people who may never have seen someone from a different race or even tribe. How many times have you read a wrenching story about a child with a horrible disease that kills in his homeland but who has been brought to this country and saved?

In many cases, the world is coming to us, as 715 participants at the World Missions Conference at Caswell Conference Center learned in July. Dozens of languages are spoken in North Carolina schools, neighborhoods and churches. Ethnic restaurants spring up on every corner. "Strange" clothes, customs and holidays wriggle into our consciousness.

This variety is awesome and beautiful. Who would marvel at a rainbow of just one color? Who drives to the mountains in October to see only green leaves?

Helping N.C. Baptist churches reach this colorful world with the gospel message takes cooperation. And it takes the right tools.

Many churches are considering how to stock their tool kits. Your budget reveals your tools. Properly distributed, your budget will sharpen the knives of evangelism, fluff the blankets of fellowship, and tighten the blades of ministry.

Churches conscious of the Acts 1:8 admonition to "be witnesses ... to the uttermost" want to use their tools beyond their own walls. Let me remind you of a tool you have, maybe laying there in the bottom of your kit, under an oily rag. It's called the Cooperative Program.

Missions giving through the Cooperative Program enables you to "go" when you can't leave. Your missions gifts are distributed through a formula you determine to plant churches in North Carolina, to provide resources, training, coaching and connecting for your leaders and teachers. Each dollar you give helps educate students and future pastors, provides language and cross cultural ministries and opportunities to retreat, gather, learn and grow at various conference centers.

Your church likely is at a time of budget consideration. Too often I hear where individuals challenge their church's Cooperative Program missions gifts by asking: "What has the Cooperative Program done for us?"

Let me tell you. The Cooperative Program tool enables you to change lives, one person at a time - from your town to North Carolina, "the state of our mission," to our nation and to the world. It enables you to obey the Great Commission.

Please speak up on behalf of the lives changed through ministries the Cooperative Program supports. A child "next door" needs to hear.

8/6/2004 12:00:00 AM by Jim Royston | with 0 comments

What would Lottie Moon think? : Friday, Aug. 6, 2004

August 6 2004 by

What would Lottie Moon think? : Friday, Aug. 6, 2004
Friday, Aug. 6, 2004

What would Lottie Moon think?

Lottie Moon was a Southern Baptist missionary to China who died of starvation while reaching Chinese people for Christ. I am not a missionary, but I am a North Carolina Southern Baptist who has lived and worked in China since 1998. But today something is happening that threatens to turn Chinese hearts such as Lottie Moon fought for very cold.

On May 12th a Southern Baptist couple in Memphis, that I will call "B," had a judge void the parental rights of a Chinese Presbyterian couple with a 5-year-old daughter named "AMH."

In a major magazine, Mrs. B stated that if she loved her daughter, AMH's mother would willing let Mr. and Mrs. B adopt AMH. I must assume it is ignorance and not malice, but Mrs. B's comments show extremely bad theology. In Isaiah 49:15 a mother's love is shown to be a picture of God's loves. "Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee." To imply that AMH's mother should give her up is to imply that God should give us up.

I mentioned to a friend my fears that Chinese hearts will be turned cold to the gospel from this case. He told me that it's already happening. This friend told me he has seen many negative Chinese language Web postings about Christians and especially Southern Baptists because of this case. In the 19th century several riots took place because the Chinese people believed rumors that Christians were kidnapping Chinese children. If Mr. and Mrs. B succeed in taking AMH from her parents, many Chinese may believe there was substance to those rumors.

Robert A. Lackman

Qingdao, China

8/6/2004 12:00:00 AM by | with 0 comments

Light and sound systems: more than flipping a switch : Friday, Aug. 6, 2004

August 6 2004 by Jane Paige

Light and sound systems: more than flipping a switch : Friday, Aug. 6, 2004
Friday, Aug. 6, 2004

Light and sound systems: more than flipping a switch

By Jane Paige
Special to the Recorder

Gone are the days of flipping a switch or turning a dial for the lights and sound inside church sanctuaries. Today, state-of-the-art systems are helping to illuminate and broadcast Sunday morning services, holiday concerts and community performances.

Selecting the right light and sound systems for churches can be challenging, confusing and expensive, experts agree. Early planning, research and communication can help ease the process for church members, architects and builders.

"Today, people are expecting quality lighting and sound no matter the size of the church," said Stan Howell, planning specialist with ADW Architects of Charlotte. "The demand for such systems is in high gear now across the state. We are seeing more and more churches wanting pretty sophisticated equipment and systems."

Early in the overall planning process, church leaders and members are being encouraged to decide on the function of the lights and sound system in the new sanctuary or facility. Lighting and sound for elaborate musical pageants several times a year can be very different from what is needed at weekly worship services. The availability of money for both systems also is a critical factor since state-of-the-art equipment can be expensive. An industry estimate is that at least 9 percent of the total construction cost could be allocated for sound and lights, Howell said. This means a $3 million project could include $270,000 for the two systems.

The earlier the architect knows the sound and lighting priorities, the better, Howell said. Today many churches are hiring lighting and sound consultants. It is also important that these specialists get involved early with the design of the new facility.

"We have had some churches that come back to us after the design phase is complete and want to change the shape of the sanctuary in order to add screens and lighting," Howell said. "Obviously, it would have been much better if we had all this information from the start."

Members of Oakmont Baptist Church, a 900-member congregation in Greenville, knew they wanted the latest in advanced technology for their $5 million sanctuary and facilities that were completed last year. Small group meetings held several years ago resulted in top quality sound and lighting systems being a priority for the new facility. ADW was architect for the project.

"When we built the facility, we got the very best systems we could afford at the time," said Steve Harding, Oakmont's minister of media, arts and children. "We know that as our world changes, if churches do not keep up with the technology curve, people will just tune it out."

Sound and lighting consultants were involved with the Oakmont project from the start. David Evans with Sound Advice of Eastern North Carolina began working with the design team in January 2002.

"Oakmont knew they wanted the latest technology for their new building," Evans said. "Many hours were spent putting their audio-visual needs on paper and planning so nothing would be overlooked."

Sound Advice installed supports for its hardware before the sheet rock was placed. Due to the height of the ceiling, the company had to hang the main speaker cluster before the large construction lifts were taken out of the building.

"Churches minister in both word and music," Evans said. "It is a challenge to get the sound balance just right so both ministries will work. Frequently we are just faced with a building with bad acoustics that we have to work around the best we can."

Stephen Ellison, a lighting consultant based in Apex, worked with Oakmont on its lighting system. He is also a writer for the magazine, Technologies for Worship.

"It is important to know what churches are trying to do with the space in terms of lighting," Ellison said. "If they are going to be on television, if they want productions in the space, it is critical to have all the information on their plans."

Both Evans and Ellison agree that church members are becoming savvy about sound and lighting systems. The Internet is loaded with sites on both topics.

"Churches used to not have anyone with any technical ability, but that certainly has changed over the years," Evans said. "Today, more churches are hiring technology people like Steve at Oakmont to handle their systems."

Lighting and sound are a work in progress each Sunday morning in the Oakmont sanctuary. Four volunteer technicians are needed to operate the systems for the worship service that is also broadcast on the local cable television channel.

There is a 40-channel audio board in the main sanctuary and a 32-channel audio board for the television control room. Cameras are on remote controllable tilt heads for mastering DVDs of the service. They also have a series of switchers for distributing the video signal. Two screens that retract into the ceiling are used for computer graphics for the main congregation and one projector is available for the choir. Architectural and theatrical lighting is controlled by 98 dimmer banks. Several televisions are located throughout the building to broadcast the sanctuary events.

Video clips from movies like "Bruce Almighty" and the popular Andy Griffith television show have been shown on the screens during worship services, Harding said. He meets weekly with senior pastor Greg Rogers to coordinate the sound and lighting for the services.

Oakmont's use of theatrical and stage lighting has dramatically evolved through the years.

"We started out with some clip lights hanging from a metal pole," Harding said. "As our ministry has grown, we have worked to be proactive and develop an excellent system. We want to continue to grow and develop as our congregation does."

8/6/2004 12:00:00 AM by Jane Paige | with 0 comments

Pointers on choosing a lighting system : Friday, Aug. 6, 2004

August 6 2004 by Jane Paige

Pointers on choosing a lighting system : Friday, Aug. 6, 2004
Friday, Aug. 6, 2004

Pointers on choosing a lighting system

By Jane Paige
Special to the Recorder

Selecting the right lighting system for a new sanctuary can be challenging and confusing. Stephen Ellison of Apex is a lighting system design consultant who has worked with churches across the state. He offers the following advice on what to look for when choosing a lighting system.

1. Define the requirements of the lighting system. According to Ellison, these can include general illumination for cleaning and working in the sanctuary; controllable light for the congregation for mood enhancement; architectural lighting to enhance the building structure, such as sconces and stained glass lighting; and lighting for the platform to include general illumination, video lighting and drama lighting.

2. Determine the equipment needed. "At this point you can estimate the amount of power that will be required," Ellison said.

The power feed for the building is one of the first items that needs to be determined, he said.

"The more complex a lighting system, the more power required. More power means bigger wires coming into the building and a larger transformer. Incoming power to a building is laid out early in the construction phase and, once installed, is very costly to change," Ellison said.

3. Determine locations for all the lights. Ellison recommends that all churches design systems that will accommodate video lighting.

"The cost of cameras and other associated gear is coming down quickly and the jump to video recording instead of tape as a medium to distribute the service will be within the reach of every church shortly," he said.

"Video lighting requires the addition of the one lighting location most overlooked in church construction, back light." Ellison said. "The decision about location needs to be made very early in the design of the building. You need to work with the architect to make sure that he leaves space in the room for lighting positions beyond the normal down lights. A consultant can be very helpful at this stage to work with the architect and the electrical engineer in designing the room."

4. Determine the number of required dimmers. This count should include all of the lighting in the sanctuary, Ellison said.

"By controlling all the lights from a central location you can easily utilize a central control system," he said. "The next decision is how to control the dimmers. A mixed control can be setup that allows for entry stations into the room along with a more complex lighting console for use during the service."

5. Choose quality and type of lighting fixtures. "Some of this work will have been done while the positions were determined, but not the complete list," Ellison said. "Some of this work will be based on what uses beyond the normal service lighting you want the system to accommodate."

8/6/2004 12:00:00 AM by Jane Paige | with 0 comments

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