N.C. Baptists' response to Sept. 11 attacks voted the top story for 2001
December 28 2001 by Steve DeVane , BR Managing Editor

N.C. Baptists' response to Sept. 11 attacks voted the top story for 2001 | Friday, Dec. 28, 2001

Friday, Dec. 28, 2001

N.C. Baptists' response to Sept. 11 attacks voted the top story for 2001

By Steve DeVane BR Managing Editor The N.C. Baptist response to terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon near Washington, D.C., was voted the most important story of 2001 by the editorial staff of the Biblical Recorder. Relief workers from N.C. Baptist churches were headed toward the Pentagon less than 16 hours after terrorists crashed a plane into the building on Sept. 11. Twenty-two hours later, N.C. Baptists were headed toward New York.

Crews at the Pentagon provided hot meals for emergency workers. N.C. Baptists initially sent shower units to New York and later added feeding, laundry and cleaning units.

Tar Heel Baptists provided relief help for three months after the attacks.

Conservatives' successful effort to regain control of Baptist State Convention (BSC) offices was voted the second most important story of the year.

Conservatives won the top two BSC elected offices at the annual meeting in November. Moderates held on to the second vice presidency.

Jerry Pereira, pastor of First Baptist Church of Swannanoa, was elected president. Bob Foy, a layman from Peninsula Baptist Church in Mooresville, won the first vice presidency and Larry Harper, pastor of Forest Hills Baptist Church in Raleigh, was re-elected second vice president.

The two conservative victories marked the sixth time in the last seven years that conservatives have controlled at least two of the three top BSC offices.

Conservative talk of a BSC takeover was chosen as the third most important story.

The remarks were made at a meeting sponsored by Conservative Carolina Baptists (CCB). Clarence Johnson, the head of a conservative laity group and a member of the CCB Executive Committee, was the main speaker at the Sept. 20 meeting in Fayetteville and several of the other gatherings

"Do I want a takeover? Absolutely," Johnson said.

A number of conservatives, including Pereira and Foy, have distanced themselves from Johnson's remarks.

Other stories voted important by the Recorder staff:

(4) New Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) church faces funding questions.

Providence Baptist Congregation, a new CBF church in Hendersonville, sought funding from the BSC.

Potential funding from the BSC hit a snag when church supporters were told that its lack of ties to the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) would likely disqualify it from membership in the Carolina Baptist Association. BSC policy says a new church must be endorsed by a "district association" to get funding from the BSC.

Providence then sought endorsement from the Buncombe Baptist Association.

Buncombe officials, however, said the association's constitution doesn't allow it to start churches outside Buncombe County.

Supporters of the church then asked United Association, a multi-racial association generally located in the Charlotte area, to endorse Providence. United officials agreed and invited the church to become part of the association, but funding from the BSC is still in question.

(5) More N.C. Baptist churches leave SBC.

Several moderate churches in the BSC decided during 2001 to officially cut ties with the conservative-dominated SBC. At least 25 N.C. Baptist churches have left the SBC over the past several years.

About a third of all the churches that have left the SBC are N.C. Baptist churches, according to a list compiled by a CBF official. North Carolina has nearly triple the number from any other state.

(6-tie) N.C. Baptists minister in partnership areas.

Thousands of N.C. Baptists went on mission trips during 2001 through the BSC's partnerships with Alaska, Honduras and Southern Africa.

Most of the trips to Alaska took place in the summer. Teams of N.C. Baptists constructed new buildings and repaired existing ones; led Vacation Bible Schools; conducted revivals; and performed community surveys.

Teams going to Honduras helped people rebuild after Hurricane Mitch destroyed thousands of homes in 1998.

The three-year partnership with Southern Africa ended in 2001.

(6-tie) Associations face controversies.

The Elkin Baptist Association dismissed First Baptist Church of Elkin for accepting members who have not been baptized by immersion. The association voted 70-16 to dismiss the church at the association's meeting Oct. 25.

Lamberth Memorial Baptist Church in Roxboro voted to withdraw from the Beulah Baptist Association shortly after a surprise motion to align the association more closely with the SBC narrowly failed during its Oct. 15-16 annual meeting. The church has faced criticism within the association because it supports CBF and because pastor Jeff Raymond's wife, LeJeanna, is ordained and serves as associate pastor.

Messengers to the North Roanoke Baptist Association's semi-annual meeting on April 3 voted to approve a nominating committee's recommendation despite attempts to have two of the nominees replaced.

The nominating committee's slate had been a target for controversy after two active conservative pastors in the association were asked to serve, but later replaced with two laypersons.

(8) Baptist Children's Homes (BCH) of North Carolina opens home for adults with developmental disabilities and passes $1 million offering mark.

BCH started the active phase of its ministry to adults with developmental disabilities in March with the opening of Baptist House at Bethabara. The opening of the Winston-Salem facility put BCH about two years ahead of schedule.

BCH announced in March that its 2000 Thanksgiving Offering had raised $1.03 million, the first time in N.C. Baptist history a single institution raised $1 million dollars in special offerings.

The Thanksgiving Offering was the culmination of an intensive 20-month campaign called QSTQR (Quality Service Through Quality Relationships).

(9-tie) Some conservatives join Mainstream group.

Several conservative N.C. Baptists, including one who holds an elected office with CCB agreed to serve on the Mainstream Baptists of North Carolina (MBNC) steering committee. Larry Locklear, pastor of Island Grove Baptist Church in Pembroke and a self-described theological "ultra-conservative" and a CCB regional director, said he agreed to serve on the committee after he was promised that the main goal of the group is to encourage cooperation between conservatives and moderates in North Carolina.

(9-tie) Population outpacing Baptist growth in North Carolina.

A BSC analysis of population and church records showed that the Baptist presence in North Carolina declined dramatically in the past 20 years. From 1980 to 2000, the percentage of Baptists in the state has dropped from about 25 percent to about 14 percent, the analysis said.

Copyright (c) Biblical Recorder Inc.
12/28/2001 12:00:00 AM by Steve DeVane , BR Managing Editor | with 0 comments
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