BSC celebrates new churches
November 15 2002 by Tony W. Cartledge , BR Editor

BSC celebrates new churches | Friday, Nov 15, 2002

Friday, Nov 15, 2002

BSC celebrates new churches

By Tony W. Cartledge BR Editor

WINSTON-SALEM - The centerpiece of the 2002 annual meeting of the Baptist State Convention (BSC) was a worship service celebrating new church starts.

The worship time on Nov. 12 began with a challenge from Shubal Stearns, the pioneer minister who planted several Baptist churches in North Carolina. Stearns was portrayed by Jeff Smith, pastor of Young Memorial Baptist Church in Concord.

Lively music and a parade of flags representing new church starts preceded reports from three different churches that have begun their work during the past year.

The First Baptist Church of Pinehurst, which is traditional in its worship style and programming, began meeting in June. The First Baptist churches of Aberdeen and Southern Pines, in cooperation with the Sandhills Association, are primary sponsors. Pastor David Marks thanked the churches for their vision and willingness to contribute both members and money to the core group for the new church. First Baptist of Pinehurst now has 75 members, with about 140 regular attenders in worship, he said.

Shortly after new pastor Bob Felts arrived at Brookwood Baptist Church in Burlington, he learned that two long-time staff members had a five-year dream of starting an intentionally multi-cultural church and serving as co-pastors. Felts gave his blessing to the effort, the Brookwood congregation got behind it, and New Life Fellowship was born. Though the decision was not easy, Felts said "We chose to choose the Kingdom of God over our own kingdom, and to lose members and staff to support it." Felts said some of Brookwood's finest members were encouraged to support the new church.

Co-pastors Marcus Stewart, who is black, and David Gordon, who is white, spoke of how their personal friendship had grown and inspired them to work together in a church that would appeal to people of diverse backgrounds. "As co-pastors, we submit to each other," Gordon said, reflecting the church's team approach to ministry. The church's core group began meeting in April and now numbers about 100 people, though it has yet to go fully public in outreach efforts.

Colorfully dressed members of the new Korean Mission of Greensboro sang in both English and Korean. Richard Park, leader of a house church within the congregation, described how the church had come into being, and how their participation had blessed him and his family. He expressed thanks to First Baptist Church of Greensboro and to North Carolina Baptists for their support.

Earlier in the service, a choir made up of representatives from 14 different Asia-Pacific Island language churches sang "Amazing Grace."

About half of the BSC's current new church starts are ethnic churches.

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11/15/2002 12:00:00 AM by Tony W. Cartledge , BR Editor | with 0 comments
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