The board of directors of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC) welcomed more than 50 new members who elected officers and were challenged to be leaders in their churches by making disciples in North Carolina and beyond in their first meeting of 2015.
Perry Brindley, director of missions for the Buncombe Baptist Association, was elected board president. He previously served as the board’s vice president. Brian Kinlaw, lead pastor of Southview Baptist Church in Hope Mills, was elected vice president of the board. Ginger Brown was re-elected as board secretary.
The meeting, held Jan. 27-28 at the Caraway Conference Center near Asheboro, allowed the new members to meet with current board members, gather with their assigned committee for the first time and participate in the selection of committee chairs.
Committee chairs oversee the work of their respective committee, and serve as members of the BSC’s executive committee (EC), which acts in behalf of the board between the three yearly meetings.
The EC also has the responsibility to review, amend and approve the budget as annually prepared by the Budget Special Committee prior to presentation to the full board in September. The budget must be adopted by the convention during the annual meeting in November.
The EC has 20 members: the two officers of the board, three officers of the BSC (president, first vice president, second vice president), the seven chairs of board committees, the chair of the Budget Committee, the chair of the Articles and Bylaws Committee, four at-large members of the board that are elected during the January meeting, the president of North Carolina Baptists on Mission and the president of the North Carolina Baptist Associational Missionaries Conference.
Newly elected committee chairs are: LeRoy Burke, Business Services; Gordon Benton, Christian Higher Education; Bob Garbett, Christian Life & Public Affairs; Boyce Porter, Christian Social Services; Bud Russell, Church Planting & Missions Partnerships; David Duarte, Communications; and Chris Hawks, Evangelism & Discipleship.
Photo by K. Allan Blume
Perry Brindley, BSC Board President, addresses the board of directors at Caraway Conference Center.
Four at-large members were elected to serve on the EC: Lawrence Clapp, senior pastor of South Elm Street Baptist Church in Greensboro; Marc Francis, lead pastor of Ridgecrest Baptist Church in Durham; John Mark Harrison, lead pastor of Apex Baptist Church; and Ken Jones, senior pastor of Lincoln Avenue Baptist Church in Lincolnton.
Convention president Timmy Blair named the Committee on Nominations: Steve Frazier, Riverside Baptist Church, Waynesville; Ron Hester, Mount Vernon Baptist Church, Fayetteville; James Horton, Rocky Hock Baptist Church, Edenton; Marvin Green, Bethany Baptist Church, Forest City; Jonathan Rebsamen, First Baptist Church, Charlotte; Don Brown, College Acres Baptist Church, Wilmington; Becky Glenn (2015 unexpired term of Sharon Hinton Smith), Westfield Baptist Church, Westfield; Steve Schultz (2016 unexpired term of Pao Ly), Pole Creek Baptist Church, Candler; Reginald Bakr, Chair, Saint Paul Baptist Church, Greensboro. Bakr is the first African American to serve as chair of the committee.
BSC’s executive director-treasurer, Milton Hollifield, recognized Michael Barrett for his three years of service as board president. “I appreciate and value the kind of man you are and the work that you do,” Hollifield said. “It has been a pleasure and a joy to work with you during this time. We thank God for you and for your love for the Lord.”
In the financial report, accounting services director Beverly Volz announced that Cooperative Program giving for 2014 totaled $28.8 million, which was approximately 4 percent less than the convention’s budget of $30 million.
Though the BSC received less funding than expected, Hollifield said “… it looks very much like we will finish the year in the black. That is a very positive thing, and we give God the praise and glory.”
Clay Warf, executive director of the North Carolina Baptist Foundation, reported that the foundation completed 2014 with $152.5 million in assets under management, which was up from $146 million at the end of 2013. During 2014 the foundation opened 40 new accounts and received $16.7 million in new gifts or gifts to existing funds. More than $9 million was distributed to ministries and charitable organizations.
LeRoy Burke, chair of the Business Services Special Committee, updated the board on several campus ministry properties owned by BSC. Burke announced the sale of the campus ministry property at the University of North Carolina at Asheville has been completed for approximately $120,000. Proceeds from the sale have been placed in reserve to help fund the collegiate partnerships ministry.
Burke also said the campus ministry property at UNC-Pembroke will be deeded to the Burnt Swamp association. Burke said the committee continues to explore the best course of action for remaining campus ministry properties around the state, including the Battle House at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Gordon Benton, chair of the Christian Higher Education Special Committee, said his committee is exploring the best way to distribute scholarship funds to students from N.C. Baptist churches attending one of the five affiliated universities in the state. His committee is working on a recommendation.
David Horton, president of Fruitland Baptist Bible College, reported that Fruitland’s winter enrollment totaled 248 students on campus, at satellite locations or online. That figure represents a record number of students enrolled at Fruitland based on available records dating back to the early 1990s. Horton also said work is under way on a new student family housing building that should be completed this spring.
Boyce Porter, chair of the Christian Social Services Special Committee, reminded board members of the volunteer workdays coming up in May at some of the Baptist Children’s Home locations around the state. More information and a schedule is available online.
Chris Hawks, chair of the Evangelism and Discipleship Committee, identified upcoming training opportunities for pastors and laity. They include the One Story Disciple-Making Conference on Feb. 23 in Clemmons, the One Day Equipping Conference on May 2 in High Point and The Story regional training events that begin Feb. 10.
Hollifield encouraged board members to give their best as they serve and to prepare spiritually for their responsibilities. He reminded the board that North Carolina Baptists are depending on them to provide good leadership in serving the churches and regions they represent.
In addition, Hollifield challenged members of the board to be advocates for the convention’s strategy of “impacting lostness through disciple-making” in their churches and associations. More information about the strategy is available on the convention’s website.
“I pray that our hearts will be broken and burdened in 2015 as never before about the spiritual needs of people and the wonderful opportunities that God has called us to fulfill,” Hollifield said. “Let’s make 2015 our greatest year yet as we continue to become the strongest force in the history of this convention for reaching people with the gospel in North Carolina, North America and throughout the nations of the world.”