The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC) annual meeting is a valuable time for N.C. Baptists to gather and learn about the BSC mission and vision.
Similar to the 2013 annual meeting, messengers this year will have the opportunity to elect convention officers as well as vote on a half percent increase for Cooperative Program (CP) giving. This year’s annual meeting theme, based on John 14:12, is “Greater Things.” The theme encourages all North Carolina Baptist churches to embrace the truth that God, through the power of His Holy Spirit, wishes to accomplish greater things through His people.
On Tuesday, individuals can attend a number of breakout sessions being offered from 3:15-4 p.m. and 4:15-5 p.m. Each of these sessions offers training in discipleship and church renewal. All the sessions are free for attendees. A new one was added prior to the meeting on Nov. 10 in the afternoon.
In mid-October, the BSC Board of Directors (BOD) approved a reduced CP budget for 2015. A CP budget of $29 million was approved, which is $1 million less than the 2014 budget. The budget increases the percentage going to the Southern Baptist Convention to 37 percent, up from 36.5 percent in 2014. The budget is being presented for consideration during the annual meeting.
The BOD approved six amendments to the convention’s bylaws, which will be presented to messengers and include: changing the procedures and requirements for submitting resolutions for consideration at annual meetings; setting procedures for meetings of the BOD when weather or other factors cause meetings to be cancelled; clarifying qualifications and limits on who can serve on the BOD; updating wording related to the Christian Life & Public Affairs Committee; updating names for Fruitland Baptist Bible College (from Institute) in BSC documents; clarifying inconsistencies on the description of trustees for North Carolina Baptist Hospital. (See summary; see bylaw changes.)
The annual meeting exhibit hall will be in a new location this year. The exhibits will be located in the Imperial Ballroom, on the first floor of the Koury Convention Center, the same level as the Convention Hall. In addition, the LifeWay bookstore and related booths will also be located on the first floor, in Guilford Ballroom “G.”
David Gasperson, pastor of Warsaw Baptist Church, has submitted a resolution asking N.C. Baptists and messengers to continue to prayerfully encourage BSC leadership as they equip and support churches and associations to engage areas of lostness outside of the identified eight population areas (see resolution). Also in response to events in the city of Houston and Mayor Annise Parker, a resolution in support of religious liberty will be submitted (See resolution).
C. J. Bordeaux announced in July that he would not seek a second term as president. Timmy Blair, current first vice president of BSC and pastor of Piney Grove Chapel in Angier, said Mark Harris will nominate him for the office of president. Harris is pastor of First Baptist in Charlotte and former president of the BSC.
Aaron Wallace of Hephzibah Baptist Church in Wendell will nominate Cameron McGill, the BSC’s second vice president and pastor of Dublin First Baptist Church, for the office of first vice president. Joel Stephens, senior pastor of Westfield Baptist Church, will be nominated for the office of second vice president of the BSC by Rick Speas, senior pastor of Old Town Baptist Church in Winston-Salem and former BSC president.
Featured speakers for the annual meeting include C.J. Bordeaux Sr., senior pastor of Gorman Baptist Church, Durham and Milton A. Hollifield Jr. BSC executive director-treasurer. Jonathan Falwell, senior pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Va., will deliver the convention sermon during the Nov. 11 evening session.