North Carolina Baptists were formally introduced to two ministry initiatives at the Baptist State Convention (BSC) annual meeting Nov. 11.
North Carolina Baptist Aging Ministry (NCBAM) and Embrace are new ministries to the aging and among women respectively. Both were formed after rifts between the BSC and existing ministries developed over the last few years.
Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina (BCH) will oversee NCBAM. BCH President Michael C. Blackwell said the new ministry will neither duplicate nor compete with Baptist Retirement Homes.
NCBAM will focus on helping churches and associations in three areas, Blackwell said: education to help senior adults in such issues as identity theft and adult daycare; practical ministry such as in-home assistance with meals and handyman work; and personal services such as transportation.
Messengers voted to release to BCH about $880,000 currently held in escrow from BRH for the ministry.
BR photo by Dianna L. Cagle
Embrace will focus on evangelism, discipleship and missions, according to Phyllis Foy, a North American Board missionary who led the task force that formed it.
“That’s our heartbeat,” she said.
The new ministry will engage women with the gospel, help form Bible studies and equip women to minister locally and globally.
“We’re excited about the great possibility ahead,” Foy said.
NCBAM was formed after BRH decided to give up Cooperative Program funds and elect its own trustees without going through the process outlined in the Articles and Bylaws.
Embrace was formed after Woman’s Missionary Union of North Carolina workers resigned as BSC employees and the organization moved out of the BSC offices in Cary.
Two breakout sessions Nov. 11 introduced interested messengers to Embrace, its vision and its mission.
“We have two generations of women who are not in our churches,” Foy said. “I want our hearts to be intentional about telling women about Jesus Christ.”
Foy mentioned eastern, central and western networking meetings scheduled in 2009 as well as a family mission week at Caswell.
She encouraged women to get the approval of their pastor before starting any ministry and asked them to “stop bickering over who gets the glory. Get busy.”
Throughout Foy’s presentation, her topics varied from Oprah to abortion.
With a three-million strong following, Foy said talk-show host Oprah and her church suggest there’s more than one way.
But Foy disagreed.
“I believe with all my heart that there’s only one way,” she said.
Change is a must, Foy challenged.
“I would still be on a DOS computer program if I had my way about it,” she said, “but I have grandchildren. Some of you are young; you are able to do things differently.”
She encouraged churches to raise up godly men too.
“Men need to be spiritual leaders,” Foy said. “Women will follow if only men lead.”