Bobby Blanton will lead the North Carolina Board of Directors for the coming year after his election as president during the January 25-26 board meeting at Caraway Conference Center.
The board also elected an executive committee; affirmed a partnership with the Metropolitan New York Baptist Association; and approved a $7.5 million fund raising effort to develop Caraway Conference Center.
Milton Hollifield Jr., executive director-treasurer, encouraged North Carolina Baptists to adopt the “Find it Here” evangelistic outreach around Easter, and to register their intent at www.finditherenc.org.
At the time of the board meeting, just 337 churches had committed to the outreach, which emphasizes an evangelistic sermon and invitation at Easter, a service when many persons attend a service out of tradition or curiosity who have not made a Christian commitment, according to Don McCutcheon, BSC group leader for evangelization.
Blanton, pastor of Lake Norman Baptist Church for 13 years, succeeds Allan Blume as board president. Blume led the board for three years.
“My predecessor lifted the bar so high,” Blanton said when accepting the gavel. “I can’t tell you how much I respect and appreciate the work of brother Allan Blume.”
“With your prayerful support and patient encouragement we can proceed down the path that brother Allan and others like him have charted for us,” Blanton said.
Blanton also leads a BSC Executive Committee composed of Convention officers and the chairman of each board work committee. Additionally, the board elects four of its members at-large to serve on the Executive Committee.
Board Committee chairs are:
- David Richardson, First Creedmoor Church, Business Services;
- Todd Marlow, Westmoreland Baptist Church, Church Planting and Missions Development;
- James Horton, Rocky Hock Baptist Church, Communications;
- Scott Faw, Moon’s Chapel Baptist Church, Congregational Services;
- Aaron Wallace, Hephzibah Baptist Church, Evangelization;
- Joel Stephens, Westfield Baptist Church, Christian Higher Education;
- Cameron McGill, First Baptist Church Dublin, Christian Social Services;
- Mark Blair, Welcome First Baptist Church, Christian Life and Public Affairs.
At large members elected are:
- Shannon Scott, Mount Vernon Baptist Church, Raleigh, nominated by Joel Stephens;
- Ann Beck, First Baptist Church, Hendersonville, nominated by Ray Talley;
- Jonathan Hall, Oak Grove Baptist Church, nominated by Joe Denson and
- Joe Denson, Southview Baptist Church in Charlotte, nominated by Todd Marlow.
Convention officers Ed Yount, Mark Harris and CJ Bordeaux also serve on the Executive Committee.
Dale Duncan, N.C. Baptist Men’s president, said N.C. Baptist Men is registering those interested in participating in short-term Haiti recovery missions at www.ncmissions.org. He said participants need a current passport to travel to Haiti.
In what may be a surprise to many, Steve Hardy, missions pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, said the series of immunizations needed for safe travel to Haiti could cost as much as $700. They cannot all be taken at once, so planning is recommended.
He recommended going to the Center for Disease Control website to learn what immunizations are recommended.
Duncan said the primary building at the Shelby work camp is “almost up” and will be ready to operate by summer.
Following a request in November 2009 to upgrade salaries that are below the 85 percent level of the mid-range for salaries, Business Services Group Leader John Butler presented a plan to upgrade the salaries of several BSC employees.
The Executive Committee, which functions as the personnel committee of the board, approved $3,400 to be allocated immediately to address “severe deficiencies in pay structure.”
BSC staff salaries are established on a framework built by consultants Blount and Associates, who work with many non-profits and other Baptist state conventions. Blount established national low, mid and maximum ranges of salaries for organizations in similar work and based on the position’s responsibility, location and cost of living.
BSC salaries are targeted at 85 percent of the mid-range.
The 121 positions under consideration include nine at the camps and conference centers, and 94 in the five Convention groups.
Several positions were “below the minimum in pay scale,” Butler said.
The immediate allocation will come from the $63,000 income over expenses in 2009. If 2010 income warrants, an additional $21,000 will be allocated to the salaries of the individuals affected “to get them all to 85 percent of midpoint, as performance indicates,” Butler said.
Although 2009 income from Cooperative Program gifts from churches was 5.4 percent below the previous year, Hollifield said he “rejoices in people placing great faith in God rather than going into a mode of fear and holding back on their giving to God.”
He reiterated that 2009 “will be remembered as one of the most difficult times economically in our state, as well as the nation.”
He said the Convention adjusted spending to finish the year $63,000 in the black. He said he appreciated the “gracious spirit” various BSC agencies have had as they have worked together with budget shortfalls.
“I wish we had more income but I thank God He has blessed us and given us what He has,” Hollifield said.
Caraway master plan
Caraway Conference Center Director Jimmy Huffman has been working for two years on a master plan to push development of the 1,100 acre site.
Board President Blanton will appoint a seven-member committee to begin campaign planning to raise $7.5 million for the first phase of further development.
The first phase will include an additional 20-room hotel unit; 250 seat auditorium, expanded kitchen and dining space and the first of what could become three “mini-lodges” at which churches could have self-contained retreats.
It would also include a separate lodge for such things as self-contained youth retreats, even in summer when Camp Caraway is running full tilt.
Plans include refurbishing the Bill Jackson outdoor chapel, enclosing for all weather use the basketball court and adding a welcome center and new parking.