The Executive Committee (EC) of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC) met on Thursday, April 7 to hear reports, discuss updates in ministry efforts and address personnel matters.
At its January 2016 meeting, the Committee voted to set aside half a million dollars for International Mission Board (IMB) missionaries returning to the United States as part of the IMB Reset.
Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer, and Chuck Register, executive leader for Church Planting and Mission Partnerships, updated the EC regarding this effort. Register noted that BSC staff have developed about 20 proposals for engaging returning missionaries in efforts that include people group engagement, missions mobilization, leadership development, translation ministry and speaking about missions.
The plan is for returning missionaries to work as BSC contract workers and engage the same people groups with whom they worked while overseas. They will also engage in other strategic efforts connected to the BSC strategy of impacting lostness through disciple-making. There are at least 154 different people groups residing in North Carolina today, many of whom fall into the unreached and unengaged people group classifications.
Hollifield reported that this information was shared during a banquet held in honor of those returning missionaries who will be residing in North Carolina. The banquet was held March 8, 2016 at Calvary Baptist Church in Winston-Salem. During the banquet, BSC staff gathered important information from the missionaries regarding their previous experience, areas of expertise and skills that might assist the BSC in its efforts to impact lostness through disciple-making.
Hollifield noted, “We reminded (returning missionaries) that even though they may prefer to still be serving Jesus in another part of the world, they are still IMB missionaries … God has brought them here to help reach the nations of the world represented by people now living in this part of our country.”
BSC staff are in conversation with returning missionaries, seeking to find those individuals interested in these strategic efforts. Already, BSC is contracting at least three missionaries as congregational catalysts. As a catalyst, a contracted missionary will come alongside an existing congregation and help them develop strategies for reaching a specific people group in their community – one with whom the catalyst is familiar from years of missions work overseas – with the ultimate goal of planting a new church among this specific people group.
The Committee also approved a recommendation in terms of personnel matters. Linda Hudson announced that she will be stepping down from her role as director of Human Resources at the BSC effective June 1, 2016. Hudson has served in this role since 2004. She is not retiring, however, and will be moving to the BSC’s Office of Prayer as a ministry assistant. In her place, Hudson recommended that the Committee consider Pamela Bills, the current GuideStone retirement and benefits specialist at the BSC, for the position of director of Human Resources.
Hudson shared with the Committee, “Three years ago I approached Milton Hollifield and John Butler regarding my plans for transition. At that time, I recommended that they consider Pamela Bills to be the next (HR) director, and I appreciate their acceptance of my recommendation. Pamela has spent the last couple of years preparing herself for this opportunity.”
Bills has a Human Resources Certification from Duke University and a Master of Science in Human Resources Management from Western Carolina University. She has also been shadowing Hudson since February in a time of orientation to make her transition into the role as smooth as possible. Both Hudson and Bills will move into their new roles on June 1.
The Committee also approved a proclamation to honor Hollifield on the 10th anniversary of his installation as the executive director-treasurer of the BSC. Hollifield was installed in a called meeting of the convention held at Calvary Baptist Church in Winston-Salem on April 11, 2006. Members of the Committee then shared words of thanks and encouragement for Hollifield during this time of appreciation.
“Great teams have great leaders,” said EC chairman Brian Kinlaw. “We know that the work that is accomplished here is largely in line with what God puts in (Hollifield’s) heart.”
Beverly Volz brought the financial report to the Committee, focusing first on the Cooperative Program (CP) budget. Although the CP budget is currently 6 percent behind, the year-over-year comparison shows an increase. As of March 31, 2016, CP receipts are $449,598 ahead of the same time in 2015. John Butler, executive leader of Business Services, noted that this year-over-year increase is a good sign, as this increase has the potential to continue and increase over the course of the year. Butler expressed optimism in meeting the budget again in 2016.
Volz also noted that the timing of special offerings also impacts the report. As Easter has come earlier in the year in 2016, the gifts to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering (AAEO) are greater at this point in 2016 as compared to 2015 reports. To date in 2016, the AAEO is over $250,000, or 80 percent ahead of the same point in 2015.
In addition, the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering has increased almost 13 percent in the past year.
“To God be the glory,” Volz said. “We are very pleased with this report.”
The next meeting of the EC will take place on May 17 in conjunction with the May meeting of the Board of Directors.