“Who is my Neighbor?” is the theme for the 2018 Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s (BSC) annual meeting, scheduled for Nov. 5-6 at the Joseph S. Koury Convention Center in Greensboro.
This year’s theme is derived from a question that was asked of Jesus in Luke 10:29 in the parable of The Good Samaritan. The question is also a pertinent one for today, says Simon Touprong, pastor of Vietnamese New Hope Baptist Church in Raleigh. Touprong serves as chairman of the BSC Committee on Convention Meetings, which develops the annual meeting theme and schedule.
“We see the reality that God is bringing people from all around the world to our state,” Touprong said. “Many of these people are from places that have never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ and are in need of knowing Christ through evangelism and relational discipleship.
“We hope messengers who attend this year’s meeting would become more aware of the importance of impacting lostness in their communities and be willing to get involved in reaching individuals from the various people groups who are living in North Carolina.”
This year’s meeting will include sermons, reports, times of worship, breakout sessions, exhibits and more that are aligned with the event’s theme.
Based on feedback from attendees provided through evaluations, this year’s meeting includes a revamped schedule, highlighted by more opportunities for attendees to attend breakout sessions that provide practical training and equipping in a variety of ministry areas.
The committee allotted three separate times for breakout sessions over the course of the two-day meeting.
Those times are Monday afternoon, Tuesday morning and Tuesday afternoon. In recent years, attendees have only had the option of attending breakout sessions on Tuesday afternoon.
“The new schedule will give N.C. Baptists the opportunity to attend more sessions at a variety of times throughout the meeting,” Touprong said.
Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer, will deliver his annual address to messengers during the meeting’s opening session on the evening of Mon., Nov. 5.
Lee Pigg, pastor of Hopewell Baptist Church in Monroe and current BSC president, will deliver the annual president’s address on Tuesday morning, Nov. 6.
John Mark Harrison, pastor of Apex Baptist Church and vice president of the BSC Board of Directors, will deliver the convention sermon on Tuesday evening, Nov. 6.
Messengers from N.C. Baptist churches will also elect officers, vote on a 2019 Cooperative Program budget and conduct other convention business throughout the meeting.
Additional annual meeting details, including information about becoming a messenger and hotel reservations, are available online at ncannualmeeting.org.
“Pray that this year’s meeting will not just be another meeting,” Touprong said. “Pray that it would be a wake-up call for us to be intentional about reaching out to those around us based upon the Great Commission and the Great Commandment.”
Once again for 2018, the BSC Office of Prayer for Evangelization and Spiritual Awakening will produce a 30-day devotional prayer guide that can be used during the October prayer emphasis leading up to the annual meeting.
The guide will be available by early fall and will include daily scripture readings, devotionals and prayer prompts. A complimentary guide will be mailed to each N.C. Baptist church, and it will also be available for purchase or as a free download at prayfor30days.org. At the website, individuals may also sign up to receive prayer prompts via text messaging and devotional emails each day in October.
In addition, the 2018 N.C. Baptist Pastors’ Conference will be held at the Koury Center in Greensboro on Sunday and Monday, Nov. 4-5.
The conference will include times of worship and expositional preaching on the seven letters to the seven churches in Revelation 2-3.
This year’s lineup of speakers includes: Thabiti Anyabwile, pastor of Anacostia River Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.; J.D. Greear, pastor of The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham; Chris Griggs, pastor of Denver Baptist Church in Denver, N.C.; Tony Merida, pastor for preaching and vision at Imago Dei Church in Raleigh; Russell Moore, president the SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission; Clint Pressley, pastor of Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte; and K. Marshall Williams, pastor of Nazarene Baptist Church in Philadelphia.
The pastors’ conference is free to attend, but attendees are asked to register in advance. The first 500 registrants will receive a number of free books and resources from conference sponsors.