N.C. Baptists will have plenty to do the third weekend of March as three of the largest meetings of the year are held simultaneously.
The N.C. Baptist Missions Conference and Baptist Men’s Convention will be March 20-21 at Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte.
The Woman’s Missionary Union of North Carolina’s (WMU-NC) Missions Extravaganza will be March 20-22 at Ridgecrest Conference Center.
The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina’s (CBF-NC) annual General Assembly will be March 20-21 at Snyder Memorial Baptist Church in Fayetteville.
The crowded calendar has led to issues for entities that would like to exhibit in front of the crowds at those meetings.
Ruby Fulbright, executive director of WMU-NC, said several Baptist State Convention (BSC) groups that usually have displays at the Missions Extravaganza have chosen not to exhibit this year.
“We asked all the people we always ask and we either haven’t heard back or they said they won’t be exhibiting,” she said.
BSC spokesman Doug Baker said in an e-mail interview that BSC groups chose not to have displays at the WMU-NC meeting. He did not elaborate.
Baker said the BSC’s Cooperative Program office, Church Planting and Embrace women’s ministries will have exhibits at the N.C. Baptist Men meeting.
Fulbright said her group planned to have displays at the other two meetings.
“We also have someone leading a WMU conference at the Baptist Men’s Convention,” she said. “Both CBF-NC and CBF national have a display at our meeting.”
Linda Jones, CBF-NC’s missions coordinator, said she had a representative lined up to work at her group’s WMU-NC meeting display.
“I’m scrambling to find someone to man our booth at the Baptist Men meeting,” she said.
Richard Brunson, executive director of N.C. Baptist Men, said his group is also planning to have displays at the other meetings.
“We’re trying to work with everybody,” he said.
CBF-NC Coordinator Larry Hovis said he anticipates that attendance may be down slightly this year because the three groups have “overlapping constituencies.”
“After we discovered this scheduling mistake for 2009, Ruby, Richard and I collaborated in scheduling our meetings from 2010 through 2013 to be sure that they would be held on separate weekends,” he said.
“We value our partnership with both WMU of (North Carolina) and Baptist Men of (North Carolina), pray God’s blessings on their meetings this year, and look forward to growing in our efforts at missional collaboration for the sake of Christ’s mission in the world,” Hovis said.