As you wonder how the new year arrived so quickly when it
seems your children just got out of school for summer vacation, it’s time to
take a quick look back at significant events in North Carolina Baptist and
Southern Baptist Convention life during the past year.
Some of the following stories received so much coverage you
might think they have been with us always. You will blink over others and
wonder that they occurred in the past calendar year and not in some other era.
The stories listed below were covered in the Biblical
Recorder and the order of the top 10 at least is in some sense of their
long-term impact on the BSC and SBC. They were ordered by BR staff.
- Prompted by national reaction to a chapel address by
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary President Danny Akin, SBC President
Johnny Hunt names a Great Commission Resurgence Task Force to “bring a report
and any recommendations” to the Orlando SBC meeting June 15-16, 2010,
“concerning how Southern Baptists can work more faithfully and effectively
together in serving Christ through the Great Commission.”
- The North American Mission Board forced president
Geoff Hammond to resign just two months after giving him an unqualified vote of
confidence. Three other top administrators also resign.
- With Hammond’s forced resignation and the announced
retirements of the presidents of both the International Mission Board and the
SBC Executive Committee, the top three administrative positions in the Southern
Baptist Convention are vacant at the same time, paving the way for a significant
remaking of the Convention.
- David Treadway, pastor of Sandy Ridge Baptist Church
in Hickory, took his own life. He had shared with his congregation earlier that
he was suffering from depression. The Recorder followed in the next issue with
a series on depression in the pulpit.
- Cooperative Program gifts from North Carolina
Baptist churches are down 4.8 percent in 2008, prompting a revamped 2009 budget
and a 2010 budget that is $4.8 million smaller than 2009.
- David Horton, pastor of Gate City Baptist Church in
Jamestown, is elected president at Fruitland Baptist Bible Institute.
The Baptist Foundation starts making church loans
through a new subsidiary called N.C. Baptist Financial Services. In the first
year it loans $8 million.
- N.C. Baptist Men partnership in Bihar, India, brings
life to villages.
- Southern Baptists face potential huge decline. Based
on projections of past 50 years, and especially the decreases of the past two
years, the SBC could soon be half as large.
- Embrace names Ashley Allen as first director of a
new women’s ministry at the Baptist State Convention.
- Ed Yount, pastor of Woodlawn Baptist Church in
Conover, is elected BSC president.
- A shortage of funds at the International Mission
Board could force it to cut 600 missionary positions.
Other important stories of 2009 include:
- Supporters of a marriage amendment rallied at the capital on
a frigid day in Raleigh.
“Ignite” youth rallies continued in western North Carolina,
pointing toward a three-day regional youth evangelism event March 26-28 in the
Asheville Civic Center.
- Churches tackle economic challenges in their communities
with outreach efforts.
- Carthage church ministers after rest home shooting in town.
- Church planting emerges as the primary evangelism strategy
in BSC and SBC.
- Bruce Whitaker, president for 32 years of Chowan College,
then University, died May 5.
- The North Carolina Baptist Aging Ministries is launched and
awards first grant.
- SBC kicks out Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas,
over homosexual issue.
- Music week loses its preferred Fort Caswell scheduling spot
because it didn’t maximize the facility’s capacity.
- North Carolina children in the care of county departments of
social services often do not receive the best care possible because residential
facilities like Baptist Children’s Homes are only a third and last option for
out of home placement.
- Declining income forces the BSC to lay off three and
eliminate six staff positions.
Southeastern Seminary receives $126,500 grant from The
Energy Foundation for initiatives toward creation care and sponsors two
creation care conferences.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – What about you? What were your top stories
for 2009? What stories are shaping up to be top stories for 2010? What stories
do you want the Biblical Recorder to cover this year? Send your feedback to
[email protected] or Biblical Recorder, P.O. Box 18808, Raleigh, NC
27619. You can send it in the form of a letter to the editor or just send it.
We would love to hear from you. Don’t forget to share your big church events,
staff changes, large conference events and mission trip photos as well.)