The Executive Committee (EC) of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC) met Tuesday, May 20, at Caraway Conference Center for a meeting that included hearing personnel, committee and budget reports.
In personnel matters, Linda Hudson, BSC human resources director, announced the resignation of Devon Griffin, consultant for Great Commission Partnerships, effective August 6, 2014. Griffin has accepted a position at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Florida as Assistant Professor of Cross-Cultural Studies.
“One of my biggest concerns is that my short stay at the convention might indicate that I had a negative experience or some sort of concern regarding the convention,” Griffin said. “Nothing could be further from the truth. I love and fully embrace the vision and the strategy of the convention.”
Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer, said Griffin leaves with the blessing of the convention. “I’m glad that we have the kind of environment in the convention that encourages people to respond to God’s call on their lives,” Hollifield said. “But I am excited to see who God will bring in as the next consultant with the Office of Great Commission Partnerships.”
NC Baptist Men
John Gore, North Carolina Baptist Men (NCBM) president, reported on their response to several disasters in recent months. He reported that disaster relief volunteers completed more than 600 work requests in response to the March 7 ice storm that struck parts of North Carolina. In addition, NCBM is preparing for possible rebuild operations in two eastern North Carolina communities – Washington and Elizabeth City – in the wake of recent tornadoes.
Gore said volunteers were sent to Louisville, Miss. to set up a mobile disaster hospital after the town’s hospital was damaged in the April 29 tornado outbreak. A specially trained 25-member team set up the hospital in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the North Carolina Office of Emergency Medical Services.
Gore also reported that NCBM recently completed a prison chapel at the Pender County Prison and is preparing to construct a church building in Calabash.
Jimmy Adams, chairman of the Business Services Special Committee, reported that the BSC’s external auditors completed their audit for 2013 and confirmed that the convention finished in the black for 2013. Adams also reported that the sale of the Baptist Campus Ministry facility at East Carolina University in Greenville is in process and is scheduled to close at the end of July.
Christian Social Services Committee chairperson Wanda Dellinger told the EC that 444 wheelchair ramps were built as part of this year’s “Rampin’ Up” outreach, held April 26 in partnership with North Carolina Baptist Aging Ministry (NCBAM) and Operation Inasmuch.
Dellinger also reported that NCBAM has formed a strategic statewide aging adult leadership team to help them prepare for challenges presented as the baby boomer generation reaches retirement.
Regarding the Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina (BCH), Dellinger reported that the BCH website has been updated, and two special events are planned this year: the “UNITE Youth” event at the Mills Home in Thomasville on October 16, and “Super Senior Fest” at Kennedy Home in Kinston on November 6. More information is available at bchfamily.org.
During the report, Dellinger asked Brian Davis, BSC associate executive-director treasurer, to give an update on FaithHealthNC, which is the strategy of the Faith Health Division of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center (WFBMC).
The goal of FaithHealthNC is to connect churches and associations with people with health care needs to provide physical, emotional and spiritual support to them. Davis said FaithHealthNC has identified pockets of health care disparity in parts of the state where WFBMC is covenanting with faith partners to provide care for people in need.
“There will be some opportunities for the convention through some gateway kind of ministries to connect in these communities in partnership with North Carolina Baptist Hospital,” Davis said. He added that FaithHealthNC is focused on helping individuals in need of health care find, “the right door, at the right time, ready to be treated, not alone.”
Chris Hawks, chairman of the Evangelism and Discipleship Committee, reported on “The Story” witness training events. The BSC has hosted three training events so far in 2014 with three more scheduled for the remainder of the year. “We are on pace to see 500 plus pastors trained who will then train members of their churches,” Hawks said. For more information, visit ncbaptist.org/thestory.
Beverly Volz, director of accounting services, reported that Cooperative Program receipts through May 9 totaled $10,187,242.05, which represents a deficit of more than four percent compared to the same time last year. Despite the deficit, Volz said the BSC is operating in the black.
Volz said North Carolina Baptist churches have given more than $8 million to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions, a slight increase over last year. Giving to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions is about 35 percent behind the 2013 year-to-date gifts. However, she noted that Easter was much later this year.
Davis reported that the North Carolina Missions Offering (NCMO) has received $325,000 to date, which is about $6,000 ahead of this same time last year. This year’s NCMO theme is “Choose Now,” based on Luke 21:10-13. The goal is $2.1 million. NCMO helps support the work of N.C. Baptist Men, as well as church planting, mission camps and associational ministry efforts. For more information, visit ncmissionsoffering.org.