A shortage of persons willing to fill associational offices put Stony Fork Baptist Association in temporary jeopardy in September, but interim Director of Missions Roy Gryder said Nov. 7 the problem resolved itself.
“Those problems kind of went away,” said Gryder, who, like all six pastors in the association, is bivocational.
During the associational meeting Sept. 12 at Bailey’s Camp Baptist Church, Max West, pastor of Sandy Flat Baptist Church, brought basically an empty nomination slate to the floor for the 18 messengers to consider.
He said it was difficult enough to fill positions that he and his committee put nominations on hold until an October meeting could decide whether there was enough interest in maintaining the association.
Stony Fork, whose six churches claim 385 members among them, is in the mountains near Blowing Rock and Boone. While great distances do not separate the churches, mountain roads and weather often make them isolated.
Two churches “in the foothills” have a different mindset than the four mountain churches, Gryder said. Additionally, several churches are physically closer to churches in Three Forks or Caldwell associations.
“A couple fellas got a little blue and negative,” said Gryder, interim DOM for eight years. “I don’t think it’s going to change things significantly.”
Gryder said the association is “doing effective work,” especially when it comes to helping institutions like Baptist Children’s Homes and Baptist Retirement Homes and area families with sudden need.
Any discouragement member churches feel is more from failure to report activities than from not accomplishing things together, Gryder said.
If the association disbanded, Gryder fears the churches would not join nearby associations, but would remain isolated and independent.
“Holding Stony Fork together is keeping them involved,” Gryder said. “One of the things I worked to do is help them realize you’re a part of something more than yourself alone. We accomplish more together than we can alone.”
“Any concerns we have are not as important as the things we do to help other people,” he said.