UPDATED STORY: N.C. Baptists back marriage, gambling resolutions
Dianna L. Cagle, BR Assistant Managing Editor
November 15, 2011

UPDATED STORY: N.C. Baptists back marriage, gambling resolutions

UPDATED STORY: N.C. Baptists back marriage, gambling resolutions
Dianna L. Cagle, BR Assistant Managing Editor
November 15, 2011
Messengers to the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC) learned how they can be “All In” with missions mobilization during a shortened two-day format Nov. 7-8 in Greensboro. Messengers approved a $33.5-million budget and three resolutions – two of which targeted gambling and marriage. They also heard a report related to the social use of alcohol and affirmed a recommendation involving the BF&M.
“All In,” based on 1 Timothy 2:3-6 and highlighting God’s desire for all to be saved, was the theme for this year’s annual meeting. There were 1,719 messengers and 138 visitors to the annual meeting at the Koury Convention Center. With more than 4,300 churches in the BSC, around 700 sent messengers to the meeting.
“I call all North Carolina Baptists to join us, to commit, to invest, and to dedicate themselves in 2012 to expanding the Kingdom for the glory of our Lord and Savior,” said Milton A.Hollifield Jr., the Convention’s executive director-treasurer.
“This vision requires a laser focus and sacrificial commitment by all who wish to see its fulfillment.
“Are we all in?”
Increased budget
A $33.5-million Cooperative Program (CP) budget for 2012 was approved Nov. 8. The higher budget marks the first time since 2008 that the Convention has raised its budget.
This increase reflects an overall 2.5 percent increase and a .5 percent increase in giving to the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), raising the amount to 35.5 percent ($11,892,500) of the BSC budget. The Convention has consistently raised the budget for the SBC by .5 percent the last several years.

Baptist State Convention of North Carolina photo by K Brown

From left: Timmy D. Blair Sr., Mark Harris and CJ Bordeaux are the new officers of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.

Of the SBC portion, 50 percent goes to the International Mission Board and 22.79 percent goes to the North American Mission Board (NAMB). This leaves 22.16 percent for the seminaries and 5.05 percent for other ministries and administration.
The BSC keeps 39 percent ($13,059,650) of the state’s CP dollars for its ministries, and the rest is divided among institutions and agencies (18.1 percent or $6,057,850) as well as GuideStone and church protection benefits (7.4 percent or $2,490,000).
Last year’s budget was $32,685,480. The amount allotted to institutions and agencies dropped from 20.8 percent (2011) to 18.1 percent (2012). There was also a drop for North Carolina ministries: from 44.2 percent (2011) to 39 percent (2012). This reflects the addition of the GuideStone and church benefits plans.
About 10 years ago, GuideStone began phasing out its contributions to state conventions to help pay for the retirement and protection benefits for N.C. Baptist church staff members.
For the sixth consecutive year, N.C. Baptists have raised their monetary support of the church planting and missions development group, totaling a nearly 100 percent increase. The evangelism group also sees a significant increase to offset the reduced support from NAMB. Other ministries and agencies reflecting an increase in allocated funds include the Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina, North Carolina Baptist Hospital (School of Pastoral Care), Fruitland Baptist Bible Institute, the Biblical Recorder and North Carolina Baptist Aging Ministry.
The 2012 budget is the first in decades that does not include funding to BSC affiliated educational institutions – Campbell University, Chowan University, Gardner-Webb University, Mars Hill College and Wingate University. The Convention will continue to support scholarships to these institutions.
Marriage, gambling resolutions
Three resolutions were approved by N.C. messengers. One was a general resolution thanking the host city. The other two, however, tackled some significant issues in the state.
Jim Jacumin proposed a resolution supporting an amendment recognizing marriage is between a man and woman. The amendment will go before North Carolina voters in May.
Jacumin is a member of East Valdese Baptist Church in Valdese, N.C., and a member of the BSC Board of Directors. He serves on the BSC’s Christian Life and Public Affairs Committee.
"This resolution speaks for itself, but it also tells us a lot about ourselves,” Jacumin told the crowd before they approved the resolution. “Today we’re about to make a decision that will test our obedience (to God)."
Phil Addison, pastor of Stony Point Baptist Church in Stony Point, proposed a resolution against the expansion of Class 3 or Las Vegas style gambling in North Carolina. Addison is also a member of the Convention’s Board of Directors on the evangelization committee.
"With each passing year and each new legislation session that comes into effect, it seems it is becoming a progression that has now led us to what in my opinion is a very predatory and a very malicious way of bringing people in to really take advantage of them,” Addison said.
“We as a convention really need to oppose any gambling and especially an expansion of where live dealers are going to be bringing people in. This does not increase wealth. It simply takes advantage of people and we shouldn’t be for that.”
Addison’s first attempt was sent to the BSC’s Resolutions Committee for consideration, and messengers added another miscellaneous business session in the afternoon to revisit the resolution.
In the afternoon, Addison mentioned suggestions from the committee “greatly shortened” the resolution.
Noah Crowe, pastor of First Baptist Church in Robbinsville and a member of the Eastern Cherokee Indians, spoke in support of the resolution.
“I stand today in support of this resolution, giving voice to many … members who were never asked if we wanted gambling on our reservation and never even given an opportunity to vote on the issue,” Crowe said.
“Now alcohol, which we were told would never be pushed, but is now being sold in the casino.”
Crowe said gambling began as a “small agreement” or “compact” entered into by the men of the tribe but “has now blossomed into a large gaming enterprise” bringing in millions of dollars.
He mentioned a gamblers anonymous meeting going on weekly for the tribe.
No messengers spoke in opposition of any of the resolutions.
Officers ran unopposed and have been elected to a one-year term.
President Mark Harris, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Charlotte, was nominated by Marty Jacumin, senior pastor of Bay Leaf Baptist Church in Raleigh. First vice president Conley J. “CJ” Bordeaux Sr. is pastor of Gorman Baptist Church in Durham, and second vice president is Timmy D. Blair Sr., pastor of Piney Grovel Chapel Baptist Church in Angier. Bobby Blanton, senior pastor of Lake Norman Baptist Church in Huntersville, nominated Bordeaux, and Lee Pigg, pastor of Hopewell Baptist Church in Monroe, nominated Blair.

Photo by K. Brown

Bobby Blanton, president of the Board of Directors (BOD), gives the BOD report at the annual meeting.

The annual meeting will return to Greensboro next year but in a different venue. The meeting will be Nov. 12-13, 2012, at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex.
Messengers approved Kevin Ezell, NAMB’s president, as Convention speaker for 2012 and voted Larry Wynne, NAMB vice president of evangelism, as a possible backup speaker for Ezell.

Reports and recommendations

During the Board of Directors report, messengers affirmed a recommendation and approved four amendments to the Convention’s govering documents. One of the reports involved policies addressing the social use of alcohol, and another the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 (BF&M 2000). Two committees were formed to address these issues earlier this year in response to questions raised by messengers during the 2010 meeting.

One of the committees affirmed current policies on alcohol consumption for the BSC staff, BSC supported church planters and individuals recommended to serve on the committees and boards of the BSC.

Messengers approved the recommendation by the Board of Directors to adopt a resolution that affirms the BF&M 2000. The Board of Directors handling of both issues was included in their written report to the annual meeting.

Messengers approved four proposed amendments to the governing documents which included the following:

The first motion proposed an amendment to Article VI. Membership: Composition of the Articles of Incorporation. The purpose of the amendment was to bring clarity to the use of “members” and “messengers.” A statement was added affirming that both can be used interchangeably. This motion required a two-thirds majority.

The remaining three proposed bylaw amendments that were approved applied to Fruitland Baptist Bible Institute (Fruitland), which is operated by the Convention. The bylaw amendments update and make consistent the BSC bylaws with Fruitland’s revised Constitution. Each motion required a simple majority.

The Board of Directors also reported on the formation of the Convention’s Vision Fulfillment Committee.

The committee conducted a study across the state this year of partner church’s perceptions of the BSC’s effectiveness in funding and implementing the BSC’s vision, which was rolled out through its Seven Pillars for Ministry: Biblical Concepts for a Christ-Centered Vision.

The seven pillars include: practicing fervent prayer, promoting evangelism and disciple-making, strengthening existing churches, planting new multiplication churches, reaching North Carolina’s international community, embracing unreached and unengaged people groups, and engaging young church leaders.

To read the entire report go to ncbaptist.org/vf. Or, click here to read more about the alcohol policy report.

(EDITOR’S NOTE – Shawn Hendricks, managing editor of the Biblical Recorder, contributed to this report.)