Read about the stories from 2016 that define the year for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. North Carolina Baptist Men served persistently and sacrificially both inside and outside the state. North Carolina Baptist churches were recognized for leading the nation in missions giving.
N.C. Baptists lead the way in missions giving
North Carolina Baptists gave more than $32 million dollars to Southern Baptist missions and ministries in the last fiscal year, leading the 42 state conventions in cooperative giving through both the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering, Milton Hollifield Jr. announced in 2016. Messengers to the 2016 Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC) annual meeting voted to approve a 2017 budget that increases the percentage of Cooperative Program funds forwarded to the Southern Baptist Convention to 40.5 percent (or $11,417,637), representing a half-percent increase over last year’s allotment. The total budget for 2017 comes to $30,375,000, which is up nearly 3 percent over 2016.
NCBM floods region with volunteers
North Carolina Baptist Men (NCBM; also called Baptists on Mission) responded to many disasters in and outside of the state this year. NCBM provided cleanup and restoration after flooding in West Virginia, and most recently, NCBM conducted more cleanup and restoration after Hurricane Matthew left parts of North Carolina devastated. NCBM was able to provide hot meals, clean water, chaplains, showers, laundry services and childcare in addition to providing chainsaw, mud-out and tear-out teams. “Do we really see hurting people, and do we really love them?” said Richard Brunson, NCBM executive director.
‘Patterned’ resource aids disciple-making
‘Patterned,’ a 10-week disciple-making resource created by the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, was introduced to Southern Baptists during the One Day Conference in August. Patterned, which is available in both digital and print versions, includes five lessons for each week centered on the elements of disciple-making. Lessons were written by North Carolina pastors, ministers, lay leaders, missionaries and seminary professors and are designed to be used in a small group or Sunday School setting.
Missions event highlights diaspora ministry
A unique Southern Baptist missions conference in August called Reaching the Nations encouraged attendees to leverage the historically unprecedented migration of peoples for the sake of sharing the gospel. The U.S. is one of the most common destinations for migrants, and the circumstances present the American church with a remarkable opportunity for evangelism, according to speakers. “[God] is the Divine Maestro, orchestrating the movements of the nations,” said J.D. Payne, church multiplication pastor at The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala.
BCH endangered by foster reform
The Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina (BCH) was at the center of a congressional debate about foster care reform that could almost entirely defund congregate care facilities for children that have been removed from unfit homes. The Family First Prevention Services Act of 2016 proposed limits to federal funding for group homes in order to redirect those dollars to foster care placement prevention and family services, such as drug abuse programs and parent skill-based training. The bill’s purpose is to “keep children safe and supported at home.” BCH later said it had ‘resolved concerns’ with lawmakers.