Echoing the vision of newly elected Executive Director-Treasurer Todd Unzicker, “On Mission Together” is the theme of the 2021 Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC) annual meeting, scheduled for Nov. 8-9 at the Joseph S. Koury Convention Center in Greensboro.
Since being elected as the BSC’s top executive in May, Unzicker has repeatedly said that he wants to see N.C. Baptists rally around the Great Commission as a “movement of churches on mission together.” Unzicker said every N.C. Baptist church is vital to that mission.
“Every church has a role to play in the kingdom of God,” Unzicker said. “In God’s economy, there are no small churches, only one, big Great Commission. I’m looking forward to gathering with messengers from all of our churches in Greensboro this fall to unite around what it means to be on mission together.”
The two-day meeting will include Unzicker’s first formal address to messengers at an annual meeting. Unzicker was elected during a special called convention meeting on May 22 at Calvary Baptist Church in Winston-Salem.
The meeting will also include worship, preaching, business, breakout sessions, ministry exhibits and more.
H.B. Charles Jr., pastor of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla., will deliver this year’s convention sermon. Charles has served as Shiloh’s pastor since 2008, and he has authored numerous books on preaching and pastoring.
Micheal Pardue, pastor of First Baptist Church Icard in Connelly Springs, N.C., will deliver the annual president’s address. Pardue has served as president of the BSC since his election in November 2020.
Business items messengers will consider include the election of convention officers and the adoption of a Cooperative Program budget for 2022.
More details about the meeting are available online at ncannualmeeting.org. Attendees may also make hotel reservations now through the site. Messenger registration opens Aug. 16 and will also take place through the site.
The website will be updated with additional information as the annual meeting draws closer.
The meeting’s theme of “On Mission Together” is based upon John 17:23, which emphasizes unity around God’s mission. The BSC’s Committee on Convention Meetings sets each year’s annual meeting theme, theme verse and agenda.
The committee had already begun working to develop this year’s annual meeting theme before Unzicker was announced as the candidate to become the next executive director-treasurer earlier this spring. The committee’s early work focused on similar ideas and concepts as Unzicker’s vision.
“It seems that God put this on the committee’s hearts and on Todd’s heart, as well,” said committee chairman Nathaniel Williams, pastor of Cedar Rock First Baptist Church in Castalia, N.C.
Williams added that the meeting theme underscores the primary reason why Baptists cooperate in missions and ministry endeavors.
“We live in an increasingly divided world, but the theme ‘On Mission Together’ compels us to remember and celebrate why North Carolina Baptists work together in the first place.” Williams said. “God has given us a mission to proclaim the gospel and fulfill the Great Commission, and we’re better together than we are apart. Join me in prayerful anticipation in what God will do in and through us at our annual meeting.”
State convention officials are also planning another 30-day prayer emphasis during the month of October leading up to the annual meeting.
Chris Schofield, director of the BSC’s Office of Prayer for Evangelization and Spiritual Awakening, is developing a devotional prayer guide for individuals and churches to use during the prayer emphasis. The prayer guide will align with the annual meeting theme.
Prayer guides will be available by early fall and accessible online at prayfor30days.org.
This year marks the 10th consecutive year that the state convention has sponsored a 30-day prayer emphasis leading up to the annual meeting.
Return to Greensboro
This year’s annual meeting marks a return to its traditional location and format as a two-day meeting at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro.
Following action by the BSC’s board of directors, last year’s annual meeting was held as a one-day, abbreviated meeting on Nov. 10, 2020, at First Baptist Church of Charlotte, N.C., due to health and safety concerns related to COVID-19.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Chad Austin serves as content strategist and editor at the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.)