The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s 2020 annual meeting will not be held at the Joseph S. Koury Convention Center in Greensboro on Nov. 9-10 as originally planned due to continued uncertainties about large-group gatherings amid ongoing concerns related to COVID-19. Baptist state convention officials will begin exploring alternative options for this year’s annual meeting.
On Wednesday, Aug. 5, N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper issued an executive order that extended Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plans until Friday, Sept. 11. The order limits mass gatherings at “an event or convening that brings together more than ten (10) people indoors or more than twenty-five (25) people outdoors at the same time in a single confined indoor or outdoor space, such as an auditorium, stadium, arena, or meeting hall.”
Following the extension of this order and with no clear indication on when limits on mass gatherings would be eased or lifted, it became apparent that holding this year’s annual meeting at Koury Convention Center would not be feasible.
On Friday, Aug. 7, after weeks of discussion between Baptist state convention and Koury Convention Center officials, Baptist State Convention of North Carolina executive leaders made the decision to cancel the contract with Koury for this November. The Baptist state convention incurred no penalties from the contract cancellation.
Upon cancellation of the event, an automated email generated by the Koury Convention Center was sent to messengers and guests who already had room reservations for the event at the host hotel. Baptist State Convention of North Carolina officials were not aware that the cancellation email would be distributed so quickly and apologize for any confusion this has caused.
Convention officials will now begin the process of exploring alternative options for this year’s annual meeting. According to convention bylaws, changes to the date, time or location of the annual meeting must be approved by the convention’s board of directors. The bylaws state that “In case of emergency or unusual circumstances, the Board of Directors (the “Board”) is empowered to change the time or place of the meeting or cancel the sessions of the Convention.”
Convention officials request the prayers of North Carolina Baptists as they begin the process of exploring alternative options. Future updates related to this year’s annual meeting will be posted to the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina website at ncbaptist.org, the annual meeting website at ncannualmeeting.org and through the N.C. Baptist mobile app.