I recently had the blessing of attending the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) meeting in Houston, Texas. I always look forward to this time each year when Southern Baptists are encouraged through wonderful ministry reports, testimonies of God at work and powerful sermons from God’s Word.
This year 5,103 messengers gathered in Houston for the annual meeting. North Carolina Baptists, I thought of you often during this meeting. During an International Mission Board hosted breakfast, North Carolina Baptists were recognized for leading the SBC in support of the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions. The churches of this state convention led all state conventions in gifts to this offering in 2012.
You were also recognized during an event hosted by the North American Mission Board, as the churches of this state convention are also leading all state conventions in gifts to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions. I affirm your faithful, sacrificial giving. I know many of your churches still struggle financially because of our nation’s continued economic challenges. Yet, you have stayed the course and remained committed to missions support because of your passion to see the gospel advanced throughout this nation and world.
In addition to these special offerings, the Cooperative Program is the heart and soul of financial support that fuels the many missions and ministries of the SBC. As president of the Fellowship of State Executive Directors, I have the privilege of serving on the Cooperative Program Advisory Council. This council, which was established by SBC Executive Committee President and CEO Frank Page and the Fellowship of State Executive Directors, met in Houston to explore new strategies for Cooperative Program promotion.
I am thankful for the leadership of Frank Page and his desire to see increased support for the Cooperative Program across the SBC. The Executive Committee’s report during the SBC featured testimonies of individuals whose ministries are supported through the Cooperative Program. I appreciate Frank Page inviting Keith and Page Wieser, collegiate church planters in the Midwest, to share with Convention messengers. This couple has started a collegiate church plant on two different college campuses. As we look to move forward in North Carolina with new localized, contextualized models of collegiate ministry, collegiate church planting is certainly a model we will value and seek to use as appropriate.
I am also thankful for Dr. Fred Luter’s continued leadership. What a joy to see messengers stand in celebration and support of Rev. Luter when he was re-elected to a second term as our SBC president. He is a godly man who models a life of humble obedience to the Great Commission. Rev. Luter will bring the Convention sermon during our state convention’s annual meeting Nov. 11-12 in Greensboro. More information about our annual meeting is available at www.ncannualmeeting.org.
I am excited about the wonderful things our God is doing through churches of the SBC. I pray that our meeting theme of “Revive Us” will truly become reality as churches across our nation join together in unity to impact lostness for the glory of Jesus Christ.