Board hears financial, ministry reportsby BSCNC Communications
During a regularly scheduled meeting May 22-23 at Caraway Conference Center the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) Board of Directors heard reports and testimonies of how God is using North Carolina Baptists for Kingdom impact.
Prior to the Board meeting Jason Bland, pastor of Southport Baptist Church, shared with the BSCNC Executive Committee about his participation in the Find it Here Easter emphasis. Bland used the Easter season to encourage his congregation to be intentionally evangelistic and to invite nonbelievers to Easter worship. On Easter Sunday, 16 people prayed to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
“Our mission is to reach Brunswick County for Christ, and from there the world,” Bland said.
Director of Accounting Services Beverly Volz brought the financial report. Although Cooperative Program funds are $11,289,455.98, which is 1.5 percent behind last year at this time, the Convention is operating in the black.
Budget Committee chair Stan Welch thanked Convention staff for their efforts to control spending and to do so with a positive spirit. The Board will vote on the proposed 2013 Cooperative Program budget during its September meeting.
Executive Director-Treasurer’s Report
Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSCNC executive director-treasurer, updated the Board on the three staff committees helping study and make recommendations regarding issues raised in the Vision Fulfillment Committee report. The communications and church planting/existing churches committees have completed their work, and the strategic development committee’s work is underway, with a report possibly coming to the Executive Committee as early as August.
Hollifield also brought an update related to changes in the cooperative agreement between the North American Mission Board (NAMB) and the BSCNC. Each state convention is in the process of negotiating new agreements with NAMB as this agency seeks to redirect more of its funding to church planting outside of the South. In general, the cooperative agreements in each state have traditionally included allocations for supporting church planting and evangelism programs in state conventions as well as associations.
In addition, the cooperative agreements have included allocations for individuals who are jointly funded employees. The number of jointly funded employees on the BSCNC staff is nine. While the new cooperative agreements vary from state to state, the intention is to direct more funding to church planting efforts within each state, thus reducing funds available for jointly funded staff, evangelism and other efforts.
Although NAMB will continue providing the BSCNC funding, most of the funds will now be designated to church planting.
“We have reallocated dollars in the portion of the cooperative program budget that remains in state, and that has allowed us to retain all our jointly funded staff,” Hollifield said.
Hollifield urged Board members to begin now preparing for the Convention’s annual meeting Nov. 12-13 in Greensboro. This year’s theme is “Awaken,” based on Romans 13:11-14.
“The committee that helps plan this meeting has expressed such a concern and burden to see a great movement of God take place when we gather in November. But we must do spiritual preparation before that,” Hollifield said.
Hollifield asked the Board to consider hosting times of prayer in their church or association for spiritual awakening, and to utilize opportunities such as a church renewal weekend (www.ncbaptist.org/crj) to help prepare for November.
“I’m afraid the world is having a greater impact on the church than the church is on the world,” Hollifield said. “If we don’t repent now, when will we? None of us knows how much longer we have on this earth, and we don’t know how much longer it is before Christ returns. Let’s come to Greensboro with a sense of expectancy that God is going to do something great.”
Great Commission Partnerships
Michael Sowers, senior consultant for the Office of Great Commission Partnerships, challenged North Carolina Baptists to consider the worth, and not the cost, when it comes to engaging in missions.
Two vision trips have been held this year in Toronto and Boston, and spots are still open for the August trip to New York City.
Other upcoming events include a safety/security training Oct. 2 in Cary and Southeast Asian Peoples Training Sept. 17-19 in Winston-Salem. For more information visit www.ncbaptist.org/gcp.
Sowers also reported that a new church planting website (www.necpcoalition.com) is available to help connect North Carolina churches with church planters in partnership areas.
North Carolina Baptist Hospital
John McConnell, chief executive officer of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, brought a report on behalf of North Carolina Baptist Hospital.
“We are delighted by the ongoing relationship we have with the Convention, and it is an important part of our DNA that is reflected every day,” he said. “I am grateful that the truly important things remain stable; first and foremost our commitment to faith, which forms the basis for who we are and what we do.”
Since it began in 1920, the Hospital has continued to improve and excel in patient care and research. About 300 physicians were recognized in the 2011-2012 “Best Doctors in America” publication, and U.S. News and World Report ranks the Medical Center among the nation’s best hospitals.
Paul Mullen, church and community relations director for North Carolina Baptist Hospital, also addressed the Board. He reported that $77,460 has been given to the Mother’s Day Offering, which helps patients in need pay their hospital bills. The offering theme was “God’s love at work,” based on John 5:17.
Burwell Stark, a layperson from Richland Creek Community Church in Wake Forest, was appointed to serve the unexpired term of Greg Barefoot on the Christian Life and Public Affairs Committee.
Committee chair Jarrod Scott thanked the Board for supporting the marriage amendment. “It’s the churches that spoke up. We thank the Lord for this grassroots work,” he said.
In the coming months the committee will make available on its blog (blog.ncbaptist.org/clpa) resources to help churches reach out to people involved in a homosexual lifestyle.
Bill Gay brought a motion from the Business Services Committee that asked for 20 percent of the excess revenues over expenses per the 2011 audit of Convention finances be transferred to the Convention contingency reserve. The Board approved the motion.
The committee also reported a change in the expansion plans for the conference center at Caraway. Original plans included a one-story facility with detached housing units beside it. However, after consultation with the architects, the new facility will be constructed as a three-story unit, allowing the meeting rooms and housing accommodations to all be under one roof. This change will result in significant cost savings.
The Christian Higher Education Committee reported that the tentative start date for the Fruitland Baptist Bible Institute scholarship is fall 2013. The two-year scholarship would be awarded to Fruitland students who, upon graduation from Fruitland, desire to continue their education at one of the educational institutions affiliated with the BSCNC. A maximum of two students at each affiliated institution would be eligible for the scholarship.
The Board approved two motions during the miscellaneous business session. Phil Addison, pastor of Stony Point Baptist Church, brought a motion that will give Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, opportunity to address the Board at least once a year.
The Board also passed a motion to ask the Fruitland Baptist Bible Institute Board of Directors to consider whether or not they should request the Convention forgive Fruitland’s remaining $900,000 debt after construction of its chapel.
Branton Burleson of Christ Covenant Baptist Church in Hendersonville made the original motion to ask the Convention to forgive the entirety of the chapel debt. After discussion, Perry Brindley, pastor of Mount Zion Baptist Church in Canton, made the motion to refer the matter to Fruitland’s Board of Directors.