Board Meets for Special Meetingby Marty Simpkins
The Board of Directors of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (Board) held a special meeting on Feb. 20, 2014, after its January meeting was canceled due to inclement weather. The Board met at Pleasant Garden Baptist Church in Pleasant Garden, NC.
This meeting was an abbreviated meeting and focused only on a limited number of items that could not wait until the Board’s next regularly scheduled meeting in May. The agenda for the Board’s special meeting included numerous elections that were necessary for the Board and other committees to begin their work for the year. In addition, the Board considered three proposals from the Business Services Special Committee (Business Services).
Michael Barrett, senior pastor of Pleasant Garden Baptist Church in Pleasant Garden, was reelected as the Board’s president, and Perry Bindley, director of missions of the Buncombe Baptist Association, was reelected as the Board’s vice president. Pam Young was elected as the Board’s secretary, replacing Teresa Jones who resigned in 2013.
Following the election of Board officers, the following people were elected to serve as at-large members on the Executive Committee: Sandy Marks, pastor of Alexis Baptist Church in Alexis; Bobby Lewis, pastor of Salem Baptist Church in Dobson; Mitchell Shields, director of missions for the Truett Baptist Association and Bob Garbett, pastor of New Hope Baptist Church in Beulaville.
The Board also elected Russell Reaves, pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Greensboro, and Alan Taylor, director of missions for the Robeson Association, as non-board members to serve on Business Services.
The officers of the Convention are responsible for recommending potential members for the Committee on Nominations to the Board. The Convention officers President C.J. Bordeaux, First Vice President Timmy Blair and Second Vice President Cameron McGill brought the following recommendations to the Board:
- Charlie Martin, Cornerstone Baptist Church in Winston-Salem (minister): committee chair
- Charles Hester, Riegelwood Baptist Church, Bladenboro (minister): filling the 2014 unexpired term of Cameron McGill
In addition, the following individuals were elected to serve three-year terms on the Committee on Nominations:
- Eddie Yount Jr., Mount Hebron Baptist Church, Taylorsville (minister)
- Reginald Bakr, St. Paul Baptist Church, Browns Summit (layperson)
- Pao Ly, First Hmong Baptist Church, Connelly Springs (minister)
- Noah Crowe, First Baptist Church, Robbinsville (minister)
- Alex Casio, Apex Baptist Church, Apex (minister)
- Hak Ung, Promised Land Community Church, Creedmoor (minister)
Following these elections, the Board moved to other items of business. First on the list was the approval of an indemnification resolution. The Convention’s bylaws identify individuals to be indemnified in the course of their work on behalf of the Convention. However, since the Convention’s staff was restructured in 2013, the list needed to be updated. The Convention’s bylaws identify that the members of the Board, members of Convention committees, and officers of the Board and the Convention are indemnified. The Board indemnifies specific employees not listed in the bylaws through approval of a resolution to that effect.
Next on the agenda was the consideration of three proposals from Business Services. Of the three proposals, two addressed issues related to the Caraway Conference Center and the North Carolina Baptist Assembly at Fort Caswell; the third matter was related to the Baptist Campus Ministry facility at East Carolina University in Greenville.
The first proposal was related to the construction project at the Caraway Conference Center. Business Services recommended the release of $2.25 million from the Convention’s contingency reserve fund to accelerate the construction of a new auditorium (to be known as Hollifield Hall) and additional lodging units at the Caraway Conference Center. Hollifield Hall will be named in honor of Wyndolyn Royster Hollifield, the namesake of the Hollifield Leadership Center located near Conover on Lake Hickory. Previously, the Board had approved the sale of the Hollifield Leadership Center with the proceeds to be used to assist in the Caraway construction projects. However, the sale of the Hollifield Leadership Center to North Carolina Boys Academy, a ministry of Teen Challenge, did not result in a single lump sum payment. Teen Challenge will make five annual payments to the Convention for the property; the payments will total $2.25 million. Business Services recommended that Caraway be allowed to begin construction with funds from the contingency reserve and allow the payments from Teen Challenge to replenish the reserve. The Board approved the recommendation; construction is expected to begin at Caraway late this spring.
The second proposal from Business Services was related to the Baptist Campus Ministry facility at East Carolina University in Greenville. Jimmy Adams, chairman of Business Services, informed the Board that the university placed the Baptist Campus Ministry facility property on the university’s master plan about five years ago. The university is planning to build a new student center, which will require the acquisition of multiple properties. The university has acquired all of the adjoining properties necessary to construct the new student center; the only remaining property left to acquire is the Baptist Campus Ministry facility. The university has the option of acquiring property either through negotiated purchase or through eminent domain. The Convention has been aware that the university intended to acquire the property and received the formal proposal to purchase the property at the end of 2013. The university presented the proposal to John Butler, executive leader of Business Services, who negotiated the following on behalf of the Convention:
East Carolina University will pay $775,000 for the Baptist Campus Ministry building and property. In exchange, the university will guarantee office space for lease by the Convention to utilize in its campus ministry partnership in the existing student activities center and in the new student activities center. The lease will extend for five years, and then will be renewable for an additional five years. According to Butler, the guaranteed use of space in the student activities center was an essential part of the negotiation; he is thrilled that the university has agreed to this stipulation as the student center will be the strategic place on campus where churches involved in collegiate partnership at East Carolina University can engage students in disciple-making ministries. The proceeds of the sale will be placed into a reserve account for exclusive use in furthering collegiate partnerships. More specifically, the money will be used to assist churches, associations and networks across the state in implementing the collegiate ministries through the Convention’s efforts to impact lostness through disciple-making.
The final proposal from Business Services was that the Board approve the next construction project at Fort Caswell. Adams informed the Board that Caswell leadership is ready to begin construction of a 6,000 square foot cottage. The facility will house 60 campers and chaperones. Caswell has the necessary funds in place for this project, and the Board approved the proposal. Construction will begin as soon as an acceptable construction contract is negotiated.