Give thanks and pray for godly leaders

by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSCNC Executive Director-Treasurer

Friday, July 27, 2018

I hope that you are already making plans to attend this year’s Annual Meeting of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina on Nov. 5-6 in Greensboro. I look forward to the worship, business matters, and fellowship with our messengers and guests from across the state that will take place over the course of these two days. It’s hard to believe that this year’s meeting is a just a little more than three months away. The Committee on Convention Meetings has been praying and working to provide another great Annual Meeting. 

One of the items of business that messengers address each year is the election of our convention officers. Many of you have likely heard the announcement that our three current officers — President Lee Pigg of Hopewell Baptist Church in Monroe, First Vice President Joel Stephens of Wakefield Central Baptist Church in Zebulon and Second Vice President J.D. Grant of Scotts Creek Baptist Church in Sylva — have chosen not to seek re-election to any offices for the coming year.

When each of these men spoke to me individually about their respective decisions, they each assured me that a major factor in the reason they chose not to seek another term as an officer of the convention was due to the time demands and competing responsibilities that come with serving as an officer. Their responsibilities as an officer means they must travel many miles, spend countless hours in various committee and board meetings, and speak in churches and association events on behalf of the state convention. Additionally, they invest even more hours in telephone conversations and email correspondence related to the work of our state convention.

I am personally thankful for each of these men, and I believe they have represented the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina well in the way in which they have carried out their responsibilities in their roles as president and vice presidents. I will certainly miss working with them and the fellowship and times of prayer that we have enjoyed together. They have assured me that they will continue to be supportive of our state convention and our vision to impact lostness through disciple-making.

During my tenure as executive director-treasurer and prior to that as the state evangelism director, I have had the privilege of working with and alongside many individuals who have served our convention well as officers and in other roles. However, this is the first time since our Annual Meeting in 2004 that none of the sitting officers are seeking office. That means that each of convention offices will be filled by new individuals in the coming year.

Because of this unique situation, I call on North Carolina Baptists to begin praying now for these leadership vacancies within our convention that will be filled during our Annual Meeting in Greensboro. If you have been reading the Biblical Recorder, you are aware that some individuals have already expressed interest in serving as a convention officer. Messengers from N.C. Baptist churches will elect a president and two vice presidents during the afternoon session on Tuesday, Nov. 6. I am confident that God will raise up competent and capable men or women to fill these positions who will continue to serve our convention well.

“So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, and guided them by the skillfulness of his hands.” — Psalm 78:72 (NKJV)