More than 1,000 messengers from Baptist churches from across North Carolina gathered at the Joseph S. Koury Convention Center in Greensboro, N.C., on Monday, Nov. 5 for the opening session of the 188th annual Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s Annual Meeting. The theme of this year’s meeting is “Who Is My Neighbor?” based on Luke 10:29. Here are highlights from day one of this year’s Annual Meeting.
As of 6 p.m. Monday, 409 pastors, 183 pastor’s spouses, 175 other church staff and 311 laity have registered for this year’s Annual Meeting for a total of 1,078 messengers. An additional 173 visitors registered for an opening-session total of 1,251 in attendance.
Messengers voted that next year’s Annual Meeting be held Nov. 11-12, 2019 in Greensboro, N.C. Messengers also voted to replace next year’s convention sermon with a church planter commissioning service.
C. Ashley Clayton, Danny Akin and Eric Tichenor brought greetings to messengers on behalf of the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), SBC seminaries and the International Mission Board, respectively. SBC President J.D. Greear and North American Mission Board President Kevin Ezell brought greetings by video.
Approximately 150 children and adults from the Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina (BCH) participated in a special presentation around the theme “Many Ministries, One Heart.” BCH President and CEO Michael C. Blackwell was also recognized for 35 in ministry and presented with a commemorative plaque by Baptist State Convention of North Carolina Executive Director-Treasurer Milton A. Hollifield Jr.
Bert Alabaster was honored as the winner of this year’s historical writing competition by Dale Robertson, chairman of the Historical Committee.
Messengers adopted a “Resolution in Appreciation for the Life of Billy Graham.” David Bruce, longtime executive assistant to the Rev. Graham, was presented a commemorative plaque that was engraved with the full text of the resolution.
Baptist State Convention of North Carolina Executive Director-Treasurer Milton A. Hollifield Jr. said Christ-followers cannot separate their love for God from their relationships with their neighbors. Hollifield preached on the Annual Meeting theme of “Who is My Neighbor?” from Luke 10:25-37 during his address. Hollifield also said the BSCNC will begin a formal evaluation of the convention’s strategy of “impacting lostness through disciple-making” beginning in 2019. Results of the evaluation will be presented to messengers at the 2019 Annual Meeting.
Tuesday Highlights & Reminders
A listening session for the proposed 2019 Cooperative Program budget is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. in the Pinehurst Room. Messengers will consider the budget proposal during a fixed order of business at 2:20 p.m. that is part of a report on behalf of the BSCNC Board of Directors.
Officer elections for president, first vice president and second vice president will be held at 1:45 p.m. as part of a fixed order of business.
A series of reports by BSCNC institutions and agencies are scheduled for 8:45 a.m. Reporting will be Clay Warf, executive director of the N.C. Baptist Foundation; Allan Blume, editor and president of the Biblical Recorder; and Leland Kerr, Baptist healthcare liason and FaithHealthNC representative with N.C. Baptist Hospital.
Miscellaneous business is scheduled for 9 a.m.
BSCNC President Lee Pigg, pastor of Hopewell Baptist Church in Monroe, N.C., will deliver the president’s address, scheduled for 10 a.m.
John Mark Harrison, formerly of Apex Baptist Church in Apex, N.C., who was recently called to First Baptist Concord in Knoxville, Tenn., will deliver the convention sermon as part of the worship service that is part of the convention’s final session, which begins at 6:30 p.m. The service will also include worship through music from the All Nations Choir.
Two separate opportunities for breakout sessions are scheduled from 10:45-11:45 a.m. and 3:15-4:15 p.m. A complete list of breakout session titles and descriptions are available at ncannualmeeting.org/breakouts.
Messengers are encouraged to provide feedback on this year’s Annual Meeting through the N.C. Baptist mobile app, texting the word EVALUATION to 313131, or by completing the evaluation form in the back of the program book.
Receive live updates about Annual Meeting through the official Baptist State Convention of North Carolina social media channels by following @ncbaptist on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The official 2019 Annual Meeting hashtag is #MyNeighborNC.