More than 1,400 messengers from Baptist churches from across North Carolina gathered at the Joseph S. Koury Convention Center in Greensboro, N.C., on Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 5-6 for 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 two of this year’s Annual Meeting. Day one highlights are available here.
At the close of registration at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 6, 520 pastors, 213 pastor’s spouses, 251 other church staff and 441 laity had registered for this year’s Annual Meeting for a total of 1,425 messengers. An additional 257 visitors registered for a two-day total of 1,682 in attendance.
John Mark Harrison, former pastor of Apex Baptist Church in Apex, N.C., who was recently called to First Baptist Concord in Knoxville, Tenn., delivered the convention sermon. Harrison preached on faithfulness from Hebrews 12:1-2 and encouraged N.C. Baptists to have a kingdom-first mindset, to pursue holiness, to run your race and to focus on Jesus.
Messengers elected a new slate of convention officers. Steve Scoggins, pastor of First Baptist Church in Hendersonville, N.C., was elected as president. Micheal Pardue, pastor of First Baptist Church Icard in Connelly Springs, N.C., was elected first vice president. Matt Ledbetter, pastor of Lighthouse Baptist Church in Sylva, N.C., was elected second vice president.
Messengers approved an amended Cooperative Program budget for 2019 totaling $31 million that allocates 41.5 percent to the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). The budget that was adopted marks the 13th consecutive year that N.C. Baptists have increased the percentage allocation to the SBC ministries and missions.
Richard Brunson, executive director of N.C. Baptist Men (NCBM), also known as Baptists on Mission, shared an update NCMB’s 18 different ministries, including the disaster relief response in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. Brunson said volunteers are still needed to assist with the long-term relief and recovery efforts in eastern North Carolina.
BSCNC President Lee Pigg, pastor of Hopewell Baptist Church in Monroe, N.C., preached on “Loving Your Neighbor” from James 2:1-13 during the annual president’s address.
During a Board of Directors report, BSCNC executive leaders Lynn Sasser and Chuck Register shared updates in the areas of evangelism and discipleship, and church planting and missions partnerships, respectively. Sasser reported on a new initiative related to training in cultural mastery, how God is moving in the lives of youths and students, and efforts related to church health and revitalization. Register’s report focused on how “immigration is a gospel issue” and shared updates on engagement among unreached people groups in North Carolina, church planting, and growth in engaging college students and campuses with the gospel.
BSCNC Board of Directors President Marc Francis reported on the results of a feasibility study regarding the establishment of a training center for Vietnamese pastors that was requested as part of a motion at last year’s Annual Meeting. During the course of the study, officials discovered the intent of the motion was to establish a training institute for Montagnard pastors. The Montagnard people are just one of the many people groups living in our state originally from Vietnam. Officials determined that there are similarities between current training efforts among Montagnard leaders and the certificate programs currently offered through Fruitland Baptist Bible College (FBBC). Convention staff, FBBC leadership and Montagnard leaders have been working to help the current Montagnard training center become a satellite campus of Fruitland. While some details still need to be addressed, officials believe it is feasible to establish the training center requested in the motion through Fruitland Baptist Bible College. The Board of Directors hope to finalize details on this effort in 2019 and will bring a report to messengers at the 2019 Annual Meeting.
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, shared reports with messengers on behalf of institutions and agencies of the state convention.
The 2019 BSCNC Annual Meeting will be held Nov. 11-12, 2019 in Greensboro, N.C. The meeting will include a church planter commissioning service.