Less than 12 hours before the start of the 2022 Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC) annual meeting, state convention leaders heard a series of reports during a regularly scheduled meeting of the N.C. Baptist executive committee held Monday, Nov. 7, at the Koury Convention Center.

Highlights of the reports included a financial update that showed steady and consistent support of missions and ministry efforts by N.C. Baptists despite ongoing concerns about the economy and high inflation.

Through the end of October, Cooperative Program giving from N.C. Baptist churches totaled more than $29.5 million, which is just 0.85% behind budget and 1.43% behind year-over-year giving.

Giving to the North Carolina Missions Offering (NCMO) totaled nearly $1.7 million through the end of October, which is up 9%, or more than $139,000, at the same time last year. The nearly $1.7 million received to date is 80% of this year’s offering goal of $2.1 million.

Convention officials said they expect to meet or exceed the 2022 Cooperative Program budget by year’s end. 

The encouraging financial news came as messengers at the annual meeting are set to consider a recommended increase to the 2023 Cooperative Program budget and an increase to the 2023 NCMO goal.

Convention officials will present messengers with a Cooperative Program budget recommendation totaling $29.5 million for 2023, which reflects an increase of $1.5 million, or 5.4%, over the current $28 million budget. The 2023 proposal also calls for a 3% increase in support of global ministry partners which would move the state convention’s allocation from 45% to 48% of the total budget while also increasing funding for state convention ministries.

The proposal would also increase the 2023 NCMO goal by $400,000, which would set next year’s goal at $2.5 million, which reflects a 19% increase over the current goal of $2.1 million. 

Messengers will consider the 2023 budget recommendation during a fixed order of business at the annual meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 8, at 2:40 p.m. The proposal has been unanimously endorsed by the N.C. Baptist executive committee and the full board of directors.

The financial report also showed that N.C. Baptists’ support of the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American missions and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for international missions are essentially even or ahead of year-over-year giving totals.

Through the end of October, N.C. Baptists have contributed nearly $6.5 million to Annie Armstrong, which is approximately $98,000, or 1.5%, below the same time period as last year.

Giving to Lottie Moon by N.C. Baptists totaled $12.2 million through the end of October, an increase of 6.7%, or nearly $774,000, through the same time last year.

Other business

In other business, board President Casey Norkett announced three at-large appointments to the convention’s Operations Special Committee. They were: Keith Richardson of Providence Baptist Church in Raleigh; Joyce Rogers of First Baptist Church of Asheboro; and Rick Speas, pastor of Old Town Baptist Church in Winston-Salem.

Annual meeting preview

In his concluding remarks to the committee, N.C. Baptist Executive Director-Treasurer Todd Unzicker gave a preview of what he plans to share during his report to messengers in the opening session of the annual meeting later in the evening.

“My goal and aim is to highlight what God is doing in our churches,” Unzicker said. “That’s it. Being a movement of churches on mission together is not a slogan, and it’s not a vision statement. It’s what’s true of us and what is happening. … We’re going to celebrate what God is doing in North Carolina Baptist churches as we come together.”

Unzicker also encouraged people to pray for God to move during the annual meeting.

“I was praying this morning that God would do something through this gathering over the next 36 hours or so, and that there would be great unity,” Unzicker said.  “But most of all, we pray that the name and fame of Jesus would be lifted up.”

Next meeting

The next meeting of the N.C. Baptist executive committee is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023, at Caraway Conference Center, which will be held in conjunction with a regularly scheduled meeting of the full board of directors.