From new initiatives with partner ministries to international disaster relief efforts, Todd Unzicker reflects on his first year leading N.C. Baptists.
It’s hard to believe it’s been one year since I started as your executive director-treasurer. At the same time, as I look back on all that God has done, it’s hard to believe it’s only been a year. He indeed can do far more than we ask or imagine.
A year ago, I presented a Revelation 5 vision for North Carolina Baptists to become a movement of churches on mission together. By God’s grace, we’re seeing that come to fruition. As I’ve spent time with N.C. Baptists from the mountains to the coast, I’ve heard and observed overwhelming unity around that call. God is on the move.
Last fall, we restructured state convention staff to more directly and effectively serve local churches. Our Great Commission catalysts are on the field ready to resource, mobilize and serve pastors and associational mission strategists. That’s because we are for the local church and fueled by the local church.
We are about the Great Commission. We saw fruit of that in September, when nearly 700 N.C. Baptist churches committed to participate in Fill the Tank and celebrated a historic number of baptisms — the largest number reported in one day in the history of our state!
And in the midst of devastating tragedies in nearby regions, around the country and abroad, God has called many faithful N.C. Baptists to be His hands and feet and bring relief to those in need, showing the world that we are His disciples by how we love one another.
Together we have linked arms with other mission entities to better serve our neighbors. Families and churches are getting involved in foster care and adoption ministry through the “Every Child” initiative with the Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina.
Thanks to your faithful giving, we’ve been able to partner with the Psalm 139 Project to fund ultrasound machines at two pregnancy centers in the state, helping mothers and families choose life for their children. And we’ve launched a partnership with Alliance Defending Freedom to make religious liberty protection and resources more easily accessible to local churches.
North Carolina Baptists, we’ve barely scratched the surface. By the grace of God, He’s invited us to join in His kingdom work, in which your church — whatever size and wherever you’re located — has a role. Throughout the last 12 months, prayer has been our primary strategy. And that must be what continues to fuel our efforts as a movement of churches on mission together.
Will you keep praying with us? One thing you can pray specifically for in the weeks and months ahead is our continued support and response in Ukraine. Pray for Ukrainians who are suffering, separated from their loved ones and displaced from their homes. Pray for our brothers and sisters ministering to them there and in refugee shelters.
Let’s keep our eyes on God as He leads us in this Revelation 5 vision, that we may see every tribe, language, people and nation worshiping the Lamb who was slain.