Melanie Wallace, a pastor’s wife with a deep love and commitment to God’s Word and missions, was elected president of the Baptist state convention's board of directors, becoming the first woman elected as board president since 1993.
Melanie Wallace, a pastor’s wife with a deep love and commitment to God’s Word and missions, was elected president of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s (BSCNC) board of directors, becoming the first woman elected as board president since 1993.
Wallace was elected during the board’s regularly scheduled fall meeting, held Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 23-24, at Caraway Conference Center near Asheboro. Wallace was elected after no other candidates were nominated.
“It is an honor and a privilege to be able to serve the convention as president of the board over the next year,” Wallace said. “I appreciate the confidence and encouragement I have received from board members and executive leaders (of the convention). Anyone who serves alongside our Executive Director-Treasurer Milton Hollifield Jr. comes to appreciate his vision statement that ‘By God’s grace, we will become the strongest force in the history of this convention for reaching people with the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.’
“The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina does an amazing work across the state and around the world. My prayer is that I would make much of Jesus through this position on the board.”
Wallace was nominated by BSCNC President Steve Scoggins, pastor of First Baptist Church of Hendersonville, who said, “She’s the embodiment of the best of Baptist life in North Carolina.”
Wallace will begin her new term in January, but she has been serving as board president since July when former board president Clay Smith resigned after accepting a call to serve as senior pastor of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in metro Atlanta.
Wallace will serve alongside Matt Capps, senior pastor of Fairview Baptist Church in Apex, who was elected board vice president; and Kathy Bennett, who was re-elected as board secretary.
Capps was nominated by Andrew Hopper, lead pastor of Mercy Hill Church in Greensboro. Hopper described Capps as someone who “has the heart of a local (church) pastor.”
Wallace nominated Bennett for board secretary.
Capps was elected without opposition, and Bennett was elected by acclamation.
Wallace’s husband, Aaron, is the lead pastor at Hephzibah Baptist Church in Wendell, where he has served on staff for a total of 21 years. Prior to being named pastor, Aaron Wallace served as Hephzibah’s youth pastor. The Wallaces have been married for 24 years.
Melanie Wallace is actively and regularly involved in missions on the local, state, national and international levels. She and a friend also started a baking and catering business with the purpose of raising money for missions.
Hollifield praised Wallace’s leadership ability and her support and engagement in missions.
“Melanie has demonstrated great ability as a leader,” Hollifield said. “I value her heart for missions and her heart for reaching lost people. She is a delightful, knowledgeable and capable individual, and I am delighted to have her serve as president of the board of directors.”
Wallace is the first woman elected to serve as the BSCNC’s board president since Kathryn Hamrick in 1993. Hamrick is a member of Boiling Springs Baptist Church in Boiling Springs, N.C.
Hollifield said he would like to see more women serve in leadership positions in N.C. Baptist life.
“We have numerous women in the churches of our convention who are well equipped to serve in roles of leadership,” Hollifield said. “All of them are gifted of God, and the convention provides places and opportunities for them to be involved in leadership, allowing them to exercise their gifts according to the words of Scripture.”
“We have women who currently serve and who have previously served on the board of directors. I would be delighted to see that number increase because our board would be strengthened if we had more women nominated to serve.”
To make a nomination for individuals to serve on BSCNC board of directors or in other places of leadership, visit ncbaptist.org/recommend.
In other major actions during its September meeting, the board approved a $30.5 million Cooperative Program budget proposal for 2020 and also approved a pair of proposed amendments to the state convention’s bylaws that would establish criteria for certain convention officials to be removed from places of service for “serious misconduct.”