The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina's board of directors took action on several important measures during their regularly scheduled fall meeting.
The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s (BSCNC) board of directors adopted a policy to aid in determining whether churches are in friendly cooperation with the state convention, approved a 2024 Cooperative Program (CP) budget proposal, and took action on several other measures during a full slate of business at its regularly scheduled fall meeting.
The board met for two days on Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 25-26, at Caraway Conference Center near Asheboro.
The board approved a policy that establishes a process to determine whether or not a church is in “friendly cooperation” with the state convention on matters related to Baptist beliefs and distinctives.
Under the policy, the executive committee of the N.C. Baptist board of directors would review matters on a case-by-case basis when questions arise. The policy also outlines an appeals process for churches.
The board’s adoption of the policy came in response to several changes made to the BSCNC’s articles of incorporation that messengers approved during last year’s N.C. Baptist annual meeting to provide greater clarity about what constitutes a cooperating church.
2024 budget proposal
The board also endorsed a $31 million budget proposal for 2024 that includes a 50/50 split of CP gifts between the state and national conventions.
The board also approved a separate measure stipulating that 2024 receipts above $31 million would also be allocated equally between state convention ministries and global ministry partners.
In addition, the board approved a $2.6 million goal for the 2024 North Carolina Missions Offering.
All three financial measures will be presented to messengers at this year’s N.C. Baptist annual meeting in November for final consideration.
The board approved a “Resolution on Equal Protection For The Unborn” that will be presented to the messengers at November’s annual meeting in accordance with a new process for submitting and considering resolutions outlined in the state convention bylaws.
Background check recommendation
The board also passed a motion to “strongly recommend” that the N.C. Baptist Committee on Nominations begins conducting background checks as part of the vetting process for individuals nominated by the committee to serve in positions of leadership on boards and committees with the state convention and its related entities.
BR agreement, bylaw changes
The board approved a new management agreement with the Biblical Recorder, along with a series of proposed changes to the Recorder’s bylaws. The final version of the Biblical Recorder’s bylaw changes will be presented to messengers at November’s annual meeting for consideration.
Zeb Cook, lead pastor of Apex Baptist Church, was re-elected board president for 2024. Cook ran unopposed and was nominated by Steven Wade, pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Youngsville.
Cook, who previously served as the board’s vice president, became board president in April when former board president Casey Norkett resigned to accept a position with the state convention. State convention bylaws do not permit N.C. Baptist employees to serve on the board of directors.
Robert Hefner, pastor of Pleasant Garden Baptist Church, was re-elected vice president of the board for 2024. Hefner ran unopposed and was nominated by Justin Alexander, associate pastor of First Baptist Church of Hendersonville.
Hefner became board vice president earlier this year during a special election held at the regularly scheduled May board meeting after Cook became board president.
Angela Kilby was re-elected as the board secretary for 2024. Kilby’s husband, Pat, serves as senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Cary.
‘ServeNC’ formally launched
In his report to the board, BSCNC Executive Director-Treasurer Todd Unzicker formally announced the “ServeNC” initiative, which calls on N.C. Baptist churches to dedicate all or part of the week of Aug. 3-10, 2024, serving their local communities in Jesus’ name. More information is available at servenc.com.
State convention officials reported that through the end of August, Cooperative Program receipts have totalled more than $18.7 million, which is 2.6% or approximately $467,000 ahead of the same time period as last year.
The board approved a motion authorizing N.C. Baptist Director of Operations John Butler to work with the N.C. Baptist Foundation to establish an endowment to provide an annual 13th check to North Carolina recipients of MissionDignity, a ministry of GuideStone Financial Resources.
The board approved the following recommendations to the Fruitland Baptist Bible College board of directors: Anthony Clemmons, pastor of Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Bolivia; Donna Navey, layperson at Lawndale Baptist Church in Greensboro; and Matt Brogli, pastor of Eagle Springs Baptist Church.
Retiring board members
State convention officials also recognized 17 board members whose terms of service were coming to an end. They were: Jimmy Barrett, Chris Baucom, Ryan Bennett, Paul Cao, Dimas Castillo, Brandon Dees, J.D. Grant, Chris Johnson, Wes McGarry, Matthew Mills, Chris Reese, Stephen Robbins, Jennifer Rushing, Cory Smith, Ross Smith, Steven Wade and James Weddington.
Additionally, board members Chris Griggs and Chris Fox both moved to serve in a different region of the state from the one in which they were first elected to serve and are not eligible to continue on the board next year in accordance with state convention bylaws.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the N.C. Baptist board of directors is set for Jan. 29-30, 2024, at Caraway Conference Center.
The board’s executive committee is scheduled to meet in November in conjunction with the N.C. Baptist annual meeting in Greensboro.