Farewell, with thankfulness, gratitude and prayers

February 19, 2021
After more than 27 years as a staff member and more than 14 years of leading the work of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC), the time has come for me to bid you farewell as your executive director-treasurer (EDT). I am retiring at the end of this month, so this will be my last regular column in the Biblical Recorder.
 
I want to thank you for the many blessings you have bestowed upon Gloria and me in these past years. God has used your faithful prayer support in protecting, empowering and enabling us in the work of His kingdom as we have traveled to so many churches and made so many friends. We truly appreciate the way you have received and encouraged us. It has been an absolute honor and privilege to serve as your EDT.
 
When I was installed as the 14th executive director of this convention on April 11, 2006, I shared five statements that day or in subsequent interviews that I hoped and prayed would mark my tenure. In recent days as I have reflected on these statements, they are a reminder of how God
was working in my mind and heart when I was asked to serve in this role. They are also a reminder of the faithfulness of our great God. Following are highlights from the five statements I shared.
 
  • I hope people will see me as a visionary who wants to help churches and associations work together, involving more people in missions and evangelism.
  • I want to keep people working together as much as we possibly can by focusing on the things we have in common rather than our differences.
  • I want the BSCNC to become the strongest force in the history of our convention for reaching people with the message of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • I have a deep love and appreciation for the Southern Baptist Convention, which is rooted in the unified giving plan that we know as the Cooperative Program that supports our missionaries and enables us to help fulfill the Great Commission in spreading the gospel around the world.
  • I believe that the local church does not exist for this convention, but rather the convention exists to meet the needs of the churches, so I want to refocus the energies of this convention toward the needs of our churches.
By God’s grace and cooperating together, we have seen these dreams and many more come to fruition during the past 14 years. It has happened because you have prayed, made yourself available to God, and given of your time, talent and treasure to invest in kingdom work.
 
We have seen God bless this convention in numerous ways. In recent years, we have provided the largest financial support of missions in our history through the Cooperative Program and special missions offerings even as overall income has declined. We have planted new churches, revitalized existing churches and established new mission partnerships in North America and around the world.
 
Even during the current pandemic, God has been at work and doing more than any of us realize in some of our churches. The ministry and work of Baptists on Mission has continued to expand beyond imagination in helping more and more people in need. I am grateful for our institutions and agencies along with their leaders and staff members because of the remarkable and superb ministry they provide.
 
I would also be remiss if I did not mention what a joy it has been to lead such a wonderfully talented and committed state convention staff and the executive leaders who have worked closely with me.
 
During this time of transition, you can take comfort in knowing that we serve a faithful God. My prayer is that the greatest days of this state convention are still in your future. I encourage you to pray for, encourage and follow the leadership of the next EDT you will elect to be your leader.
 
We give God all the praise for the great and wonderful things He has done, is doing and will do in the years ahead.
 
“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now.” — Philippians 1:3-5 (NKJV)


by Milton A. Hollifield Jr.  
/  Executive Director-Treasurer  /  Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

Board affirms Unzicker as EDT nominee

Todd Unzicker, chief of staff at The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, has been nominated by the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s (BSCNC) board of directors to become the next executive director-treasurer of the state convention. The board voted to approve Unzicker’s...

4 kinds of pastors whose churches need revitalizing

Revitalization is one of those things pastors Google when no one else is looking. As I travel across the state, I meet pastors who minister in a variety of contexts — rural, urban, small, large, plants and even replants. Some of these pastors know their church is in need of...

5 ways pastors should respond to setbacks in ministry

Things don’t always turn out the way we desire. Oftentimes, we find ourselves asking questions about why something happened, or why we didn’t see it coming. We wonder why God allowed it or have difficulty seeing how God’s plan is being accomplished through it. Phrases such as...

How families can adopt a family discipleship plan

Many parents have made 2021 the year of discipleship for their family. They have taken the challenge and implemented the “Family Discipleship Plan” in their homes. Moms and dads have made this a priority because they know they have been given the wonderful privilege of being the...

Why leading your child to Christ is a process, not just a prayer

I remember praying a prayer at age 5. As a Cubby in the Awana program at our church, I was slightly intimidated by the leader who took me into the darkened chapel and asked me if I wanted to go to heaven to be with Jesus. I didn’t know what that meant. I may have asked a few...

3 steps to being missional in your community

The COVID-19 pandemic, along with heightened racial and political tensions, have sparked massive conflicts throughout our state and nation in the last year and a half. However, in the midst of the chaos, families have a unique opportunity to be missional in their homes and...

God’s presence provides comfort in times of transition

“It isn’t the changes that do you in, it’s the transitions!” These words by the late William Bridges, who was a leading authority on organizational leadership, have been ringing in my mind throughout the last year. When our country went into lockdown due to the pandemic, it was an...

Students: An untapped resource for serving in your church

I’ve heard it said that students are the church of tomorrow, but I really struggle with that — I believe students are the church of today and the future church leaders of tomorrow. Students need adults who love Jesus, love them and take the time to disciple them. They need...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay connected by signing up for the N.C. Baptist monthly newsletter.

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!