NC Baptists challenged to ‘Fill the Tank’ on Sept. 12

May 27, 2021

The newly elected executive director-treasurer of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) is calling on N.C. Baptist churches to “Fill the Tank” on Sunday, Sept. 12, as part of a statewide emphasis on baptism.

Just two days after being elected as the state convention’s top executive, Todd Unzicker announced the initiative in his first address to the BSCNC’s board of directors during the board’s regularly scheduled May meeting.

“We’re going to fill the tanks and believe in faith that God is going to save people between now and that day,” Unzicker said.

Unzicker’s announcement drew widespread support from the nearly 70 board members and others in attendance at the meeting held Monday and Tuesday, May 24-25, at Fort Caswell, the state convention’s coastal retreat and conference center on Oak Island.

Meeting attendees signified their commitment to fill the tank by holding up pledge cards during a time of focused prayer for the lost and N.C. Baptist churches during the opening session of the meeting. Unzicker said he hopes every church in North Carolina will participate.

“This is something we should all be able to get behind,” Unzicker said. “After all, we’ve got ‘Baptist’ in our name. Baptism by immersion after conversion is the declaration of faith and identification with Christ.”

More information about the emphasis, as well as resources, a prayer guide, and a form where churches can pledge to participate, will be released in the coming weeks through a special website at

“We’re going to fill the tanks and believe in faith that God is going to save people between now and that day.” — Todd Unzicker

Unzicker said he wants to celebrate what churches are doing to prepare leading up to the event, as well as how God moves on Sept. 12.

“I hope that we can report afterward that we had the largest single day of baptisms ever in the history of North Carolina,” Unzicker said. “This is not a publicity stunt or a gimmick. Let’s dedicate this to prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to move in the hearts of people.”

Several leaders from across the state said they support the initiative and plan to enlist support and commitments from other churches, as well.

“This emphasis is something the convention can rally around,” said board president Matt Capps, pastor of Fairview Baptist Church in Apex. “We pray that baptistries will not only be filled with water, but filled with people.”

Convention president Micheal Pardue, pastor of First Baptist Church Icard in Connelly Springs, said the emphasis is a reminder of one of Baptists’ doctrinal distinctives.

“‘Fill the Tank’ will not only bring excitement to our state, but it will also serve as a reminder of who we are as Baptists and what we are all about,” Pardue said. “I’m excited to join in this emphasis, and I hope churches from all over the state will join, not just because we are doing a baptism Sunday, but because God has called us to baptize people from all nations.”

Terry Stockman, associational mission strategist for the West Chowan Baptist Association in northeastern North Carolina, said he plans to encourage the 60 churches he serves in his association to fill their tanks on Sept. 12.

“There is no greater responsibility that we have as believers than to reach the world with the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ,” Stockman said. “To fill the baptistries of our churches on faith is a challenge worth having.”

by Chad Austin  
/  Communications  /  Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

3 training options to offer worship ministry certification

Worship leaders can now pursue further equipping through three training options offered in partnership between N.C. Baptists, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and Fruitland Baptist Bible College. The training provides worship leaders with the understanding and tools to...

Caraway celebrates 60 years of ministry and memories

North Carolina Baptists joined forces in July 1962 to cultivate a powerful new tool to help churches reach and disciple more people — Camp Caraway. Now, decades later, the camp continues to serve N.C. Baptists and will celebrate its 60th summer this July. Situated on more than...

How leaders can bridge generational gaps in Asian American churches

Many Asian American churches provide spaces for Asian immigrants to continue worshiping similarly to how they did in their home countries. They offer a familiar community and a home away from home. What can often be overlooked, however, is the cultural gap between immigrant...

On death and dying, as it relates to churches

In 1969, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, a Swiss-American psychiatrist, wrote the classic book On Death and Dying. This work, chronicling lessons she learned with terminally ill patients, outlined the five stages that all people go through as they near death. Beginning when they are...

4 symptoms to watch for when assessing pastoral health

In preparation for this article I confess I did Google, “How to know if a pastor is healthy?” The number of articles, blogs and sites addressing the increasing issue of pastoral health did not disappoint. After all, we are hopefully coming out of the most difficult time of...

Fisher retires after 36 years at Caldwell Association

Dale Fisher received quite the surprise on his 70th birthday. Not only did ministry colleagues serenade him with a rendition of “Happy Birthday” during the N.C. Associational Missions Conference in early April, they also recognized Fisher for his long tenure of service in leading...

The power of a name: God’s faithfulness in mental health

If I have learned one lesson this year, it’s that there is power in a name. When we give our struggle a name, we are able to better distinguish truth from lie and work toward healing. Naming opens the door to freedom and sheds light on truth that can feel uncomfortable, exposing...

Scholarship to cover tuition for new Fruitland students

New students now have an opportunity to attend Fruitland Baptist Bible College tuition-free this fall. Fruitland recently announced a new scholarship that will cover tuition costs for new, full-time students attending the Hendersonville campus during the fall 2022 quarter. The...


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!