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N.C. Baptists shorten meeting, cut budget

GREENSBORO, N.C. (BP)–North Carolina Baptists, meeting Nov. 8-10 in Greensboro, decided to shorten their future annual meetings from three days to two.

Messengers adopted a $32.7 million budget, 6 percent smaller than in 2010; re-elected their officers; passed motions that reopen controversial discussions related to alcohol and doctrinal positions; and passed resolutions affirming the Cooperative Program and the work of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Great Commission Resurgence Task Force.

During his address Nov. 8, Executive Director-Treasurer Milton A. Hollifield Jr. stated his support for moving the convention to a 50-50 split of church Cooperative Program receipts with the Southern Baptist Convention. (See separate story.)

The 2011 budget inches CP sharing with the SBC up half a percentage point to 35 percent. It is the sixth consecutive such increase despite declining gifts pushing the 2011 budget down to the size of the 1999 budget.

The 2011 budget also marks the sixth time in the past eight years that CP gifts from churches have been lower than the previous year.

In the North Carolina budget, 44.2 percent of gifts fund North Carolina Baptist ministries and 20.8 percent support the convention’s institutions and entities. The remainder, 35 percent, will be sent to the Southern Baptist Convention for national and international missions and ministries.

The only budget opposition voiced was to the reduction in funds to the Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina. Budget chairman Steve Hardy explained that budget recipients income is tied to percentages and a decrease in anticipated income results in fewer dollars, even though the percentage of the budget remains the same.

Messengers approved two motions and three resolutions.

One motion, presented by Phil Addison, pastor of Stony Point Baptist Church, called on the convention’s Board of Directors to adopt the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 as the doctrinal statement of the BSC.

A motion by Tim Rogers, pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Indian Trail, asked for a study on the use of alcohol, especially in relation to funding church plants, people in leadership and hiring of personnel.

Two resolutions, published in the Oct. 23 Biblical Recorder and available online, embraced the Cooperative Program as Baptists’ primary missions funding channel and expressed appreciation to the host city.

The Cooperative Program resolution, also offered by Tim Rogers, acknowledged the value of concerted, cooperative ministries by churches to reach the people of North Carolina, the nation and the world and a resolve to embrace the Cooperative Program model as the most accountable, effective and compelling method for fulfilling the Great Commission of Jesus Christ.

A resolution rejected by the resolutions committee, but approved by messengers who had to vote by two-thirds majority to suspend the rules to hear it, thanked the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force for its work. The resolution was offered by Brent Hobbs, pastor of Severn Baptist Church.

Of the 1,746 messengers in attendance, 599 were pastors, 243 were church staff, 199 were spouses and 703 were laypeople. Visitors totaled 182, bringing the total in attendance to 1,928, 127 fewer than last year.

All officers were re-elected with no other nominations from the floor: president, Ed Yount, pastor of Woodlawn Baptist Church in Conover; first vice president, Mark Harris, pastor of First Baptist Church in Charlotte; and second vice president, C.J. Bordeaux, pastor of Gorman Baptist Church in Durham.

In other committee reports, the Historical Committee recognized Roger Bullard, a member of First Baptist Church in Wilson, as winner of the 2010 History Writing Contest. Bullard won for his “The Life and Times of First Baptist Church Wilson, 1860-2010.”

The next annual meeting will be Nov. 7-8, 2011, in Greensboro.
Reported by the staff of the Biblical Recorder and the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.

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