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N.C. committee to study current giving option that omits SBC

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (BP)–The North Carolina State Convention voted to study whether one of its giving plans is consistent with its constitution during Nov. 11-13 annual meeting sessions in Winston-Salem.

The recommendation came from Tim Rogers, pastor of Victory Baptist Church in the Randolph Baptist Association, who voiced concern that the current giving “Plan C” is in violation of the constitution because it does not allot funds to the Southern Baptist Convention.

Plan C, one of four giving options provided for North Carolina Baptist churches, allots 68 percent of gifts to the Baptist state convention, 10 percent to the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, 10.9 percent to theological education in North Carolina Baptist colleges/universities and 11.10 percent to special foreign, home and other missions.

By a 62.7 percent margin of voting messengers, a resolution was passed for the convention president to appoint a special committee to study whether Plan C is in violation of the constitution.

In the convention’s constitution, the purpose statement in Article II states that the “purpose of this Convention shall be to assist the churches in their divinely appointed mission; to promote missions, evangelism, education, social services, the distribution of the Bible and sound religious literature; and to cooperate with the work of the Southern Baptist Convention.”

Jerry Pereira, who was re-elected as convention president without opposition, commented in a brief news conference that he holds to his commitment to different giving plans.

Pereira, a conservative, said he hopes the conclusion of the Plan C study does not cause division between conservatives and moderates and is dedicated to deterring disunity.

“We have modeled cooperation between the moderate expression and the conservative expression. We have worked well together and we will continue to work well together,” said Pereira, pastor of First Baptist Church in Swannanoa.

The president will report the findings during the 2003 convention.

Messengers also voted to set in place a biannual budgeting process, with a provision for convention messengers to address additional or unexpected budget needs during the off-year session. In the past, messengers adopted a budget every November for the following year.

Other approved resolutions included a recommendation for the convention to authorize the president to appoint a study committee to see how North Carolina Baptists might respond to the recent dismissal of chaplains by the North Carolina Baptist Department of Corrections.

Messengers also voiced gratitude in a resolution to North Carolina legislators for their good judgment in rejecting a lottery referendum.

Among bylaw changes approved by messengers, the Program, Place and Preacher committee was given the right to plan two years ahead, instead of only one year as currently mandated.

The convention’s general board received approval from messengers to extend the current partnership with the Alaska Baptist Convention two more years beyond the original three-year partnership, thus extending the program through December 2004. The Alaska Baptist partnership began in 2000.

Bob Foy of Mooresville was re-elected as first vice president without opposition. Foy is a layman from Peninsula Baptist Church in Mooresville.

David Horton, Greensboro, N.C., was elected second vice president without opposition. Horton is the pastor of Gate City Baptist Church, Greensboro.

Ray Benfield was re-elected as recording secretary.

Messengers adopted a $37.55 million budget for the coming year, up $1.8 million from the current budget.

Giving Plans A and D allot 32 percent to Southern Baptist Convention national and international missions and ministries. Giving Plan B allots 10 percent to the Southern Baptist Convention. Giving Plan C allots 0 percent to the Southern Baptist Convention.

Next year’s meeting will be Nov. 10-12 in Winston-Salem.

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  • Kelly Davis