The Gathering of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina
May/June 2016 â€˘ Vol. 21 Issue 3 Bringing Baptists of North Carolina Together for Christ-Centered Ministry
The Gathering of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina
phone: 336.759.3456 • phone: 888.822.1944 • fax: 336.759.3459 • firstname.lastname@example.org • www.cbfnc.org
Larry Hovis ............... Executive Coordinator....................... LHovis@cbfnc.org
Eddie Hammett ....Church and Clergy Coach.......... EHammett@cbfnc.org
Ka’thy Gore Chappell.... Leadership Development Coordinator.... KChappell@cbfnc.org
Javier Benitez ......Hispanic Network Leader Coach... Rocafuerte90@hotmail.com
Rick Jordan ............... Church Resources Coordinator............. RJordan@cbfnc.org
Rebekah Ayers .... Programs Manager................... RAyers@cbfnc.org
Linda Jones .............. Missions Coordinator......................... LJones@cbfnc.org
Sarah Mitchell ..... Communications Manager......... SMitchell@cbfnc.org
Jim Hylton ................ Business Administration Coordinator.... JHylton@cbfnc.org
Gail McAlister ..... Financial Manager................... GMcalister@cbfnc.org
Wanda Kidd................ Collegiate Engagement Coordinator...... WKidd@cbfnc.org
Regional Coordinators Western: Gail Coulter .............................. Foothills: David Smith ............................. Triad: Bill Leathers ................................. South Central: Drag Kimrey ......................
email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Ministerial Transitions Facilitators Western: Terry Hamrick ............................ email@example.com Central: Jack Causey ............................... firstname.lastname@example.org
CBFNC College Ministers Curtis Privette............. Appalachian.................... email@example.com Danny Steis ............... Duke University .............. firstname.lastname@example.org Lawrence Powers......... East Carolina................... email@example.com
Coordinating Council Lisa Rust, Moderator Doug Murray, Moderator-elect Ray Ammons, Past Moderator Heather Folliard, Recorder Mike Queen, Treasurer Kathy Driver Jeff Mathis Nancy Baxley Wayne Hill Beth Thompson Andy Jung Shane Nixon Mary Cunningham Collegiate Ministry Team Seth Asbill Renee Pouloit Bridges Lee Colbert Kevin Moore Ashley Mangrum Tommy Justus Trey Davis
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North Central: Randy Carter ....................... firstname.lastname@example.org Capital: Tom Jackson ............................... email@example.com Triangle North: Ron Cava .......................... firstname.lastname@example.org Southeast: Mike Johnson .......................... email@example.com Northeast: Jesse Croom ............................ firstname.lastname@example.org
Southeast: Mike Queen ................................ email@example.com Northeast: Michael Cogdill ........................... firstname.lastname@example.org
Molly Brummett Wudel...... UNC Chapel Hill .............. email@example.com Adam Horton................... UNC-Greensboro............... firstname.lastname@example.org David Stone.................... Western North Carolina...... email@example.com Chris Towles ................... Wake Forest..................... firstname.lastname@example.org
Faith Formation Ministry Council Barbara Glasgow, Chair Scott Thrailkill, Chair-Elect Giles Blankenship Louisa Monroe Ward Susan McConnell Kay Smith Matt Roberts Jayne Davis David Jordan Leadership Development Ministry Council Kheresa Harmon, Chair John Daniels, Chair-Elect Jerry Chiles Neil Westbrook Nathan Rice Jeanell Cox Leah Reed Stacey Grimm Garin Hill Nelson Granade
Missions Ministry Council Paula McCosh, Chair Greg Burriss, Chair-elect Mike Womble Mason Smith Sara Lamkin Kent Cranford Christa Warise Paul Burgess Linda Winslow Donna Bissette Endowment Management Board Austin Connors Scott Hudgins Andrew Barnhill Norman Jameson Elizabeth Edwards
at home and play
by Larry Hovis, CBFNC Executive Coordinator If you spend much time talking to church leaders, eventually the conversation turns to changing attendance patterns. Historically, our primary metric to describe our churches and measure our effectiveness has been Sunday morning attendance. Here are two recent conversations I’ve had with pastor friends: Pastor 1 – “It used to be that an active church member came three times a week. Now they consider themselves to be active if they attend once a month, and they only give when they come!” Pastor 2 – “We’re blessed to be adding more new members than those we lose by death or transfer. My pastoral care load has increased, but average weekly attendance is slightly down. Then we started counting how many different folks attend in a month and we discovered we’re actually ministering to more people than ever.” There are many reasons folks don’t attend church services and programs as often as they used to. Here are a few: Work – More people in the U.S. today work non-traditional hours (including Sundays) than work traditional hours (MondayFriday, 8am-5pm). Aging Parents – Fewer people live near their aging parents, so they hire caregivers during the week and travel to provide care to their parents on weekends.
as you g 2016-2017 Annual Theme
... As you go, disciple people in all nations ...
Matthew 28:19, ISV
Traditionally, we Baptists have held a special affection for the verses concluding the Gospel of Matthew. Most translations render Matthew 28:19 as an imperative, “Go ye therefore…” However, it is not an imperative, but a participle. A more proper translation would be, “Going,” or, as rendered by the International Standard Version, “As you go.” We believe there is a connection between this understanding of the Great Commission and CBFNC’s 2016-2017 annual theme, based on the “Empowering Laity” annual focus from our 20th Anniversary Vision Statement. This year, we will ask the questions, “How can this ministry help CBFNC as a whole, as well as its constituent parts (individuals, congregations, partners) better nurture and equip one another, to be and make disciples of Christ in the world? How can we participate in the mission of God, not only when we are gathered together, or even participating in church-sponsored mission activities, but as we go about our lives in work, play, family, and community?”
Grandchildren – Fewer people live near their adult children, so they travel on weekends to spend time with them and their grandchildren (and sometimes care for grandchildren while the parents work on weekends). Vacation Homes – Church members who have the means own vacation homes in resort areas and spend weekends in those places. Sports – People are invested in their favorite sports teams and, during the season, spend time at games supporting those teams. Children’s activities – Children’s activities, such as sports and arts programs, take more time (including Sundays) and sometimes involve travel out of town on weekends. Entire families can often be found on the sidelines or in the audience.
Our normal response is to wring our hands and lament the lack of commitment to God exhibited by these folks, especially when it appears that leisure activities win out over church involvement. That approach rarely changes anyone’s behavior. Another response would be to recognize that attendance patterns may be in a state of permanent transition and try to re-frame the situation in a way that is positive for these members, the church, and the Kingdom. Though the possibilities will vary from church to church and from person to person (depending on the reason for their infrequent attendance), here are some ideas churches might try: Commission them as missionaries – For church members who will be spending a significant amount of time with other groups of people (ball teams, dance schools, tailgaters, resort communities), officially send them out as representatives of the church to these people groups. Remind them that they are the presence of Christ as they move among them. Encourage them to seek out ways to minister to the adults and children with whom they relate. Support them in those efforts. Form non-campus-based faith formation groups – Even though people may not be sitting in Sunday School classes, the church can still guide their spiritual formation. Provide print and/or online devotional, Bible study, or spiritual reading materials. Set up groups via e-mail or social media to ask good questions and invite responses to common readings. Share prayer requests. Consider convening groups via audio or video conference calls at mutually convenient times for study, conversation, and prayer. Create space for sharing and reporting – Even folks who spend many Sundays away from church services and programs usually attend occasionally. Allow time for these “missionaries” to tell about the fruits of their mission work and how God is working in their lives and the lives of those with whom they seek to minister. What ideas can you think of to help form the faith and empower the mission of church members who spend a great deal of their leisure time outside the activities of the church? How can your church re-frame changing attendance patterns from a negative situation to a positive one? The Gathering – May/June 2016 • 3
art of hospitality to college students by Wanda Kidd, CBFNC Collegiate Engagement Coordinator
The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God. Leviticus 19:34 (NIV) Ironically, we often seem reluctant to share with family and friends how important they are to us. We tell others, but often we do not express it to them directly. I have found that to be particularly true with college students and how they feel about their home church. As a campus minister, I have heard more stories than you can imagine about how special their home church is to them and how concerned they are about events going on back home. They appreciate the kindness that is shown to them in ways I am sure they never express to you all. That is why I wanted to say thank you to their churches on their behalf and to encourage you to continue to be the presence of Christ to these young people in a time of tremendous upheaval and transition.
How to share hospitality with your students: • I nvite the students who are home for the summer to your home for a meal or a Bible study group. • W hen you or a group from your church goes near a campus where one of your homegrown students is in college, invite them out to dinner. • S end them a card that says you are thinking about them. • I f your church has a newsletter, include your students on the mailing list. • A sk them to Skype with a youth group to talk about things they wish they had known before they went to college. Provide them with a list of questions before the event. • I nvite them to go and provide them with a specific role on a mission trip or weekend retreat (that trip could for children, youth, or seniors). • I f there is a group that is home for summer or Christmas, include them in worship or other ministries. • I f they take a trip, invite them to share about their trip through spoken word or print. • P ut up a map on a bulletin board with a pin locating all of your students. Pray for them regularly.
How churches near residential campuses connect with students: An adult Sunday School class chose to cheer on a college team whose sporting events were not wellattended and showed up for every home game. Before long, the student-athletes and the coaches began to notice and a friendship resulted in shared meals, and eventually some church attendance occurred. The church attendance was a result of relationships, not the other way around. One church opened their sanctuary for students to have a place to practice for juried recitals. This has grown into a musical event where church and community members are invited to hear amazing concerts and share refreshments. Their hospitality has allowed for a watch/care relationship between this congregation and the students. For years, two women from a local church have opened their home to provide lunch for students attending a local college. It is a tradition that provides students with a place to eat a homecooked meal and have great conversation. Not all of the students attend the church, but these women have built a culture of community that they attribute to their faith and their church.
Most of these ministries are laity driven and student appreciated. These are just a sampling of ways we can invest in young adult lives through hospitality. Hospitality is an investment; it is not a bottom-line business approach to ministry. It is a missional Kingdom kindness that provides a place for conversations about faith, where one invitation often leads to other opportunities for cross-generational community. Tell us your story.
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act of service
by Sarah Sholar, Belmont University student
An “as you go” Christian is one whose faith infuses all they do. Recently, the Faith Formation Ministry Council members collected stories of lay persons who demonstrate this lifestyle. The following is an excerpt from a sermon given at First, Morganton, by church member Sarah Sholar, a student at Belmont University. When I hear the word “servant,” my mind automatically jumps to someone working in an impoverished neighborhood or a third-world country, supplying people with resources they need and spreading the love of God that way. Over the past few months, I’ve been focusing on altering that thought process and allowing myself to serve God where I am. In a dimly lit classroom on the third floor of the Wedgewood Academic Center, I practiced an act of service that I was unfamiliar with. For the first eight weeks of college, I was enrolled in a class called “Understanding the Bible” that met on Tuesday nights from 5:30-9:30. That alone is enough to knock someone out, put them in a terrible mood, or both. I reluctantly dragged myself to class the first week and was one of the first people there. The class steadily filled up, and at 5:30 on the dot, a 40-some-year-old man rushed in and took the last open seat, which was to the left of me. Dr. Thomas Russel, a preacher and adjunct professor, began by giving us some basic information on the class and then asked that we share if we were familiar with the Bible, but only if we were willing to share. Several “yeses” and a few “I’ve been to church a couple times” were shared before he reached the man next to me. “No. I’m not. I mean, I’ve heard a few of the stories. But it’s just a little too far-fetched for me.” I’m not going to lie – that was a little scary to hear. I’ve met the occasional person who doesn’t have a deep-rooted belief in God, but I can’t recall many people that I’ve talked to who just flat out have had no belief in the Bible. I, of course, had to answer next. I said that I was very familiar with it and had been raised with church being a huge part of my life. Soon after, we had to pair off to work on an assignment: each pair was given part of Genesis to read, reflect on, and report back to the class on its meaning. I’m sure you can guess who my partner was. I was intimidated and worried about what he was going to say. Was he going to try to break down my religion? What if he asked me something I didn’t know the answer to? We got straight to work. He asked me how the layout of the Bible worked – what was the difference in a chapter and a verse? What did the different books mean? What was the Old Testament? These are things most of us have been taught since birth, yet this man knew none of it. I explained it all to him, step-by-step. Over the next seven weeks, we paired up together several times. Each week, he grasped the layout of the Bible a little better. He started understanding the words printed on the page. The last time we worked together, I didn’t have to help him find the book of Ephesians – he found it on his own, without using the contents page at the front of his Bible. On the last night of class, we went around and shared what we had learned during our time in this class. When it was time for him to share, he said something along the lines of, “Now I actually know what’s in the Bible. A lot of it was inspirational to me and I can see why people study it and use it to worship. I can connect it to my life now.” I don’t know what his religious beliefs are now. I don’t know if he has tried a church, or if he has even picked up a Bible since the last day of class. But I do know that I can be a servant where I am. Being a servant means putting others above yourself, being unselfish, and losing your life in service to God. Spending time with that student helped me see that there is more than one way to be a servant. I don’t have to travel the world to serve God – I can do it in a classroom. I challenge you to accept the challenge I’m taking: to be a servant of God wherever we are and to praise him in everything that we do.
I can be a servant where I am.
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beloved 2016 Gathering
community: clarifying identity and covenant March 18, 2016 Hayes Barton, Raleigh
2016 Gathering attendees shared these thoughts: My favorite moment was the encouragement of “amens” and “preach it brother” that I heard from the diverse attendees during the final worship session. —Sam Harrell, workshop leader
My 2-year-old son had so much fun at the Assembly. He made a cape and other awesome crafts while learning that God helps him be strong, even though he is little. I felt totally able to focus on my participation in the conference because I knew he was having such a good time. —Rebecca Hewitt-Newson, Children’s Assembly parent
Liked my time with Larry Hovis. Always an engaging time. He gave me time to share my story in the midst of the busyness. —Ben Newell, missionary
The Gathering was a wonderful time of fellowship, worship, and learning. It was a great time to catch up with old friends and enjoy hearing the news about what CBFNC is doing. Hayes Barton was a wonderful host. —Michael Simmons, retired minister
Thanks CBFNC for the celebration for Jack and Mary Lib Causey. I am grateful for their contribution to Baptist life in this state. I first heard Jack when I was a camper at Fort Caswell, I have been in his fan club ever since. —Lou Ann Gilliam, exhibitor
My favorite moments: seeing dear FBC Wilson friends who have moved to Raleigh and are now active in Hayes Barton, and reuniting with my lost leather folder, which contained my Moderator-Elect’s report! —Doug Murray, Moderator-Elect
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I was excited about meeting new people, learning new things, and challenging myself with new ideas. Two of the three workshops were led by adults under 30. They were so poised, confident and knowledgeable about their topics. I learned so much! —Susan McConnell, lay person
The best workshop takeaway is that both the state and the national organization keep coming up with better and better ways for churches to understand people from different backgrounds. —Ryan Clark, workshop leader
Over the course of the day, we served hundreds of cups of coffee, talked with many friends, both new and old, and were able to engage in an important partnership through cultivating entrepreneurship and opportunity with our young adults. —Greg Jarrell, QC Family Tree
Glad to see so many old friends, former students, colleagues in ministry. —Bill Leonard, workshop leader
My favorite Gathering moment was the congregational singing during the Worship service, especially the majestic interpretation of “Holy, Holy, Holy.” My proudest moment was seeing the many and varied ministries “framed” that we might give thanks for our beloved community’s witness. —Dan Day, worship leader
I have felt so alone in my journey of military service, theological education, and call to military chaplaincy. This weekend, which is my first time attending a CBFNC Gathering and the Divinity Student Experience, has had a profound impact on my life. —Sarah Woods, divinity student
Thanks to Hayes Barton Baptist Church for all of their hard work and attention to the smallest details. They were marvelous hosts! —DuPre Sanders, workshop leader
If I had to boil down my experiences to one moment, it’s the voices of the choir from Baptist Children’s Home. The presence of the Spirit was palpable, and that moment made me tremble in its holiness. —Khersa Harmon, exhibitor
I would like to take this opportunity to tell the next host church how truly blessed you will be to experience all that CBFNC brings to you. Hayes Barton will always be thankful for the opportunity. —Debra Barrier, local arrangements photos by Leslie Wilson, Hayes Barton, Raleigh
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youth sports and the church
by Jim Hylton, CBFNC Business Administration Coordinator
Darkness had fallen as I turned out the lights to the baseball practice field. As I made my way toward my car, I thought I saw a shadowy figure in the distance sitting on one of the logs that framed the parking lot. Since I was the coach of the team, it was up to me to make sure all players had been picked up and given a ride home. As I approached, I heard a voice: “Hey Coach. You don’t have to wait for me. My mom phoned and said she’s almost here.” I recognized the voice as Josh, one of my older players. This was my first year coaching Josh, but I had learned quite a bit about his family situation from both him and some coaches who worked with him in prior years. He came from a single-parent family. His mother had an addiction problem. His father had never been seen at the baseball fields. Knowing this, I replied, “No problem, Josh. I’m not in a hurry and can wait with you or give you a ride home if necessary.” “My mom is on the way,” he repeated. “OK,” I replied. “I’ll wait with you until she arrives.” Josh was a quiet kid and had yet to look up at me, so I sat down beside him and began a conversation. “You know Josh, you will be one of our best players this year. I have observed you in practice and you have as much baseball potential as any player on our team.” He then turned his eyes toward me for the first time. “But Coach,” he said, “I’ve never really been a very good player on any of my other teams.” “Well, Josh,” I replied, “Maybe you just weren’t given the opportunity to succeed. You will get that opportunity on this team. Have you ever pitched before? You have a very good arm.” “No, Coach, I’ve never pitched. Only the really good players get to pitch. I’m not that good.” I asked, “Who told you that?” “All my other coaches,” he said. “I always play some in right field and usually bat near the bottom of the line-up.” “That’s going to change Josh,” I replied. “In our first game of the season, you will be batting lead-off and playing center field.” He sounded astonished, “Do you think I am that good, Coach?” “I know you are, Josh, and you will show everyone in this 8 • The Gathering – May/June 2016
league that you can play this game.” We continued our conversation, and after about 45 minutes Josh’s mother finally pulled up in her car to take him home. I walked over to the car and could tell she had been drinking. I hesitated and wondered if I should let Josh get in the car. But she was his mother. This reminded me that none of us know what any of our players go home to. But I knew one thing: at least on this team, Josh will be given a chance to succeed. Josh’s story is not uncommon. Coaching baseball exposes one to about every situation in life —good and bad. I have coached kids who come from all types of backgrounds. I have coached Latinos, African-Americans, Native Americans, Asians, and those of mixed races. I have coached Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and those who never set foot in a church of any kind. And often, all of this diversity is represented on the same team! Youth sports and the church: It’s become the Sunday morning dilemma in many homes across the nation. With weekend sports leagues more popular than ever, schedules have stretched into those hours that were once the exclusive domain of churches, or at least Protestant churches. I am a white male who attended an allwhite church in my youth and am a member of an all-white church today—people pretty much just like me. I too once thought Sunday mornings should be the sole possession of the church. But now I think differently. I ask myself, “Where can I help the most people, many who look different than me, some who believe different than me, but all who have the very same needs? Is it by attending an all-white church every Sunday morning or is it by coaching a diverse group of young people some Sunday mornings?” While I will always love and value the church, in this situation I’ll take coaching kids every time. To me, this is missional living. And it doesn’t have to be an either/or situation; it can be both/and. Baseball on weekends usually runs from May through October and not every Sunday. There are still many opportunities to attend church during the season and, of course, after the season ends. Also, my experience is that most kids playing weekend sports only do so for a couple of years. They either get burned out or find they no longer have the ability to compete at the higher levels. So then it becomes the parent’s responsibility to get them to church on Sundays. Oh … and back to Josh. He became one of our best hitters that year and was the winning pitcher in the league championship game. As the team celebrated, I’ll never forget the look in his eyes.
by Ka’thy Chappell, CBFNC Leadership Development Coordinator
What does serving together and missional living look like for you, your family, your community? Personal service and empowering others to live a life of service can look different for folks based on respective strengths, context, and experience. It often requires evaluation and creative thinking. Most importantly, missional living requires prayer and discernment for God’s call on your life. In an effort to prompt fresh thinking about empowering laity for missional living, we are featuring several lay families who serve together in mission projects, recreation, and more. As you read their stories, be encouraged to search for and discover your own unique opportunities for serving together.
Discovering Opportunities for Missional Living
The Wilson family
Missional Living with Young Children Dee Edwards Belvin
Tricia Wilson A graduate of Wake Forest University, Tricia is originally from Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Tricia is married to Mark, and they have five children. You can read more about Tricia, her family, and their experiences with missional living in Raleigh at her blog, inpursuitofatoolbox.com. With our three boys who are now grown men, we enjoyed being hosts for Wake County Interfaith Housing Network. We would sometimes bring a meal and hang out and play with the kids. With our girls who are now adolescents, we are in the process of figuring out the best place to serve. It looks like we may land at Raleigh’s Ruth Sheets Center, a day care for senior adults with memory issues. Writing this has pushed me to take the next step and move toward making it happen. With our girls, we will probably commit to two of us being present once or twice a month as we have to be realistic about time and energy.
Originally from Asheboro, Dee is a graduate of Meredith College in Raleigh and has been married to Brian since 2008. Dee and Brian live in Knightdale and have three young boys. Right now, all of our service is within the church. Brian serves as a worship leader in the praise band, and I’m our children’s minister. So, oftentimes, our boys are serving by assisting Mom and Dad … by being the first ones at church, helping to set up chairs, place supplies where needed, by attending both of our worship services, and being the last ones out of the door with me. We’re still figuring out other ways they can have more hands-on service as a 6- and 4-year-old. We’ll give our baby a chance to learn to walk before he helps!
Missional Living & Friday Night Lights Tracey Salter Leary Currently living in Richlands, Tracey is originally from Pink Hill. Tracy earned an undergrad degree from Meredith College, received an MBA from Campbell University, and is a business professional. She is married to high school football coach, Eric, and they have two children. When Eric and I married, we knew that his career as a public school educator would drive how we lived out the Gospel practically. While we have considered mission work outside the public education arena, God has always made it abundantly clear where our family gifts can best be used. So, we love, we feed, we resource to Fellowship of Christian Athletes, we disciple, we support coaching staff and players, we celebrate significant life events, we pray, we are present. And, because our two children have grown up around high school athletics following a Dad who seeks to be a Jesus-follower, they do not consider serving others as mission work. It’s just what we do! The Gathering – May/June 2016 • 9
CBFNC Financial Report:
February 2016 Contributions Undesignated - $110,793 Designated - $249,452 March 2016 Contributions Undesignated - $87,041 Designated - $144,780
CBFNC Honorary and Memorial Gifts Karen Burnette McCracken, Almond; Offering for Global Missions in honor of Jack Causey
April 2015 - March 2016 Monthly Undesignated Goal: $117,447
Donate to CBFNC today! www.cbfnc.org/give
Choose a particular ministry, our Mission & Ministry Offering, or undesignated.
Take a look at CBFNC’s blog,
Thoughts from across our state ... cbfnc.wordpress.com.
Would you like to contribute? E-mail email@example.com.
Coordinator Visits February 2016 - March 2016 Ministers on the Move
Compiled by Jack Causey, Ministerial Resources Coordinator
Our encouragement and support go to the following ministers who have recently moved:
Benson, Benson Calvary, Mount Airy Emerywood, High Point First, Elon First, Gastonia
First Baptist Church of New Bern has called Richard Seagle as Pastor
Chase Robinson has been called to Sandy Plains Baptist Church of Shelby as Pastor
Nathan Morton has been called to Elizabethtown Baptist Church as Pastor Bob Stillerman is now serving as Pastor of Sardis Baptist Church in Charlotte
First, North Wilkesboro Forest Hills, Raleigh Hayes Barton, Raleigh Hester, Oxford Nobles Chapel, Simms Peace Haven, Winston Salem
When you make a move or know of someone who has changed places of ministry, let us know by e-mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. For assistance to search committees and ministers seeking vocational discernment, visit our reference and referral page on our website at www.cbfnc.org or call (336) 759-3456 or (888) 822-1944.
10 • The Gathering – May/June 2016
Providence, Charlotte Watts Street, Durham West Side, Winston Salem CBFNC ministry coordinators are available to visit your church to speak, preach, teach, consult, lead and minister in ways appropriate to your context. Contact the CBFNC office for more information.
by Jennie Counts and Joel Campbell, First, High Point
When you enter the doors of this turnaround church, you feel the difference—you are enveloped in this place where you can worship, pray, be comforted, discover and use your God-given gifts. It wasn’t always so. This church needed a spark to ignite the flame of purpose and calling for the church and its people. Thus began the turnaround for First, High Point. Dr. Joel Campbell began his ministry at First, High Point, on February 22, 2015, diving headlong into church activities with energy, enthusiasm, and dedication. The desire to be God’s servant is contagious and the congregation eagerly embraced new ideas with vigor and excitement. The church celebrated its 190th Anniversary on September 13 with more than 400 gathered for worship and lunch. Other services have had well over 200 in attendance. To date, there have been 34 new members added and four baptisms. Weekly worship attendance has increased from in the 70s to more than 140. Wednesday night supper and Bible study have been reinstated, averaging 45 in attendance. Vacation Bible School attendance grew from 45 to more than 100. Youth attendance increased from 2-3 youth 12 months ago to 12-16 regularly participating. The church exceeded budget requirement (first time in 11 years) of $440,000 in 2015. “I feel like our involvement and renewed commitment to the High Point community has allowed us to enjoy these recent milestones,” said Joel Campbell. “If we’d written a fairy tale for what we wanted 2015 to look like, God’s plan for us ended up being better than we could have ever scripted ourselves.” These measurable comparisons indicate growth in numbers. Outreach has been another strong indicator of the health of the church. The church reinstated Operation Christmas Child, praying over shoe boxes, and sending a delegation of 20 to Charlotte to work at the distribution center. Members gave gifts to many children whose names were on the Angel Tree. The church partnered with the YWCA to provide space for Joel Campbell (in white) and members of First, High Point. children’s summer activities. Community involvement included hosting Crop Walk and Hope Day for High Point as well as a church volunteer work day with a Habitat House, Restore, and other missions. YWCA recognized First, High Point, with their Good Friend of the Community Award. State-of-the-art signage is in place to welcome visitors and draw awareness to church activities. The Not A Fan Bible study was presented church-wide and to the larger community weekly. Above all, God’s people worship and fellowship, commemorating special days and seasons—Lent, Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Advent, Valentine Banquet, Christmas banquet, and autumn picnic. The church will continue to focus on outreach in 2016. Where they are going is yet to be revealed, but they know that with total dependence on God’s purpose and plan, they will grow and discover ways to be the Church. If my people who are called by my Name humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land. I Chronicles 7:14
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Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina Bringing Baptists of North Carolina Together for Christ-Centered Ministry 8025 North Point Blvd., Suite 205 Winston-Salem, NC 27106
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Upcoming Events ~ MAY/JUNE EDITION Looking Through the Lens of Jesus May 1, 2016 Mountain Grove, Hickory Companerismo Cristiano Emanuel - Mother/Daughter Fellowship May 21, 2016 Falls Lake, Durham
Companerismo Cristiano Emanuel - Family Retreat June 18, 2016 Iglesia Bautista La Roca, Raleigh
CAM 503 - Coaching Change, Transition and Transformation August 22-23, 2016 CBFNC offices, Winston-Salem
CBF Global’s General Assembly June 20-24, 2016 Koury Convention Center, Greensboro
Companerismo Cristiano Emanuel - Youth Camp August 26-28, 2016 Dixie Camp, Fayetteville
Establishing a Dynamic Coaching Relationship (502) May 23-24, 2016 Christmount
Companerismo Cristiano Emanuel - Children’s Camp July 16-17, 2016 Dixie Camp, Fayetteville
Companerismo Cristiano Emanuel - Men’s Retreat May 27-28, 2016 Quaker Lake Camp
Companerismo Cristiano Emanuel - Women’s Retreat July 29-31, 2016 Ridgecrest
2016 Elevating Preaching October 3, 2016 Campbell Divinity School, Buies Creek Fall Youth Beach Retreat October 7-9, 2016 Caswell