The Gathering CBFNC Newsletter - March–April 2020

Page 1



of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina March/April 2020

Vol. 25 Issue 2

Embracing Kingdom

Community Learn more on pages 5–8.




Small Churches, Strong Churches


by Larry Hovis | CBFNC Executive Coordinator

received my first call to pastor a church in a small congregation in rural Virginia. It was during 1987, which was a time of personal milestones and monumental change for my family and me. We experienced the following: • • • • •

As CBFNC seeks to equip churches for the times in which we now live and minister, I pray we might value and strengthen all churches, regardless of their size.

My ordination to the Gospel Ministry. My sister’s graduation from college. My graduation from seminary. My marriage to Kim. Our move from Raleigh to pastor Washington Baptist Church in rural Washington, Virginia.

Needless to say, it was a big year! During our time in Raleigh, First Baptist had become integral in our lives. Kim served as the Minister of Youth and College. It was my “home” church in college and for much of seminary. It was the church where I experienced the call to ministry. In many ways, it was our ideal church. Life changed drastically when we moved to Washington, Virginia. Though only 66 miles from the other, more well-known Washington, it was like stepping back in time. There were no grocery stores or traffic lights there. With a population of only 200, the town was miniscule compared to the urban area we left. At that time, Washington Baptist Church’s facilities consisted of a sanctuary, four Sunday School rooms, and a very small kitchen and fellowship hall. When I got there, the church only met on Sunday mornings; there were no Sunday night or Wednesday night services or programs. At first, I thought it was my job to bring them up-todate and lead them to adopt all of the basic SBC church programs. Unconsciously I was trying to turn them into First, Raleigh. That wasn’t fair to that wonderful congregation because they had strengths that were unique to their particular context and identity.

What is a small church? Back in 1983, Alban Institute’s Arlin Rothauge developed a typology based on average Sunday morning worship attendance. For many years, it was the popular way to measure church size. 2 | The Gathering

March/April 2020

Rothauge described the four types of churches by attendance: • • • •

the Family Church (less than 50) the Pastoral Church (50-150) the Program Church (150-350) the Corporate Church (350-500).

Gallup has reported that less than half of all churches see more than 100 worshippers in a weekend. God must love small churches because there are so many of them! CBFNC doesn’t collect precise statistical data on partner churches. Our staff travels all over NC to preach in and visit our partner churches. Our partner churches are east, west and central, though a majority lie between I-95 and I-77. There is a good balance between urban, rural and suburban, with the largest category (approximately 40%) being “First Baptist” or its equivalent. The majority of churches we visit have less than 100 in worship on an average Sunday, with the next largest group having between 100-200. Only a relatively small percentage of our partner churches would experience more than 200 in worship, except for special occasions. So according to the metric of average Sunday morning attendance, CBFNC is a fellowship of mostly small to medium-sized churches. Like God, I too love small churches and believe they offer the following strengths:

Small Churches, Strong Churches Relationships Small churches are like the TV sit-com, “Cheers.” They are a place “where everybody knows your name.” They encourage building relationships with people of different ages, life stages and viewpoints.

Leadership and Service I was once a member of a large church where I had few opportunities to exercise leadership. I was rarely invited to teach, serve on committees, or as deacon. In small churches, there is a job for everyone and often more than one.

Rootedness Small churches, especially those located in small communities, have strong connections between the church and community. Pastors of those churches are also natural community leaders. Their ministries extend far beyond the members of their congregation.

Intergenerational While small churches might not have large youth programs, they provide an opportunity for young people to develop meaningful relationships with other

generations. In high school, I was a member of the adult choir of my home church and was mentored by older adults.

Model for the Future There is widespread recognition that the program church model encouraged by denominational bodies in the mid-to-late 20th century no longer works in our timestarved culture. We must learn to make disciples through intentional relationships; not by teaching classes and offering programs multiple times per week on the church campus. Small churches have always known this and have much to teach larger churches that have depended on programs for discipleship development. I think I would be a much better pastor for Washington Baptist Church today than I was three decades ago. I would value them for who they are and seek to build on their strengths rather than try to re-shape them into a mold of something they had neither the desire, or need, to become. In this issue, we invited our CBFNC partners at the Campbell University Center for Church and Community to be guest writers for our focus on small, rural churches. Read their stories and insights on the pages that follow.

March/April 2020

The Gathering | 3

Reaching Into Rural Areas


s a CBFNC higher education partner, Campbell University’s Center for Church and Community is working to help clergy, churches and communities in rural areas thrive. The Center for Church and Community exists to help churches and clergy in small and rural towns reach the vision God has given them for their community. As stated in the Center’s mission, thriving clergy are needed to create thriving congregations and thriving congregations are needed to create thriving communities. Clergy have always worn many hats within their churches and communities–problem solver, counselor, teacher and manager, in addition to offering emotional support and being the spiritual leader. They often carry much of their congregation’s and community’s burdens. There is seldom a lull in the flow of their ministry work, which results in little to no down time. This can leave them feeling overwhelmed, affecting their health, work-life balance and overall well-being. By reaching out to peers in their communities and mentors who share the same experiences, clergy are able to combat some of these struggles. Rural clergy, however, often feel more isolated and do not have the same resources available to offer the same emotional support and feedback as those in larger cities.

4 | The Gathering

March/April 2020

By Dr. Brian Foreman Executive Director of the Center for Church and Community at Campbell University

Realizing this need, Campbell’s Center for Church & Community launched the Fellowship for Clergy in Rural and Underserved Areas in September 2019. This 12-month cohort is designed to: • • • • •

connect clergy from rural and small towns engage them in quarterly gatherings cultivate friendships foster spiritual growth and well-being and provide resources so their ministries and communities can thrive and flourish.

In the initial cohort, 17 clergy from North Carolina and Virginia began the journey together. These clergy represent white and African-American traditions, female and male clergy, bi-vocational and full-time clergy, as well as several ecumenical traditions. As one might imagine, that incorporates a robust theological diversity into the room as well. But these clergy members see that as a gift and opportunity to learn through listening, and to develop friendships across labels that are often used to divide. Being in rich friendships in a controlled environment like the Fellows gives clergy the confidence and understanding of why these relationships must be fostered in their own community with other clergy and community leaders.

CBFNC ANNUAL GATHERING Trinity Baptist Church | Raleigh

Thursday, March 19–Saturday, March 21

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS THURSDAY, MARCH 19 Leadership Institute 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.

“Pastor Paul” with Dr. Scot McKnight

Being a pastor is a complicated calling. Pastors are often pulled in multiple directions and must “become all things to all people” (1 Cor. 9:22). What does the New Testament say (or not say) about the pastoral calling? And what can we learn about it from the Apostle Paul? Join Dr. Scot McKnight as he explores seven dimensions that illustrate a pastor’s central calling. Dr. McKnight is a world-renowned speaker, writer, professor and equipper of the Church.

Enjoying Kingdom Community 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.


The Garden on Millbrook

Join us at The Garden on Millbrook for an evening with CBFers from across the state while enjoying heavy hors d’oeuvres and music featuring Black Water Rhythm and Blues Band. Based out of Clarkton, NC, the Black Water Band is in their 10th year of playing a mix of top 40, blues, funk and country. The band is renowned for its energetic performances and its knack for making every event a party experience.

FRIDAY, MARCH 20 Registration, Exhibit Hall and Living Water Café Opens 8:00 a.m. | On-site registration will be available. Session One Workshops* 9:00–10:30 a.m. Opening Worship 10:45 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Featuring pastors Paul Anderson and Randy McKinney. Lunch 12:00–1:30 p.m. Lunches must be purchased during pre-registration. No lunches will be sold on-site. There are many restaurants in the area if you would like to leave campus. Session Two Workshops* 1:30–2:30 p.m. Session Three Workshops* 3:00–4:00 p.m. Annual Business Meeting 4:15–5:00 p.m.

Dinner 5:00–6:30 p.m. Dinners must be purchased during pre-registration. No dinners will be sold on-site. There are many restaurants in the area if you would like to leave campus. Closing Worship 6:30–7:30 p.m. Featuring Jerusha Neal, professor at Duke Divinity School, and the Chowan University Choir.


Racial Equity Workshop 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

*See a list of session workshops available on Friday on page 8.


The Gathering | 5

to the blind, to let the oppressed

to the captives and recovery of sight

He has sent me to proclaim release

good news to the poor.

because he has anointed me to bring

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,

Thursday, March 19– Saturday, March 21, 2020

Trinity Baptist Church | Raleigh



March 19, 2020




Join Us in March for Our

Professor Jerusha Matsen Neal is the Assistant Professor of Homiletics at Duke Divinity School


The Black Water Band


Scot McKnight is the Julius R. Mantey Chair of New Testament at Northern Seminary.


Lord’s favor. ­— Luke 4:18-19

go free, to proclaim the year of the


March 21, 2020


March 20, 2020


at The Garden on Millbrook

CBFNC ANNUAL GATHERING | Friday Workshops Session 1 | 9:00–10:30 a.m. What is the Gospel? Second Thoughts from the Fourth Quarter (Dan Day) More Than a Story: Preaching Sermons Marked by Resurrection (Jerusha Matsen Neal) n Tour of Welcome House and Community Apartment Ministries (Marc & Kim Wyatt) n Asset Based Ministry: A Panel of Congregational Stories (John Daniels, Leah Reed, Greg Rogers, Tyler Tankersley, facilitator) n An Introduction to Enneagram (Melody & Sam Harrell) n CBF 101: Everything You’ve Always Wanted to Know About CBFNC & CBF (Larry Hovis & CBFNC Staff/Leaders) n Guiding Your Church to Welcome and Include LGBTQ (Mack Dennis & Tommy Bratton) n n

Session 2 | 1:30–2:30 p.m. n n n n n n n n n n n

How Young People Develop a Sense of Identity, Belonging and Purpose (Andy Jung) The Importance of Community: Stories from Oak City Cares and A Place at the Table (Kathy Johnson & Maggie Kane) Jesus' Paradigmatic Sermon - Luke 4 (Jim McConnell) Helping Pastors Thrive: Opportunities for Enhancing Pastoral Identity and Leadership (Scott Hudgins) Enhancing Congregational Health from the Bottom Up (Chris Gambill & Beth Kennett) Implicit Bias and Microaggressions in Ministry (Amy Canosa) If We're in Christ, We're in this Together! (Regelyn Edwards) Beyond Locking the Doors: Making Your Church a Safer Place (Paul Raybon) Clergy Personal Finance: Maximizing Your Financial Health Now and in the Future (Jerry Whitley and Matt Henley) CBFNC Business Matters (CBFNC Staff & Council Leaders) Encourager Church: What, Who, Why and How? (Ellen Sechrest)

Session 3 | 3:00–4:00 p.m. n n n n n n n n n n n

Faith at Home (Katie Medlin) Redirection - ReEntry (Stephanie Treadway) The Four Senses of Scripture: Retrieving an Ancient Model of Theological Interpretation (Barry Jones) Mental Health Stigma and the Church (Nathan Blake & Chad Reed) What is Your "Why?" (Chris Gambill & Beth Kennett) Casa Venezuela: Awareness and Action (Rafael Hernandez) Lead With Purpose: Vocation Embodied in Beloved Communities (Colin Kroll) Ministerial Transitions: Challenges and Opportunities (Bill Wilson & Matt Cook) Taking a Trauma Informed Care Approach (Amy Canosa) 5 Keys to Retiring Fearlessly (Scott Ferguson) The Unique Ministry of Podcasting (Paul Burgess)

Let’s Celebrate Rick Jordan!

Hotel & Childcare Information Childcare is provided for children from birth to 5th grade. Children's Gathering will run Embassy Suites by Hilton Friday, March 20 from 8:00 a.m. 4700 Creedmoor Road through 5:00 p.m. and 919.881.0000 6:00 through 7:45 p.m. CBFNC Block Room Rate: $109/night 8 | The Gathering

March/April 2020

Please join the CBFNC family during our 2020 Annual Gathering to celebrate Rick Jordan’s retirement. The celebration will take place Thursday evening during our Enjoying Kingdom Community time. We hope to see you there!


Challenges and Opportunities Facing Rural Churches


ncreasingly, alarm is raised about rural churches and rural communities facing dire futures due to the allure of large cities and amenities offered to young people. Whether true or not, the prophecy often becomes selffulfilling for many churches. I recently spoke with a church member in Bertie County who swelled with pride as she described the growth in her church, primarily of young families. The

By Dr. Brian Foreman | Executive Director of the Center for Church and Community at Campbell University

beautiful expression of church, but it puts the church at risk when one group has the power. The final challenge is perspective--considering new definitions of success and potential. What metric does the Bible offer to measure success? What other measures could be used to demonstrate a thriving congregation? What is the rural church to do? Consider the three possibilities below:

IF A NEW WORLD IS FORMING, WHY ISN’T YOUR CONGREGATION HELPING TO SHAPE IT? YOU ARE NOT CALLED TO CHANGE AMERICA OR GLOBAL POLITICS, BUT YOU MIGHT JUST BE CALLED TO RESHAPE YOUR COMMUNITY. joyous story was tempered by what she said next about celebrating their high school graduates as they prepared to leave for college. “We blessed them to leave, asking only that they come back to tell other children how they can leave here too,” she said. What is driving this narrative? First, there is a cultural context that the church at large is dying. The same is said about rural towns in America. But what if both of these are hyperbole? Some churches are closing because the town is dying. Some are closing because they have lost their relevance. Some are closing because organizations have life cycles. A second challenge is that many rural churches are caught in an unhealthy form of the family-driven church-ones in which family connectivity runs deep. You know the type where you have to be careful what you say about someone because the person with whom you are talking might be related to them. The family church is a

Save the Date! September 25–27, 2020 | Fort Caswell

CBFNC Youth Beach Retreat

1. Redefine Success: Success needs to be defined in terms of spiritual formation, not budgets, attendance or median age of membership. 2. Deepen the Connection Between Church And Community: If a new world is forming, why isn’t your congregation helping to shape it? You are not called to change America or global politics, but you might just be called to reshape your community. Clergy can accelerate this process by getting to know community leaders. Have breakfast at the local McDonald’s. Find a coffee shop or diner to keep office hours in. Volunteer at the schools, non-profits, or (gasp!) other churches’ community events. Build collaborative opportunities. 3. Know and Build on Your Context: When discussing rural America, the late Neal Peirce, columnist with The Washington Post, offers three important starting points for rural communities. These are three places in which congregations should participate: • First, support your legacy by keeping working lands (farms, forests, mines) viable and by conservation. • Second, help existing communities by preserving and investing in such historic mainstays like small-town Main Streets. • Third, create neighborhoods and communities so attractive that young people won’t want to leave. What possibilities does your congregation and community need? What could God be leading you, corporately and individually, to do? March/April 2020

The Gathering | 9


(B.A. Campbell University, M.Div. Campbell University Divinity School) Jonathan has been working in vocational ministry in North Carolina since 2010, serving in several different rural churches. For the last year and a half he has been the pastor at Lamberth Memorial Baptist Church in Roxboro, a place where he has confirmed his calling to rural ministry and rediscovered deep purpose in his life. “When people invite me into their homes and share their lives and their sacred space with me—I rediscover my purpose,” he said. Rural churches often experience high pastor turnover because their ministers— especially young, gifted ones like Jonathan— move on quickly to faster-paced ministry often found in bigger congregations. However, Jonathan says he enjoys life in his rural congregation with the slower pace, the authenticity of his congregants, and the pride they take in their history and heritage. Jonathan sees himself ministering in Lamberth for many years to come. He believes that his purpose is not only to help his own rural congregation find God’s calling, but also to become a voice that champions all rural churches and their purpose in God’s kingdom. “It is my prayer that God will use my ministry here to show these folks that they are not just a training grounds, preparing ministers for the next big thing. These people are my people— they are God’s people,” he said.

couple, it felt like coming home when the church called them in 2017. Because both Brittany and Chase have rural roots, they take great joy in sharing life with the families in their community. They participate in everything from pig pickings and tractor rides to intimate visits in homes and vigils in hospital rooms. Brittany and Chase are the first husband and wife team to fill the role of senior pastor at Nobles Chapel. But this CBFNC congregation has supported gender equality in church leadership for years. According to the Caldwells, their copastorate “Is something brand new but is also true to the identity and mission that’s long been growing at Nobles Chapel.” Brittany and Chase enjoy pastoring together in a rural setting for several reasons. Their differing gifts and perspectives complement each other, as well as create ministry balance. “In a rural setting where ministers are often isolated and resources are limited, we’re able to lead, preach, and provide pastoral care as a team. We rely on each other’s strengths and support,” said Brittany. The congregation of Nobles Church also benefits from this couple’s connective and collaborative ministry. In the words of the Caldwells, “As a ministry couple, we feel that folks are more likely to let us enter into relationships as friends and fellow believers, where discipleship can flourish, rather than always being seen only as the ‘pastor.’” The goal of Nobles Chapel is to become a welcoming family to their community; to be a church family for the whole family. Brittany and Chase’s partnership in ministry seems to be the perfect leadership style to accomplish that goal.


Campbell University’s Rural Clergy Fellows

BRITTANY AND CHASE CALDWELL Brittany Caldwell (B.S. Mississippi College, M.Div. Truett Seminary) and Chase Caldwell (B.A. Mississippi College, M. Div. Truett Seminary) This husband and wife team serve as the co-pastors at Nobles Chapel Baptist Church in Sims, NC, a small community in Wilson County. While a rural Baptist church may seem an unlikely setting for a young, co-pastoring 10 | The Gathering

March/April 2020

By Dr. Jennifer Bashaw Assistant Professor in Christian Studies and faculty for Rural Clergy Fellows Initiative at Campbell University




December 2019 – January 2020 Ardmore, Winston-Salem

Given by . . . in Honor/Memory of

College Park, Greensboro

David Ammons in memory of Cindy Vestal

First, Clemmons

Trish Boone in memory of Cindy Vestal

First, Greensboro

Susan Burnette in memory of Cindy Vestal

First, Monroe

Michelle Byrd in memory of Cindy Vestal

First, Mt. Airy

Heather Choplin in memory of Cindy Vestal

Iglesia Cristiana sin Fronteras,

Kelcy Choplin in memory of Cindy Vestal


Russell Crissman in memory of Cindy Vestal

Latino Ministry at Hope

Louise Dawson in memory of Cindy Vestal

Valley, Raleigh

Kaylee Godfrey in honor of Emily Hill McGee

McGill, Concord

Toby Gordon in memory of Mary Lib Causey

Oxford, Oxford

Bill & Rena Henderson in honor of Gail Coulter

Peace Haven, Winston-Salem

Alma Hoffman in memory of Cindy Vestal

Roxboro, Roxboro

Susan Horton in memory of Cindy Vestal

The Fountain, Raleigh

Murry Howle in memory of Cindy Vestal

Trinity, Raleigh

Andy Jarrell in memory of Cindy Vestal

Westwood, Cary

Rick Jordan in memory of Cindy Vestal Wanda Kidd in memory of Cindy Vestal

Donate to CBFNC today!

Mary Langley in memory of Cindy Vestal

Rachel Langley in memory of Cindy Vestal Amy Lin in memory of Cindy Vestal Beth Lowery in memory of Cindy Vestal Alicia Marie in memory of Cindy Vestal Harley Marlow in memory of Cindy Vestal Kay Meyer in memory of Cindy Vestal Joy Morin in memory of Cindy Vestal William Murphree in honor of Causey Fund Ronald N. in memory of Cindy Vestal Eddy NG in memory of Cindy Vestal Cathy Perkinson in memory of Cindy Vestal Betty & Carson Pittman in honor of Hillus and Peggy Conrad Tricia & Will Port in memory of Cindy Vestal Lisa Rust in honor of Marc & Kim Wyatt Rea Trim in memory of Cindy Vestal Unknown in memory of Cindy Vestal John Vestal in memory of Cindy Vestal April Walker in memory of Cindy Vestal Ann Wall in honor of Rev. Scott Hovey Kathy Watkins in memory of Cindy Vestal Richard & Betty Wynne in honor of Marc & Kim Wyatt Edna Yarborough in memory of Cindy Vestal

MINISTERS ON THE MOVE Our encouragement and support go to the following ministers who have recently moved: Jaime Fitzgerald to Park Road, Charlotte as Youth Minister Regina Johnson to First, Weaverville as Ministries Director Lawrence Powers to Benson, Benson as Pastor Kristin Woodard to Edenton, Edenton as Director of Youth and Children When you make a move or know of someone who has changed places of ministry, please send us an email: For assistance to search committees and ministers seeking vocational discernment, visit the Equip Ministers and Churches page on our website at or call us at 336.759.3456 or 888.822.1944. March/April 2020

The Gathering | 11


Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina Bringing Baptists of North Carolina Together for Christ-Centered Ministry 2640 Reynolda Road Winston-Salem, NC 27106


Return Service Requested

Upcoming Events MARCH

CBFNC Annual Gathering March 19–21 Trinity, Raleigh


Helping Pastors Thrive Workshop Retreat TBA St. Francis Springs, Stoneville


CBF 2020 General Assembly June 22–27 Atlanta, GA


Growing in Grace Training August 14–15 First, Greensboro


CBFNC Youth Beach Retreat September 25–27 Fort Caswell


Helping Pastors Thrive Workshop Retreat October 5–6 St. Francis Springs, Stoneville

CBF Annual N C Gathering Embracing Kingdom Community Trinity Baptist Church, Raleigh Thursday, March 19 – Saturday, March 21, 2020


The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. ­— Luke 4:18-19

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.