a diversity of churches. They had in common a love of Christ, a respect for our Baptist heritage, and a commitment to the mission Christ gave to the church. Our work, worship, and fellowship together have been a powerful inspiration in my life. One of the developments that I believe was important for that particular time was the Mission Resource Plan. At that time, the fallout from the radical changes in the state convention resulted in many churches looking for a different way to cooperate with other Baptists to do missions. While there was discontent with much that was happening in the Convention, there was still strong faith in the mission and ministry of a number of agencies and institutions still affiliated with the convention. The Mission Resource Plan enabled churches to give through one central channel that funneled resources to CBFNC, CBF National, and some of those trusted institutions and agencies. While in time the needs and priorities would shift, at that time of upheaval and transition, I think this was helpful to our churches and to CBFNC. One step in beginning the Mission Resource Plan was to consult with the heads of those agencies and institutions and obtain their permission to include them in the Mission Resource Plan. That seemingly small detail was a fascinating process. Over the next several years we would intentionally seek to cultivate a deeper and mutually helpful relationship with our ministry and mission partners. There were some delightful conversations with the leaders of those mission partners. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve with CBFNC in the past and look forward to the continued ways that God will use this organization in the future. DON HORTON: My service as moderator opened many unique opportunities for interaction with people that I normally would not have met. I have always felt that I was with family while in the presence of CBF people. From the time of the first meeting at the Wake Forest University campus, I felt love and acceptance. Being moderator was special to me because it gave me the opportunity to serve at a level I would not have dreamed of. Many accomplishments during my tenure as Moderator began when I was Moderator Elect for Roger Gilbert. My recollection is that the following things happened during that time: Larry Hovis was hired as Coordinator; we amended the Articles of Incorporation; we developed new Bylaws that included a new structure; we developed a comprehensive Policy Manual; the Lolley Fund scholarship was created; and we developed the Mission Resource Plan (MRP). While some of these items have evolved over time, Larry Hovis and the foundation structure remains and continue to shape CBFNC. I hope we will strive to seek God’s will for the organization and then act to accomplish His will.
GREG ROGERS: CBFNC has always responded to the changing landscape of ministry opportunities with creativity and flexibility throughout our 25-year history. Our Fellowship matured organizationally and structurally during my time as moderator from 2008-2010. Our coordinating and other ministry councils turned significant dreams into continuing realities that shape our Fellowship even today. Five new part-time or full-time staff were added broadening the reach of our Hispanic, college, social, administrative, and coaching ministries. Missional collaboration conversations were held and agreements were developed between CBFNC and cherished Baptist partners our churches financially supported through CBFNC. New committees such as the Racial Reconciliation and Partnership Development Committee were added to the ministry focus. The General Assembly, now called the Annual Gathering, continued to be reshaped annually with new flavors and formats. My dream and prayer for CBFNC for the next 25 years remains the same as it was during my tenure as moderator — creatively and flexibly adapting to the ministry needs and challenges of our world that bring Baptists together in North Carolina for Christcentered ministry. STEVE LITTLE: I’m the father of two wonderful daughters, Mary and Sally. Minutes before the CBFNC General Assembly convened at FBC Winston-Salem on the day I was installed as moderator, a college-aged person passed me in the hall, looked at my name tag and said: “Excuse me, are you …” I was feeling rather proud of my new position, and I was expecting this young person to say “our new moderator?” Instead, I quickly regained proper perspective when the young man finished his sentence by saying “… Mary’s dad?” Being moderator for a year was great, but being dad to Sally and Mary is greater! We put greater focus on including Hispanic Baptists in CBFNC. Plus while many non-profits were not meeting their budgets that year, CBFNC did meet budget that year. My hope is that CBFNC will embrace diversity even more by encouraging involvement by people of more races and more cultures, thereby truly following Christ’s command to love ALL people. DONNA BISSETTE:
Although it sounds cliché, meeting and working with some of the nicest, smartest and most spiritually grounded people in Baptist circles was truly a joy. Our coordinating council was and continues to be composed of faithful Christians committed to our calling as free and faithful Baptists. I represented the coordinating council on our 2013 long term vision team, led by Guy Sayles. Our commitment to transformation, engagement and community has continued to guide us as we serve together. CBFNC has proven to be a safe place for Baptists eager to serve God together with love and compassion. I hope our inclusiveness will continue to reflect that God’s love is wide and welcoming. As we age both as an organization and as individuals, I hope we can reach out to the next generation with the good news that Christ matters in our own lives and in the world.
See “Moderators’ Reflections” on page 8. May/June 2019
The Gathering • 7