North Carolina Baptists Highlight Church Planting and Evangelism at Annual Meeting

Mike Pittman, the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s church planting team leader, stands before messengers to the annual meeting Nov. 11 with more than 100 church planters behind him on the stage. Messengers prayed for these planters and their families during a special service. Photo by Dianna Cagle

North Carolina Baptists commissioned more than 100 church planters and were called to prioritize personal evangelism during their 189th annual meeting held Nov. 11-12 at the Joseph S. Koury Convention Center in Greensboro, N.C.

The meeting drew 1,387 messengers and included two special worship services — a church planting celebration and a service related to the Southern Baptist Convention’s (SBC) “Who’s Your One?” evangelism initiative that featured a message from Ronnie Floyd, president and CEO of the SBC Executive Committee.

The meeting theme was “God’s Great Work,” which emphasized the Great Commission and the Great Commandment.

Messengers also approved a $30.5 million budget for 2020, which included an increase in the percentage allocated to the SBC through the Cooperative Program for the 14th consecutive year. Despite an overall budget reduction of $500,000 from 2019, the 2020 budget calls for a 0.5-point increase to SBC missions and ministry causes which moves the state’s SBC allocation to 42 percent.

‘Who’s Your One?’

Floyd challenged both pastors and laity to a make a renewed commitment to prioritize evangelism in their churches and personal lives. Preaching from Acts 4:1-11, Floyd emphasized the urgency of evangelism.

“People need Jesus, and people need Jesus now,” Floyd said. “Evangelism is urgent because Jesus is coming again.”

Church planting

N.C. Baptists also celebrated how God is working among church planters across the state. During a special worship service focused on church planting, messengers were introduced to more than 100 church planters and their families who have recently planted churches in North Carolina. Messengers then joined in a prayer of commissioning over them.

Since 2009, the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC) has worked with about 1,100 church plants which have collectively reported nearly 8,700 baptisms during that 10-year period. State convention officials, including Mike Pittman, the recently appointed leader of the state convention’s church planting team, called on attendees to consider what role their church could play in helping plant new churches.

‘I cannot come down’

During an address held in conjunction with the church planting service, state convention president Steve Scoggins, pastor of First Baptist Church in Hendersonville, preached from Nehemiah 6 on the meeting’s theme, “God’s Great Work.”

Scoggins quoted Nehemiah’s words in verse 3 — “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down” — to encourage North Carolina Baptists to stay focused on the work of the Great Commission and the Great Commandment.

“Fulfilling the Great Commandment gives us great opportunities to fulfill the Great Commission,” Scoggins said.

Officers re-elected

Scoggins and the state convention’s first and second vice presidents were all reelected to second terms of service in 2020 in uncontested elections.

In addition to Scoggins, Micheal Pardue, pastor of First Baptist Church Icard, and Matthew Ledbetter, pastor of Creeksville Baptist Church in Conway, were both reelected to new terms as first and second vice president, respectively.

Click here to read more.
Source: Baptist Press