Fellowship and worship marked the occasion as Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina (CBF) marked its twenty-fifth anniversary March 28-29 at First Baptist Church of Greensboro.
A service of celebration was held at Revolution Mill, where Executive Coordinator Larry Hovis spoke of the occasion as a “Janus moment,” referencing the Roman god who had faces on the front and back of his head so he could look both backward and forward. CBFNC folk should do both, Hovis said, being informed by the past while looking forward to the future.
Entertainment featured North Carolina author, humorist, and musician Clyde Edgerton, who delighted the sold-out audience with story-telling, singing, and excerpts from some of his novels. Edgerton, who teaches at UNC-Wilmington and attends Winter Park Baptist Church, also led a workshop in which he focused on the need for more progress in race relations. “I have learned that you can’t have racial reconciliation without racial justice,” he said.
A number of other well-attended workshops featured discussions of Bible studies, church matters, social and family issues, and other topics.
In a business session, participants voted to merge the former “Mission Resource Plan,” a remnant of giving plans to the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina adopted in 2004, with the primary budget. Churches who wish to continue channeling gifts through CBFNC to particular ministries, such as CBF Global, will still be able to do so.
A proposed “CBFNC Mission & Ministry Funding Plan” totaling $2,668,419 for 2019-2020 was approved without dissent. Individuals were encouraged to contribute toward a $25,000 special offering to mark the 25 years since the organization’s founding in 1994.
Andy Jung, former pastor of First Baptist Church in Albemarle, had been slated to become Moderator for 2020, but joined the CBFNC staff during the year as Associate Executive Coordinator, with a variety of ministry responsibilities.
Becky Keesler, an active layperson at First Baptist Mount Airy and a member of the Coordinating Council, was elected as Moderator for 2020. Jeff Harris, pastor of First Baptist Church of Tryon, was tapped as Moderator-elect.
CBFNC recently hired Scott Hudgins, Assistant Dean of the graduate schools at UNC-Greensboro for the past 12 years, to become director of “Helping Pastor’s Thrive,” a new CBFNC initiative funded by the Lilly Endowment. Hudgins previously served as Director of Admissions and Student Services at Wake Forest University School of Divinity, and as director of the Baptist Studies Program for Candler School of Theology at Emory University.
Hovis recognized outgoing moderator Doug Murray, retired pastor from First Baptist Church of Wilson, for his diligent service to CBFNC. Missions Coordinator Linda Jones, who will be retiring this year, was also recognized for her work.