BWIM NC – 35 years and counting

Baptist Women in Ministry of North Carolina (BWIM NC) observed 35 years of supporting women ministers with a “dinner on the lawn” and Convocation at First Baptist Church of Greensboro March 29.

During the year, the organization hired veteran minister Ka’thy Gore Chappell as its first Executive Director. Chappell most recently served as coordinator of leadership development for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina.

Ka’thy Gore Chappell

BWIM NC was founded in 1984, with 25 persons in attendance. Chappell and treasurer Esther Soud Parker encouraged attenders to pledge annual support in honor of the organization’s 35-year legacy, and to urge their churches to include BWIM NC in their budgets.

An information card noted that 252 Baptist churches in North Carolina currently have women on the ministerial staff, with 22 of them serving as senior pastors or co-pastors.

An annual Church Award to a congregation that has consistently demonstrated support for women in ministry was presented to Greystone Baptist Church of Raleigh. Greystone, which was also founded 35 years ago and has long had female ministers on staff, recently called Chrissy Williams as senior pastor.

Charlotte Cook Smith, receiving the Anne Thomas Neil Award, is applauded by Rebecca Hewitt-Newson, left, and Paul Burgess, right.

The annual Anne Thomas Neil Award was presented to Charlotte Cook Smith of Winston-Salem. Smith has been a lifelong supporter of Baptist work and of women in ministry. She was a longtime member of Jersey Baptist Church near Lexington, has been active in CBFNC life, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Nurturing Faith.

The theme of the Convocation was “Called to Become.”  Worship leader Christian McIvor, Music and Worship Minister at College Park Baptist in Greensboro, wrote a hymn by the same name to honor the occasion.

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