In the rural area that I grew up there was a saying that meant something for us. Whenever we would do something that we did not know what the outcome would be my father would always say, “The chickens have not come home to roost, yet.” This saying meant that it was too early to make an assessment of a situation because everything was not completed that would affect the outcome.
So it is with the new move of our Women’s Missionary Union in North Carolina. According to this report it seems that one former WMU-NC Executive Director has taken issue with the leadership of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. The author of this report seems to purport a falsely held understanding of reason WMU-NC left the Baptist Building in Cary. He reports that the Missions Extravaganza was WMU-NC’s “first meeting since the group was required to give up its office space and all Baptist State Convention (BSC) support in order to retain its autonomy.” What is a falsely held understanding is that WMU-NC was not ‘required’ to give up its office space. The ‘requirement’ of office space came when WMU-NC chose to leave the Baptist Building. The former executive director makes a reference to the unnecessary task that is before the BSCNC and that is beginning another women’s ministry organization. The task is completely unnecessary because had the WMU-NC grasped the truth of the role of the BSCNC executive director their autonomy would have remained intact along with their payroll, fleet car privileges, office space, and their place in the annual NC Missions offering. Read the arrogance of this statement by a former executive director made at the previous Missions Extravaganza; ““Some think we no longer need WMU,” she said, “that some other women’s program can take our place.” This appears to be a reference to the newly established task force, headed by former WMU-NC President who was also former NCBSC 1st VP Phyllis Foy.
In another article on the latest WMU-NC gathering we see more of this rhetoric from the current executive director.
Some things have been said that are absolutely not true,” Fulbright said, things that have caused hardship in some churches. “We want to express our apology for any difficulty you have gone through or may be going through,” she said, “and to remind you that WMU was born in adversity.
Notice something about that first phrase–is does not identify what has been said that is not true. This is the same problem the leadership of the BSCNC had in trying to resolve the issue that led to the WMU-NC leaving the building. In the meeting that was held at East Taylorsville Baptist Church back in October, everytime Dr. Brian Davis expressed what was taking place, Mrs. Fulbright responded with, ‘you are correct but that is not how we see it.’ She even acknowledged that Dr. Davis correctly assessed the impasse and wanted to state the WMU-NC’s side and was given free opportunity to express their differences. The only things she said were not correct was issues concerning who the WMU-NC wanted to partner. Something she acknowledged did not come from the leadership of the BSCNC. It comes a time that someone needs to ask; “What things have been said that are not true?” It seems that if an untruth has been stated that caused autonomous churches hardship, please release this information and let’s get to the bottom of it. This, my friends, is a serious charge.
Another item of importance seems to be overlooked. According to the WMU-NC, they would need approximately $1.2 million in order to accomplish their task. Of this $1.2 million, the BSCNC was supplying approximately $900 thousand through the NC MIssions Offering and the rest would be supplied through the BSCNC budget. Well, the WMU-NC stepped out and re-established the Heck-Jones Missions offering. This Offering was promoted and received in churches throughout NC and has $336 thousand coming into their coffers so far. Mr. Fulbright said;“It’s not enough, not yet, but God is providing for our needs in other ways”. One-third of the WMU budget was received in one offering and she is espousing that God is providing for needs in other ways. I am not saying that God is not going to provide, His word tells us He will. In Psalm 37:25 David writes, “I have been young and now I am old, I have never seen His seed forsaken or the righteous begging bread.” I am questioning that $336k is sufficient for their needs at this moment, where was the other $600k going when they were in the baptist building, and their payroll, office space, printing needs, insurance, and salaries were being paid from the BSCNC budget?
One other item of interest has to do with something reported. It seems that the WMU-NC has had a great year even though there was such controversy within their organization. It seems that the WMU-NC added 138 new mission organizations in the past year. This seems to have been a great addition. My question concerning this report would be who the organizations are? According to the WMU-NC website there are currently six mission organizations that WMU-NC is together in partnership. Now, they are telling us that they have added 138 new missions organizations and they are over $900k in making their budget. There appears to be one of two things that are at work in this announcement. Either these 138 new missions organizations are associated with WMU-NC in name only, or WMU-NC is living off of excess funds that they have received. If the former is true, then we have a serious problem concerning this announcement. If the latter is true, then the BSCNC was presented a false concept by former executive director/treasurer Dr. Roy Smith when he presented his motion on Wednesday AM of the convention meeting arguing that the WMU-NC was in desperate needs of the $500k that he recommended go back into the NC Missions Offering. Either way, whether the former or latter, there seems to be some issue concerning financing the ministry of the WMU-NC .
Of course, the WMU-NC is new in their endeavor and I do pray that God will bless them as they proceed. I do like the song played as the ladies walked around thanking those in attendance. I also would like to call their attention to the first verse in the song.
Run your car off the side of the road
Get stuck in a ditch way out in the middle of nowhere
It seems that if one accidently runs one’s car off the side of the road in a ditch your true friends will be there to bail you out. The BSCNC has been there, and is still there, to get the ladies of NC Baptist Churches out of the ditch, but the WMU-NC leadership has gotten in the car with others and driven off, leaving this car loaded down with NC Baptist women who love missions for the rest of us to get out of the ditch. The BSCNC has organized a task force and it appears that a recommendation may be before the convention in October. When it comes before us this car, left there by others, will have been pulled out of the ditch by their friends. As for the future of the WMU-NC, it is still to early to tell as the chickens have not come home to roost.