NC churches hold annual convention
From a report by Chris Eidse and Terry Hunt
The North Carolina District Conference (NCDC) welcomed the first new church into the district in over 70 years when they gathered for their biennial convention Sept. 13-15. The three-day event was held at The Life Center, Lenoir, NC.
“This year’s theme of ‘Growing in Faith’ really described the atmosphere of the weekend,” says Chris Eidse, pastor of Boone (NC) MB Church.
Iglesia de Dios Bethel, Lenoir, NC, became the seventh NCDC church. This is the first time that the NCDC has added a church since 1942. Bethel is a largely Hispanic congregation led by Pastor Fernando Huezo. Terry Hunt, district minister and pastor of the Life Center, presided over the induction of congregation into the district. Many members of the Spanish-language congregation were in attendance, and most of the Sunday service was translated to Spanish by Iliana Huezo, Huezo’s daughter.
Further marking the atmosphere of growth, Ray Dykes, a new pastor, was ordained. Dykes serves as pastor of Darby MB Church, Ferguson, NC.
The convention began with a youth rally on Friday night sponsored by Boone pastor Eidse and Boone MB Church with Rev. Cuthbertson, a pastor from Morganton, NC, speaking. “The youth were encouraged to trust Jesus and to live by the Word,” says Hunt. A praise team from West End MB Church, Lenoir, NC., led in praise and worship times.
Saturday morning opened with Scripture and prayer followed by the district’s traditional business meeting and church reports. “These reports provided a snapshot of the last 12 months progression and spiritual growth,” says Hunt.
Jon Wiebe, president and CEO of MB Foundation, spoke on “Will Power” for the first session, followed by three workshop options: “Praise and Worship,” led by musician, teacher and USMB Leadership Board member Clyde Ferguson; “Church Health,” led by USMB Executive Director Ed Boschman; and “Preparing for Your Future,” led by Tyrone Sturgis, member of The Life Center and battalion chief for the City of Lenoir Fire Department, and Elaine Maxwell, member of Laytown MB Church, Lenoir, and minority and international advisor at Caldwell Community College.
Larry Nikkel, chair of the USMB Board of Faith and Life, explained proposed changes to Article 13 of the USMB Confession of Faith, which deals with peacemaking, followed by small group discussions and a question-and-answer time.
James Wilfong, pastor of West End MB, and Eidse ended the day with seminars on serving and working for God.
All district churches gathered at The Life Center Sunday morning for a combined worship service. Fred Howell, pastor of Laytown MB Church, led the morning. Praise teams from two congregations led worship, and Jules Glanzer, president of Tabor College, the college owned in part by NCDC and located in Hillsboro, Kan., preached.
“There is change and growth in the air in the North Carolina churches,” says Eidse.
As Hunt wrapped up the convention with prayer, he speculated that NCDC may one day consider a name change in keeping with the real possibility of more churches joining the district from outside of North Carolina: Eastern District? Atlantic District?
“Change comes when you’re ‘growing in faith.’” Eidse says.