August 6 was the day designated for the Annual Conference Session of the North Carolina Conference. Bishop Danny Nelson led in welcoming the 382 delegates who were officially registered as delegates and a number of guests. After being introduced as the presiding officer, I did my best to recognize many honored guests. Former Superintendents, Bishop James Leggett, Rev. T.E. Long, Bishop Chris Thompson and Rev. Jimmy Whitfield were in attendance. They were greeted with a warm standing expression of appreciation. A good number of missionaries were present as well as individuals who had served as leaders on the General Level of our church.
The Examining Committee shared their report. Thirteen individuals received their Local Church Ministers License and ten received their Ministers License on the Conference level including four who were received by the Conference Executive Council. Six candidates were presented for ordination along with two transfers received during the year. Again, it was an honor to lead the ordination service. There was a special sense of the Lord’s presence during the message and the laying on of hands to officially ordain those who were being affirmed by the Committee.
A special appreciation report was presented to recognize individuals who had made outstanding contributions to the North Carolina Conference. Dr. Ron White reported to the Conference on the developments at Emmanuel College. Dr. White has done a tremendous job in leading the College through some uncharted waters. He shares how God has answered prayer many times during his tenure.
Bishop Nelson gave his State of the Conference Report in which he expressed his thanks for the work of the Lord in his life. He also recognized his wife Rose and expressed his appreciation for her along with his family. Bishop Nelson recognized the members of the Executive Council for their diligence in working for the good of the kingdom. He reported the following statistics for the year 2015:
Average Attendance 21,668
Systematic Bible Study 11,077
He expressed special appreciation to former Superintendent Rev. Jimmy Whitfield for his leadership in “closing the book” on the issues with the State of North Carolina and the NC Conference Ministerial and Church Extension Loan Fund. Bishop Nelson also recognized Rev. Oris Hubbard and Mr. Joe Thomas for their tireless efforts in this endeavor. In closing his report, he shared his optimism for the bright future that lies ahead for this great conference. The audience expressed their appreciation for his report and his work.
Bishop James Leggett reported on the progress of Holmes Bible College. He reported their largest enrollment since relocating to their new campus. Though a number of buildings have been constructed, another dorm is needed. Several students had to be turned away because of a lack of space.
Joey Leggett reported on the number of ministries that make up Falcon Children’s Home. He requested prayer regarding the efforts of some state leaders that would have an adverse effect on this life-changing ministry.
Rev. Oris Hubbard gave his report as the Secretary/Treasurer of the conference expressing thanks for the faithfulness of the ministers and churches in their giving. He also spoke of how thankful he was to have the issue with the State of North Carolina and the North Carolina Ministerial and Church Extension Loan Fund finally settled.
The Memoirs Report was presented by Rev. Jon Oliver. Special recognition and prayer were offered for the families of those who had lost their loved ones who were a part of the conference ministerial family.
One item of business was conducted in the election of two new members of the Examining Committee. After the second ballot, the Reverends Janice Marshburn and Jerry Nelson were elected.
Having concluded the business of the Annual Conference, the session stood adjourned.
By Bishop Tommy McGhee