The DHF of NC Leadership Council met with five of our council members present along with a host of visitors from Otway CC, FCC Richlands, Tuckahoe CC, and Pleasant Hill CC. We also welcomed Harry and Beth Niser from Bath, NC. We were also thrilled to have two visitors from Walstonburg CC in Walstonburg, NC. Mrs. Carol Taylor and her Sister, Susan Dietrich, came to find out what DHF is all about. Our special guests for the day were Rev. Wayne Kent and Mrs. Leslie Kent. Wayne is the new Executive Director of DHF and is the Senior Pastor of FCC Decatur, Ill.
Our meeting was opened by Elder Danny Bailey who shared his recent experience at the Billy Graham Cove along with his wife Irene, Rev. Kenny Conner and his wife Debbie and their Son and Daughter-in-law. The speaker was Will Graham, Franklin Graham’s Son. The topic was “Satan’s Snares and God’s Blessings” based on 1 Samuel chapters 18-20.
- Lynn Maxwell gave the financial report provided by Rev. Betty Stowe who was unable to join us for the meeting.
- There were two nomination forms submitted for new council members to replace our two outgoing council members: Rev. Jack Mumford, Otway CC, and Elder Danny Bailey, Amity CC. The group heartily thanked these two individuals who have served our council faithfully since its inceptions, and both were a part of the original team that worked to establish DHF of NC. The two nominations were: Elder Judy Rose from Otway CC, and Rev. Lynn Maxwell from Pleasant Hill, CC. The two nominees were approved by the Council. Their names will be submitted to all DHF of NC Churches for approval. If approved, they will be affirmed at our Fall Gathering on Saturday, Sep. 22, 2018. At the next Leadership Council following the Fall Gathering, the Council will appoint a new leader for the council.
- Lynn recommended that Elder Danny Bailey take over the position as Secretary of the council. The recommendation was approved by the council. Danny will assume this role at the next meeting of the council. As Secretary, Dany will attend all council meetings but will not be a voting member. We are very grateful for Danny’s willingness to serve in this capacity.
- The major topic of the meeting was to finalize plans for our DHF of NC Fall Gathering, Sat., Sep. 22, 2018 at FCC Richlands.
- We are very happy to have Rev. Wayne Kent as our guest preacher for this event. We are doubly blessed to also have Leslie Kent to sing at our Gathering.
- We will have King’s Grace to provide music for our morning session. Lynn is working with Rev. Rick Vernon to see if we can get the 902 Praise Band for our afternoon session. (See NOTE 1 below).
- We all agreed to have the Richlands Piggly Wiggly Deli to cater our noon meal as they did last year. Lynn will speak to them and give them a firm number once we determine how many will be attending.
- Once all the music is finalized, Lynn will develop a poster for churches to use in advertising the event. Each church should advertise the event as widely as possible. Lynn also mentioned that he had spoken with Rick Vernon about another time slot on his show to advertise our event. (See NOTE 2 below). It was also suggested that we advertise in the News & Observer in order to get greater coverage. Jack Mumford suggested we look into advertising in the “Our State” magazine. Although it is probably too late to get something published in this magazine before our event, Jack suggested we look to advertise DHF of NC in the magazine in the future.
- It was recommended that we have Rev. Kenny Conner to preside over Holy Communion at the close of our event. We will identify others to serve at each Communion station as we get closer to the date.
- Since FCC Richlands is the host Church, it was recommended that we have their Board Chairman, or Rev. Ray Randall to open the event and welcome everyone, and to lead in the opening prayer.
- We will ask FCC Richlands to take care of registration at the door.
- Following our business meeting, we welcomed Rev. Wayne Kent to speak to the group. Wayne played the piano and Leslie led the group in singing two hymns; Great Is They Faithfulness, and Amazing Grace. Wayne spoke about his early years in ministry working in missions throughout Eastern Europe. He was Pastoring FCC Decatur, Ill. when DHF actually began in 1985 and has been actively involved with DHF throughout its history. Over the years he has seen his church in Decatur, Ill. grow from around 200 to 2,500. As the Executive Director of DHF, Kevin wants to use the Pastoral and technical resources available within the Church in Decatur to reach out and help churches to address whatever challenges they need help with in order to adapt to change, remain viable and to grow. Wayne emphasized that the age old problem of organizations doing the same old things the same old ways and expecting different results is a recipe for failure. Although the Gospel never changes, the methods for reaching the unchurched in today’s society have to change if the church expects to grow.
- Wayne spoke about how new-Church Pastors have one major focus, and that is “finding people” to bring into the church. In the beginning, that is the number one focus. The next focus is bringing those people together for worship, and then following with Education in the Bible. Once the church is going well the attention naturally turns to Administration and the money. This phase is followed by a focus on the church building program. Lastly, after twenty years or so the focus turns to caring for those members who helped found the church and get it going. All along, as the church works through each phase the tasks of the minister increases to encompass all the priorities that have been developing along the way. At the end, most of the minister’s time and energy is spent caring for the church, and very little focus is applied to “finding people” like it was in the beginning. When the focus of finding new people is lost, the church begins its inevitable slide towards its eventual closure. This all seems so basic, but in reality, the task of “finding people” requires a lot of commitment by everyone in the church, as well as a lot of innovation and change to keep the church viable and growing along the way. Wayne pointed out that what works in one community and culture is different from what works in another. The emphasis must be on exploring what works in your community, and then the whole church working at that one thing with a lot of energy.
- We all thoroughly enjoyed Wayne and Leslie’s time with us and are enthusiastic about working with them in the future. Much thanks to Judy Maxwell for the great refreshments she provided for the meeting. Our meeting was closed in prayer by Lynn Maxwell.
- I was not able to secure the 902 Praise Band for this year’s Gathering; however, I texted Wayne and Leslie and they agreed to do a music session in the afternoon. I was also able to get Mr. Tracey Whaley of FCC Richlands to sing a couple of songs for us also. So, we are covered for music.
- Rick Vernon has advised me to call and set up a taping for Sep. 5th. I will use this opportunity to advertise our Gathering.
Rev. Wayne Kent and his wife Leslie will be joining us for our Sat., Aug. 18th meeting of the Leadership Council. The meeting is scheduled for 10:00 am at FCC Richlands in the Social Hall. The Council will meet for a short business session from 10:00 – 10:30. We need to discuss plans for our upcoming Fall Gathering. We also need to review nomination forms received to replace two Leadership Council positions due to normal rotation. Please submit or bring your nomination forms to this meeting.
We have invited Church Leaders/spouses to attend our meeting in order to meet with Rev. Kent. The session to meet/greet Rev. Kent and Leslie will begin at 10:30 am. Refreshments will be served.
Please note that I posted an incorrect date for our upcoming Fall Gathering. The correct date is Sat., Sep. 22, 2018 at FCC Richlands.
The DHF of NC Leadership Council met with six members present at Amity CC. Everyone enjoyed the fruit and delicious cinnamon buns provided by our host church. We all were sad to see Rev. Bill Pollack retire from FCC Richlands and his leadership role on the Leadership Council. In light of his departure, Elder Robert Reynolds of Pleasant Hill CC, the Vice-Council Leader presided over our meeting. Rev. Kenny Conner from Amity CC opened with prayer and presented a devotion to our group on what the Bible says about our testimony. Kenny noted that each of us has a personal testimony, and every church has a testimony also. The Apostle Paul shared his testimony for Jesus Christ everywhere he went. In Luke 15 Jesus tells the story about the shepherd who had 100 sheep but one had strayed from the flock. The shepherd was compelled to go out and find that one lost sheep. Jesus said “6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ 7 I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.” The church has a calling to go out and rescue those that are lost. Jesus said in Matthew 5:13; “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.” Kenny asked the question, “have we lost our salt? Have we covered up our light?” May the Church never forget its real mission.
- Lynn introduced Rev. Ray Randall from Richlands who was recommended by the board of FCC Richlands to fill Rev. Pollack’s vacancy on the council. Ray has been involved in ministry to our Veterans and has shared in a “road side” ministry at highway rest stops. Ray’s ministerial credentials have been approved by DHF. He supports FCC Richlands as a Supply Minister when needed, and supports the church in whatever way he is needed. The council affirmed Ray as a member of the Leadership Council and we look forward to having his participation and support.
- Betty Stowe gave the group a report on the National DHF Conference that she and her husband Lin attended at FCC Decatur, Ill. Betty noted that it was a very large church with 4-5 Pastors, with Rev. Wayne Kent as the Senior Minister. There were several keynote speakers during the event:
- Michael Teneyck spoke on using your resources that are available.
- Kevin Ray and Linda presented a history of DHF.
- Kim Holley from FCC Flora, Ind. also spoke.
- Doug Harvey spoke on “Longevity in Ministry.”
- Dr. Tom Harris spoke on “Interim Ministry.”
- Wayne Kent spoke on a “Vision for DHF.”
Betty said that at supper time they broke up into small groups and went out to eat at pre-selected restaurants. She noted that it was a very good experience.
- Dave Dummit spoke at the Saturday worship on the topic of “A Life That Matters,” and “Developing A Relationship With God.” Betty said they enjoyed the opportunity of visiting with people from other churches from across the country. There were approximately 100 people from distant churches in addition to the fine people from FCC Decatur. Betty and Lin, along with Steve Rogers from FCC Richlands really enjoyed the gathering and encouraged others to plan to go next year.
- Lynn Maxwell reviewed the minutes from our March 10, 2018 meeting. Betty gave the financial report.
- The Council discussed the results of our Spring Seminar on May 15, 2018 at FCC Richlands which featured Dr. Jim Fleming from LaGrange, Georgia. We had 71 persons in attendance for the day. Betty noted that the people from Unity CC enjoyed the content of Dr. Fleming’s seminars, and also the good food. Betty thought the overall quality of the speaker and the food was a good experience at a good price. We did have several people complain that they couldn’t hear Dr. Fleming clearly. Even with a microphone, his voice did not project well enough for some to get the full benefit of his presentation. Overall, we received positive responses from those attending.
- Kenny Conner said he believed that we need to focus on more extensive advertising for future events. Even though Lynn Maxwell and Bill Pollack made a presentation on the TV show, “Down East Today,” we all feel that we need to promote our events with more direct advertising.
- The council discussed how to fill the position of the Council Leader since Bill left with over a year remaining on his term. Robert Reynolds indicated that he felt more comfortable in the Vice-Leader role and we didn’t get a volunteer from the remaining members. Elder Danny Bailey, whose term expires this September volunteered to fill out Bill’s term if we could extend his term. We all agreed to that at the meeting. It would mean that we would have to issue an addendum to the Constitution to make it acceptable under the constitution. See “Notes” below for further discussion on this matter.
- Lynn brought up the issue of our next Council meeting. Lynn has received an email from Lori Putnam who is Rev. Wayne Kent’s assistant. Kent is the new Executive Director of DHF. He plans to come down and preach at FCC Richlands on Sunday, Aug. 19th. He is looking for the opportunity to meet with as many of our DHF of NC ministers as possible. So, Lynn recommended that our next Leadership Council meeting be held on Sat., Aug. 18, 2018 at FCC Richlands. That way Rev. Kent would have the opportunity to meet with us without further travel. Lynn suggested that we invite all Council members and spouses, DHF of NC Church Elders and spouses, and any members who would like to meet and hear from Rev. Kent. The group agreed to meet on that date. Lynn will coordinate with Lori Putnam on any special arrangements needed.
- The Council discussed initial plans for our Fall Gathering. We came up with two potential dates: Sept. 18th, and Sat. Sept. 22nd. Lynn will coordinate with Dennis Jones to find out which Saturday the Jones County Heritage festival is scheduled for so we can avoid a conflict. Dennis Jones indicated that the Jones County Heritage Festival will be on Sept. 18th, so we will try and schedule our Fall Gathering on Saturday, Sept. 22nd.
- We discussed potential Gospel bands for the occasion. Council members will follow-up once we have a date locked on.
- We also suggested potential speakers for our event, and our first choice was Rev. Wayne Kent from FCC Decatur, Ill. Lynn will contact Lori Putnam to see if he would be willing to come. We have other recommendations if Rev. Kent cannot attend. See follow-up “Notes” below for more information.
- Due to the location and seating capacity of FCC Richlands, it is our desire that FCC Richlands will again host our event. Ray Randall will check the church schedule and get back with us. See follow-up “Notes” below for further information
- Everyone agreed that if FCC Richlands can host the event, we should once again have the Piggly Wiggly deli in Richlands cater the event. Everyone really enjoyed the food they provided at our Spring Seminar Gathering.
- The Council discussed the suggestion to establish a ministry scholarship fund. It was suggested we call it the “DHF of NC Ministerial Scholarship.” Betty Stowe noted that since Unity CC has established a fund they had developed a set of rules to guide administration of the fund. Betty will provide those to the council for review.
Lynn Maxwell, Secretary
- para. 7. After reviewing the Constitution and Bylaws and considering the current two expiring terms in September, I called Betty Stowe and Danny to discuss the issue. Since there are only a few months left until Danny and Jack Mumford rotate off the council, we felt it was not a good idea to develop an addendum to meet our current needs. We should allow Danny to rotate off and let the new council elect a leader. I did discuss with Danny the possibility of him taking over as Secretary for the council and he was agreeable with that. We will be going out for two nominees for the council very shortly and we will discuss this item at our next council meeting.
- para. 9.b. After coordinating through Lori Putnam, Rev. Wayne Kent has graciously accepted our invitation to speak at our Fall Gathering on September 22, 2018. Final plans will move forward at our August meeting.
- para. 9.c. Ray Randal has verified that FCC Richlands is available for the date of our Fall Gathering.
Seventy-one people attended our Spring Seminars featuring Dr. James Fleming from the Biblical Resource Center in LaGrange, Ga. We enjoyed three seminars by Dr. Fleming: Geography of The Bible, The Wilderness Experience of Israel, and a presentation on the Biblical Resource Center, LaGrange, Ga.
Enjoy the pictures below:
If you belong to a DHF of NC church we urge you to register with your church to attend this event. You can also register online at http://fccrichlands.org/ by clicking on the “Connect” menu tab and then select “DHF Gathering Signup.” You may also call the FCC Richlands office phone at 910-324-4690. There is no charge for this event.
If your church is interested in exploring the DHF of NC fellowship, we invite you to register and come also. There is no charge for this event.
To view the below Gallery in full size, click on the first picture and then scroll using the arrows on the right and left. Hit “Esc” to exit Gallery.
The DHF of NC Leadership Council met with six members present, and one guest, Rev. Ray Randall from FCC Richlands. Rev. Pollack welcomed all and opened with a devotion from Ezekiel 37 centered on Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones, and the question; “Can these dry bones live again?” The DHF of NC has come out of one body and metamorphosed into a new body. Can this new body live and grow into a new body with new life, and can we give life to others by our witness for Christ?
- Bill asked the group to review the minutes from our Nov. 4, 2017 meeting and make any comments as necessary. The minutes were approved.
- We discussed our recent response to the hurricane disasters in 2017. The DHF of NC contributed $5,355.00 to the Red Cross in support of Hurricane Harvey relief. At our last meeting we discussed some of our churches concerns about contributing to specific charities due to excessive organizational overhead and restrictions placed on religious expression. The question was raised as to whether we as DHF of NC should solicit funds from our member churches for disaster relief, or whether we should leave such issues with the local church. It was expressed that we should be very careful not to give the impression that we are trying to make giving decisions for the local churches and that the monies the local church gives to DHF of NC is meant to support programs and ministries to our local churches and local needs as agreed to by the Council. All members felt we should be very careful in how we spend the funds given to our ministry. Bill stated the issue as follows: “do we want churches to be autonomous at the local level in making decisions regarding disaster relief, and do we want the DHF of NC to use our monies to target specific programs and ministries of the fellowship only?” Betty noted that their church has a scholarship fund to help support those going to school for the ministry. Robert Reynolds said events like natural disasters provide us the opportunity to reach out to help others as a group. Betty suggested that we leave it open-ended and handle the issue of disaster relief as the needs come up. Since this subject is not covered by our constitution/bylaws, each church should discuss these issues and Council members should further discuss this issue at our next meeting.
- The group reviewed our DHF of NC PowerPoint presentation and made several recommendations to improve the content. It was also decided to add a slide containing the names of our member churches.
- Bill led us in a discussion on a potential speaker for our upcoming seminar. Bill has personally attended seminars led by Dr. Jim Fleming from “Biblical Foundations.” Dr. Fleming has lived in and studied in all quarters of Jerusalem and is currently involved in an Archaeological dig in Israel. Bill presented the group with an extensive lists of seminars that we can choose from that Dr. Fleming presents. One that Bill highly recommended was titled “Geography of Bible” which he said made understanding the context of the Biblical stories come alive. The group highly endorsed Bill’s idea. Bill has made contact with Dr. Fleming’s office and it appears that two Saturday’s were available in April; the 7th and 21st. DHF of NC would fund the seminars and pay for Dr. Fleming’s travel and hotel needs.
- It was suggested that as part of our opening for the event we would like to have a congregational choir made up from all the churches to sing a hymn. We will need to identify one of our piano players who would like to play for the choir.
- Since we hope to advertise this event and bring in attendance from other churches, the group felt that since FCC Richlands has the largest Sanctuary, it would be good if they hosted the event. Bill said he could see no conflicts in doing that.
- In anticipation of an afternoon seminar, it was also agreed that we should have the entire meal catered by a local provider. This would minimize the burden on the host church and also those coming from other churches.
- In anticipation of being able to attract other churches that might be interested in the event, Bill said he would talk to his wife Nanette about creating an online registration capability. This would help in determining how many people to prepare for.
- Our next Council meeting will be held on Saturday, March 10, 2018, 10:00 a.m. at Unity Christian Church. Our meeting was adjourned with prayer.
NOTE: At this time we are waiting on confirmation from our guest speaker, but we are hoping for a date of Sat., May 5, 2018. More to follow. .
DUE TO SNOW AND ICE CONDITIONS, THE LEADERSHIP COUNCIL MEETING SCHEDULED FOR SAT., JAN 6, 2018 HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED FOR SAT., JAN 13, 2018 AT FCC RICHLANDS.
The DHF of NC Leadership Council met with all seven members present. Lynn welcomed all four of the new members of the Leadership Council: Rev. Bill Pollack of FCC Richlands, Elder Robert Reynolds of Pleasant Hill CC, Rev. Kenny Conner of Amity CC, and Elder Keith Metts of Tuckahoe CC.
Rev. Bill Pollack opened the meeting with a devotion from John 16:25-33 with the focus on verse 33; “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” Bill reminded us that trouble in this world is the normal and not the exception. It is natural to question why bad things happen to good people, but Jesus reminds us that there is no one good except God. We can all expect troubles in this world because we are living in a fallen world. Trouble is the common lot of all humankind. The good news comes from Jesus when he says “. . . be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Rev. Lynn Maxwell updated the attendees on the status of Rev. Kim Holley and Rev. Gary Edens. Kim has left to assume her new role as Senior minister of Flora Christian Church, Flora, Indiana. We all pray for God’s blessings upon Kim, her family, and Flora CC. Rev. Gary Edens is facing open heart surgery at Norfolk General Hospital, Norfolk, Va. Everyone will be in prayer for Gary.
- Lynn read the minutes from our last meeting on Aug. 19, 2017. Betty Stowe presented the financial report. Betty noted that to-date DHF of NC has disbursed $5,355 in support of Hurricane Harvey relief.
- There were concerns raised by some of the churches in regards to which charities we should be partnering with in disaster relief efforts. Some churches were hesitant to support the American Red Cross due to their excessive overhead and restrictions on religious expression. Lynn will check with DHF to see if they have a preferred charity not only for national emergencies, but international emergencies as well. Kenny Conner and Danny Bailey will do some research on various charities and report back to the council. Betty noted that churches could indicate where they wanted their funds to go and she would make sure they went to the designated charity, and would itemize it all in her records.
- The first order of business for the new council was to elect new officers to lead the council. After some discussion the council nominated Rev. Bill Pollack as the Leader and Robert Reynolds as the Vice-Leader of the Leadership Council. We thank them both for their willingness to serve.
- We reviewed our recent Gathering back in September. Everyone thought that the speaker, music, food and format were just right. Robert said he would check the date of the Jones County Heritage Festival to make sure our next Gathering did not conflict with it if possible in hopes of improving our attendance. We also hope to invite churches outside our fellowship to our Gathering in hopes of generating interest. We should also ensure the word gets to multiple people within a particular church.
- We discussed the need to identify other churches within North Carolina that have left the Disciples and might be interested in our fellowship. We will initiate an effort to discover the best way to locate these churches. All churches are urged to share any information they might have on potential churches. We also discussed following up with Rick Vernon about doing a segment on his TV show. Lynn will also revisit an ad with the News & Observer in hope of a better price than the one we were given earlier.
- We discussed our vision for DHF of NC. Betty mentioned the need to have a plan on how we will spend our money. We are blessed with a healthy balance in the bank and we need to be using it in a responsible manner to support some type of worthy mission(s). Betty said that people like to see their money working and not just sitting in the bank. We will all consider this and make it a major topic in one of our meetings.
- We also discussed how to make better use of our Facebook Page by ensuring all our churches can post items of interest to the page. It was suggested that we assign a page editor from each of our churches so everyone can see what’s going on in our churches. The following persons were suggested as editors:
- Betty Stowe – Unity CC
- Maryann Mumford – Otway CC
- Nannette Pollack – FCC Richlands
- Perry Rogan – Tuckahoe CC
- Lynn Maxwell – Pleasant Hill CC
- Amity CC – needs to appoint someone.
- Comfort CC – needs to appoint someone.
- Lynn noted that from time-to-time he does a bulletin insert from the DHF of NC meeting for Pleasant Hill’s church bulletin. Others present said they would like to receive it so they could put it in their bulletins. Lynn will follow up with this.
- We discussed that it is time to start thinking about setting a date for our Spring Seminar and identifying topics to be presented.
- Our next meeting will be held on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018 at FCC Richlands at 10:00 a.m. It was noted that if any church would like to host the meeting to please let us know. The meeting was closed with prayer.
The Disciple Heritage Fellowship of NC (DHF of NC) Gathering was held on Saturaday, Sep. 16, 2017 at First Christian Church Richlands, in Richlands, N.C. We were blessed to have approximately 90 persons in attendance, and had a wonderful day of worship, music, fellowship, great food, and inspirational preaching from Rev. Dr. Rick Grace from Spring Creek Fellowship, Springfield, Arkansas. Rick was joined by his wife and Christian author, Nancy Grace.
Rick’s morning message was from Acts. 14:8 and titled “Staring Adversity Down.” Rick provided his sermon in a sentence that says; “Resilience is what will set my life and my testimony apart from others to the glory of God.” The afternoon message was from II Timothy 2:1-6 and titled “Pay Attention To The Handoffs.” His sermon in a sentence was; “The legacy of DHF of North Carolina will be determinded by how well this and each successive hand off goes.” His message was appropriate since we are for the first time replacing four of our our original seven members of the Leadership Council.
We enjoyed contemporary Christian music by the 902 Praise Band and good old country Gospel by Rick and Jane Vernon, all from the 902 Church, Kinston, N.C. Also in attendance, were Wayne and Leslie Kent, representatives from Disciple Heritage Fellowship from Decatur, Illinois.
Rev. Dr. Gary Edens, installed our four new members of the Leadership Council: Rev. Bill Pollack, FCC Richlanads; Rev. Kenny Conner, Amity CC; Mr. Robert Reynolds, Pleasant Hill CC, and Mr. Keith Metts, Tuckahoe CC. Council members going off were; Rev. Dr. Gary Edens, Rev. Lynn Maxwell, Rev. Kim Holley, and Rev. Roger Noble. Thanks for a job well done.
Hope you enjoy the pictures from our Annual Gathering for 2017.