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Executive Council Meeting - September 9

The Executive Council of the Three Forks Baptist Association met on September 9, 2019. There were 19 persons present, representing 15 churches. Moderator Seth Norris welcomed those present and read Psalm 121. He then opened the meeting with prayer.


The minutes of the August 12, 2019 meeting were reviewed. There were no minutes presented from the August 26 meeting of the Executive Council, as this was solely an information session with a presentation by Scott Ball of The Malphur’s Group. After review of the minutes, Travis Burt moved that the minutes be accepted as presented. David Cooper seconded the motion, and the motion passed by a voice vote.


Administrative Update: The Administrative Team update was given by Ben Bolick. He will be meeting with Harold Bennett this week, to formally offer him the position as interim consultant for the Association, until December, 2019.


Mission Team Update: Jackie Lawrence gave the Mission Team update. High Country Impact will be September 21.  We have 15 churches participating this year. The deadline for Appalachian Christmas Outreach backpacks is November 2.


The Malphur’s Group: On August 26, Scott Ball gave a presentation to the Executive Council to let the council know the process by which they could help lead us through a Strategic Envisioning Process.  Travis Suits had contacted the DOM of the Jefferson Baptist Association, located near St. Louis, who had worked with the Malphur’s Group as a pastor. He stated that they were fantastic and led them without telling them what to do. The biggest wins for them were involvement, unity and a strategic vision.  He also stated that the process is directly transferable to associations, and that he will be using this process as a DOM.


It was determined that, in addition to the Strategic Envisioning Team, all church pastors will be invited to observe and learn the process, so they can use it in their own churches as well.


Time was given to address questions and concerns from those present.

Are we required to pay the entire $12,000.00 if we start the process and determine that it is not working for us?

No. We pay by the session, so if we go through a session and then decide that the process will not be a good fit for us, we are only obligated to pay the proposal acceptance and the session or sessions we have participated in.


Is this to figure out what this body is, or to get a new DOM?

Both. The first step is to allow the churches to identify the vision, then we will find a DOM to implement that vision.  This will return to the Association to the churches, by allowing them to set the vision, rather than hiring a DOM to set vision for them.


David Cooper moved to contract with The Malphur’s Group to engage us in a Strategic Envisioning Process. Ben Bolick seconded the motion and the motion passed by a voice vote.


What will the Envisioning Team look like? Will the churches all be fairly represented by using the cluster concept?

Cluster representatives have not been contacting the churches in their cluster to update them on what the Executive Council is doing. The cluster concept is new to the Association, and cluster representatives have not been trained or instructed on how to interact with the churches in their cluster. Some of the smaller churches may feel as if they are not being represented under the cluster model, because they are not hearing from the Association.

Clarification was made that while the composition of the Executive Council has changed, the representation of churches to the Semi-Annual meetings has not changed. Each church is still allowed the same number of messengers as before, and each messenger is still eligible to vote. It is important that all churches send their messengers to the Semi-Annual meetings, and this will be stressed in the invitation letter this year.


Semi-Annual Meeting: The Fall Semi-Annual meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 15 at South Fork Baptist Church. There will be a question and answer time during the fellowship meal, when a representative from each of the leadership teams will be available to answer questions about what the teams have been doing, and what they are planning in the near future. Invitation letters will be sent to the churches next week.


Replacement of Executive Council members: Chuck Campbell was a cluster representative for the Boone Cluster during his time as pastor of Poplar Grove Baptist Church. He has currently moved to Bethel Baptist Church, which is in the Western Cluster. Darrell Hobbs was suggested as a replacement for Chuck as Boone cluster representative. Travis Burt will contact Darrell and find out if he is willing to accept this position.  If so, he will be voted on at the Fall Semi-Annual meeting. Pat Dalton moved that Darrell Hobbs be recommended as a replacement to the Semi-Annual messengers, David Cooper seconded, and the motion was passed by a voice vote.

Gary Watson had previously been asked to be taken off as Northern Cluster representative, due to family health concerns.  He will be contacted to determine if he still wishes to resign as cluster representative.  If so, Mike Townsend of Meat Camp Baptist Church will be asked if he is willing to serve as a replacement, and if so, he also will be voted on at the Fall Semi-Annual meeting.


Composition of the Strategic Envisioning Team: In addition to the Executive Council, there will be 3-4 at large members from churches who will be members of the envisioning team and who will have direct input into the process.  Several names were put forward as possibilities for these at large members.  They will be contacted to see if they wish to serve, once further details are worked out.


Other Business: Nancy Williams requested that those present pray for the Region 7 disaster relief team, who will shortly be heading to the coast to assist in hurricane relief.


Ben Bolick closed the meeting in prayer.

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