Looking Back

2018 NC Secretaries Conference
Caraway Conference Center
November 12-14
Theme: Jars of Clay
Scripture: 2 Corinthians 4:7-9 (NIV) "But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed."

One of the things I enjoy doing in January, along with buying a brand-new one, is looking back through my journal and reading and reflecting on the past year; its challenges and accomplishments, mountaintops and valleys. One of those mountaintops is always the NCBSA conference and the 2018 conference didn’t disappoint. Though we certainly would have preferred better weather, I wholeheartedly agree with one secretary who said on her evaluation: “Despite the rainy, cold weather, it was sunny and warm with my fellow sister workers.”

I have been a member of the NCBSA since 1997 and have been blessed by every conference, each one providing its own unique contribution to the season I was in. This having been my first conference as an officer, I understand more than ever just how much prayer and preparation is required for a conference that, not only equips administrative assistants for ministry, but brings glory to the God we serve. I am so grateful to say that the Spirit of God led your executive committee every step of the way. It was my pleasure and privilege to work with Teresa Dotson, Alicia Ashley and Rachel Sanders, and thank them so very much for their sweet friendship and giving hearts. From the very beginning, we shared the common goal of a conference that brought God glory and secretaries the administrative, spiritual and personal fulfillment we all desire when we come together.

I can say, without a doubt, that Dawn Smith Jordan was exactly who God wanted as our keynote speaker and worship leader this past year. He led us to her at the very beginning of the planning process and affirmed that very fact with her as she, in turn, prayed. She blessed us not only with her gifts of singing and speaking and humor, she was very honest and transparent with us, revealing a life filled with great heartache, disappointment and struggle. But her story encouraged us and reminded us that God works ALL things for our good and His glory, and that this journey we are all on is one that is designed to make us more like Christ.

Our general sessions began with the reminder that “Hope Has a Name.” Dawn shared her life verse from Proverbs 3:5-6, exhorted us to “cease striving” (Psalm 46:10) and simply encouraged us to stop doing (sigh) and be “be-ers.” That’s a message I need to hear regularly!

During our second general session, she focused on forgiveness, reminding us that ultimately we must forgive because we are forgiven, and encouraging us to LET IT GO, because unforgiveness leads to unfruitfulness. And we are called to live fruitful lives. We finished up our third general session, with Dawn and the passage from Genesis 2:18 reminding us that we “cannot do life alone.”

What huge blessings we received during the general sessions! We laughed and cried and worshipped together. But can I also say, what a great time we had playing icebreaker games on Monday (your evaluations said as much!) and at our banquet and movie on Tuesday? Overall, we hope you enjoyed your time at Caraway and pray that everyone who attended this conference received a special blessing and just what you needed when you took the time from your busy schedules to relax a bit. If you weren’t able to attend in 2018, we hope and pray you will be able to this year as we anticipate another great conference, this one at Fort Caswell in Oak Island. We ask, also, that you pray for us as we seek God’s guidance in the planning process and know that we pray for each of you as you serve your Lord right where He has you!

Blessings, Karoline Overby

2017 NC Secretaries Conference
Ridgecrest, NC
November 13-15
Theme: The Aroma of Christ
Scripture: 2 Corinthians 2:15 (NIV) "For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing."

As I reflect back on our 2017 NCBSA Conference, I can see how God was at work from the beginning to bring everything together for His glory. It’s always such a blessing to be in the mountains at Ridgecrest. We always feel just a little closer to God when we’re there. This year we were extremely blessed to have Gwen Smith as our keynote speaker and worship leader. She not only brought God’s message to us through the spoken Word, but also blessed us with her musical talents as we worshipped our Lord and Savior through song. She reminded us of ways that we can be the “pleasing aroma of Christ” in our everyday lives.

In our first general session, Gwen’s message was entitled “A Soul Poured Out” from her book Broken into Beautiful. She used the story of Hannah to remind us that God can turn our brokenness and emptiness into something of beauty if we pour out our hearts to Him through prayer. “The More that We Were Meant For” was the title of her second session. Gwen taught from her book, I Want it All, and used Luke 11:1-13. We need to “ask, seek, and knock.” We often settle for the status quo when God wants to give us His best. Our last general session was “The Power of R.E.S.T.” God’s best requires rest. If we want to be the pleasing aroma of Christ and to be all that He has for us, we must prioritize REST. We should Reflect (Psalm 77:11-12), Engage (Matthew 11:28-29), Surrender (Psalm 86:11), and Trust (Philippians 4:6-7). Gwen’s messages were inspirational and led us to have a more intimate walk with Christ.

On Monday evening we enjoyed a wonderful time of fun and fellowship playing ice breaker games. We had an elegant banquet on Tuesday evening followed by a talent show featuring special performances from our secretaries choir and many of our very own members. We have so many gifted and talented ladies. I pray that everyone who attended this conference received a blessing. If you were unable to attend in 2017, please pray about coming this year. I promised you won’t be disappointed.

I want to take a moment to thank the members of our Executive Committee from last year for all their hard work (Deborah Richardson, Gail Thompson, and Alicia Ashley). It was a blessing to work alongside each of you. Also, thanks to everyone who helped behind the scenes to make this year’s event so successful. (It takes a village!) Your Executive Committee has already been meeting and praying for God’s hand to be upon us as we make plans for the 2018 Conference. Please know that we also pray for each of you and ask that you pray for us as we seek God’s guidance. If we can be of assistance to you in any way, please feel free to contact us.

Teresa Dotson

2016 North Carolina Secretaries Conference
Ft. Caswell, NC
November 7-9
Theme: An Ornament Adorned for Christ
Scripture: 1 Peter 3:4 “…let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quite spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”

I don’t know about you, but for me the NCBSA Conference always comes at exactly the right time...just when I need a break from the daily routine to spend some quality time with my Lord and my sisters in Christ. And this year’s conference was all that and more! What an awesome time of worship, fellowship, and learning together. And what better place to be than at the beach to just sit and reflect on God’s goodness and enjoy His beautiful world. We were especially blessed the last morning with one of the most beautiful sunrises that I have ever seen. “Thank you, Lord for the beauty of Your creation!”

We were so blessed to have Beth Greer as our keynote speaker and were encouraged by her dynamic yet sincere teaching of God’s Word. We were reminded that we are all very precious in God’s sight and that we can reflect and adorn the body of Christ by how we act or react to what happens in our lives each day. In the first session, Beth shared about the encounter that Jesus had with the woman at the well. And just like her, Jesus knows everything about us yet loves us anyway. Our sins are forgiven: past, present, and future. It was also such a joy to have Melody Griffin as our Worship Leader. We were touched as she shared her testimony and her music.

I hope each of you received a blessing from our time spent together. From our first planning meeting together as an Executive Committee, we began praying for God’s will to be done and for the conference to go according to His plans. And almost immediately, we saw God at work every step of the way as we chose the scripture, theme, speaker, worship leader, breakout leaders, etc. And we prayed diligently for each of you that God would allow those who needed to receive His message from this conference to be able to attend. It is such a blessing to see God’s plan unfold. I know that many of you were praying with us and we want to thank you for all your prayers and encouraging words. It takes many faithful servants in order for an event like this to be successful, and I want to say a special thank you to everyone who helped in any way. I especially would like to thank the other members of last year’s Executive Team (Nancy Evans, April Van Dyke, and Gail Thompson) for all your hard work and dedication.

Please continue to pray for your officers this year as we are seeking God’s direction for the 2017 conference. Remember, we are here for you if you need anything.

Teresa Dotson

2015 North Carolina Secretaries Conference
Caraway Conference Center
November 9-11
Theme: Rooted in God's Love
Scripture: Colossians 2:7 - "Let your roots grown down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness."

Wow! What a great time of fellowship, relaxing, worship times together, renewing old acquaintances and making new ones. His Holy Spirit was so prevalent during our conference. I don’t know about you but everywhere I turned I could see that the Holy Spirit had already been there working making things ready for all of us to be blessed. We did have a hiccup with the projection system, but God got the glory in that too. We all continued to worship Him in the midst of the audio/video difficulties. Renea Henderson did a wonderful job of leading us in a time of worship through music. Everyone was in awe and enjoyed Bryant West and his piano playing talent as well as his singing ability.

Wendy Peters was such a blessing. She poured her heart out to us that week. Many of you commented on how much you enjoyed her teaching. At our first session, Wendy talked about our heart condition. Do we serve out of duty or out of love? The heart matters.

Next, she talked about prayer. We are to pray for our pastors, and to pray without ceasing. They have a burden and we need to understand that. They are burdened for others to be rooted, built up and strengthened in Christian truth. Ephesians 6:19 says “And pray in the Spirit, on all occasions. With all kinds of prayers and all kinds of requests, with this in mind, be alert, always keep praying for all the saints. Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me. So that I will fearlessly make known, the mystery of the Gospel”. She also challenged us to write down 1,000 things we are thankful for. After about 300 we will begin to look around for more.

In the last session Wendy talked about being thankful. We are to practice being faithful and thankful. In Ephesians 5:19-20 it says to “Be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord always giving THANKS to God the Father for everything in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ”.

Nancy Evans

2014 North Carolina Secretaries Conference
Ridgecrest Conference Center
November 3-5
Theme: Embracing the Seasons of Our Lives
Scripture: Philippians 4:11 "Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am."

We arrived on Monday to crisp mountain air and snow on the mountain. Wow! God truly blessed us with such a beautiful week. Not only was it beautiful outside, but it was beautiful on the inside. His Holy Spirit was so very present with us that week. Everywhere we went, He was already there working behind the scene. I praise Him for His love and faithfulness.

We were so blessed to have Marilynn Chadwick as our key-note speaker for this past 2014 conference. In whatever season of life we find ourselves, Marilynn challenged us to make God look good in the good times and in the bad times. She shared that we need all seasons to bear fruit. There is a time for everything. Fruit bearing is so important. The growth sequence for grapes: The bud breaks through, then it grows, then the flowers come, then come the grapes, they grow, then the harvest season, then winter time (a season of rest, the roots get ready for the next season of growth), at the end of winter comes the pruning season (we need to be cleaned up). What do we need to prune or to de-clutter from our lives so we can allow new growth to bear more fruit. We have a choice to abide in Christ. If we stay thirsty for God, then we will be able to endure and stand our ground in Christ. Marilynn challenged us to pray this prayer: "Break my heart for what breaks Yours."

God provides the answers to every challenge, every trial, and every season of our lives if we seek Him and His wisdom. Stay in His Word daily!

Your officers are prayerfully seeking God's wisdom in planning the 2015 confer-ence, which will be at the Caraway Conference Center. We ask for your prayers as we follow His direction in choosing a theme, a keynote speaker and breakout leaders, also pray as we seek His guidance to keep finances in check. As you all know prices are sky rocketing every year, we are working hard to keep cost down, so that everyone can enjoy their time away. If you will remember, at the closing session, I asked everyone when you find a penny on the ground to pray for your officers. We are so grateful for those prayers.

Nancy Evans

2013 North Carolina Secretaries Conference
Ft. Caswell, NC
November 4-6
Theme: Set Sail for Serving
Scripture: Galations 5:15 "But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another."

We arrived on Monday to a gentle breeze as we "Set Sail to Serve" on our 2013 cruise. We put our feet under the Captain's Table and feasted on God's Word of instructions from Renea Henderson, our keynote speaker. The white sand on the beach reminded me of what we are when God cleanses us from our sins.

We made acquaintances with new passengers, got reacquainted with really interesting passengers from the past, and learned new skills. What an incredible cruise it was!

Some our ladies have been through difficult times in 2013. The waves reminded me of what those times can be like. But, Matthew 8:27 reminds us that "even the wind and waves obey him?" What a comfort it is to know He is there always walking by our side encouraging us. Just as Renea encouraged us to write down something that we were holding on to and let go of that baggage that weighs us down; He takes that weight, replaces it with peace and gives us a renewed energy to serve. Let us remember to serve and glorify Him even in the most difficult circumstances.

Your officers are prayerfully seeking God's wisdom in planning for the 2014 conference. We ask for your prayers as we follow His direction and seek for a keynote speaker and breakout leaders. If we can assist you in any way, please contact one of your officers as we are here to serve each of you.

Blessing to you and your family in the New Year and hope you are already making plans to attend the 2014 conference.

Brenda Boyles

2012 North Carolina Secretaries Conference
Ridgecrest Conference Center
November 5 -7
Theme: "Wild About Jesus"
Scripture: Matthew 21:9 "And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to theSon of David! Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!"

WOW! What a sweet spirit we experienced at the 2012 Conference. We were so blessed to have Phyllis Elvington challenge us to be "Wild About Jesus" as we "Listen to God Speak". Phyllis encouraged us to trust, don't worry, watch and pray, place what we have in the hands of the Master for Him to multiply it, and give thanks in everything.

Jesus retreated, prayed, and listened carefully for the Master's instructions. May each of us find that place of stillness and begin to seek and experience a deeper relationship with the Father. As we seek Him let us not see the chaos in our lives but let us be "Wild About Jesus" and be examples to others we encounter on our journey.

Your officers have already begun preparation for the 2013 Conference. We ask for your prayers as we serve "YOU" and look for ways to assist our members. We trust the Lord to lead us to the keynote speaker, breakout leaders, and volunteers for the 2013 conference.

Begin making your preparations to join us for the 2013 Conference November 4th - 6th at Caswell. I look forward to seeing each of you in November.

If we can assist you in any way, please know your officers are here to serve you.

Brenda Boyles

2011 North Carolina Secretaries Conference
Caraway Conference Center
Oct. 31 - Nov. 2, 2011
Theme: Christ Centered: Worship / Work / Witness ~ www.CHRIST ~
Scripture: Ephesians 4:4 "There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling."

“Everyone is a called minister of the Gospel, regardless of profession or trade," says David Cox, co-founder and writer for The Other 6 Days. David writes and consults on a limited basis for this Raleigh-based ministry and co-founded it in 2007 as a way to reach out and encourage “normal," every-day Christians in their quest to serve God at work. “Not everyone has a job, but everyone has a calling and that calling is the way we live out our faith on a daily basis. It is the way we serve Christ and worship him the other six days of the week." That statement sums David's personal understanding of the strategic importance of every Christian and the way each of us has been commissioned to contribute to the Kingdom of God.

Born the son of a Baptist pastor, David grew up within the subculture of the Southern Baptist church. He was called to vocational ministry at the age of 17 while attending a conference at Ridgecrest during his freshman year at Gardner-Webb University. He later graduated from Southeastern Seminary with the Master of Divinity and an earned doctorate as well. In Virginia, North Carolina, Florida and Texas, he served in many capacities in the Church, including student pastor, senior pastor and church planter. His favorite experience was church planting in Wake Forest, NC, in 1997 where the hand of God rose up and started a mighty work that continues to grow and expand even today for the Kingdom. We look forward to hearing the words that God gives to David to deliver to us as we strengthen our calling as we serve at our places of work.

We hope you are excited about the conference! Your executive team has been hard at work. It hard to believe that it's that time again. As we get closer, so does the deadline for registrations and selections for breakouts. Please be reminded to submit yours by September 30.

Be in prayer for David Cox, breakout leaders, the current and incoming officers, volunteers, NCBSA registered members, and the Caraway staff. Remember, it takes everyone working together to make a successful conference!

Pam Shoaf

2010 North Carolina Secretaries Conference
Caraway Conference Center
Nov. 1-3, 2010
Theme: Life: A Balancing Act
Scripture: Ecclesiastes 3:1 "To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven."

Leaving Caraway, I was reminded again of how great is our God. The gold and yellow leaves against the cloudy blue sky was a beautiful site to behold. It is amazing that the trees know when to change; just as God has a purpose for each season of our lives.

Our keynote speaker was Martha McDowell, from Laurinburg, NC. Her first message was about Esther and how she used her position to glorify God. This is a good check up that we can use to check our motives; do I serve to impress others? Do I serve for external rewards or do I use my service to feel good about myself? We should use our position to glorify God. When God calls, check your motives and be faithful when God is silent. Our passion for God will result in compassion for His children.

We were happy to have Justin and Erin Blakely, from Elkin, to lead our worship music. More special music we enjoyed: Linda Lunsford, soloist and former NCBSA Officer from Ardmore Baptist Church; Alicia Corder, soloist, volunteer, and daughter of Angela Cockerham; Sandy Yarborough and Pam Shoaf played a duet with handbells.

Monday evening, we were entertained by an amazing magician and illusionist, Andy Lackey, from Statesville.

Tuesday evening, our banquet was served in the dining hall at Caraway. We enjoyed the creative balloon art on each table and we were served by the Jersey Baptist Youth Group. Afterwards, we had the pleasure of Men on a Mission, formerly Cold Springs United Methodist Men of Concord, who entertained us with songs.

Thank you to each one who attended the conference and to every volunteer. We appreciate all that was done to make it “A Balancing Act."

We look forward to the conference at Caraway in 2011. Please continue to keep the NC Baptist Secretaries and the Executive Committee in your prayers as we plan the next conference.

2009 North Carolina Secretaries Conference
Ridgecrest Conference Center
November 2-4, 2009
Theme: “I Choose Joy"
Scripture: John 15:11 "These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you; and that your joy might be full."

As I reflect on the 2009 North Carolina Secretaries Conference at Ridgecrest Conference Center, I am in awe of God's goodness. His presence was obvious at the first planning meeting, and He faithfully stayed for the duration of our conference.

We were blessed to have Bridget Taylor as our keynote speaker. She spoke on “I Choose Joy" during our general sessions and entertained us with her testimony in song on Tuesday evening. We thank Justin Blakely for the beautiful music during our worship sessions and his wife Erin who played the piano and sang for us. What a beautiful voice she has! We also thank our breakout leaders. Several of them were new this year, but each one did a wonderful job.

Monday night we enjoyed popcorn while we watched the movie Flywheel. The movie's message challenged us to put God first in every aspect of our lives. The movie was truly inspirational and left many of us in tears.

Tuesday night our banquet we held in the new dining hall. Tables were decorated with large tea pots filled with floating candles and tea cups were given to each secretary as a special gift. Ridgecrest provided a delicious pasta buffet for our dinner.

I am grateful for each person who attended this year's conference and every prayer that was said for the executive committee. Thank you to all the volunteers. Many of you worked behind the scenes, but your work was just as important as those who participated in the general sessions. It takes all of us to have a successful conference.

The holidays have come and gone since we last met, and Christmas without my Mom was especially difficult this year. But remembering that I could choose joy helped me to count my blessings and be grateful for my friends, for my loved ones still with me, and for God's infinite grace.

I hope each of you were able to take something from the conference that is helping you in your daily life. Please continue to pray for each other, the Secretaries Association, and for the Executive Committee as we plan the 2010 conference. God bless you all.

2008 Conference Review
Having just turned off the main road into the conference center, my heart was overwhelmed with God's beauty around me, as I witnessed the breathtaking “autumn colors" of His artistic palette. He seemed to confirm to me that His hand was upon the upcoming 2008 NCBSA conference. As vans were unloaded and stages were decorated, I knew that secretaries from across North Carolina were about to be blessed!

Count your blessings, name them one by one. Let me count just a few …

Blessing #1:
We were so blessed to have as our keynote speaker, Dr. Gary Chapman. Even though he was only able to spend two days with us, he certainly communicated in a special way how we, as ministry assistants, are given opportunities each day to communicate God's love to those around us. Dr. Chapman followed up Monday's message with ways we can all enhance our individual relationships with God. I don't know about all of you, but I sure came away with some new and fresh ideas.

Blessing #2:
On day three, we were blessed again to have Haven Parrott as our speaker. She did a marvelous portrayal of Gomer, Hosea's harlot wife. In her unique way, Haven brought the scriptures to life and helped us all to see just how much we are like Gomer, in contrast to the everlasting love our Heavenly Father has for us. And then when we were least expecting it …

Blessing #3:
Marc Eckel from SPLAT Experience assisted us in truly worshiping the Christ we serve. His artistic abilities, literally splattered on canvas lent us a truly awesome picture of Jesus. We were truly blessed to have him as our special “secret" guest. We chose this presentation as a final stamp on our 2008 conference, hoping to reiterate that even without words, we can communicate Christ.

Blessing #4:
All of our breakout leaders are certainly a blessing to us. As the conference continued, it was evident God had placed these specific leaders in our midst for a reason. Hearts were lifted, skills were learned, and we all came away with a better view of ourselves. Our goal is to take what we learned and bring it to our workplaces to make a difference in the world.

Blessing #5:
Didn't Ceci Hughett and her breakout assistants do a fabulous job on the table centerpieces? They were just the very thing to bring our banquet room to completion. And our service from the youth of Blackburn Baptist was phenomenal. They were all very well mannered and did a fantastic job. Not only did they serve well, but you also gave well. We collected a total of $710 to go towards their missions. Thank you, ladies!

Blessing #6:
Although several of our girls chose to watch the presidential election results, we still had a good number of ladies that participated in our “very relaxed" pajama party on Tuesday night. Some of the highlights of the evening were certainly, Marty Spena in his hot pink pajamas, advice from Rhonda, our “Beauty-out-of-Control" expert. Our silent auction results, in addition to our daily offering collected, brought the total amount given to the NC School for the Deaf to $1,196. Thank you so much for your generosity.

Blessing #7:
And last, but certainly not least, is the spirit of God among us. As we renewed our relationships from years past, and made new friends, we are continually reminded that it is God's spirit, and not anything we do, that holds this organization together. Betty Walker had a vision that would be fulfilled for years to come of God uniting secretaries across the state, healing hearts, furthering skills, and helping us all to be the best at what God has called us to do …. to MINISTER in His name. Thank you all for doing just that!

Count your blessings, name them one by one … I could go on and on, but hopefully, you have gathered a vivid picture of what our 2008 NCBSA Conference was like. If you were there, let me hear a hearty “Amen!" … if you couldn't make it, we sure hope you will plan to join us at Ridgecrest Conference Center in November 2009.

25th Anniversary Celebration – "Journey Of Promise"
NCBSA 2007 Conference Review
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Just when we think our conference can't be topped – it happens all over again! After experiencing the Spirit of God Among Us so vividly in 2006, we were blessed beyond measure on the mountaintops of North Carolina in 2007. As 164 ladies arrived to celebrate our 25th Anniversary, they were pleasantly surprised to find their accommodations in the brand new facilities of the Mountain Laurel Inn. Many positive comments were made about the comfortable beds and being able to house all of our activities in one building. Even with the inconvenience of going “out in the cold" and “down the hill" to the dining hall …, our ministry assistants were gracious in their evaluation comments. Oh my, don't we love convenience!

To help us break the ice and get better acquainted with each other on Monday night, several of our girls planned and hosted our FUN FEST. While playing interactive games, good conversation and bonding occurred among the North Carolina secretaries. Kudos and a big "thank you" to the Alexander Association for their time and teamwork displayed in the planning and carrying out of this festive event. We are sorry Linda Lunsford's mother was not able to join in FUN FEST due to her accident, but we as officers, were pleased as we witnessed the NCBSA ladies do what they do best … minister to those who are hurting and in need. Thanks ladies!

Having followed the Lord's leading in our selection of the keynote speaker, we had no idea what He had in store for us. WOW! Were we ever blessed!? Two of the main reasons our secretaries attend the yearly conference is to be spiritually renewed and to lighten up and laugh. Kim supplied us with both. Have you taken her (and Tara Furman's) advice and selected your prayer chair, as well as filled your prayer basket? Our hearts were uplifted as Kim shared her own spiritual journey, and our funny bones were definitely tickled as she sang and performed her “I'm the PMS Queen" song for us. Her generosity and responsiveness to the voice of God brought down the house as she literally gave away her skirt to Christa Wike.

In addition to our fantastic keynote speaker, our general sessions were made complete with true worship led by Jonathan and Laura Turner, guest musicians from Pitts Baptist Church in Concord. Both traditional and contemporary songs were appreciated by all. Also modern technology was a plus, enabling us to feel free to raise our hands in praise. Thank you to Jonathan and Laura for leading us not only in worship, but also in PowerPoint and “What's for dinner, Honey?" They are gifted with many talents and we thank them for sharing with the NCBSA.

Did you have trouble choosing which breakout sessions to take? Not to worry … we do plan to have many of them back next year. We were thoroughly blessed by the wide range of excellent and professional leaders willing to give of their time, talent, and skills. Among some of the favorites were Kerry and Joy Reeves, Tara Furman, Carol Polk, and of course, Kay Tatum. We gained a great deal of information to help us, not only in our workplaces, but in our homes as well.

And finally, with tables decorated to the hilt and the anniversary cake on display, we all enjoyed a relaxed evening at Tuesday night's banquet. Dressed in our Sunday's best made us feel as special as the evening became. The anniversary charm and ornament gifts were a big hit and we hope will be keepsakes for years to come. After great conversation around the table, we moved our gathering to the Jim Henry auditorium for a special time of worship with Kim Bolton. Whether eating or worshiping by candlelight, the Spirit of God has truly been in our midst once again. What a finale to our celebration!!

Your generosity in giving to our mission's emphasis repeatedly overwhelms us. The Baptist Children's Homes' Care House will be the recipient of $1,939.74 received from our special offering. What a heartwarming gift to them and to our Lord.

After another awesome conference … it is now time to descend the mountaintop, and enter into the valley of our everyday lives. It is my prayer that all in attendance heard the voice of God while at Ridgecrest, and were touched in some way as they continue their Journey of Promise.

Until Next Year,
Jo Ann Walton

May it be a “Life Changing Experience"

"His Spirit Among Us"
NCBSA 2006 Conference Review

"He may strengthen you with power through His spirit in your inner being ... so that Christ may dwell in your hearts ..."

If I could describe this year's conference in two words, it would be Holy and hilarious! Truly the Lord's Spirit was among us, as 176 North Carolina ministry assistants came together at Camp Caraway for our 24th annual conference. Our general sessions were exciting with lots of door prizes and surprises! Thanks to our officers listening to our requests last year, the room set-up was different in order to accommodate everyone, and the trickling fountain "in the garden" brought a definite calmness to our stressful lives.

George Fields, our keynote speaker, wasted no time in reminding us in song ... "We've got so much, so much, so much ... to be thankful for!" Tuesday, after guiding us through the personality profile, he brought refreshment to our hearts in knowing that we are all unique in the sight of the Lord. With his Popular Sanquine personality, he was such an encouragement and inspiration to us all. By Wednesday, we were all anticipating what George had up his sleeve. From magical cards to mystical ropes, George wowed us with his tricks and talent. But most of all, he reminded us that God has a purpose and plan for each one of us and we can find contentment in being who God made us to be.

Speaking of unique ... straight from Project Runway (well, maybe not), some of our ladies daunted the aisles with their own fashion creations on Monday evening, with our own Rev. Bill Nix emceeing. We were all captivated by their beauty! And as usual, many lingered afterward to reconnect with long-time friends and to familiarize themselves with new ones. Tuesday evening, a special banquet meal was served by the youth group from Pitts Baptist Church in Concord. To top off the evening, our ladies were blessed by the inspirational and remarkable blending of the voices of CHI RHO, an all-male group of Wake Forest University students. In looking at the diversity of the group, it was most evident that God's Spirit was among us, bringing to mind the good that He is able to accomplish when we join our unique gifts together in serving Him.

God's spirit of generosity was demonstrated as we collected an amazing $1,325 for the kids at Victory Junction. The $1,284 collected from tote bag and T-shirt sales will surely help with the planning of our 25th Anniversary Celebration next year. Even the rain and wind did not dampen our spirits on Tuesday evening when we had to make a change of plans. Instead of singing around the campfire at the lake, we all gathered in the lodge, with guitar-picking George Fields, and beheld a moving of the Spirit that encompassed us all. Truly, God's grace is amazing and surely, the presence of the Lord was in that place.

It is in the ordinary things of life that opportunity is made for the extraordinary!


  • Teresa Almond, Jo Ann Walton, Kay Hale and Brenda Boyles, our 2006 officers for all your hard work!
  • George Fields, our keynote speaker for allowing God to use your gifts to bless us.
  • Robin Frodge, Carol Frost and our NCBSA choir for leading us in musical worship.
  • Dixie Beard, for representing SBC, and David Moore, Wayne Oakes, Johnny Ross, Russell Schwab and Phil Stone for representing BSCNC so well.
  • Breakout Session leaders for your expertise and willingness to share.
  • Rev. Bill Nix for your dedication and support of the NCBSA and for the ways in which you have been a Christlike example to us all.


  • Sandra Hall of the Pilot Mountain Association for being our newly appointed Lifetime Member.
  • Our new 2007 officers (Jo Ann Walton, Gail Holland, Linda Lunsford and Brenda Boyles).

Hope to see you November 5-7, 2007 for our 25th Anniversary Celebration at Ridgecrest!

Jo Ann Walton, President

"Take Hold Of His Blessings "
NCBSA 2005 Conference Thoughts ...

As I begin to write this article, I can't help but reflect how the Lord blessed my heart during the 2005 conference at Caraway. I'm sure that Gail, Kay and Jean would all agree that when the planning began in early December, 2004 for the conference that we would not fully understand until it was over why God impressed the theme topic and scripture reference of Galatians 5:22-23 on us so strongly. However, now looking from this side of the conference, I believe that the Lord planned this conference specifically with me in mind. After listening to Carolyn Helms, our keynote speaker, share the thoughts that the Lord gave her, I know that He was telling me to slow down and more than ever fully rely on Him. The year 2005 held many emotional and spiritual hardships for my family, my church family, and as I am sure for many of your families as well. But, isn't it wonderful to know that our Lord as a precious heavenly Father knows all that we encounter and the grace and love that He allows us to have will take us through all situations. Thank you to each of you who shared with me the “everyday" trials and struggles that have crossed your path this past year and how God used the conference and your peers to encourage you in those times.

I wanted to take a minute to highlight some of the week with you. What a fitting tribute to Betty Walker and Maurice Cooper that was shared by Martha Jolly and Jo Ann Walton. The insights and desires that Betty and Maurice shared to begin and grow our organization to what it is today and what it will continue to provide for all ministry assistants should be long remembered. It is with much gratitude to them both that we will go forward as ministry assistants.

Did we have “church" on Tuesday night or what? What started out to potentially be a problem with sound equipment, turned into a good old fashion gospel sing. The Cold Springs Methodist Men's group from Concord were a blessing to all. The love of God was evident in their music and on each of their faces as they sang. Continue to pray for their ministry as they have opportunity to share Christ.

I also wanted to thank each volunteer who worked with the bookstore, directions and preparation. Without each of you, we couldn't make this conference work.

With all of this said, Jo Ann, Kay, Brenda and I covet your prayers as we begin the preparations for the 2006 conference. We know that God will give us the theme, scripture and speakers that He wants to use to encourage and help us in our workplace and our lives. We have read the evaluations carefully and will try to plan so as to fill the needs of each person that will be attending.

If I can be of assistance to any of you or your local association, please feel free to contact me.

Is this the Year????? Let's register 200 plus…

I look forward to seeing each of you – November 6-8, 2006 at Caraway.

"Called By Christ"
The 2004 NCBSA Annual Conference Recapped

Just a few short weeks after ending the 2003 conference, Deborah, Kay, Gail and I set about the task of planning for the 2004 NCBSA Conference. As in the previous year we wanted the conference to be not only a time of professional growth but once again a time of spiritual renewal. As with conference planning of the past, prayer was the first priority. As we each prayed for the other officers, the ladies attending, the speakers and the conference itself, our desire was that God would be in the center of it. To lead us, to pull us close together and especially to fill the needs of each person there, whatever it might be. So, with this in mind the theme came together. “Called by Christ" was the unanimous choice because our Savior calls each of us in different capacities. We are called to serve our churches, associations, organizations and most of all called to serve Him.

To share the good news of what Christ has done and continues to do for us each day is the goal that each of us should strive to achieve.

Many thanks to all who pitched in to make this conference come together. Without the help of so many volunteers, things would not have run so smoothly. Many worked in areas of teaching, setting up for the banquet and the stage area, gift preparations, running errands, really just anywhere help was needed. Your hard work and dedication did not go unnoticed.

From the evaluation forms we received, information was gathered as to whom, you the attendees, wanted to see back or for the first time. The overwhelming choice for our keynote speaker was Haven Parrot. Haven pitched in briefly during the 2003 conference when Phyllis Elvington had to leave early. As Haven spoke through her dramatic interpretations of Ruth, Mephibosheth, and Moses, we were all, I think, taken back a little. Sometimes we read in scripture of biblical characters and the things that happened to them, and do not stop and really think of the way their lives were lived and the impacts they had on others. I think God used Haven to challenge each of us; we should be ready and willing to serve when He calls.

Between our General Sessions, we had excellent leaders who further enabled us to do our work in the role as ministry assistants. Over twenty session topics were offered to choose from. Again, the evaluations gave the information needed to provide you with sessions geared to meet spiritual as well as professional needs. Leaders such as Haven Parrot, Lula Mae Briggs, Steve Briggs and Carolyn Helms were instrumental in focusing on the Spiritual enrichment, development and Bible Study needs. Another area of great importance to us in a professional aspect is grasping all that comes with a “computer." Kay Tatum did a great job explaining ideas and how to's so that many of us could be better equipped. Dr. Lara Pons and Nancy Rhodes gave us essential information to live healthier lives and to take better care of the body that God gave us. This year we had the privilege of having team members from the Crown Financial Group who gave us updated tax and contribution facts as well as working on our own personal finances. Jeanette Robinson, Sheryl Shankles, Dixie Beard and Johnny Ross brought new insights into areas that most of us deal with everyday. Sessions such as the One-girl Office and The Frazzled Female gave tips and humor to our everyday work environment, and as always helpful facts from the Annuity Board to make retirement day easier.

One of the highlights of this year's conference was the Praise time on Monday night. We are truly blessed by the talent of the girls in our organization. For those who shared their personal testimony of the way God has lead in their lives, we say thank you. I was truly blessed to be part of this time. During our banquet time, the drama group, Infinitely More from Arden, provided the entertainment. Their desire to share the love of Christ was evident and was enjoyed by all. At the close of our Monday night Praise session, we enjoyed a Birthday Fellowship time provided by the Cabarrus, Carolina, Central Triad, Cullom, Haywood, Liberty, Pilot Mountain, Raleigh, Rowan, Sandhills, Sandy Creek, Surry, and Tar River Associations. Robin Frodge, our conference music leader, did a super job with our music as well as leading our Secretaries Choir. We were again able to enjoy the ministry contribution of Carol Mellard as she used her talents of music through the piano. As always, the door prizes provided by our associations and many individuals were appreciated by all. On Wednesday morning, during the Business Session, Judy Wood, former President, led the installation service of officers. Jean Sigmon and Kay Hale were elected as First and Second Vice-President respectively and Gail Holland continues to serve her term as Secretary/Treasurer. Deborah Richardson and Darlene Lambert were nominated and elected as Advisory Committee members.

The 2004 NCBSA conference closed following the Wednesday general session and it was announced that the 2005 conference would be November 7-9, at Caraway Conference Center in Asheboro. Let me end by saying thank you again so much for your support of the officers and for the NCBSA organization. In the early planning stages for the 2005 conference, our keynote speaker has been secured. Make your plans now to be with us at Caraway in November.

Teresa Almond, President

"Focusing" on the 2003 NCBSA Conference

Last year, the NCBSA officers worked really hard to plan a conference that would inspire, enrich, and refresh all those who attended. Our theme for 2003 was "Our Focus in Ministry-Serving Christ." Although we wanted everyone attending to learn something helpful from the conference, we also wanted it to be one that brought our focus into serving God.

For all of you who filled out those "mandatory" evaluations and turned them in, we thank you for all of your comments! One comment about the conference was especially one that we were hoping for-"God's Holy Spirit was evident." Amidst laughter and tears, fellowship and fun, we felt His presence among us.

Our keynote speaker, Phyllis Elliott Elvington, was absolutely wonderful, inspiring us with her heart-warming humor and uplifting personality. She combined her humor with spiritual truths, and we were truly blessed. As one of you said on your evaluation, "Laughter is good for the soul, and we had our share of it from Phyllis!"

In between the General Sessions, we had excellent leaders to enable us in our work and ministry, with over twenty breakout session topics from which to choose. According to the evaluations, one of your greatest needs was met, and that was to be fed spiritually in order to help you in your job as a ministry assistant. Leaders such as Carolyn Helms, Haven Parrot, and Lula Mae Briggs were instrumental in helping us focus on spiritual enrichment with classes on spiritual development and Bible study. And Rodney Stilwell was with us again in "The Potter," bringing back into focus what God's call is on our lives.

Many of you attended the computer classes, taught by Spence Hackney (with the Baptist State Convention) and Allen Guffey (with ACS), while others took classes led by Judy Wood ("There's Too Much to Do…I Can't Handle It All") and Bobbie Furr (There's No Business Like Church Business). Also offered were classes to help you personally, such as "Protection in the Workplace" and "Heart-Healthy Eating," among others.

Our entertainment at the conference began with a talent show on Monday night, with emcee Anne Austin humoring us with her stories in between the many talents presented by our ladies. And on Tuesday evening, Jennifer Childers from First Baptist Church, Mt. Holly, presented a wonderful concert of solo handbell ringing, accompanied on the piano by her husband, Brian. Although our ventriloquist was not able to come for the second half of the program, we had a wonderful replacement in Renea Henderson (AKA Bertie the Bag Lady) who presented us with her new skit, never before performed in front of a live audience! And she was a hoot!

On Wednesday morning, Teresa Almond and Gail Holland were elected during the business session as new officers for 2004, along with Deborah Richardson and Kay Hale, and Advisory Committee members Sandra Hall, Dot Hart, and Sheryl Shankles. The business session concluded with an officer installation service led by Betty Walker, founder and first president of the North Carolina Baptist Secretaries Association.

During the last General Session, Robin Frodge, our conference music leader, led us again in our theme song, "The Longer I Serve Him," and then later directed the Secretaries Choir in a special song for us. Our conference pianist, Carol Mellard, touched our hearts with her personal testimony. And then Haven Parrot, one of our breakout session leaders, graciously filled in for Phyllis as our keynote speaker to inspire us in our ministry as she brought the conference to a close. We then ended the session with the Lord's Supper, led by our pastoral advisor, Rev. Charles Hinson.

Let me close by again saying how much we appreciate the comments and the support you have given the officers during the past year. If any of you were not able to attend the conference last November, we hope you will begin making plans now to make it a priority to attend next fall at Ridgecrest!

Our officers are: President-Deborah Richardson, FBC, Aberdeen; First Vice President-Teresa Almond, Glorieta, Concord; Second Vice President-Kay Hale, FBC, Henderson; and Secretary/Treasurer-Darlene Lambert, FBC, Hendersonville.

Deborah Richardson, President

NCBSA Conference - November 2002

We continue to be excited about what God is doing in and through the North Carolina Baptist Secretaries Association. At our last conference at Caraway, November 4 - 6, 2002 we celebrated our twentieth anniversary! The theme was Celebrating the Journey, and what a celebration it was! Throughout 2002 we were determined to meet our goal of $5,000.00 for the Betty Walker Endowment Fund by the November conference. This project was entitled Five for Five Thousand. We are pleased to say that we met that goal and even exceeded it, which means that this fund is now fully endowed and will help finance informative and motivational conferences along with the possible provision of scholarships for ministry assistants. Thanks again Betty Walker for your vision and inspiration over the years!

A wide variety of breakout sessions were offered. Ways to make our journey better through spiritual enrichment were presented through classes such as Angels, Lord Teach Me to Pray, The Potter, and Living Supernaturally. Our ministry assistants were offered classes in professional development including Grammar, Basics of Web Page Design, several different computer courses some of which were Microsoft Excel XP and Microsoft Word, ACS Membership-Contributions and Questions & Answers, Church/Non-Profit Contributions and Taxes, and Finding a New Minister. We also had the opportunity of taking classes in personal effectiveness which included Midlife Checkup, Four Traits that Perpetuate Anxiety, Discovering Opportunities to Minister, Heartcall, Spiritual Gifts, Finding a Way to Deal with Demands, and Annuity Board Benefits. A stained glass class was offered just for the fun of it and, by the responses from our ladies, they would like to have that class repeated!

Barbara Joiner, our keynote speaker, joining us for the third time kept us in tears one minute and laughter the next as she shared some of her mission experiences of her journey in life. She told us about her love for missions and that even though we may think we cannot make a difference in another's life that in fact by allowing our light to shine we can with God's help make a tremendous difference for the good of others.

Other highlights of our Twentieth Anniversary Celebration included a fellowship time on Monday night in which we answered questions in a get-to-know each other better game followed by delicious refreshments and a 20th Anniversary Cake. Also Renea Henderson "Hillbilly" entertained us and continued to keep us laughing. A time of fellowship was enjoyed by all as we met new friends and became reacquainted with old ones and secured signatures in an activity that allowed us to get to know more about one another. We enjoyed musicians, Tonya and David Hudson with "Out of Egypt Ministries," as they provided and led praise and worship music throughout the conference. Each conference attendee had her picture made by Olan Mills and will receive a free 8 X 10 photo along with a free directory of the 2002 NCBSA Conference, thus giving us another keepsake of this very special occasion. Judy Wood was recognized for her many years of contributions to NCBSA and was named a lifetime member. Amy Goode-Hanaway, daughter of Billie Goode, shared her testimony and once again reminded us of the legacy that Billie left with us.

And if that wasn't enough we were then treated royally to a banquet in our honor on Tuesday evening as tour buses chauffeured us to First Baptist Church in Asheboro where we shared in wonderful fellowship, enjoyed a delicious dinner, and received a lovely Lenox china bowl as a keepsake remembrance of our Twentieth Anniversary Celebration. Charter members Kay Beamon, Katherine Huggins, Jean Kirk, Jeanette Robinson, Evva Spurgeon, Betty Walker, Judy Wood and Bobbi Young were recognized and given a corsage as a token of appreciation of what they have done and what they mean to our organization. To top the evening off we were entertained by Chi Rho, A Christian men's a capello ensemble from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, that had us all enthralled as they shared their excitement of Christ's salvation and exalted and honored the glory of God.

As we shared time together in Celebrating the Journey we were made even more aware of how God uses us as his positioning satellite, giving us the knowledge and equipping us to allow our lights to shine in our daily lives. We felt God's presence with us and trust He will continue to guide us on our journey.

Our officers are: President-Sandra Hall, Pilot Mountain Association; President Elect-Deborah Richardson, FBC, Aberdeen; Second Vice President-Sheryl Shankles, Baptist State Convention of NC; and Secretary/Treasurer-Darlene Lambert, FBC Hendersonville.

"Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this:
He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
The justice of your cause like the noonday sun."

Psalm 37: 4-6 NIV

NCBSA Conference - November 2001

Great things are happening in the North Carolina Baptist Secretaries Association.

We are excited about what God is doing in North Carolina. Our conference, November 5-7th, 2001, was a huge success. The theme was Putting the Pieces Together and was represented by puzzle pieces. We talked about the many pieces that make up the life of a ministry assistant (secretary) and the importance of Jesus being the central piece.

To help our ladies do their best at work, we offered classes on topics such as, The Essentials of an Office Manual, Solutions for Computer Glitches, and Dealing with Conflict and to help them increase their spiritual depth we offered Opening Our Hearts to God and Freedom in Christ. Our keynote speakers were Renea Henderson from here in North Carolina who used humor and drama to convey God's truth and Wendy Minton Edwards who is the Eastern Regional Resource Director for the Baptist State Convention of NC. Wendy caused us to think about who we are as Baptists and how we can know and serve God better.

During the conference we also enjoyed a Scavenger Hunt, a concert by the Rick Webb Trio, and special refreshments provided by several of our members on Monday and The Biblical Recorder on Tuesday.

God's guiding hand was evident throughout the planning and preparation stages, but surprisingly enough, it was when our careful plans had to suddenly change that we saw clearly how God brings His perfect plan into being. Then all we can do is stand amazed in the presence…As we begin to plan for next year's conference we trust that God will again put the pieces together.

Our officers are: President-Sandra Hall, Pilot Mountain Association; President Elect-Deborah Richardson, FBC, Aberdeen; Second Vice President-Sheryl Shankles, Baptist State Convention of NC; and Secretary/Treasurer-Darlene Lambert, FBC Hendersonville.