The Association hosts the New Beginnings Soup Kitchen, Inc., in a portion of our Village Ministries building. This ministry provides as many as 500-600 meals each Thursday evening for people in the county.
We host two offices in our Village Ministries building, one is our GRBA Volunteer Prayer Coordinator who, on a continual basis, keeps us abreast of prayer events, concerns and needs in our community.
Another office we host is our volunteer "Live Support Christian Counciling & Coaching Ministry." This ministry focuses largely on witnessing to & counciling the folks that come to the soup kitchen each week.
In the heart of our Village Ministries is the Evarts Chapel, offering a place for volunteers to hold services, pray and witness to the patrons and community.
The Christian Character Scholarship Committee receives funds that will be granted to high school seniors each year who have demonstrated a strong Christian commitment in their lives and are planning to go to college.
The monthly Ministers’ Conference held at the Association Resource Center allows for fellowship and building of relationships among our ministers. Also, offered for Bi-Vocational Ministers is a by-monthly Conference held in the evening.
A Prayer time, open to all, is held at the Association office each Wednesday at 10:00 am.
Available for disaster relief missions is the Association's Disaster Recovery Trailer.
The Association supports with a contribution the Grace of God Rescue Mission (a homeless shelter), 096 Prison Chaplaincy ministry (at the Spindale Prison unit), Hands of Hope for Life (a pregnancy center), Abounding Grace ministries (a ministry for former female inmates), Yokefellow (a ministry that provides financial, clothing and food assistance to the community) and the Gideons International (which provides Bibles all over the world.
The Association allows Rutherford Housing Partnership, Inc., a local non-profit organization in our county that repairs houses for people of limited income, to use rooms in the former motel building for storage of items they need for their service. The Association encourages churches to support this ministry.
Each September the Association participates in the Mountain State Fair ministry in Buncombe County where our volunteers minister to the fair workers by witnessing, providing meals, hygiene kits, clothing, providing homemade "Jesus Loves You" teddy bears for their children and golf cart transportation to the fair attendees.
The WMU Director and Leadership Team sponsors the Baptist Women’s World Day of Prayer in November. As part of this prayer event, items are secured for women in Raleigh prison unit. WMU provides leadership training for church WMU leaders and plans a strong WMU annual meeting. The WMU Director and Leadership Team continue to encourage support for missions through study, participation and giving as well as training for churches in WMU ministry.
The Association office provides resources for loan to the churches on an on-going basis. Some of these includes: video projector; slide projector; sm. & lg. screens, TV, VCR & DVD player; training, teaching & mission videos; pamphlets; Biblical costumes, meeting room gatherings and making available office equipment when needed and assistance in printing, folding, binding booklets and laminating.
Resources are available to help churches and ministers with needs such as annuity.
Sometimes simply providing a phone number or providing information for someone is a way we assist others.
When a church is without a pastor, the Director of Missions is available to help churches as they move toward finding an interim pastor and to help in their search for a pastor. Current resumes are available at the Association office.
Keeping the Association organized, providing resources, providing training opportunities and information that the churches need for their ministry and keeping a mission vision before the churches of the Association are some of the responsibilities of the DOM.
The financial support for the mission and ministry of Green River Baptist Association as outlined above comes from the 36 churches of the association. Each church decides their amount of support. Churches are urged to consider giving 4% of their undesignated offerings to the mission and ministry of the Association.
Why does your church support Green River Baptist Association? First, because your church believes in voluntary cooperation with sister churches of like spirit. Second, being “active on mission in our setting” through the association is the avenue of that cooperation in Rutherford County. Third, more can be accomplished by cooperation. Fourth, churches draw strength and encouragement from one another by cooperating.
Without question the life, mission and ministry of the Association is committed to bringing glory and honor to Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord. He gave Himself for the salvation of all mankind and our collective life, mission and ministry seeks to lift Him up in our community.
The Association is the closest avenue of Baptist mission/ministry involvement beyond the local church that is available to Baptists.
Thank you for encouraging your church to support Green River Baptist Association.
668 North Washington Street
Rutherfordton, NC 28139
WHAT IS GREEN RIVER BAPTIST ASSOCIATION?
How many times have you or someone riding with you asked as you passed the building on the corner of North Washington and Mountain Street in Rutherfordton, "What is this Green River Baptist Association? What do they do in that building?" How have you answered that question?
Hello, and welcome to this brief discription of the Green River Baptist Association. Hopefully you will learn what we do, the structure of the association and the benefits to your church and can better inform and inspire your church as you participate in and support the Association.
The association method of Baptist cooperation is older than the convention method. The association is the closest avenue for service beyond the local church for the church. And the association is more flexible in being shaped to meet the needs of the churches and address the mission opportunities that it discovers in its community.
Before addressing these three items, just some quick background. Green River Baptist Association was organized in 1840. Churches that were proclaiming the gospel at that time were Bill's Creek, Mountain Creek, Round Hill, Mount Vernon, Camp Creek and Montford Cove. Originally, the association was composed of churches in McDowell County, Polk County and Rutherford County. In 1890, churches in the eastern section of Rutherford County formed Sandy Run Baptist Association. In 1925 churches in McDowell County formed Blue Ridge Baptist Association and in 1969 churches in Polk County formed Polk Association. Currently, GRBA has 36 churches seeking to be "active on mission" together in our setting. And with that, let us move to the first item.
I. What Do We Do?
This first question has a lot of answers to it.
A. Without question the life, mission and ministry of the association is committed to bringing glory and honor to Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord. He gave himself for the salvation of all mankind and our collective life, mission and ministry seeks to lift him up in our community.
B. The association supports and encourages the mission and ministry of the local church. The responsibilities of the local church are six fold: worship, Bible study, Discipling, missions/evangelism, ministry and stewardship.
C. The association offers training to church leaders for the responsibilities they have in leading their church in these six areas.
ASSOCIATIONAL MISSIONS OFFERING
Green River Baptist Association has had an Associational Missions Offering since 1983. The offering is named after Miss Nannie Newsome. Miss Newsome was an active member of Round Hill Baptist Church and for many years was Associational Historian. She was born in Ahoskie, NC and was educated at Ahoskie High School and four Baptist colleges-Chowan, Meredith, Wake Forest and Carson Newman, from which she graduated with a BA degree.
She was drawn to foreign missions, China in particular, and attended the WMU Training School in Louisville, KY, earning a Bachelor of Missionary Training degree. Due to troubled financial times at the Foreign Mission Board, she was unable to go overseas, but found her mission field as housemother and teacher to troubled and orphaned children, first a South Mountain Institute of Golden Valley (in Rutherford County) and then at Alexander Schools in Union Mills where she moved in 1927. There she was a housemother to boys until 1946 when she built a house adjacent to the school property and continued teaching until 1957 when she retired. Her retirement was spent providing leadership at Round Hill Baptist Church, especially in WMU, visiting in the community and serving in Green River Baptist Association. Miss Newsome’s life ended in January of 1982 as a result of murder.
It was in the next year that Green River Baptist Association voted to begin an Associational Missions Offering to be taken at the time of Associational Emphasis Week. The offering is named in memory of Miss Newsome.
Each year the Association, upon recommendations from the Budget Committee, sets a goal and how the money will be allocated. For the last several years the goal has been $5,000 - $7,000 per year.
The funds have been used in quite a variety of ways. In the first years of receiving the offering it went to the budget of the Association. Since then it has been used for retiring debt, purchasing office equipment, funding Resort Area Missions, purchasing audio visual equipment, making repairs to Association Office, sending Acteens to National Acteens Convention, funding a Weekend Missions Blitz, Helping a hispanic mission and church, providing Christian scholarship funds, providing funds for upgrading our Village Ministries building and purchasing an LED sign for informing and ministering to the community.
In conjunction with Associational Emphasis Week, offering envelopes are provided by the Association to each church as well as prayer guides that focus on GRBA needs. A brief history of Miss Newsome’s life has been prepared as a way of continuing to inform church members of her life.
Not all churches promote or give to the offering, which is the big challenge in having the offering. It requires education with each pastor who comes to the Association. Some years people respond more to what the money goes to than just the offering. People are more custom to larger missions offerings, so keeping this offering active is an ongoing task. Having the offering named after someone in the Association helped for many years as people knew and remembered Miss Newsome. But with passing of time more folks in churches and certainly the change of pastors require vigilant efforts at informing of her and why the Association receives this offering.
Having this offering has proven a means of keeping Associational Missions before the people of our churches and has allowed for missions, ministry and securing items at certain times that might not have happened otherwise. If an Association considers launching such an offering, getting the permission to name it after someone that is well known in the Association for their support and involvement in the Association will be a key step.
Extra note: Over the years some pastors have expressed their dismay at how many offerings are promoted by Baptists. International, Home, State, Baptist Retirement Homes, Baptist Hospital, Baptist Children’s Homes, Hunger Offering and in GRBA, Nannie Newsome. Some of our churches have taken the approach of promoting and receiving the International, Home, State and Associational Mission Offerings and placing the other items in their budget as a mission expenditure. For some of these, they are giving more as a budget item to BRH, BCH, etc. than they were by promoting all of the offerings.