CRBA Update January 20, 2022

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This past Tuesday’s class was postponed due to snow. However, we will resume class this week and it is not too late to join us.

Do you desire to know the Word of God better? Would you like to read the Bible more closely, preach or teach it with more insight, and discover or renew the joy of discovering and applying biblical truth? Do you minister in a music program, work with youth, or teach Sunday school or small group classes? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, the Catawba River Baptist Bible Institute is a great opportunity for you!

There are many great college and seminary programs available, and many are accessible through the internet. However, most of these programs are expensive, require previous education, and include coursework that is not relevant or useful to your ministry in the local church. Catawba River Baptist Bible Institute is different!
Classes last only 10 weeks and are held in person at the CRBA office. The cost is only $50 and includes all class notes and texts. You don’t study on a screen; however, you meet with your neighbors throughout our association. Your teacher is a carefully-prepared Bible scholar who serves as a pastor right here in Burke County.

Catawba River Baptist Bible Institute brings affordable, accessible education to you, so you can learn the Word of God! Join us for our inaugural class, The Gospels. Classes started January 11 and will last one hour each Tuesday night. The class runs for 10 weeks.

Come join us!

For more information, contact me at
To register, contact the CRBA at  

Where Catawba River Baptist Association When Every Tuesday Evening through March 29th Time 530 pm

Out of the Box (1)

(Reprinted from Church Leader Magazine)
It seems like a long way off, but Valentine’s Day is approaching quickly. That day can be a very difficult day in the life of someone who has lost a spouse. One way a church can help is to have a banquet (maybe at lunchtime on February 14th) and invite everyone who has lost a spouse. Be sure to have a nice meal and possibly give out flowers to the women. Remember to invite the unchurched community and be sure to share the hope and love we have in Christ; giving all the opportunity to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior. This will make a great impact in our community and will bless all in attendance especially Senior Adults.

Catawba River Baptist Association

Our Ladies Ministry is working to bless families during our upcoming BurkeChangers event this summer by collecting items to be included in a hygiene ministry bag. These bags will be distributed to families in Burke County at the 4 Block Parties conducted by our students. We need your help. Consider collecting the below items over the next few months and bring them to our CRBA office so they can be distributed to Burke County families. Items to be collected include:

  • Bars of Soap
  • Washcloths
  • Combs or Brushes
  • Shampoo and Conditioner (travel size)
  • Hand Sanitizer or Wet Wipes (travel size)
  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste (travel size)
  • Dental Floss

This is a great “Easy Button” mission project for any size church. Please let us know if you will be helping us with this ministry or if you have any questions.

2022 Spring Meeting and Equip Conf. 2

EQUIP 2022/Spring Meeting is going to be a great event/conference where you can choose to be equipped for ministry. Please put March 15th, 2022, on your calendar and make plans to be there.

Some of the classes we will be offering in the evening include (but are not limited to):

  • Saturate Burke (Evangelism)/Assimilating Guests
  • Helping your church with technology
  • Starting (and Re-starting) Small Groups
  • Nuts and Bolts of Deacon Ministry
  • Raising Funds for Missions and Ministry
  • Leading in Worship
  • Better Together (Mergers and Church Fostering)
  • Help, I am the Church Treasurer
  • Developing Disciple-Making Disciples
  • Leading your Church to become an Acts 1:8 Church

How the stand and greet changed

You don’t hear much about it today, but it was a topic of amusing debate a few years ago.

Its most common name was “stand and greet,” but it was also known as “meet and greet,” “passing the peace,” “greeting time,” and others. It was a time during the worship service when church members greeted one another and welcomed guests. Sometimes everyone would stand and greet one another. On other occasions, often to the horror of guests, those who were visiting were asked to remain seated while everyone stood (or even worse, to stand while everyone else remained seated). The members would seek out the targeted guests to greet them, speak to them or, in worst cases, hug them.

So, how has this issue moved from hotly debated to largely ignored? Here are a few salient facts.

  • The practice was waning well before COVID. In our last survey before COVID, only 18% of churches were continuing a stand and greet time in the services. It was steadily declining.
  • Our studies showed very few guests were comfortable with the stand and greet time. Though a majority (58%) of church members did not like the stand and greet time, it was particularly uncomfortable for most guests (89%). In other words, it was highly ineffective in welcoming one another, and a clear turn-off for guests. Again, these numbers are pre-COVID.
  • Today, the stand and greet is almost non-existent in churches. It was dying before COVID. Though we have not done a current survey, I would be surprised if more than three or four percent of churches resumed this practice after COVID entered the world. The virus was likely the final straw to cause the greeting time to cease.
  • We need to recognize that guests see friendliness through a different lens. They were clearly not comfortable with the stand and greet time. But they do appreciate the natural friendliness of church members speaking to them or helping them when they attend for the first or second time.
  • We must exhort and equip our members to be intentionally friendly to guests. That step begins with leadership, but it must be a consistent theme. Many church members used the lame practice of a three-minute stand and greet time to be friendly to guests instead of being genuinely friendly.
  • A well-equipped welcome ministry is incredibly important. While the welcome ministry should not replace overall friendliness in the church, it is vital to have members whose responsibility is to make sure all guests are greeted as they enter, and that they are comfortable finding their way around the church. Of course, those in this ministry should be alert to sensitivities guests might have about shaking hands, getting too close, and other COVID realities.
  • The best way to get to know guests and make them feel comfortable is to encourage them to join a group. Groups are the lifeblood of churches. It is where true community thrives. Our church members should learn the habit of personally inviting a guest at the worship services to their group.

The pandemic accelerated the demise of the “stand and greet” time in worship services. It is not a bad thing. Now our members must learn to greet and welcome visitors to our church in a more natural and genuine way.

When that happens, your church will definitely be a more friendly and welcoming congregation.

Church News

Amherst Baptist is seeking a Pastor.
Antioch Baptist is seeking a bi-vocational Pastor.

Icard’s Grove Baptist is seeking a bi-vocational Pastor.

Pleasant Hill Baptist is seeking a part-time Worship Pastor/Leader.

Southside is seeking a Church Secretary. All questions and resumes should be sent to

Wilkies Grove is seeking a full-time Associate Pastor. Please send resumes and questions to:

Mr. Chris Bortnick
(WGBC Pastor Church Committee, Chair)
5780 Wilkies Grove Church Rd.
Hickory, NC 28602

Partner News

Catawba Christian Academy 2

Eddy Bunton is on the lookout for the “Experiencing God” adult student workbooks. If you have any extra, please contact him at or call (828) 443-1047.

Blue Ridge Christian News is seeking someone to distribute their monthly paper throughout Burke County. If interested in the position, please contact Brian Barrier at 828-413-0506.


Stantonsburg FBC is seeking a pastor and is located 50 miles east of Raleigh. If interested, please send resumes to:
SFBC Pastor Search Team
PO Box 356
Stantonsburg, NC   27883


Friendship Baptist Church, Hudson NC is seeking an energetic Interim Children/Youth Leader with potential for a permanent position.  (15-20 hours per week).  Please email resumes on or before September 20th to

FBC Hildebrand is seeking a Pianist, Organist & Part-time Music Director for our church. This is a paid position. This will require you to be here for Sunday & Wednesday services and any special services; revival, cantata, dramas, etc. Please submit your resume to the church office by mail at PO Box 220, Hildebran NC 28637 or you can email your resume to Kendra Arrowood
First Baptist Hildebran is also prayerfully seeking a full-time pastor. First Baptist Hildebran is in the Foothills of North Carolina in the town of Hildebran. Our church is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention and the Catawba Valley Baptist Association. We are seeking a Pastor that adheres to the Baptist faith and has a Master of Divinity degree (or equivalent) or in pursuit of a degree with a conservative evangelical faith. To learn more about our church and see a full list of qualifications, please visit our website

Resumes may be sent to:
First Baptist Hildebran
Senior Pastor Search Committee
PO Box 220
Hildebran, NC 28637 or

Glenwood Baptist Church is seeking a man of God to be our full-time pastor.  If interested, please submit your resume to:

Glenwood Baptist Church
Attn: Pastor Search Committee
PO Box 218
Glenwood, NC 28737

or online at


South Mountain Baptist Camp

south mountain camp

As we (South Mountain Baptist Camp) begin our new year, Camp 2022 will soon be upon us. This year, we began to think about a project with the game room, which turned into a whole list of projects that will improve several areas of the camp.

Ethan would like to extend an invitation to any retired and/or able skilled help on FRIDAYS from 8:00-2:00 beginning January 21.

Come one Friday or every Friday (weather permitting) between January 21 and the start of camp to help get these projects checked off as we look to the Lord for completion and the start of a successful summer.

An idea of some of the projects on the list:
-remodeling/updating some of the bunkhouses
-construction/electrical work for new game room
-removal of the existing wall in the dining hall
-construction of new tables for the dining hall
-installation of new water line for the village
-blockwork (village cabin)
-moving game room equipment/construction of new equipment
-small plumbing projects (leaky faucets, etc.)
-unskilled work (blowing leaves, trimming tree limbs, painting, etc.)

Please let any men/women know who might be interested in helping one, or more Fridays and feel free to message Ethan Cromer on FB or call the camp (828)544-5736 to speak with him about dates/specific project information.

Please let Ethan know when/if you plan to come so that he can be prepared for you to be here.

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