The following announcement comes from the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina:
Winston-Salem, NC (August 27, 2020)— The CBF of North Carolina (CBFNC) Coordinating Council is excited to announce its unanimous approval to adopt Welcome House Community Network (WHCN) as a new missions program of CBFNC. WHCN is a newly formed collaborative ministry between CBFNC, CBF Field Personnel Marc and Kim Wyatt, local individuals and partner congregations to provide hospitality ministry to vulnerable neighbors in local communities. As a missions program of CBFNC, the WHCN will work not only in NC but also throughout the region to expand the principles of hospitality ministry for a variety of contexts.
Whether in a large urban area or rural community, the goal of WHCN is to serve the vulnerable and marginalized. Working with partner congregations, the vision is to provide home to those who have lost theirs, welcome to those who are unwelcomed and hope for those who desperately need it.
“Adopting the Welcome House Community Network as a missions program of CBFNC allows us to expand our ministry of embracing vulnerable neighbors beyond the Raleigh area and the current eight Welcome Houses across North Carolina and Tennessee,” said Larry Hovis, CBFNC executive coordinator. “This provides an invitation and appeal to every CBFNC congregation to join the mission of embracing vulnerable neighbors in their specific communities, showing them Christian hospitality and support, and most importantly, loving them as Christ has called us to do.”
The WHCN will receive financial support from CBFNC and be incorporated under its nonprofit status. WHCN will have its own staff and Advisory Board, which will include a CBFNC Associate Coordinator, CBF Field Personnel Marc and Kim Wyatt and the WHCN Coordinator as ex-officio members. The WHCN advisory board will exist within the structure of CBFNC ministry teams. While Kim and Marc Wyatt will remain affiliated with CBF global as field personnel, WHCN will be a missions program of CBFNC.
“Making Welcome House Community Network one of our missions programs enhances our goal to ‘embrace our neighbors with the love of Christ in our communities, state, and world’ as the world comes to us. It opens up opportunities for us to minister to refugees, homeless individuals, victims of abuse, and others in need. I am excited that we have committed to step-up our long-term collaboration with Marc and Kim Wyatt and the WHCN. I look forward to our future in service together,” said Becky Keesler, moderator of the CBFNC Coordinating Council.
Welcome House is an existing collaborative initiative that provides temporary housing and community outreach to international and vulnerable people across our state. Launched in 2015 by CBF Field Personnel Kim and Marc Wyatt, in partnership with CBFNC, local churches and refugee agencies in the Triangle region, Welcome House Raleigh has served over 400 refugee and immigrant guests. It also developed community outreach programs in five Raleigh-area apartment communities and inspired seven similar ministries in North Carolina and Tennessee.
“We began to realize that the ministry model of Welcome House is replicable and it is possible to establish similar ministries in every town and city of our state,” said Marc Wyatt, CBF field personnel and Welcome House Community Network co-founder. “Simply put, every person should have a safe place to call home and a community that welcomes them to live there as a neighbor. We have a bold vision to help establish Welcome Houses in every town and city in North Carolina.”
“We are humbled and grateful for all who have been involved in our ministry of Christian hospitality, temporary housing and community services over the last five years. From the very start, God has blessed this ministry in remarkable ways,” adds Kim Wyatt, CBF field personnel and Welcome House Community Network co-founder.
She adds, “We had a vision and we asked you to join us in it. You did and thanks be to God we will welcome our 421st guest next week when they will spend their first night in the U.S. at Welcome House. We cannot adequately thank the CBFNC Coordinating Council for approving this new plan and adopting WHCN as a missions program. We are excited for what the future holds.”
Special thanks to Dr. Linda Jones, former CBFNC missions coordinator, for developing the original ministry plan for WHCN.
About CBF of North Carolina
CBF of North Carolina is a partnership of Baptist churches committed to serving Jesus Christ, preserving historic Baptist freedoms, and calling out God’s gifts in Christians and churches to engage in ministry in our state and world. Based in Winston-Salem, CBFNC is a collaboration of equals that includes local churches, their members, and other Christians who desire to be in fellowship and mission together. As part of the larger Cooperative Baptist Fellowship network, CBFNC’s ministry priorities are to equip ministers and churches; embrace neighbors through missions; engage students and young adults; and enhance the fellowship.