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Baptist Children's Homes Celebrates Family Gathering IV

BCH president/CEO Michael C. Blackwell wraps up Family Gathering 4 with a “rap.”

The program held in Mills Home Baptist Church on the Mills Home campus in Thomasville

concluded the day-long event that brought nealy 800 residents and staff members from

around the state. Family Gatherings occur every five years.

The climax of the day-long Family Gathering is the worship service at Mills Home Baptist Church. Hundreds crowd into the sanctuary as praise music sets the tone for an impactful time.

This year, the Youth Praise Choir from the Church of Faith and Deliverance in Kinston kicked things off. BCH president Michael C. Blackwell took the stage as the final notes reverberated amongst the crowd to present the prestigious Michael C. Blackwell Legacy Award. The award is presented every five years in conjunction with the Family Gathering event.

The award was presented to Paul Daley and Brenda Gray. He said the two were obvious and worthy choices. Using their names as an acronym to highlight their attributes, Blackwell said of Daley that “P’ stands for prayer, “A” for activity, “U” for unassuming, and “L” for loving and loyal.

Blackwell, using Gray’s first name, said the “B” was for believing, “R” for radiating, “E” for energetic, “N” for neat, “D” for daring, and “A” for animated.

The inaugural award was presented to Blackwell by the Board of Trustees in celebration of his 25th anniversary as president in September 2008.

The first staff members received the award in 2010 with subsequent awards to be given every five years. The next is slated for 2020.

The program ended with Blackwell standing before the group to deliver a charge. The inspirational and encouraging presentation took a different twist as he told the group it was time for him to “Wrap this up; I really do mean ‘RAP’ this up!”

Blackwell, who marked his 32 year as BCH’s leader this year, began his rap-style presentation telling the group that a man named “Big Daddy Cool” had sent him a song.

“Guilt and shame?” he sang. “Not a part of your game. Jesus Christ, He knows your name, your Name, your NAME, YOUR NAME.

“Fills you with spirit, fills you with spirit with the bread of life, forgives your sins – poof – takes away your strife.”

Everyone stood to their feet cheering as Blackwell wrapped up his rap, “Stand up, stand up, stand up to the devil. But stand up for Jesus. That’s what we’ve heard all about today, and that’s all that the good Dr. B’s got to say.”

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