North Carolina Baptist Aging Ministry (NCBAM) held its fifth annual statewide event in Charlotte on May 6-7. This year’s Senior Adult Celebration, themed Be Bold, focused on Joshua 1:9 – the command to live boldly and courageously for the Lord at any age.
The event was hosted by Pritchard Memorial Baptist Church in Charlotte and was planned by Aging Adults Innovating Ministry (AAIM). AAIM is an NCBAM leadership network comprised of senior adult leaders from across the state. These leaders work with NCBAM to support and strengthen senior adult ministries. AAIM Chair Rev. Stan Heiser of Pritchard Memorial Baptist Church in Charlotte served as master of ceremonies.
The two-day event began Monday evening with a dinner provided by the host church and was followed by the world-class entertainment and spiritual encouragement of Mark Cabaniss and Dr. Diane Earle.
In “Confessions of a Shameless Name-Dropper,” Cabaniss wove together songs, anecdotes, and video clips from his years in the music industry where he connected with entertainers like Bob Barker, Andy Griffith, Shirley Jones, Steven Allen, and more. With credits in Nashville, Hollywood and Broadway, Cabaniss’ rich tenor enthralled the audience with classics such as Edelweiss, Trouble in River City, and Try to Remember.
Cabaniss was accompanied by international touring pianist Dr. Diane Earle who has performed in nine European concert tours, 31 states, and extensively throughout China. Earle also provided background dinner music prior to the concert.
Cabaniss gave a strong testimony to God’s hand in his life –– blessing his music career and providing opportunities beyond his imagination. His closing song, an original work, followed the Be Bold theme — “Don’t be afraid to open new doors, and to find what each one shows.”
Mark Cabaniss grew up in Shelby, North Carolina, where his youth pastor was Glenn Davenport, an AAIM leader for the west region. Davenport remembers the young Cabaniss as a talented teenager who never met a stranger. “It’s a joy for me to have watched Mark grow into adulthood and see him continue to share his faith. I’m so thankful that God continues to use him and his talents.”
NCBAM regional directors Samantha Allred (north central region) and Yvetta Smith (east region) delighted audiences both days with skits as “Mild Millie” and “Bold Betty.” Over the course of the event, Bold Betty taught Mild Millie, by word and example, that living boldly for Christ gave purpose, meaning and value to her life. Attendees cheered in the closing skit as Mild Millie’s character boldly renamed herself “Mighty Millie.”
Tuesday morning’s session included songs from Pritchard’s Sunago Singers Choir and a presentation from NCBAM’s director Dr. Sandy Gregory. Gregory providing an overview of NCBAM’s first ten years. He recounted how the Lord’s hand had been on the ministry to bring staff, partners and volunteers to provide “help for the journey” to North Carolina’s aging.
Dr. David Hailey, pastor at Hayes Barton Baptist Church in Raleigh, provided the keynote address which capstoned the theme of the event. In “We Have This Treasure,” based on 2 Corinthians 4:7, Hailey examined the perspective of “past, present, and future” years, and challenged attendees to make the most of all of them. Dr. Hailey’s encouraging address is archived at ncbam.org/resources.
Rev. Jerry Anderson, Minister to Senior Adults, at Woodlawn Baptist Church in Conover enjoyed the event with others from his church. “The Be Bold celebration was exciting and encouraging. Mark Cabaniss was both inspirational and entertaining, not to mention a great singer! It was definitely worth the time!”
Article written by Carol Layton, NCBAM Director of Communications and Administration