Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina announces “Welcome Ride 2023,” which will take place October 1-7 when Larry Hovis, executive coordinator, cycles from the NC mountains to the coast during the state-wide Cycle North Carolina bike ride. Welcome Ride raises awareness and funds for CBFNC’s Welcome House Community Network (WHCN), a signature missions program of CBFNC. The goal of the emerging network seeks to establish Welcome House ministries in every North Carolina city and town, providing a tangible expression of the call to love the stranger and to invite them into God’s beloved community as a neighbor.
Welcome Ride seeks to raise $40,000 in recognition and celebration of the 40 existing Welcome House ministries that are part of the network.
“I truly believe the Welcome House Community Network is transformative for our churches, our state and the Kingdom,” said Larry Hovis, CBFNC executive coordinator. “We hope Welcome Ride provides an invitation and appeal to every North Carolina Cooperative Baptist congregation to join the mission of embracing vulnerable neighbors in their specific communities, showing them Christian hospitality and friendship and most importantly, loving them as Christ has called us to do.”
During the seven day period of October 1-7, CBFNC Executive Coordinator Larry Hovis and a his cycling partner will cycle over 460 miles from Banner Elk to Emerald Isle on the Mountains to Coast ride. The Cycle North Carolina Mountains to Coast Ride is a 7-day, fully supported point-to-point bicycle tour traveling along scenic back roads that showcase rural North Carolina.
How to get involved in Welcome Ride:
- Make a donation to support Welcome Ride. Give online here or mail a check to CBFNC, 2640 Reynolda Road, Winston-Salem, NC 27106.
- Follow Larry and his Welcome Ride team as they bike from the mountains to the coast on CBFNC’s Facebook and Instagram pages. We will share daily photos, videos and updates along the bike route.
About Welcome House Community Network
Welcome House is a collaborative ministry that provides temporary housing and community outreach among vulnerable people across our state. Begun in 2015 by CBF Field Personnel Kim and Marc Wyatt, the initial Welcome House ministry was established in the Raleigh area as a partnership between CBFNC, local churches and refugee agencies in the Triangle.
Recognizing that the model of Welcome House Raleigh could be replicated and expanded across the entire state, CBFNC leaders began to see that God had bigger plans for this ministry. In August of 2020, the CBFNC Coordinating Council voted to adopt the Welcome House Community Network as a signature missions program of CBFNC. The goal of the network is to provide temporary housing to those in need in a variety of circumstances—from refugees to the homeless to victims of abuse and more. The vision is bold: to establish Welcome Houses in every town and city in North Carolina.
Whether your church is in a large urban area or rural community, the mandate to serve the vulnerable and marginalized is a mission priority for all Christians. Together we can provide home to those who have lost theirs, welcome to those who are unwelcomed and hope for those who desperately need it.
Thanks to the generosity of many individuals and churches, our first two Welcome Rides resulted in over $75,000 for this ministry. Since then, CBFNC has been able to provide 20 grants to churches and ministry partners, add additional part-time staff members who serve as regional Welcome House managers, and hold the first Hospitality and Housing Summit. In just three short years, the ministry has grown to over 40 Welcome House expressions throughout North Carolina and beyond with about 60 churches engaging in this ministry of the welcome in the name of Jesus. All money raised during the Welcome Ride 2023 will go toward the WHCN budget line item to help CBFNC expand the ministry.
For more information, visit cbfnc.org/embrace/welcomeride.