The Association office is located at 450 Prospect Rd in Pembroke, NC. The office building was constructed in 1974. A library, kitchen, conference room, food closet and staff offices make up the 3000 square feet structure. Volunteers from the association churches built the office known locally as “The Baptist Building” in 1974.
Burnt Swamp Association celebrated its 125th anniversary at its annual meeting in October 2002. The association began with four original member churches and today consists of 64 churches and 4 missions. The association bears uniqueness in that churches are comprised largely of Native American members. Several tribal groups affiliate with the association: Haliwa-Saponi in Warren and Halifax counties; Lumbee in Robeson and surrounding counties including bordering South Carolina counties and Baltimore, MD; Pee Dee in neighboring South Carolina; Coharie in Sampson county; Waccamaw-Siouan in Bladen and Columbus counties; and some Tuscarora in the Robeson county area.
All churches of the association are affiliated with the North Carolina Baptist State Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention. Bi-vocational pastors lead 80% of the churches. All but two of the 69 churches are led by Native American pastors from tribes of this region. Indigenous lay and clergy leaders serve not only the churches but also are vital to general community political and social life.
The association is guided by its vision to be churches in fellowship and on mission together with God. Our objectives are to assist churches: (1) to strengthen program organizations; (2) to promote missions and local ministry as outcomes of the church; (3) to develop Christian leadership; (4) to nurture fellowship among the churches.
The association conducts ministry outreach through its Church and Community Ministry program that assists individuals in critical need of food, transportation, clothing, shelter and medicine. Churches provide resources for this ministry.
The Burnt Swamp Bible Institute provides ministry training through college level Bible and church ministry classes. A scholarship fund provides assistance for ministers participating in these classes and training at other institutions.
The association provides ongoing support for mission outreach Aurora Province in the Philippines, 150 miles northeast of Manila. That mission ministry includes 14 churches all across the coastal region of Aurora Province. A school serving 120 students from K-4 is led by a principal and 12 teachers. In addition, the ministry includes a Bible Institute fully accredited by the Philippine Baptist Theological Seminary in Bagio City.
The association and churches conduct mission outreach to other Native Americans in reservation and off-reservation communities throughout the year in various states. Some of that outreach involves financial support to Native American evangelists and mission workers, as well as partnerships with indigenous leaders for conferences and workshops.
The association partners with community organizations such as LRDA, Lumbee Tribal Council (Lumbee Tribe), NC Commission of Indian Affairs and the various tribal agencies within the state as well as local health and social service providers to connect services with individuals who need them.