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Directors of missions broaden membership

SALT LAKE CITY (BP)–The national conference of associational directors of missions and staff members adopted revisions to its constitution and bylaws, broadening its membership to include associations and altering its registration fees during their annual meeting, June 7-8, at the Best Western Olympus Hotel in Salt Lake City.
About 165 members of the Southern Baptist Conference of Associational Directors of Missions also elected a Florida director of missions as 1998-99 president and adopted a job description for the group’s administrator/treasurer, Charles Nunn, during its business sessions. Spouses and guests boosted attendance at the event to about 300.
Nunn, retired executive director of missions for Richmond (Va.) Baptist Association, said the constitutional changes “retain the name, purpose and membership,” while changing the fee for membership. “The individual membership will continue, but for the first time in the group’s history, associations will be able to be members.”
Under the revised constitution, associational staff will be admitted as members on an annual fee scale of $1 per congregation per year. Registration fees formerly were assessed at $25 per individual associational staff member.
Nunn noted that the need for an associational fee approach was “twofold. Basically, we want to broaden the base to make it more inclusive than exclusive.
“The other part is training,” he added. “We envision that we will be doing, in partnership with the North American Mission Board and state Baptist conventions, more regional training than in the past. Some of that has already been going on in the West for several years, but we will be building on that, and there is an open receptivity to do that.”
The revisions are a prelude to more decisive alterations, including a name change, that may be adopted during the 1999 meeting. The group had commissioned a study committee at their 1996 meeting in New Orleans to “determine what is the desired and expected future impact of the conference.”
In 1997, the study committee brought recommendations for a name change and additional internal changes. Members referred the report back to the committee for revision
In other business, the group adopted a 1998-99 budget of approximately $24,600, an increase of about $7,500 over the 1997-98 budget.
The group also passed a job description for Nunn. He said the part-time position “was created because of the growth of the organization. In terms of responsibilities, we wanted someone on a part-time basis that had responsibilities more than that of a volunteer and have some field responsibilities which include relating to denominational agencies and making arrangements for the annual meeting.”
Elected during the Monday afternoon session as president of the organization was Edward Gilman, director of missions for Suncoast Baptist Association in Largo, Fla. Also elected as 1998-99 officers were Edward Copeland, Metro Columbus (Ohio) Baptist Association, first vice president; C. Don Beall, Puget Sound Baptist Association in Washington, second vice president; and Ernest K. Sadler, Jackson Baptist Association in Pascagoula, Miss., secretary.
Other officers elected included Gerald W. Jeffries of Dixon Baptist Association in Bland, Mo., as editor of the SBCADOM newsletter, DOM Viewpoint, and A. Joel Harrison of Atlanta (Ga.) Baptist Association as host director for the group’s 1999 annual meeting, to be held at the Westin Atlanta Airport Hotel, June 13-14.

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  • Russell N. Dilday