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N.M. Baptists increase CP, stand for marriage

RUIDOSO, N.M. (BP) — Messengers to the Baptist Convention of New Mexico increased the percentage of Cooperative Program receipts they will forward to Southern Baptist Convention causes and decried the U.S. Supreme Court’s nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage.

Gathering Oct. 20-21 at the Ruidoso Convention Center in Ruidoso, N.M., 293 messengers represented 104 of the convention’s 335 cooperating churches. Some messengers traveled nearly 400 miles to participate.

The 2016 budget of $5,533,090 anticipates $3,777,237 in CP receipts from churches, with $1,755,853 anticipated from other sources.

The convention will forward 26 percent of CP receipts to SBC national and international missions and ministries, a 1-percentage-point increase from 2015. The BCNM will use 74 percent for in-state missions and ministries.

Approximately 4.3 percent of CP receipts will be designated as “CP exempt items,” a category analogous to what have been called shared ministry expenses by some state conventions. The three line items labelled CP exempt in the published BCNM budget are “church retirement plan,” “post-retirement benefits” and “CP promotion.”

The $950,000 New Mexico Baptists anticipate forwarding to SBC causes would mark a nearly 18 percent increase from the $807,315 received by the SBC Executive Committee in 2014-15.

The 2016 budget is the first to reflect the corporate merger of two Baptist camps into the convention’s financial and corporate structure. Inclusion of camp operations increased the convention’s operating expenses by nearly $550,000.

A resolution “on the Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges” was adopted without opposition. The resolution expressed the convention’s “dissent” from the court’s summer ruling and stated, “No governing institution has authority to negate or undermine God’s definition of marriage.” It also emphasized religious liberty and included a commitment “to gracious, compassionate and Gospel-centered speech, action and love toward our neighbors, extending God’s grace through the proclamation of the Gospel to all people, irrespective of race, ethnicity, religion or lifestyle, and especially to those with whom we disagree about the definition of marriage and the common good.”

Messengers re-elected Jonathan Richard, pastor of First Baptist Church in Estancia, N.M., as president. Other officers elected included: first vice president, Dennis Garcia, pastor of First Baptist Church in Moriarty, N.M.; and second vice president, Jared Bridge, a church planter who pastors Anchor Church in Albuquerque, N.M. All officer nominees ran unopposed.

The annual meeting theme, “Following in His Footsteps,” was reflected in messages, prayers, Scripture readings and worship. Frank S. Page, president of the SBC Executive Committee, preached one of the keynote sermons. Page also hosted pastors at a gathering to promote the Cooperative Program and answer questions about the drawdown of missionaries and staff occurring at the International Mission Board. Adam Hughes, pastor of First Baptist Church of West Albuquerque, preached the annual convention sermon.

In affiliated meetings, 108 attended the annual meeting of the New Mexico Woman’s Missionary Union and about 150 men attended the annual Pastors’ and Laymen’s Conference. Both events were held at First Baptist Church of Ruidoso. The Disaster Relief Feeding Unit from New Mexico’s Pecos Valley Baptist Association prepared and served breakfast before the Tuesday morning events.

Some 291 guests attended the annual BCNM Missions Celebration at Flying J Ranch in Alto, N.M. After the Flying J wranglers served up a western meal and musical program, the BCNM’s Missions and Mobilization Team presented a program that highlighted 11 areas where God is working through churches and their members to impact New Mexico and draw people to Jesus.

Next year’s annual meeting is scheduled for Oct. 25-26 in the northern mountain community of Taos, N.M.

    About the Author

  • Staff/Baptist New Mexican and Baptist Press

    Compiled by Kevin Parker, editor of the Baptist New Mexican newsjournal, and David Roach, chief national correspondent for Baptist Press, the Southern Baptist Convention’s news service. BP reports on missions, ministry and witness advanced through the Cooperative Program and on news related to Southern Baptists’ concerns nationally and globally.

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