News Articles

N.M. Baptists partner with Union, Ramsey

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (BP) — New Mexico Baptists approved a 2019 budget, elected new convention officers, emphasized the importance of Cooperative Program giving and introduced new convention partnerships during the Baptist Convention of New Mexico’s 2018 annual meeting.

They also announced partnerships with Union University and personal finance expert Dave Ramsey.

Two hundred sixty-nine messengers and 89 guests from 93 of the BCNM’s 338 cooperating churches attended the Oct. 22-24 meeting hosted by Mesilla Park Community Church in Las Cruces, N.M. The 2018 theme was “God’s Unshakeable Kingdom” derived from Hebrews 12:25-29, in which the author states God’s promise that, through Jesus, people can enter into “a kingdom that cannot be shaken.”

Pre-convention meetings

Several events preceded the annual meeting’s opening session. On Monday evening, Oct. 22, the BCNM hosted a registration reception and exhibit hall for messengers and guests while International Mission Board alumni were invited to a special networking dinner. Tuesday’s events included a Pastors’ and Laymen’s Conference, a WMU missions celebration, the annual meeting and a church planting luncheon.

The Pastors’ and Laymen’s Conference provided an opportunity for pastors and lay church leaders to gather together for worship, teaching, fellowship and conference business. Jared C. Wilson, director for content strategy and managing editor of the For The Church website at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, served as the conference’s keynote speaker. During two teaching sessions, Wilson said the Gospel message is central in pastoral preaching and for biblical humility in the pastoral office.

The WMU meeting serves as New Mexico WMU’s annual business meeting, as well as a time of celebration and fellowship. National WMU president Linda Cooper spoke during the meeting, encouraging attendees to “know God more” and “make disciples who make disciples.”

Business sessions

During Tuesday afternoon’s opening session of the BCNM annual meeting, messengers adopted the convention program and heard reports from the State Mission Board, the New Mexico Baptist Children’s Home and Family Ministries and the New Mexico Baptist Foundation.

Steve Gaines, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church, Cordova, Tenn., and former Southern Baptist Convention president, preached during the afternoon session.

The Tuesday evening session opened with worship from the New Mexico Singing Churchmen and a second message from Gaines. Following Gaines’ sermon, Joseph Bunce, BCNM executive director and lead missionary, introduced new pastoral staff from across the state. In total, New Mexico Baptists welcomed eight new ministers to their convention, including five lead pastors.

The session concluded with an executive director’s report in which Bunce acknowledged a growing generational shift among Southern Baptists. Focusing on New Mexico specifically, Bunce encouraged the convention’s messengers and guests to be diligent about focusing on the centrality of Jesus and working past generational differences in order to reach the nearly 1.5 million New Mexicans who lack a saving relationship with Christ.

During his address, Bunce announced two new BCNM partnerships. In 2019, the convention will partner with Union University in Jackson, Tenn., to send student interns to serve under pastors across the state. The convention has also entered into a partnership with Ramsey Solutions, an organization led by Ramsey, to train pastors and church leaders to implement Financial Peace University programs in New Mexico churches.

The Wednesday morning session opened with a message from John Morgan, pastor of Sagemont Church in Houston. Following Morgan’s sermon, messengers and guests heard reports from the convention’s Committee on Committees, State Mission Board, Nominating Committee and Resolutions Committee.

2019 budget & officers

During the convention’s final business session, also on Wednesday morning, messengers approved the BCNM’s 2019 proposed budget, allocating 29 percent of CP receipts from churches to SBC causes and retaining 71 percent for BCNM ministries. Those percentages are unchanged from 2018 levels.

The total 2019 adopted budget of $4,722,530 — a 1.25 percent increase from 2018 — anticipates $3.2 million in CP receipts from churches and $1.5 million from other sources.

Approximately 5 percent of CP receipts will be designated “CP exempt items,” a category analogous to what have been called shared ministry expenses by some state conventions. The three line items labeled CP exempt in the published BCNM budget are “church retirement plan,” “post-retirement benefits” and “CP promotion.”

During the session, messengers also elected 2018-2019 convention officers: Jared Bridge, pastor of Anchor Church in Albuquerque, was elected president; Beau Lamb, pastor of First Baptist Church in Santa Rosa, was elected first vice president; and Matt Henslee, pastor of Mayhill (N.M.) Baptist Church, was elected second vice president.

Boyd Morerod, pastor of First Baptist Church of Los Chavez in Belen, delivered the convention’s annual sermon.

Other guests & future dates

The BCNM annual meeting also welcomed Jeffrey Bingham, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary interim president; Roger S. (Sing) Oldham, SBC Executive Committee vice president for convention communications and relations; and Matt Queen, associate professor of evangelism and L.R. Scarborough “Chair of Fire” at Southwestern.

The 2019 BCNM annual meeting will take place Oct. 22-23, in Clovis. John Torrison, pastor of Vista Grande Baptist Church in Sandia Park, is scheduled to deliver the 2019 annual sermon.