News Articles

N.M. Baptists study harvest at 2000; debate bonuses for convention staff

GLORIETA, N.M. (BP)–Each of the four sessions of the Baptist Convention of New Mexico’s Oct. 27-28 annual meeting highlighted a different aspect of the harvest in preparation for entering the final year before AD 2000, urging the state’s Baptists to pray, plan and work for the harvest and reminding them of the power for the harvest.
The convention’s 86th annual meeting drew 284 messengers and 103 registered guests to the Glorieta Conference Center despite a nearly constant rain, and a little snow, during the opening day.
While most of the meeting was filled with worship and study of God’s Word concerning the harvest, the most discussed items of business were consideration of two motions for additional bonuses for BCNM staff members, both of which failed. Consideration of the only proposed bylaw amendment, concerning the nominating process, was postponed indefinitely.
During the convention’s Wednesday morning business session, Tom Dowler, a messenger from First Baptist Church, Los Alamos, presented a motion to make end-of-year bonuses “first priority” if undesignated money is received in excess of the 1998 budget.
“The staff of the Baptist Convention of New Mexico are God-called to serve us,” Dowler stated, “and we are God-instructed to take care of them.”
While Dowler’s proposal was defeated after considerable discussion, another attempt to grant additional bonuses was made later that same morning.
Carl Russell, pastor of First Baptist Church, Socorro, proposed an additional end-of-year bonus of $200, stressing the importance of communicating to BCNM staff members how much New Mexico Baptists appreciate them.
A show of hands was required to determine that the second proposal failed as well.
Consideration of the only proposed amendment to the BCNM bylaws was postponed indefinitely after concerns about its workability were expressed and the need of a complete review of bylaws of the convention and its four entities was authorized.
The proposed amendment directed the convention’s nominating committee to present to the convention nominees to serve on the executive board and the boards of the BCNM’s children’s home, its two camps, the Christian life committee and the historical committee. It also required the nominating committee to receive suggestions from any New Mexico Baptist, including the directors and heads of the entities. The entities would suggest two people to fill each vacancy on their boards, along with verification of the candidates’ willingness to serve and their willingness to attend orientation sessions of the board for which they may be tapped.
The amendment was discussed briefly Wednesday morning and postponed to the Wednesday evening business session.
Leaders of the convention and its entities met that afternoon with the Southern Baptist Convention’s attorney, Jim Guenther, to discuss the relationship between the executive board and the boards of its other four entities. The meeting had been scheduled for several weeks.
During the Wednesday evening convention session, executive board chairman Bob Butler proposed the appointment of a committee to study and recommend revisions to the bylaws of the convention and its entities in light of the meeting that afternoon.
Paul Tankersley of Clovis, the executive board’s vice chairman for 1998-99, promptly recommended postponing indefinitely the proposed bylaw amendment in light of the thorough study just authorized.
New Mexico Baptists celebrated the 50th anniversary of the New Mexico Baptist Foundation and Church Loan Corporation during the convention’s Tuesday evening session.
To mark the occasion, the foundation’s president, Lee Black, presented checks from the foundation to the convention totaling $20,000 for new works and the new multipurpose building at Inlow Baptist Camp.
Messengers also approved a record budget for their state convention, as well as budgets for three of its entities. The BCNM 1999 budget will require $3,093,199 in Cooperative Program receipts from the churches, an increase of 2.5 percent over the amount budgeted for 1998.
After an exception of $77,000 in preferred items is applied, 30.5 percent of the receipts will be forwarded to the Southern Baptist Convention for national and international missions and ministries, the same percentage as the current year.
Also approved were budgets for the Children’s Home, $810,145, an increase of 18 percent; Inlow Camp, $190,43, a decrease of 7.7 percent; and Sivells Camp, $184,058, down 2 percent.
All of the new officers of the convention were elected by acclamation: Joseph Bunce, pastor of First Baptist Church, Bloomfield, president; Clark Henderson, music and senior minister at Sandia Baptist Church, Albuquerque, first vice president; Boyd Morerod, pastor, First Baptist Church, Los Chavez, second vice president.
The convention passed only four resolutions this year expressing appreciation to Glorieta for its hospitality, the convention’s officers and staff, international mission volunteers and New Mexico Baptist pioneers.
Next year’s annual meeting will be Oct. 26-27 at First Baptist Church, Las Cruces.

    About the Author

  • John Loudat