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New York convention elects executive director

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (BP)–Jerry Boyd Graham was unanimously elected executive director/treasurer of the Baptist Convention of New York during a May 16 meeting of the convention’s executive board.
Graham, who has been the convention’s interim executive director/treasurer since September 1997, succeeds R. Quinn Pugh who retired in 1996.
In presenting Graham to the executive board following the vote, chairman Terry Robertson, pastor of Amherst (N.Y.) Baptist Church, noted even though the search for a new leader was a two-year process, the final decisions from the search committee, the board’s administrative committee and the executive board were unanimous.
“I don’t believe any of us thought we would ever reach a unanimous decision,” Robertson said. “Truly God has blessed us through this process.”
During a question-and-answer period with board members, Graham outlined several key areas he hopes to address during his tenure. Chief among them was encouraging harmony among people holding various philosophies, leadership perspectives and views on how to do church, completion of a comprehensive state convention strategy, developing more self-support of convention ministries, fostering healthy church starts and filling current staff vacancies.
Graham brings to the position 40 years of denomination experience including service with the Home Mission Board (now North American Mission Board) and as an associational missionary and pastor.
At the HMB, Graham served as associate vice president, extension, until June 17, 1997. He transferred to the post in 1989 from the position of assistant vice president, missions section. He also served in the Home Mission Board missionary personnel department and in the associational missions division.
Before joining the Home Mission Board staff in Atlanta in 1976, he was a missionary of the Home Mission Board’s department of rural-urban missions, serving as director of missions in Susquehanna Baptist Association in Maryland. He previously served under similar appointment in Central Baptist Association in Maryland and was pastor of Westminster (Md.) Baptist Church. Before appointment by the Home Mission Board in 1966, he was pastor of Potomac Baptist Church, Sterling, Va. In Texas, he was pastor of churches in Seven Sisters and Edna Hill.
Graham, a native of Oklahoma, is a 1958 graduate of the University of Corpus Christi in Texas who earned a divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas, in 1965 and a doctor of ministry degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Ky., in 1975.
He and his wife, Areta, have three grown sons and three grandchildren.