The first of three business segments of the Baptist Convention of New Mexico's 2017 Annual Meeting took place on Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 24. John Hinze, BCNM president and pastor of First Baptist Church, Tucumcari, presided over the business. The first business session of the Annual Meeting customarily handles a number of routine "housekeeping" items before other business can be addressed.
Hinze began the session by introducing Jared Bridge, BCNM first vice president and pastor of Anchor Church, Albuquerque. Bridge chaired the convention's Credentials Committee, which oversees the messenger vetting process. In an approach different from previous conventions, he took time to explain the importance of the messenger role. Citing Philippians 2:25-28, he compared convention messengers to Epaphroditus, whom the Philippian church sent as a messenger to Paul to encourage him and to enable him to continue his ministry while in prison. Bridge thanked the convention' s messengers and affirmed that they “play a vital role” in the BNCNM's work. After his explanation, Bridge made a motion on behalf of the committee that the registered messengers be "seated" as the Annual Meeting. Motions offered by a convention committee, do not require a second. The motion carried unanimously.
President Hinze then announced the committees he had appointed to serve at this year’s convention. The appointments are part of the president's responsibilities, according to BCNM bylaws. To the 2017 Credentials Committee he appointed Jared Bridge, chairman (pastor of Anchor Church, Albuquerque); Beau Lamb, BCNM second vice president (pastor of First Baptist Church, Santa Rosa), appointed by virtue of his convention role; Josh Faucett (pastor of First Baptist Church, Elida); and Monty Mullenix (pastor of First Baptist Church, Bloomfield). To the 2017 Committee on Committees, Hinze appointed Craig Sundheimer, chairman (minister of worship at First Baptist Church, Rio Rancho); Al Keeney (pastor at Sierra Vista Baptist Church, Belen); Hayden Smith (pastor at First Baptist Church, Carrizozo); Steven Smith (pastor at University Baptist Church, Portales); and Gavin Vaughan (Hermosa Drive Baptist Church, Artesia).
Steve Ballew, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church, Farmington, and vice chairman of the BCNM Executive Board, presented a motion to adopt the printed Annual Meeting agenda. Jay McCollum, pastor at First Baptist Church, Gallup, seconded the motion. The motion passed. Adopting the agenda established an order and timing of business and other items so messengers know when each element of the meeting will occur.
David McFadden, pastor of First Baptist Church, Portales, and chairman of the BCNM Executive Board, presented the Executive Board report. The Executive Board carries on the work of the convention between Annual Meetings. Many operational matters arise outside the two days that messengers gather for the Annual Meeting. So, messengers elect an Executive Board, to handle those matters until they gather again the next year. At each annual meeting the Executive Board reports to messengers they actions it has taken since the last Annual Meeting.
McFadden previewed two items that the Executive Board was scheduled to present for a vote later, during the first Wednesday morning business session. First, the board was proposing a change to the BCNM's bylaws. The change read as follows: “That the bylaws be changed to read that the State Executive Board be referred to hereafter as the State Mission Board of the Baptist Convention of New Mexico.” The proposal had been approved by the Executive Board during its meeting on Sept. 18 at the BCNM offices in Albuquerque. The matter required action by the messengers before becoming official. McFadden explained that the staff of the convention has “a missional mind-set” and that the Executive Board felt this change would reflect this mind-set “in everything we do as a convention.”
Second, McFadden previewed the proposed 2018 BCNM Budget. The proposed budget, he said, was approximately $200,000 less than the 2017 budget. He emphasized that the BCNM staff is “doing a whole lot more with a whole lot less.” McFadden credited Joseph Bunce’s leadership as executive director for enabling the staff to be a “lean, mean, missional machine” despite budget decreases over the last several years. The budget also includes a 1 percent increase in receipts forwarded to the Southern Baptist Convention, raising the amount forwarded from 2017's 28 percent to 29 percent in 2018.
President Hinze continued the session by inviting messengers to introduce any new business items not already planned by convention committees. No additional items were introduced during the session. Hinze closed the business session by requesting that messengers bring any proposed resolutions to the recording secretary's table by the end of the Tuesday night session to allow the Resolutions Committee time to consider and prepare resolutions prior to their report on Wednesday morning.