Joseph Bunce Reports to BCNM Messengers at 2019 Annual Meeting.

Joseph Bunce, executive director of the Baptist Convention of New Mexico, gives his report to messengers at the BCNM's Annual Meeting in Clovis. During the report, he announced his retirement effective Feb. 1, 2021. The session pictured was held at Central Baptist Church, Clovis.

CLOVIS (BNM) - Baptist Convention of New Mexico Executive Director Joseph Bunce has announced his intention to retire from his position in 2021, effective Feb. 21, 2021, following 15 years of service as the state’s lead missionary. The announcement came Tuesday, Oct. 22, during the BCNM’s Annual Meeting at Central Baptist Church, Clovis.

Bunce spoke to convention messengers and guests during his Executive Director’s report. During his address, Bunce preached on Acts 28:16 and 29-30. Expositing the text, he spoke of how Paul finished his ministry and the people he impacted along the way. “You and I may ask why the book of Acts closes [the way it does]. I believe it is because the Gospel wins. I believe God is telling us that nothing holds Gospel back,” Bunce said.

Bunce announced his retirement by reminding New Mexico Baptists, “all of us are interims,” telling those in attendance that his job “has been to bridge one generation to the next.”

According to Bunce, the State Mission Board will begin implementing a succession plan at its next quarterly meeting in January 2020. Details of the plan have not been made available, though Bunce was clear that he would not have a role in choosing his successor. “That’s not my role,” he said.

Bunce concluded by assuring New Mexico Baptists that he is not resigning from ministry, saying, “God gave me a pastor’s heart, and that’s how I’ve sought to lead you.” During his address, he expressed a desire to pastor a small country church.

The State Mission Board unanimously elected Bunce as executive director on Jan. 31, 2006, and Bunce began serving in that capacity on Feb. 1, 2006.

Previously, Bunce pastored First Baptist Church, Bloomfield (1993-2006); First Baptist Church, Melrose (1987-1993); Bel Aire Baptist Church, Hobbs (1980-1983); Highland Baptist Church, Eunice (1978-1980); and Floyd Baptist Church (1976-1978). He has also pastored churches in Missouri.

Bunce earned a doctor of ministry degree from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary (now Gateway Seminary) in 2000, a master of divinity degree from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1987, and a bachelor’s degree in religion from Eastern New Mexico University.

Bunce and his wife, Sharon, have been married for nearly 42 years. They have two sons, Micah and Caleb, and several grandchildren.

10/28/19 Article updated to reflect specific date of Joseph Bunce's retirement as Feb. 1, 2021, according to direct confirmation with Bunce.

10/23/19 Article was updated to remove "February" as Dr. Bunce's retirement date. He gave no clear, specific date, just the year.

Daniel Porter is a staff writer with the Baptist New Mexican news journal and GoBNM.com, news and information outlets for the Baptist Convention of New Mexico.

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