Executive Director Search Team Update

BCNM Executive Directors, from top left to botton right: Elmer Bugg “E.B.” Atwood, James W. Bruner, Calowa William “C.W.” Stumph, Jesse Coleman Owen, Henry Clay “H.C.” Reavis, M.L. Murdock, J.M. Hayden, Harry Perkins Stagg, R.Y. Bradford, Chester Cowan O’Brien, Jr., Claude W. Cone, and Joseph L. Bunce (current executive director).

ALBUQUERQUE (BNM) - After gathering feedback from New Mexico Baptists, the Baptist Convention of New Mexico’s Executive Director Search Committee is entering the next phase of its search process.

In January, the State Mission Board tasked the committee with nominating a successor to BCNM Executive Director Joseph Bunce. Bunce plans to retire on Feb. 1, 2021, following fifteen years of service.

According to the committee’s chairman, John Hinze, the group has met three times since its formation. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, the most recent meeting took place online. Hinze pastors First Baptist Church, Tucumcari. He served as the BCNM’s president from October 2017 to October 2018.

During the initial phase of the search process, the committee sought feedback from New Mexico Baptists through a series of listening sessions. Each of the state’s 13 Baptist associations hosted a session. The committee also gathered feedback from BCNM leadership and support staff in two separate videoconference meetings during April.  

Alongside the sessions, the committee asked New Mexico Baptists to participate in 40 days of prayer between March 29 and May 7. An accompanying prayer guide encouraged New Mexico Baptists to pray for the search committee, the current executive director and his family, the next executive director and his family, BCNM churches and BCNM staff.

In April, the committee sent a letter to each BCNM church seeking recommendations for the position. The deadline to submit candidate recommendations is May 31.

On behalf of the entire search committee, Hinze asked New Mexico Baptists to “pray for divine discernment as resumes and or recommendations come in from around the state. The committee will be meeting online during the first part of June to go over each resume and recommendations.”

In addition to Hinze, other voting members of the search committee include Jonathan Richard, former BCNM president (2016-17)and pastor of First Baptist Church, Estancia; Dave McFadden, former SMB chairman (2017-18) and director of missions for Eastern and Tucumcari Baptist Associations; Steve Ballew, current SMB chairman and pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church, Farmington; and Mason Davis, pastor of Bethel Baptist Church, Deming.

Non-voting, alternate members of the search committee are Mark Ashley, member of First Baptist Church, Artesia; Angela Butler, member and pastor’s wife at Rio Mimbres Baptist Church, Mimbres; and Carlos Tapia, pastor of First Baptist Church, Grants.

BCNM bylaws stipulate that once the committee completes its search process, it will “nominate an Executive Director to be elected by the [BCNM] messengers, in annual or special meeting.” The bylaws require messengers to be notified of a special meeting at least 20 days in advance, “in writing by mail” and through a published notice in the Baptist New Mexican.

Candidate recommendations and resumes may be sent to execsearch@bcnm.com

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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