WASHINGTON D.C. (BNM) - Jay McCollum, longtime pastor of First Baptist Church, Gallup, attended a pair of briefings organized by the Family Research Council, with which he serves as a New Mexico representative.
On Wednesday, May 22, McCollum joined a select group of pastors for a briefing at the White House. President Donald Trump was originally scheduled to attend the briefing, but was intercepted by members of the news media on his way to the meeting, McCollum said. White House acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney delivered the briefing in the President’s absence. According to McCollum, those in attendance were “briefed on religious liberty issues, immigration issues and racial issues across the nation.”
In a phone interview with the Baptist New Mexican, McCollum said that while in Washington, he discussed issues pertinent to New Mexico with his colleagues, including immigration, abortion, human trafficking and drug trafficking.
On Thursday, May 23, McCollum attended the Watchmen on the Wall 2019 National Briefing, the annual pastors’ conference of Watchmen on the Wall. WOTW is a national network of pastors who work to advance conservative political agendas. The organization is affiliated with the Family Research Council. Jonathan Richard, pastor of First Baptist Church, Estancia, was also in attendance.
In addition to a “full slate of meetings,” McCollum told BNM that he and several other pastors were able to visit the Museum of the Bible on Wednesday afternoon and evening. McCollum praised the museum, saying, “I believe every New Mexican needs to try and make a trip to Washington D.C. to see the Bible Museum.”
McCollum currently serves as chairman of the Baptist Convention of New Mexico’s Christian Life Committee. His term will end at the conclusion of the 2019 BCNM Annual Meeting in Clovis, Oct. 21-23.
The Family Research Council and Watchmen on the Wall are independent entities and are not affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention or the BCNM.