ALBUQUERQUE (BNM) - On Sep. 21, 2020, during a report to a regular meeting of the Baptist Convention of New Mexico’s State Mission Board, the convention’s Executive Director Search Committee announced its nominee for the position: Pastor Steve Ballew. In a statement, the committee said, “As interviews took place, it was clear that God had called him to this position for such a time as this.” During the announcement, Committee Chairman John Hinze said, “God has raised up a man for such a time as this.”
A narrative sequence of events detailing the committee’s activities since January is attached to this release. A testimony statement from the committee appears in full below this story.
Ballew currently pastors Emmanuel Baptist Church, Farmington, where he has served since March 2011. Formerly, he pastored Trinity Southern Baptist Church, Casa Grande, Arizona (1997-2011), First Southern Baptist Church, Flagstaff, Arizona (1993-1997), and First Southern Baptist Church, Wellton, Arizona (1988-1992). In each church, Ballew has led the church to attendance growth. In addition to leading in his churches, Ballew has also held leadership positions in local Baptist associations and his state conventions and has served on an SBC committee.
Ballew has supervised multiple pastoral and support staff. He has traveled to six foreign countries on mission trips (some numerous times). His churches have varied in size from small to large. He agrees with the 2000 Statement of the Baptist Faith and Message. And, his churches have all given at least 10% to the Cooperative Program and at least 3% to their local associations.
In his resume, Ballew said, “I still believe the cooperative efforts of Southern Baptists are the best methodology for impacting a lost world.” He holds a Master of Divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas (1988) and a Bachelor of Accountancy degree from New Mexico State University, Las Cruces (1984).
The nominating committee will officially present Ballew as its nominee to the convention during the 2020 BCNM Annual Meeting on Oct. 20. The meeting will take place at Hoffmantown Baptist Church, Albuquerque. For more information on the meeting, visit bcnm.com/state-convention.
The Baptist New Mexican will update this story as new information becomes available.
The following statement was provided to the Baptist New Mexican by the Executive Director Search Committee. It appears as received [with corrections in brackets].
Testimony of the BCNM Executive Director Search Committee
By Jonathan Richard
The BCNM Executive Director Search Committee was tasked with selecting and presenting a candidate to succeed Dr. Joseph Bunce as the Executive Director of the Baptist Convention of New Mexico. At the time of formation, Steve Ballew, the chairman of the State Mission Board, called on people on the board as well as previous board chairmen and past presidents to serve. The Search Committee consisted of five members, Steve Ballew (the current board chairman), Dave McFadden (The previous board chairman), John Hinze (the previous president), Jonathan Richard (a previous president), and Mason Davis (member of the board). Three alternates were also selected from the board: Mark Ashley, Angela Butler, and Carlos Tapia. The committee elected John Hinze as Chairman, Dave McFadden as Vice-Chairman, and Jonathan Richard as Secretary.
The committee set about to discover what New Mexico Baptists thought to be important in an Executive Director. In order to [do] so, the committee met with leaders from each association in New Mexico, with Steve Ballew traveling to every single meeting except for one because it was scheduled at the same time as another meeting.
Several others made it to each meeting as well. The committee met together and compiled the answers. After doing so, the committee began to solicit and consider resumes.
In the process of receiving resumes, a New Mexico Baptist strongly recommended Steve Ballew as a candidate. As a result, Steve resigned from the committee immediately. He then reluctantly submitted a resume. At the next meeting, the committee voted to accept Steve’s resignation and then voted to make all three alternates of the committee full-voting members, bringing the number on the committee to a perfect seven.
In considering resumes, the committee kept in mind what New Mexico Baptists had said regarding their desires for the next exec[utive director].
Prior to weeding out candidates, the committee held a vote by secret ballot. Chairman Hinze asked the committee to write down three names that stood out to us. By God’s intervention, each of the seven people wrote down the same three names!
Those three were then placed into consideration as a priority. However, every single resume was discussed and then dealt with accordingly.
Chairman Hinze then tasked the various committee members to contact references on each of the three candidates to be discussed at the next meeting. The committee followed up on the references calling not just the ones listed and given to us, but also calling others.
As the committee prepared for the next meeting, many hours of prayer were involved. The next meeting was going to prove providential. As one member was traveling to the meeting, he prayed, “God[,] I know who I think the next person should be.
If it is not him, please change my mind.
However, You’re going to have a hard time changing my mind.” At that meeting, each candidates’ references were discussed as well as their qualifications.
Each person was extremely positive.
Steve was discussed. While that was happening, God was moving in our midst.
That particular member[,] who had asked God to change his mind, asked if they could again write down by secret ballot who they thought the next exec[utive director] should be. It was unanimous, Steve Ballew’s name was written down six times (one member was unable to make the meeting).
The committee began to pursue Steve as a candidate. As interviews took place, it was clear that God had called him to this position for such a time as this. Not only that, but the committee was convinced on this fact. God had indeed moved in our midst, changed our minds and led us to consider a man who we had never considered to be a possibility.