BCNM Resource Center and Offices, Albuquerque

File Photo: The Baptist Convention of New Mexico's Albuquerque resource center and offices.

ALBUQUERQUE (BNM) - During its regular meeting July 20, the Baptist Convention of New Mexico’s State Mission Board declared an emergency and adjusted the upcoming BCNM Annual Meeting, among other actions it took.

The SMB conducted its meeting differently due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ten board members and two BCNM staff members met together in Albuquerque, while 14 board members joined the meeting from remote locations via a Zoom videoconference. All but one of the board’s customary committee meetings were held remotely the week prior to the board meeting, all via Zoom.

During the meeting, BCNM staff who usually attend the meeting in person watched from an adjacent room on screens carrying the board Zoom meeting. BCNM Team Leaders gave ministry reports to the board, in lieu of board committee chairmen giving the reports.

The BCNM’s Information Services Team spent days planning, setting up equipment and practicing to conduct the meeting technically. Participants in each of the three locations (the remote Zoom participants plus two in-house settings)  required different audio and video feeds. Three other presenters also addressed the board from their own remote locations.

Inside the on-site board room, members sat socially-distanced and wore masks at times. Board members and staff did not have meals together, as is customary. Board members also did not visit BCNM staff offices or visit other parts of the Resource Center building.

The Finance Committee was the one committee that met in-person on the day of the board meeting. Committee members met with auditors to review the recent audit’s findings before the auditor made his report to the full board. 

Auditors gave the BCNM an “unmodified ‘clean’ opinion on [its] 2019 financial statements, [the] highest level of assurance auditors can provide.” Alex Gurule gave the on-site audit presentation to the board. Nick Loftis participated in the presentation remotely. Loftis and Gurule represented the Loftis and Lovato Group.

The Board took the following actions during its meeting.

- It approved board member absences.

- It accepted the following reports: executive director’s report, the New Mexico Baptist Children’s Home report, the New Mexico Baptist Foundation report, and the auditor’s report.

- It approved the minutes of its April meeting.

- It approved a motion to declare an emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic and to change the BCNM Annual Meeting from a two-day meeting to a one-day meeting.

- It heard reports from the BCNM’s ministry teams.

- It approved a recommendation from the Missions Mobilization Team to disburse $1,500 from the Harrison Trust Fund to Wayland Baptist University for Renaldon Begay, youth leader at First Baptist Church, Gallup.

- It approved a two-part recommendation from the Property/Finance Committee to transfer properties to two churches. The BCNM had been watching over the properties while the churches went through difficult times. The recommendation deeded properties back to Eagle Nest Baptist Church and Rodeo Baptist Church. Joseph Bunce, the BCNM’s executive director, told the board that the two churches “are now established and able to care for themselves.”

- The board heard updates on NAMB and LifeWay funding to the convention. Both agencies have withdrawn all funding to convention work. Historically, both agencies have provided funds for specific work through the BCNM.

- The board approved a motion to adjourn.

Kevin Parker is editor of the Baptist New Mexican news journal and, news and information outlets for the Baptist Convention of New Mexico.

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