Black network works to grow membership

by Diana Chandler, posted Friday, April 26, 2013 (one year ago)

HOUSTON (BP) -- Strengthening its membership base will be a major topic at the Black Denominational Servants Network's annual meeting in Houston, according to the group's president, Eugene McCormick.

"My goal is not to have just black denominational workers as members, but anybody that's associated with our cause or what we're seeking to accomplish," McCormick told Baptist Press. "What I really want to see is for us to have a stronger membership base primarily in terms of both participation and involvement, because I see a fragmentation of that."

Network members will meet Monday, June 10, at 8:30 a.m. at Greater St. Matthew Baptist Church, 7701 Jutland Road, in Houston, in conjunction with the Southern Baptist Convention's June 11-12 annual meeting at Houston's George R. Brown Convention Center.

McCormick, a strategist with the Florida Baptist Convention's African American church development team, will speak at the breakfast meeting. Gusta Booker is host pastor.

McCormick estimates the number of black workers among the various SBC entities at about 50, down from about 65 a few years ago. Of those employees, just over half participate in network events, he said.

Establishing affiliate memberships and creating a mentoring and coaching program to reach new SBC hires will help counter the dwindling numbers, McCormick said.

Other priorities for the June 10 meeting are updating the network's membership directory and website and strengthening its relationship and coordination of events with the SBC's National African American Fellowship, McCormick said.

The network will recognize top African American workers at the meeting through the Sid Smith Denominational Leadership Award given in honor of the group's late founder; the Kennedy-Boyce Award, named after the pastors of the first two African American churches to join the SBC; and the Denominational Appreciation Award.

One year remains in the terms of current officers. In addition to McCormick they are vice president Willie McLaurin, a Tennessee Baptist Convention strategist for leadership development/seminary extension, and secretary Charles Grant and treasurer Jeffrey Curtis, both LifeWay Christian Resources church consultants.


Diana Chandler is Baptist Press' staff writer. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email ( baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).

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