N.Y. Baptists consider name change

NANUET, N.Y. (BP) -- The Baptist Convention of New York could soon have a new name and a new location for its offices, messengers learned at the convention's 45th annual meeting Sept. 29-30 at Grace Baptist Church in Nanuet.

Messenger Edwin Attaway of First Christian Church in Brushton, N.Y., moved that the BCNY's constitution be amended to change its name to the Great Commission Baptists of the Northeast, a name that would better reflect the presence of churches in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York. Messengers voted to refer the motion to the executive board for consideration at next year's annual meeting.

Terry Robertson, BCNY executive director, noted the appropriateness of referring to the convention's 417 churches and 35,944 total members as "Great Commission Baptists" in keeping with the meeting's theme of "Until the World Knows."

"Across this territory our churches are increasingly recognized and referred to as 'Great Commission Churches,'" Robertson said in his printed report. "I hope that in time we will prove more and more to be those who fulfill the Great Commission ... The churches of the Baptist Convention of New York should be known as Great Commission Baptists."

The printed executive board report indicated that in September the board authorized Robertson to initiate the process of selling the BCNY office building in East Syracuse. Once an offer is made on the property, board authorization will be required to finalize the sale.

The convention is considering office options in lieu of a centralized ministry hub.

The credentials/enrollment committee reported 83 messengers and 39 guests for a total of 122, representing 53 churches.

Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd preached a message titled "Know the Times" and invited messengers to attend the 2015 SBC annual meeting in Columbus, Ohio. Floyd also challenged churches to participate in a one-day evangelistic blitz Oct. 14.

The convention adopted a 2015 budget of $1,846,750, an increase of 8.9 percent from the current year.

Included in the 2015 budget: $717,000 in anticipated Cooperative Program giving from BCNY churches, for 39 percent of the budget. Among the convention's other sources of funding are the North American Mission Board and LifeWay Christian resources.

The convention will continue to forward 25 percent of CP receipts -- $179,250 -- to the SBC's national and international missions and ministries. The budget includes no shared expenses with the SBC.

Elected as the convention's 2014-15 officers were: president, Scott Gillette of Amherst Baptist Church in Amherst, N.Y.; vice president, Brian Robinson of Fillmore Community Church in Buffalo, N.Y.; recording secretary, Van McClain of Grace Community Chapel in Ballston Spa, N.Y.; assistant recording secretary, Matt Evans of New Life Baptist Church in Niagara Falls, N.Y.; executive board chairman, Ted Harvey of Somerset Hills Baptist Church in Basking Ridge, N.J.; and executive board vice chairman, Andy Smith of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Cortland, N.Y.

George Russ, executive director of the Metro New York Baptist Association, delivered the annual sermon from Acts 17. Dan Trippie, pastor of Restoration Church in Buffalo, was elected as the annual preacher for the 2015 annual meeting, scheduled for Sept. 27-29 at All Nations Church in Henrietta, N.Y. Jim Murphy, an elder at Missio Church in Syracuse, is the alternate.

Among the annual meeting's guest speakers were C. Ashley Clayton, vice president for Cooperative Program and stewardship at the SBC Executive Committee; two International Mission Board missionaries who cannot be identified for security reasons; Jeff Christopherson, regional vice president for the North American Mission Board's Canada region; and Jeff Robinson of GuideStone Financial Resources.

The night before the annual meeting, more than 360 people from 19 churches and six associations attended a worship service at French Speaking Baptist Church in Spring Valley, N.Y. It was the first time the BCNY held a pre-convention meeting at a French language congregation.

Reported by the staff of the Baptist Convention of New York.
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