New editor: Allan Blume elected in N.C.
The Biblical Recorder Board of Directors selected Blume on April 18. Blume announced the decision during Mount Vernon Baptist's two morning services on April 24.
Blume, who will start at the Biblical Recorder May 25, has been Mount Vernon's pastor 16 years. His last day to preach will be May 15; a Gideons speaker will preach May 22, Blume's last Sunday at the church.
A search committee, after meeting March 25-26 to interview three candidates for the position, brought Blume's recommendation to the board's spring meeting for a vote, which was unanimous.
Born in Charlotte, Blume holds undergraduate degrees from Wingate University in North Carolina and Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tenn., and a master of divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.
Prior to his ministry at Mount Vernon Baptist, Blume had served as pastor of Statesville Avenue Baptist Church in Charlotte for 12 years and as executive pastor of Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte five years. He also has been on staff at churches in Texas and Oklahoma.
Blume has held leadership positions within the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) and the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC). He ended a three-year term as president of the BSC Board of Directors in 2009. He was president of the North Carolina Baptist Pastor's Conference in 1997. Blume currently is chairman of the BSC's Vision Fulfillment Committee which continues to tour the state listening to North Carolina Baptists and their ideas for the state convention.
Because of his new position, Blume will resign from two SBC committees: the Executive Committee, of which he has been a member since 2009, and the Resolutions Committee for the June 14-15 SBC annual meeting in Phoenix. He also is a former chairman of the SBC Committee on Order of Business.
Blume shared three overarching goals with the board -- be biblical; keep the focus on the Great Commission; and glorify God:
1) Be biblical. Blume emphasized that he stands "unapologetically" on the Word of God. His goal is for the Biblical Recorder to live up to its name and be biblical in theology, in practice (strategy and procedure) and in conduct (integrity and civility).
2) Keep the focus on the Great Commission. "Baptists are people who love missions," Blume said. "We want to be part of that. We're called to be missionaries."
As pastor of Mount Vernon, Blume said he led the church into the mindset of being a missionary training center. He encouraged church members to be on mission wherever they are. In the last 12 years Blume said 20 family units from the church have become vocational missionaries.
3) Glorify God. "I believe God is glorified when we tell His stories," Blume said. Using the acronym DIGG, Blume asks, Does it glorify God?
Blume said he pictures the Recorder as the "central convergence" where the voices of Baptists come together. Blume said others have told him he has leadership and administration abilities that will serve him well at the Biblical Recorder and his years as a pastor as well as a leader on the local, state and national level, will help him guide the Recorder to make history.
"We're not going to rewrite history," Blume said in an interview April 18. "We have work to do."
Blume said he doesn't want to get caught "in the world of the negative" but instead wants to move ahead. He often looks back to his life verse, Luke 1:37, for inspiration: "For with God, nothing shall be impossible."
He and his wife Pam have one adult son, Jeremy, who lives in Atlanta.
The search committee -- Gerald Hodges, chairman of the BSC Board of Directors and pastor of Westwood Baptist Church, Roxboro; Jo Andrews, member of Lawndale Baptist Church, Greensboro; Robert Hefner, staff member at Mud Creek Baptist Church, Hendersonville; Richard Hicks, interim pastor of East Lumberton Baptist Church; and Don Warren, member of Parkwood Baptist Church, Gastonia -- was named in November 2010 at the Baptist State Convention annual meeting and began discussing the process in December.
Norman Jameson, the previous editor, ended his service at the Recorder on Dec. 31, having submitted his resignation at the October board meeting.
Hodges said the board received 18 resumes from qualified candidates and many more inquiries. He said the search was covered in prayer as were the three candidates they met with in March.
"Each one of these individuals was highly qualified and any one of them would have been a great editor," Hodges said.
In an email, Hodges said Blume brings his "vast experience as a Senior Pastor and a deep love of the local church. He understands how important the creative use of technology will be to the future success of the Recorder. He knows and loves North Carolina Baptists and has an exciting vision for the Recorder.
"During Allan and Pam's time with us at our Board's spring meeting I think it was clear to all of us that God had long been at work in many ways preparing them for this task."
Hodges said the board received glowing recommendations for Blume from several Baptist leaders, including Michael C. Blackwell, president of Baptist Children's Homes of North Carolina; Ed Yount, senior pastor of Woodlawn Baptist Church, Conover, and president of the BSC; and Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer; Daniel Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest; Greg Mathis, senior pastor of Mud Creek Baptist Church, Hendersonville, and a former BSC president; and Al Gilbert, senior pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, Winston-Salem.
"I know him to be a strong leader, a compassionate pastor, and a man who is dedicated to Kingdom causes," Blackwell said. "During the three years that he was president of the Board of Directors, I, along with many others, saw Allan as fair, steady-at-the-helm, and dedicated to advancing the cause of Christ in North Carolina."
Dianna L. Cagle is assistant managing editor of the Biblical Recorder, newsjournal of the North Carolina Baptist State Convention.