A 6.1 percent budget increase and a new tagline depicting the convention’s geographic diversity were among highlights of the Baptist Convention of New York (BCNY) annual meeting, Sept. 25 in Cicero, New York.
Fifty-one messengers and 26 guests gathered at the Driver’s Village Conference Center, representing the convention’s 535 churches. Messengers approved constitution and bylaw changes ensuring representation on the BCNY Executive Board from each of the convention’s 10 associations. Additionally, changes narrowed the convention’s work to focus on three priorities: church planting and revitalization, evangelism, and leadership solutions. The annual meeting theme of “I am About to Do Something New” was drawn from Isaiah 43:19.
Outgoing president Alberto Camacho, pastor of The Rock Church in West Haverstraw, expressed gratitude at being able to meet in person after last year’s annual meeting was driven online by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In spite of the unknown and uncertain this last year, God is good, and we praise and we thank the Lord that we are all here together, not merely surviving but also thriving in the different ministries that God has entrusted to each of our churches,” Camacho said. The way forward “in this new day is both challenging and difficult.”
The 2022 budget of $770,000 — up $44,000 from the current year — includes $761,000 in anticipated Cooperative Program gifts from churches as well as $9,000 in interest and dividend income. Though not listed in the budget, BCNY anticipates church planting and evangelism funds from the North American Mission Board in excess of the $42,750 for their 2021 budget.
Thirty percent of CP receipts will be forwarded to SBC causes, the same percentage as the current fiscal year.
A recommendation from the BCNY Executive Board proposed changing the convention’s name to the Northeast Baptist Network to better reflect the presence of BCNY churches in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. But an amendment from the floor approved with just six dissenting votes maintained the BCNY name while adding the tagline, “a northeast network of churches.”
All officers were elected by acclamation, including: president, Steve Charles, pastor of New Covenant Baptist Church in Canandaigua; vice president, Camacho; and recording secretary, John DePugh, pastor of Newark (New York) Baptist Fellowship Church. The Executive Board will fill the position of assistant recording secretary.
Messengers heard a video address from Southern Baptist Convention President Ed Litton and voted unanimously to invite him to preach at the 2022 BCNY annual meeting.
“We are Great Commission Baptists,” said Litton, pastor of Redemption Church in Saraland, Alabama. “Our family of churches has expanded far beyond the geographical South and Southern boundaries. We need faithful gospel ministry like you are providing in the Northeast.”
The 2022 BCNY annual meeting is scheduled for Sept. 24 at the Driver’s Village Conference Center.