Chairman sees healing in Nominating Committee
JEFFERSON CITY – The chairman of the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) Nominating Committee used his devotion April 26 at the Baptist Building to remind committee members that they are being watched right now by Missouri Baptists who are unsure about the future.
Bruce McCoy, pastor of Canaan Baptist Church in St. Louis, taught from Acts 3:1-11, a text that touches on Peter and John healing a lame man at the temple complex. Peter and John were strong personalities who disagreed, just like Missouri Baptists who may be disagreeing now after the April 10 dismissal of MBC Executive Director David Clippard on a 44-7 vote by the MBC Executive Board. In the months to come, McCoy sees the Nominating Committee as a means of healing.
“There is a Convention family out there,” McCoy said. “They are looking at us. One of the major prescriptions for resolution in our Convention is going to be what we do.”
In the text, Peter takes the crippled man by the right hand and raises him up, with his feet and ankles miraculously becoming strong.
“In the name of Jesus, this Convention must rise up and walk—not walk away from each other,” McCoy said. “We’d better get to a place where we can come and worship together.”
It took a true spiritual awakening for Peter and John to be united so that God could use them, McCoy said. They were headstrong leaders who were prone to argue.
“These two, who certainly had their quarrels, they were personalities that just simply didn’t mix well, yet here they are, going together to the temple to pray,” McCoy said. “They never could have done that without a Pentecost.”
The work of the Nominating Committee is under a microscope right now due to a Convention-wide climate that is tinged with such elements as sensitivities, mistrust and perceptions, McCoy said.
“There are a lot of folks hurting in Missouri right now, and I am one of them,” said McCoy, who chaired the ad hoc investigative committee that brought the recommendation to dismiss Clippard. “I feel wounded for our Convention, and I’m concerned for our employees, for our pastors, and for all Missouri Baptists. We really need a revival.”
One of the means by which God is reviving McCoy is the process of him conducting at least 12 meetings with Missouri Baptists to generate more applications for trustee positions on MBC boards and agencies. He’s already held four of these meetings and has placed himself under a July 31 deadline to finish the job.
“I want them to invite me, but I’m not going to sit around just rattling the keys in my pocket,” he said. “I’m going to call (directors of missions and pastors) and ask them to please give me a forum. We must develop a deeper database (of applicants). We need more.”
He challenged committee members in the April 26 meeting to join him in helping to lead the way so that the recent practice of scrambling at the last minute to come up with a complete slate of nominees could be averted.
Anyone can submit a name for consideration through the MBC website. Here is the link: www.mobaptist.org/nominations. The MBC has been collecting names this way since 2005, in a manner where submitting a name has been made convenient for those who have access to a computer.
McCoy enjoys boxing. His father was a champion in the Army, and he is learning that the lessons of boxing—particularly when it comes to how a boxer positions his feet—are instructional right now in Missouri Baptist life.
“What’s going to happen in our convention?” McCoy asked. “It’s going to matter how our footing is. Where’s your footing? We have got to get to a place where we know where to put our feet.”