All MBC officer slots feature contested races
ST. LOUIS—Bruce McCoy, pastor, Canaan Baptist Church, St. Louis, is declaring no political allegiance in Missouri Baptist life as he comes to the 174th annual meeting of the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) Oct. 27-29 to run for president.
McCoy, who has served as first vice president each of the last two years, was linked in an email by Jim Breeden, director of missions, St. Louis Metro Baptist Association, to what appeared to be a slate of candidates. In actuality, McCoy told The Pathway Oct. 16 he is not running on any slate. The other names listed in Breeden’s email are: John Marshall, pastor, Second Baptist Church, Springfield, first vice president; Mitch Jackson, pastor, Miner Baptist Church, Sikeston, second vice president; and Ken Parker, pastor, First Baptist Church, Kearney, recording secretary.
Marshall is the second vice president of the MBC, and Jackson is the 2005 MBC president.
There is one confirmed slate of candidates, and it is as follows: Danny Decker, pastor, First Baptist Church, Warsaw, president; Ron Crow, pastor, First Baptist Church, Diamond, first vice president; Spencer Ray, pastor, First Baptist Church, Gallatin, second vice president; and Dennis Ward, pastor, Memorial Baptist Church, Poplar Bluff, recording secretary.
None of those men have ever been an officer and all say they are not affiliated with an group or organization.
Meanwhile, there are three other announced candidates for office. They are: Jody Shelenhamer, laity, First Baptist Church, Bolivar, second vice president; Jamie Hitt, laity, First Baptist Church, Winfield, recording secretary; and Rick Powell, laity, Oakwood Baptist Church, Kansas City, first or second vice president. All three are running as independents, not as a slate.
The theme of this year’s annual meeting here at the Millennium Hotel is “Restoring Fellowship … Reaching People.” Theme interpretation will be provided by Kerry Skinner, an author and lecturer who is co-founder of the Biblical Counseling Institute and author or co-author of several books on biblical counseling, repentance and holiness.
The first evening of the annual meeting will feature messages by MBC President Gerald Davidson, pastor emeritus of First Baptist Church, Arnold, and MBC Interim Executive Director David Tolliver. Their wives, Verlena Davidson and Myra Tolliver, will provide special music.
Also on the schedule Oct. 27 is a report on the Peace Committee’s work to be delivered by its chairman, Jeff Purvis, pastor, First Baptist Church, Herculaneum-Pevely. The six-member committee was formed in April by the MBC Executive Board.
The convention sermon will be delivered Oct. 28 by John Swadley, pastor, Forest Park Baptist Church, Joplin. Special sermons will be brought by Roy Fish, retired distinguished professor of evangelism at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas, Oct. 28, and John Bisagno, pastor emeritus, First Baptist Church, Houston, Texas, Oct. 29.
Musical presentations by the Lesters, a Southern Gospel group, and Selah, a contemporary Christian group, will be interspersed throughout the business sessions. The Lesters are from St. Louis. Their home church is the MBC-affiliated Tower Grove Baptist in St. Louis. Selah is based in Nashville, Tenn.
Coordinating the music for the annual meeting will be MBC Worship Specialist John Francis. Chris Mason, minister of music, First Baptist Church, Arnold, will lead the Monday evening worship time.
Messengers will introduce, debate and vote on motions, or actions they wish the Convention’s Executive Board, staff, committees or agencies to take.