We the officers of the Baptist Missionary Association of America, in consultation with the department and agency directors, the Coordinating Council, and the national meeting production team, have cancelled the 2020 BMA of America national meeting. The reasons for this historic decision are based on several lines of reasoning. On Sunday, the CDC strongly recommended that groups of 50 or more be cancelled for the next 60 days. The city of Dallas, sister city to Waxahachie where our meeting was to be held, passed a city ordinance prohibiting gatherings of 500 or more. We feel that as believers, we need to lead the way in submitting to the authority of our governmental agencies in non-faith matters.
Many of the attendees of our annual meeting are older saints which are at a higher risk to experience complications if they contract the coronavirus. Attendees at our meetings also come from many different areas of our country and even foreign countries, which could contaminate attendees or spread the virus when they return home. And, there is a strong possibility that if the meeting were held this year that many people would just not come. It is just common sense that has led us to cancel the 2020 meeting.
In light of the fact that we are experiencing a national emergency, we are suspending the Statement of Principles of Cooperation for this associational year to allow our present slate of officers to continue to serve another year and to allow Luis Ortega to preach the 2021 annual message. Because the commissioning service for our newly elected missionaries is always a special time for the missionaries, their families, and the members of our churches—we have decided to hold this extraordinary service on the Wednesday night of SOAR this July in Grapevine, TX.
Since Pastor Richard Smith and the people of Farley Street Baptist Church in Waxahachie, TX have worked so hard to prepare for our coming this year, we have decided to allow Farley Street to host the 2021 national meeting, to go to Springfield, MO in 2022, and then to Antioch Baptist Church in Conway, AR in 2023.
Because there is some business that must be conducted this year, next week a ballot will be mailed to the churches of the BMA of America to give every church the opportunity to vote on these important items of business. Each church will have one vote and the ballot needs to be returned by Wednesday April 29th—the day that these issues would have been voted on should we have met this year.
If you have made reservations at a Waxahachie area hotel, please contact that hotel and cancel your reservations so that you will not be charged for your rooms.
The officers of your association are dealing with problems that we have never dealt with before and so, we would sincerely appreciate your continued prayers on our behalf.
Jeff Swart, President of the BMA of America