HENRIETTA, New York (BP) — Messengers to the Baptist Convention of New York (BCNY) voted not to change the convention’s name during its late September annual meeting in Henrietta, New York.
At the 2014 annual meeting, messenger Edwin Attaway of First Christian Church, Brushton, New York, proposed that the BCNY’s constitution be amended to change its name to The Great Commission Baptists of the Northeast, a name he said would better reflect the presence of cooperating churches in Connecticut, Massachusetts, northern New Jersey and New York. Messengers voted at the time to refer the motion to the executive board for consideration at the 2015 annual meeting.
After discussing the proposal during the September meeting, the executive board recommended the convention’s name not be changed — a recommendation messengers accepted without opposition. BCNY executive director Terry Robertson said at least three factors contributed to the convention’s decision:
- Some New York Baptists did not believe “adequate thought” had been given to the name change and were “not ready to give up the Baptist Convention of New York name.”
- The convention’s attorney, in light of nuances in New York state law, advised against retaining the current legal name while doing business as The Great Commission Baptists of the Northeast. Some New York Baptists had suggested that using both names would be the most effective way of accomplishing the change.
- The proposed name change “could have been confusing” to churches that cooperate with either the Baptist Convention of New England or the Baptist Convention of Pennsylvania-South Jersey.
Robertson said the issue of a name change likely will arise again, particularly in light of concerns about the current name among some of the approximately 80 cooperating churches in Northern New Jersey, eight in Connecticut and two in Massachusetts.