The Methodist Church of the Bahamas was formed in July 1993 by an act of the Bahamas Parliament. For over 200 years.since 1800, our church was a part of the British Methodist Mission. In 1968 (one year later than the rest of the Caribbean Districts), The Bahamas District of Methodist Churches joined the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas (MCCA). In 1967 the Methodist Churches in The Caribbean and some countries in Central America had been granted autonomy by the British Methodist Conference. In 1990, The Bahamas District of the Methodist Church passed a Resolution in its January District Synod to move for self governance and autonomy. This was realized in 1993. [click here for a detailed history of the BCMC]
The Executive Committee
The protocol and government of the Bahamas Conference of the Methodist Church is based on the form of Methodism known in Britain and the Caribbean. Four Officers make up the leadership of the Conference. The offices of President, Vice President and Treasurer are elected positions. Persons may be elected for two three year terms. The office of General Secretary is an appointed office without a determined term of service. [Click here Biographies of BCMC Executive's]
There are three executive organs of the Conference. First, there is the Annual General Conference. These meetings take place in May of each year. The Business Conference meets every three years and for the two years between Business Conferences, Spiritual Growth Conferences are held. At Business Conferences all members of Ordained and Full time Staff have voting rights. Church representation is based on a proportional representation model according to the size of church membership, one representative for every 50 members.
Secondly, there is the Central Council. This Council meets in mid-November each year. Each Church has one delegate to this body. It is smaller in membership and usually meets from Thursday noon until Saturday morning.
Thirdly, The Conference Executive meets monthly, on the first Thursday evening of each month. The Executive is the on-going organ of the Conference and oversees the work of the Conference in the absence of the Annual Conference and the Central Council. Membership of The Executive is made up as follows: The President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer; Assistant Secretaries;, Assistant Treasurers; The Legal Advisor, the Directors of the five Divisions of the Conference: (i) Worship and Fellowship; (ii) Property and Finance; (iii) Ministry; (iv) Doctrine and Polity and (v) Service to the Community. [Click here for Listing of Conference Officers, Staff and Ministers]
Financially, the Conference is supported by each member church through a system of apportionments based on the membership size of each church. In addition, there are four Conference Fundraising Events annually to aid the work of the Conference.
Within the BCMC, churches are organized into Regions. Each Region has a Ministerial Moderator and a Lay Moderator. These are the administrators of the Region. (See list of Regions and Churches). Churches are administered by a Congregational Board. Each church sets the size (membership wise) of the Board and the persons so elected appoint the various positions: Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer and persons for specific boards (Women's Ministry, Youth Ministry, Outreach, and Evangelism etc.). [Click here for Conference Structure]
The Church Year
The Methodist Church year begins on September 01. On the first weekend in September a Celebration weekend takes place, usually in Nassau. This weekend includes a Saturday morning Training Session and the Awards Banquet on Saturday night. On the first Sunday of September there is a pulpit exchange in all Methodist Churches in the Conference during morning worship and in the evening a united service, celebrating the opening of the New Methodist Church Year is held in Nassau during which time, the President of the Conference will deliver the charge for the New Year.
Methodism in the Bahamas has a history rich in music and song. Methodist Hymns and hymn singing represents the true nature of many of our members. The Methodist Church is also known throughout the islands for its social outreach and ministry in areas of need and disaster. Following Hurricane Andrew in 1992, the BCMC has actively partnered with the Bahamas Government and the United Methodist Church in the United States of America in a programme known as Methodist Habitat. This programme has become the outreach arm of the Conference. Each year hundreds of volunteers from UMVIM come to The Bahamas to work on housing projects and Vacation Bible Schools in the Islands.[Click to go to Missions & Outreach Programmes]
The BCMC has as it shield and motto a picture of the Universal Christ, standing with arms open and outstretched, with the symbols of WORD (The Bible), SERVICE, (The basin and the towel) and FELLOWSHIP (the joining of hands across the racial mix of The Bahamas).
In all that we do and in all that we are, are aim is to be students of God's Word, Active in Service and dedicated to Fellowship.
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