Leadership shifted on January 7 with the historic election of the Rev. Xavier L. Thompson as the youngest president ever of the Baptist Ministers Conference of Los Angeles and Southern California (BMCLA).
He defeated the current president, the Rev. Dr. Marvis Davis, who led the prominent organization for the past three years.
Despite rumors of fireworks, the process was orderly as ministers quietly cast ballots and patiently waited for the outcome. Cheers erupted when the Rev. Bobby Newman, Sr., chair of the Election Commission, announced the final tally of 118-64.
“I want to congratulate Dr. Xavier Thompson on his successful run and I will ask that there be no divisions among us, that we be spiritual and not carnal. I will continue to be a faithful servant of the Lord and a proud member of the Baptist Ministers Conference,” said Dr. Davis.
Stating similar comments, the Rev. Thompson said, “We’ve proven today that Black Baptists can be powerbrokers when we coalesce around the same vision. There will be no division among us. Dr. Davis and I are brothers. We have been brothers and shall remain brothers. The election was held today, but tomorrow, the work begins.”
The Rev. Dr. Melvin V. Wade predicted a bright future. “God is still God and God works not only through the old, but also the young. So this can be a thing where we will see God work through both.”
The Rev. Terry Brown noted, “I believe God is giving us a mandate that He wants to move the Baptist Ministers Conference and the church forward. He’s given this young man the leadership, so I'm excited about what God has in store for us.”