By Leslie Radford: CNJ staff writer
Texico native Dan Pearce has returned home after 34 years to serve as director of missions for the Eastern New Mexico Baptist Association in Clovis.
Pearce said his mission in this position is to aid in the direction and coordination of approximately 30 Southern Baptist churches in eastern New Mexico.
“It is an honor to go back to the churches that had a major part of the formation of my early life,” Pearce said. “As a teenager, I was asked to preach in many of the churches in the Association and now I will go back to help meet their needs.”
Central Baptist Church pastor Joseph Vest was on the hiring committee. He said the panel chose Pearce out of about 15-20 candidates for several reasons.
“We needed someone with direction and energy,” Vest said. “Dan fit the bill. No. 1, he wanted to be the director of ministries); Secondly, he’s from here, people know who he is and he’s familiar with the area and the culture; and No. 3, his demeanor is pleasant and he displays strong leadership skills — he’s somebody that people would want to follow.”
Pearce spent the previous six years as the pastor at Sublet Southern Baptist Church in Sublette, Kan., where lead the Christian school at the church and worked with Spanish missions. He was also involved in the Western Kansas Baptist Association as the mission development director for five years and as moderator for two years.
His current placement involves being a pastor to pastors and aiding the associated churches in mission work.
“The key is we work together toward projects,” Pearce said. When you’re helping somebody else, you don’t focus on you.
“The tendency is to become selfish. Jesus taught us to be unselfish.”
Toward that end, Pearce said he would like to see the more church missions to Central and South America.
“We need to be going to Mexico and Brazil,” Pearce said. “We need more personal involvement.
Vest said the Baptist association was looking for a new identity. “Dan can definitely help with that.”
Pearce said with families busier than they’ve ever been before, churches need to change their worship methods.
“We need to understand the day we live in,” Pearce said.
“Change in churches can be slow, but sure. The change can open the door to movement of the Holy Spirit.”