With the untimely death of Reverend Lloyd Smith one year into his second four-year term as leader of the Bahamas Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention (BBMEC), Rev. Dr. Philip McPhee automatically steps up to the presidency for the remaining three years of the term.
“I am the president of the Bahamas Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention,” McPhee told The Nassau Guardian.
“The [convention’s] constitution has given me the authority,” said McPhee, who was elected first vice president of the BMMEC.
The pastor at Mount Calvary Baptist Church said he will serve out the remainder of the term as president for three years, when contacted by The Nassau Guardian as to the future of the BBMEC.
The next BBMEC election will be held in 2025.
Smith died at age 74, on Saturday, July 22. While at a funeral service where he was to deliver a euology at Mount Horeb Church where he served as senior pastor for 21 years, Smith collapsed in the restroom and was rushed to hospital where he died.
While McPhee described Smith’s passing as “untimely”, he said he did not anticipate assuming the presidency.
“It’s a headache. It’s a lot of work. We will have to do a whole lot of work to keep the standard,” said McPhee.
“When one president dies, the workload becomes a new venture for whoever takes over. And every president brings his own awareness and style to leadership, so when it happens in the manner it happened, it gives the person who succeeds an opportunity to put his stamp of approval without any planning and preparation.”
McPhee said the office and job can become strenuous if the president does not surround himself with men and women who want to work to bring about positive changes for the time and the season they are a part of.
McPhee said no other position is affected. But as president, he is able to appoint people into the mainstream of the convention to help him.
While he said he had “thoughts” on what he would like to do, he deferred doing anything until after Smith’s state-recognized funeral service which was held on Friday, August 4 at the church he founded.
“After the laying to rest of our president, we will jump in immediately to do the work of the Baptist Convention to move the convention forward,” McPhee told The Nassau Guardian.
“I want to thank God for the privilege he has allowed me to serve and for the people who have come to rally around me to give me sound advice and their prayers. And I thank those who have worked in this convention and brought it to the place where we can be proud.”
McPhee also said their schools were not impacted by Smith’s death, and were ready for the academic year.
“We have capable, gifted, intelligent men and women in place and the nation does not have to worry.
“Our convention and schools are in good standing.”