L.A. Pastor, BMC’s youngest-ever president, led group in successfully tackling spiritual and social justice issues
After more than five years leading the Baptist Ministers Conference of Los Angeles and Southern California (BMC), the Rev. Xavier L. Thompson will step down as president.
Fortunately, his move is not due to scandal or disgrace, but rather his choice in light of his growing ministry and increasing involvement in the civic arena.
Elected as the youngest president in BMC’s history, Thompson is the pastor of Southern Baptist Church in Los Angeles. His charge has expanded to include spiritual leadership of St. Paul Baptist in Pacoima and Calvary Baptist in San Fernando. Also, he serves as a Civilian Oversight Commissioner for the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.
“The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 3:1, that ‘to everything there is a time, a purpose, a season under heaven.’ With the Lord extending our borders and increasing our territory, I just thought that the time has come that I surrender the presidency and give full and total attention to these ministries that God has given me leadership to,” explained Thompson.
Looking back on his tenure, Thompson said, “I am honored and humbled to have had the privilege to serve and I take great pride in leaving on my own terms. I’m leaving by choice and not by force, without scandal, compromise of character or any blemish on my integrity.”
Under Thompson’s leadership, the BMC increased its spiritual and ecumenical outreach by hosting national faith leaders such as the Rev. Jesse Jackson of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and the Rev. Dr. Jamal H. Bryant of Empowerment Temple AME Church. In addition, the group took bold, public stands on issues such as social justice, police brutality, economic equity and job opportunities.
Among his most memorable experiences as president is the assistance extended to struggling BMC churches, he noted. “We have actually been a blessing to the constituency of the BMC, the actual pastors, by providing financial and moral support. We’ve given them unprecedented resources, helped many ministries move out of the red and into the black. My greatest accomplishment is that we have been a blessing more from the inside out than we have from the outside in.”
Quick to acknowledge that the group’s success was not due to his efforts alone, Thompson recognized BMC leaders and members for backing his administration.
“I’ve been blessed to have good support and staff around me. It has not been a one-man show. I give big credit to the men who worked alongside of me, the brothers who have been helpers to one another,” he said.
“As a result, we have a stellar record that we stand on and I’m grateful and appreciative that I’ve been given this opportunity, that we have maximized the moment and been an asset, not a liability.”
Although Thompson will not longer be president, he has no plans to leave the BMC. Declaring his lifelong support and membership, Thompson insisted, “I will do my level best to make an impact as a member. I will do all I can to hold up the hands of the next leader to make sure they are as successful that God has let me be.”
And if anyone thinks he’s disappearing from public life, Thompson added, “I’m not stepping off he scene. My voice will not be mute. I will be as vocal, visible and venerable as ever. There are great things in store for Xavier Thompson!”
The BMC will salute Thompson at its meeting on Monday, June 4, at 11 a.m., at Mount Moriah Baptist Church, 4269 S. Figueroa St., in Los Angeles. In the near future, BMC will hold a special election to select an interim president.