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History of BSAM

History of Baptist Secretaries Association of Missouri


Thank God for those who have left footprints in the sands of life as they charted paths for secretaries to follow.

In the late fifties and in the sixties, leadership in the Church Administration Department began to include training for secretaries.  State church administration departments were beginning to view church secretarial training as a real plus.  At the same time, associational missionaries/directors of missions and associational educational directors were being encouraged by secretaries to offer training clinics. 

In the sixties approximately fifteen thousand secretaries were serving in Southern Baptist churches.  Groups with either denominational or religious orientation began to sponsor secretaries’ workshops.

One group to begin conferences for church secretaries was Baptist Religious Education Association chapters over the Convention.   One of the first was the Missouri Baptist Religious Education Association at their 1967 “BREA Midyear Retreat” in Jefferson City.  In a 1989 issue of Quarterly Review, Lucy Hoskins, noted “Out of this beginning has grown one of the strongest statewide secretaries associations.  Structured with a constitution and officers.  Baptist Secretaries Association of Missouri has contributed much too Convention-wide plans for improving church secretarial training and moving secretaries closer to a more professional status.”

A letter dated October 17, 1966, on file at the Missouri Baptist Convention office, states: “For the first time in our state, the Baptist Religious Education Association is sponsoring a Secretary’s Workshop which will be held in Jefferson City January 23-24, 1967. Miss Lucy Hoskins of the Church Administration Department will be leading several of the conferences, and a most capable staff of workers from our state has been enlisted to assist in this workshop.”

The letter was addressed to the pastor and encouraged him to lead the church to take care of the secretary’s expenses which would include a $1 registration fee, one night’s lodging of $6-$8, meals, and travel expense.  The Secretary’s Workshop Committee included:  Miss Bobbe Birdnow, Jefferson City; Mrs. Kay Bradley, First, Raytown; Mrs. Nita Mistler, Glenstone, Springfield; Miss Sandy McDonald, St. Johns, St. Louis.

Two Educational Directors were instrumental in encouraging the first workshop for Missouri Baptist secretaries:  Bill Beshears (served in St. Joseph and Springfield) and Max Caldwell (served in Lee’s Summit and St. Charles).  MBREA assisted the secretaries in planning annual workshops for 1967 and 1968.

The October 17, 1966 letter promoting that first secretary’s conference stated the purpose:

“Conferences have been planned and have been aimed at helping the church secretary improve her skills.  These conferences have been designed to assist education, financial, pastor’s, and general secretaries, part-time, full-time, and volunteer, of both large and small churches.”

The purpose has not changed.  Baptist Secretaries Association of Missouri is dedicated to encouraging office professionals to set goals for personal and professional development.  BSAM officers and advisors are committed to make training opportunities available to all secretaries who serve in churches and church related offices in Missouri.

Through the years BSAM’s leadership has reflected high personal and professional standards.  Their supportive role has always included affirmation and encouragement.

Yes, I thank God for those who have left tracks in the sands of life and smoothed the way for others to follow.  Take a closer look at that sand. . .looks like someone wearing high heels has been walking there.

In January, 1969 Baptist Secretaries Association of Missouri was organized.

Missouri was the second state organization in the Southern Baptist Convention (Alabama Association of Baptist Church Secretaries was organized at Judson College in 1963).  BSAM continued to meet in conjunction with MBREA until 1971 when BSAM moved the workshop to Windermere.  In the early seventies Harold Souther, from the Kansas City Baptist Association, worked closely with the newly formed organization.  When he joined the Missouri Baptist Convention staff in 1976 he continued to serve as liaison and assisted BSAM officers in planning the annual workshop until his retirement in 1982. 


Compiled by Evelyn Gustafson, Business/Communication Director, Greene County Baptist Association, Springfield, Missouri.

With special thanks to the following for their assistance:

Miss Lucy Hoskins, retired consultant to church secretaries. Sunday School Board

Rev. Bill Beshears, Pastor, Winder, Georgia

Mrs. Nita (Mistler) Hastings, Edmond, Oklahoma

Mrs. Freda Shiner, Kansas City, Missouri

Mrs. Nina Garnett, Missouri Baptist Convention

Ms. Gay Mayse, BSAM Historian

2015 National Association of Southern Baptist Secretaries

National Association of Southern Baptist Secretaries

2015 National Conference

April 22-25, 2015

Chateau on the Lake, Branson, Missouri

For more information please go to the NASBS website at:

What Are Your Priorities?

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”           -Matthew 6:33 NKJV

What if you were given over $80,000, everyday for the rest of your life?  What do you think you would do with it?  Quit your job?  Buy a new house?  Invest?  What if you had to spend it all in a day, every day! How then would you spend it?  Do you think you could spend it all in a day?  I do not know how many seconds are in a day, without goggling it, but God gives us all of these seconds every day… and you spend every one of them!  How are you using your time?

To many of us are so busy and rushed especially during the Holiday Season, we just can’t wait to get through another day.  We need to take a step back and ask ourselves if what we are filling our days with really matters and if the activities we do choose reflect our priorities.  Often we are so disconnected that we are to busy to recognize it.

However, the Bible says, ” For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also ”  -Matthew 6:21.  I have written scripture above each of my children’s doors  and this is one of my favorite verses I had placed above my oldest daughters door.

Have a wonderful and blessed time this Christmas with your loved ones as you remember the true miracle of that first Christmas.

-Cyndee Longe




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