Texas Baptists promote educational initiatives for Sept. 18 giving day
by Leah Allen — September 17, 2014
DALLAS -Texas Baptists are taking part in North Texas Giving Day on Sept. 18 by highlighting two initiatives in the North Texas community. Funds given toward the Baptist General Convention of Texas will help build an outdoor classroom at Truett Elementary School in Dallas and a new Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) building at the University of North Texas (UNT) in Denton.
As stated on northtexasgivingday.org, “North Texas Giving Day is an online giving event that provides nonprofits opportunity to gain expose to—and start relationships with—new donors, and for people in North Texas to come together to raise as much…
Conference inspires ministry leaders to “catch the boomer wave”
by Leah Allen — September 12, 2014
More than 250 individuals from churches across the country “caught the boomer wave” at the second annual National Boomer Ministry Conference on Sept. 4-5 at First Baptist Church in Dallas.
Hosted by Texas Baptists Bible Study/ Discipleship Team, the conference shed light on the need for better ministry amongst the baby boomer generation.
Conference leaders pointed out baby boomers, born in the years 1946 to 1964, are now turning 65 at the rate of 10,000 per day, and will continue to for the next 18 years.
Keynote speaker Amy Hanson spoke on various subjects such as the changing landscape of adult ministry, how to begin a…
Texas Baptists raise $182,000 for hunger through Mother’s Day Offering
by Kalie Lowrie — September 5, 2014
DALLAS – Texas Baptists gave more than $182,000 to help end hunger and poverty through the Second Annual Mother’s Day Hunger Offering. These gifts are used for hunger relief and anti-poverty programs both in Texas and abroad.
“As Texas Baptists we heed God’s call to minister to those in need, in Texas and around the world,” said Dr. David Hardage, executive director.
The Texas Baptist Hunger Offering strives to show the power of God’s love to those in need. Ministries supported through the offering range from feeding programs in local churches to job training for single mothers and improved water and sanitation…
TBMF celebrates 30 years of making a difference
by Leah Allen — August 29, 2014
DALLAS—The Texas Baptist Missions Foundation (TBMF) celebrated 30 years of giving toward missions and ministries with a luncheon held at Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas.
In 1984, TBMF began as a two-year experiment to raise additional funds for new churches. Thirty years later, the Foundation has worked with over 33,000 different donors to support 250 mission projects all over Texas and around the world.
Outlining the beginnings of TBMF, Dr. Bill Pinson, former executive director for Texas Baptists, described the time when the need to raise more funds first became apparent and the vision began to focus on…
Construction nears completion for 16 Filipino pastors’ homes
by Kalie Lowrie — August 28, 2014
ILOILO CITY, the Philippines – In January, Texas Baptist churches were asked to respond to a great need in the Philippines following damage cause by Typhoon Haiyan. A request was sent out from Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery for churches to help raise $80,000 for the rebuilding of 16 pastors’ homes. Pledges filed in quickly, with the remaining eight being made during the February 25 executive board meeting.
This summer, Civil Engineer Fred Golveo was sent by the First Philippine Baptist Church in Missouri City to oversee the construction projects for the homes. Golveo and his wife spent three months overseeing the…
Attorney named CLC’s director of public policy
by Leah Allen — August 25, 2014
AUSTIN – Kathryn Freeman has been named director of public policy for Texas Baptists’ Christian Life Commission (CLC).
The CLC helps Texas Baptists, churches, communities and government leaders give voice to critical issues in society from a Christian and biblical perspective. Freeman will lead the CLC’s efforts related to government and legislation.
“I’m very encouraged that we will have Kathryn alongside Dr. Gus Reyes and Ferrell Foster as a strong presence in Austin at the legislative session this next spring,” said David Hardage, executive director of Texas Baptists.
Freeman earned her bachelor’s…
Victoria church embraces its Jerusalem
by Leah Allen — August 18, 2014
VICTORIA - Through discovering a community need and a partnership with the local food bank, Greater Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Victoria has begun a feeding program that is making an impact in both the city and the church.
“We believe that the church is not supposed to be an institution that caters to itself,” said Montari Morrison, pastor of Greater Mount Calvary. “The church is always supposed to be a resource to the community. Our message is supposed to go outside of the walls and not only be a spiritual help but also a physical help.”
Since April 2014, volunteers from Greater Mount Calvary, as well as neighboring…
The Israel battlefield, from the eyes of a missionary
by Guest Author — August 14, 2014
Lana Fashi Zayed is a missionary in Israel with the Arabic Church of Dallas as her sending church. She asks for prayer as she and her husband search for a vehicle and give birth to their firstborn this month. They will be visiting Texas next summer to share about living and ministering in Israel.
The church-based mission sending fund provided by gifts to the worldwide offering of BGCT provides matching funding to the Arabic Baptist Church to support Zayed’s ministry. For information on how to support the fund please contact Ryan Jespersen at firstname.lastname@example.org or (214) 828-5278.
Oh July…it started…
BSM nears $2 million goal for new facility
by Leah Allen — August 5, 2014
The J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation of Tulsa, Oklahoma has issued a $400,000 challenge grant to Texas Baptists to complete the funding for a new Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) building on the campus of the University of North Texas (UNT). The building, which will cost $2,000,000 to construct, will be built on the site of the old BSM building.
The Texas Baptist Missions Foundation has been coordinating the fundraising effort. “Added to what Texas Baptists have already given, we need only $100,000 to reach the goal so construction can begin,” said Larry Thomas, vice president of the Foundation. “If we can get the additional…
Texas Baptists offer aid for border crisis in Rio Grande Valley
by Leah Allen — July 28, 2014
MCALLEN-The border issue: some call it a crisis, some call it a disaster, but to many Texas Baptists, it is an opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ.
All eyes turned to the doorway as Daniela Cruz* and her two daughters, Lorena* and Carmen*, stepped inside Sacred Heart Church in McAllen, Texas. Volunteers with various religious backgrounds clapped and cheered as the girls entered.
It is a welcoming gesture, said Nadia Chapa, volunteer coordinator for Catholic Charities who is hosting the relief center in McAllen. It is how they greet each family who enters the facility, assuring them it is a…
Sixty quilts handmade and delivered with love
by Leah Allen — July 22, 2014
VILLA FRANCA, Spain - Even when verbal communication seems impossible, there’s one language that is spoken by all: love. It can be spoken through hugs, laughter and 60 quilts hand-made by Texas Baptist women.
The quilts were a part of Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU) of Texas initiative “Covered with Love” in which they presented the request for 50 quilts for the Evangelical Baptist Retirement Home in Villa Franca, Spain.
Together women within WMU, Texas Baptist staff, and local Baptist churches, donated their time and their stitching skills to the cause. Within five months, they finished more quilts than needed and prayed over…
African American Fellowship hosts conference, elects officers
by Leah Allen — July 15, 2014
FORT WORTH — Powerful worship, thought-provoking sermons, and enlightening workshops made this year’s African American Fellowship Conference on July 8-10 one to be remembered.
Over 200 guests representing 35 churches received a challenge at each of the three worship services held at Great Commission Baptist Church in Fort Worth to be armed and ready for spiritual warfare. Even children were taught to be ready for battle through daily games and lessons at “Camp Battlefield.”
At the Culp Banquet, Dr. Howard E. Anderson, pastor of The Exciting Singing Hills Baptist Church in Dallas, presented a sermon on Ephesians 6…
For the Children
by Marla Bearden — July 10, 2014
Our Texas borders are being flooded with unaccompanied children coming from Central America, with an estimated 47,000 coming across since October 2013. The majority of the children are from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. Find out how you can help…
Texas Baptists announces sale of Dallas facility
by Kalie Lowrie — May 20, 2014
DALLAS – The Executive Board of the Baptist General Convention of Texas unanimously approved the sale of the Convention’s Dallas facility to the Baylor University School of Nursing during a meeting on Tues., May 20.
The 100,000 square foot facility, located at 333 N. Washington Avenue in Dallas, will be purchased for $16 million through a combination of monetary funds and in-kind gifts.David Hardage, Executive Director of Texas Baptists, announces the sale of the Convention’s Dallas facility.
- Letter from David Hardage (PDF)
- Texas Baptists announces sale of Dallas facility (PDF)
- David Hardage announces sale of…
Thank you for giving to Mother’s Day Hunger Offering
by Jay Netherton — May 14, 2014
Mother’s Day, May 11, 2014, marked the conclusion of the Christian Life Commission’s Mother’s Day Hunger Offering initiative. With a goal of raising $1 million on this day, churches from across the state joined hands to help beat the cycle of hunger and poverty not only in Texas, but around the world. Final tallies will be made as donations continue to pour in throughout the month.
Last year marked the first annual Mother’s Day offering as a part of the greater, year-around Texas Baptists Hunger Offering and raised over $250,000. This year, we are eager to see how God has provided for this life-changing ministry through your…
Parents learn skills for raising highly capable kids
by Kalie Lowrie — May 5, 2014
FORT WORTH – Twenty-nine parents from Manuel Jara Elementary School set aside time for 11 weeks this spring to learn tools, skills and confidence to raise healthy, caring, and responsible children through Parent University. A graduation ceremony was held on Wednesday, April 30, to recognize the achievement of the parents.Many officials from the city council, county and school board members were in attendance to celebrate the successful program.
Funded through gifts from Primera Baptist Church in Fort Worth, the curriculum entitled Raising Highly Capable KIDS – Communities Empowering Families for Success has been proven to…
Congreso Nation is Everlasting for 50th Anniversary
by Kalie Lowrie — April 25, 2014
WACO – Congreso is an experience thousands have encountered over the past 50 years. What began in 1964 as a ministry to Hispanic Baptist students has continued to impact thousands of lives across the state.
This year, from Apr. 17-19, more than 4,000 youth and college students gathered in Baylor University’s Ferrell Center for the weekend focused on “Everlasting.” Students worshiped with abandon, with 127 coming forward to give their lives to Christ, 51 rededications and 32 feeling called to ministry.
“I am glad to be here because I know I am talking to the future,” said Erwin McManus, lead pastor of Mosaic Church in Los…
WMU reflects on defining moments at annual meeting
by Kalie Lowrie — April 16, 2014
GEORGETOWN – Sharing of God’s faithfulness in the midst of many trials, Steve McCord stated, “We are not compelled but surrendered to Him who loved us with an everlasting love.”
The theme of surrender was tied with the overall “Defining Moments” focus during WMU of Texas Annual Meeting and Missions Celebration at First Baptist Georgetown Apr. 4-5. McCord, global research analysis services team leader with the International Mission Board in Richmond, Virginia, was one of many missionaries featured at the meeting, which drew 700 people from across the state for a time of worship, fellowship and learning.
The moving program…
How to seek God through frustration
by Kalie Lowrie — April 8, 2014
GEORGETOWN – Frustration is a theme everyone will journey through at one point or another, according to Dave Edwards, keynote speaker for the Single Adult Rally on Apr. 5, “One is a whole number.”
“Frustration occurs anytime our expectations and reality collide,” Edwards shared with single adults from across the state.
Referencing Genesis 40, Edwards detailed how Joseph overcame a long season of frustration in his life to come to the point where God could use him most effectively.
“The Bible teaches us how to journey through this season and come out on the other side better than when you came in,” Edwards said. “God uses these…
Hunger offering inspires others to give back
by Kara Kistner — April 7, 2014
FORT WORTH – This year churches are holding a special offering on Mother’s Day to support the Mother’s Day Hunger Offering. By uniting the efforts of Texas Baptists, we can raise $1 million this Mother’s Day to end hunger one mom at a time. One mom that has received help from this offering is a woman named Kay Schmenk.
Kay Schmenk is a 73-year-old who has been participating in the Senior Supplement Program, a monthly feeding program at Northside Inter-Community Agency (NICA), since 2006. She lives off of her Social Security check each month of less than $700.
NICA, one of several ministries in Fort Worth that receives support…
Help provide an accurate compensation baseline among churches
by Nathan Brandenburg — February 21, 2014
The 2014 SBC Church Compensation Survey helps determine fair pay for church pastors and staff. All submitted information is kept private and no individual reporting is created – it just creates ranges for compensating ministers fairly.
Giving their break to serve
by Kara Kistner — January 23, 2014
While working the hat stand in a Ukrainian market, Emma French, a student at University Mary-Hardin Baylor, met a boy named Dennis. He was looking for a warm hat to take back to his village for another child who needed it.
“I was a little taken aback so I asked, ‘This hat is not for you?’ He told me, ‘No, I already have one hat, I don’t need another. But I know some people who do’,” said Emma. “Dennis broke my heart and humbled me that day. His generous, caring, and selfless heart brought me to tears.”
With his one hat, Dennis understood the true meaning of need. He was the epitome of selflessness.
“I pray for a…
Antoine named bivocational pastor ministry director
by Kalie Lowrie — January 22, 2014
DALLAS – Texas Baptists named Ira Antoine director of bivocational pastor ministry.
With a growing number of pastors serving in bivocational ministry across the state, Antoine will serve as a resource for these ministers.
“The mission of this ministry is to serve as a resource to Texas Baptist churches and associations in developing a model for Bivocational Pastor Ministry that will result in a significant increase in available, truly-called, and well-equipped bivocational pastors,” Antoine said.
In his new role, he will coordinate and oversee training seminars, theological education, and bivocational pastor conferences.
Trusting in the hard places
by Kalie Lowrie — January 12, 2014
Go Now missionaries returning home from a semester of serving around the world sat in a panel discussion across from new students preparing to go during their January retreat in the BSM at the University of Texas at Arlington. The nine college students returning from service were in a time of debriefing, while the eight students preparing to go were part of orientation.
The unique nature of the night was that all of the students in the room had the same heart for sharing Christ with the world.
As the new semester missionaries asked questions like, “What was the hardest thing you faced on the field?” they were able to hear…
Bringing God to soldiers and soldiers to God
by Kalie Lowrie — November 21, 2013
FORT SILL, OK – Twenty-four soldiers dressed in PT uniforms sat on the chapel stage on Quarry Hill before Spiritual Formation classes began. From varied backgrounds and more than 20 states across the country, the soldiers had little in common. This day, Sept. 29, however, would be a day they would each remember – it was the day they were going to be baptized.
Each stood before a room filled with their peers and shared their testimony: how they knew they needed Christ, how God has changed their lives and what they are going to strive for in their new walks with Him.
Then, they followed Texas Baptist Chaplain Kevin Burton…
Building community one house at a time
by Kalie Lowrie — November 18, 2013
PEÑITAS – Down a road devoid of many street signs, and yet to be tracked by Google maps, stands a brand-new purple house shining at the end of the block. This house now belongs to the Lozada family – Miguel, Julia, Hosea (14) and Miguel, Jr. (4) -built with love by 25 women in Woman’s Missionary Union of Texas
The third consecutive year to construct a house in Peñitas, WMU has partnered with Buckner International and the Rio Grande Valley Baptist Association to build a better way of life in this small colonia in South Texas. The home, which cost approximately $22,000 in supplies to build, was hand built by women…
Texas Baptists increase giving to SBC by 2.7%
by Kalie Lowrie — November 15, 2013
DALLAS – Texas Baptists’ giving to the Southern Baptist Convention for 2013 has increased by 2.7% as compared to giving reports from the same time period in 2012.From January through September of 2013, Texas Baptist churches gave $8.5 million to support the SBC Cooperative Program, compared with $8.3 million in 2012.
Trends in annual giving to the SBC had been declining since 2007, according to Texas Baptists Treasurer Jill Larsen.
“The increase shows that Texas Baptists churches treasure our affiliation with the SBC as a national and international missions partner,” Larsen said.
Additionally, giving to other designated funds…
Texas Baptists prepare response to Typhoon Haiyan
by Nathan Brandenburg — November 12, 2013
Multiple thousands of people are feared dead in the Philippines, killed by what many are calling the worst storm ever recorded in the country.
Engaging Students in Sharing the Gospel
by Kalie Lowrie — November 11, 2013
ARLINGTON – Christian college students across the nation set out on Oct. 10, with a common goal in mind – to share Christ. Through Engage24, students involved in Baptist Student Ministries were each encouraged to engage one person in a conversation about Jesus, and that is just what they did.
Morgan McAree, a junior at the University of Texas at Arlington, shared her faith for the first time and it made all the difference in her life, and in the life of the fellow student she talked with on campus.
Prior to Engage24, Morgan knew Jesus as her personal Savior but never considered herself an evangelist. In fact, she was rather…
Central Texas Flooding
by Nathan Brandenburg — November 4, 2013
Flooding in the Austin area has affected over 1,600 homes. Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery, working with our State VOAD partners, is assisting in the cleaning out of homes and first response case management.
Business Leadership Principles Translate into the Ministry
by Kalie Lowrie — October 28, 2013
ARLINGTON – Leadership principles from the business world can be translated to ministry principles as youth ministers across Texas learned during Leadership Tuesday at Youth Ministry Conclave. Colleen Barrett, president emeritus of Southwest Airlines, addressed attendees in an interview on Tues., Oct. 15, at the Arlington Convention Center, providing leadership strategies she learned through her time at the successful Dallas-based airline. The number one customer at Southwest Airlines is the employee, followed by the client and then the shareholder, according to Barrett. By caring for employees’ needs first and…
DBU Students Respond to The Calling Conference
by Guest Author — October 23, 2013
Dallas, TX – Nearly 400 DBU students gathered together for The Calling Conference, an event geared to help college students discern their calling to ministry and determine the next steps for them to take along that journey. Sponsored by Texas Baptists and coordinated by Dr. Bill Tillman, director of the Theological Education Division of the BGCT , the meeting brought together seasoned ministry professionals to share with the students knowledge and insight gained from years of ministerial work within local churches, college campuses, and denominational bodies.
The event began with a special chapel service held for students…
We Did Not Meet by Chance
by Guest Author — October 3, 2013
When I was young, I struggled with being social and outgoing. I sit and wait around until someone would come and play with me. As I grew older, that started changing. As I got more involved in church activities, Christ starting removing timidity and all shyness from my life.
From the moment I opened my life to Christ, the transformation in my life began. Just the other day I, as I prayed before starting my devotional I was giving thanks to God for surrounding me with such amazing people. I have made close friends, and the pastor’s family has taken me in as their daughter. Everything is in place, and God has placed me exactly…
A Life Changed Through VBS
by John Hall — October 2, 2013
For those who serve in church Vacation Bible Schools across the nation, what you do changes lives. Krystyne Aleksandr, author of A Secret Star, shares how a Bible she received during VBS at First Baptist Church in Amarillo became her rock through a difficult upbringing. Krystyne will be one of the presenters at Texas Baptists’ Preschool and Children’s Ministers Retreat. Click here to register for that event today!
Executive Board approves 2014 convention budget
by John Hall — September 26, 2013
DALLAS – The Baptist General Convention of Texas Executive Board approved a $40.4 million 2014 budget for the convention.
The budget reflects essentially flat church giving through the convention’s Cooperative Program, $2.29 million in investment income and $1 million less to be raised by the Texas Baptist Missions Foundation.
Total Cooperative Program from Texas Baptists for 2014 is forecast to be $48.95 million, including $11.3 million to the Southern Baptist Convention, $1.0 million to Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and $1.8 million for worldwide portion of the Texas Baptist Cooperative Program. The Board also approved the…
‘The Art of Black Preaching’
by John Hall — September 25, 2013
SAN ANTONIO – The energetic call and response style of African American preaching garners the attention of those who have witnessed its finest practitioners.
But “the art of Black Preaching” is found in the heart of its message: transformation is possible through Christ.
Pastors call African American churches to cling faithfully to Christ, no matter how difficult circumstances become, Kinney said. Historically, African American preachers have done this well through trials and struggles.
“The black preacher never loses focus that I am to take what’s broken and provide a word to bring it back together,” John W. Kinney, dean of…
Changing one life at a time
by Guest Author — August 27, 2013
Over the last couple of months, as I have prepared to serve as a Campus Missionary Intern this school year, God has been teaching me a lot about myself and the mission He has called me to. For someone my age I look at the world I live in and see so many big issues but I also see God moving in big ways.
I was sitting thinking yesterday about how I am moving away from my family and the close friends I have been blessed with while in college in order to serve at a new campus in a new town. As I began to think about the life that I am leaving behind, I was reminded of what my pastor said last Sunday. I will probably never cure…
Heart notes about my time with Russian orphans
by Guest Author — August 15, 2013
June 1 – While in the city we have been given the opportunity to volunteer at a local hospital. Children who are removed by social services from problem homes or Russia’s streets are taken to this hospital. Here the children are evaluated and diagnosed medically. It is then decided whether the children will enter into something similar to foster care, go to an orphanage, or be placed in any other kind of institution that houses children.
June 2 – At the hospital, a few of the children stuck out in my mind. One of them was Anya. She was two years-old and had a sister that was with her at the hospital. Her name was Nastia, and…
Needs from disaster area apparent as school starts
by Gerald Davis — August 5, 2013
The pastors in Eagle Pass are intent on helping families recover from the recent flooding in Eagle Pass and Piedras Negras. Their immediate need is to supply families with needed items like household goods, furniture, bedding, school supplies & back packs to replace items that were lost in the flood. Eagle Pass is also in need of volunteers to help replace sheet rock and reconstruct homes that were damaged by the flooding.
Donated supplies should be sent to: Iglesia Bautista Peniel Pastor – Felipe Garcia 1595 Juanita Drive Eagle Pass, Texas 78852
Pastor Garcia is identifying families in his community that need the help so…
Go Now Missions: A new understanding of Father
by Guest Author — August 2, 2013
It is Ramadan here in South Asia. Ramadan is a month long fasting for Muslims. Honestly, it is epitome of a works based system. Islam is a spiritual power that exerts control over this time. Muslims are repressed into Islamic traditions. Many Muslims blindly follow strict fasting due to extreme fears.
Satan has strongholds on these traditions and fear. It is overwhelming the extent of darkness during this time. It is heartbreaking. This past week, my friend and I were invited into a Muslim home to break fast for the evening.
I was blown away by her interest in the Good news in HER home. She invited us in her home so she could…
Texas Baptists set to help tornado victims by “Loving Oklahoma”
by John Hall — July 29, 2013
Texas Baptists are preparing to help people affected by last Spring’s tornados through “Loving Oklahoma,” five-day concentrated service effort to assist those around Oklahoma City.
Volunteers and teams will be working Aug. 5-10 on projects identified through local long-term disaster recovery officials. The ministry will vary from cleaning up debris to working distribution centers to light construction.
The mission opportunity is made possible by Texas Baptists’ Disaster Recovery, through a partnership with Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Disaster Response. Officials aim to bring aid, encouragement and the hope of Christ to…
Texas Baptist camps: HLCCC shares story through social media
by Guest Author — July 18, 2013
Highland Lakes Camp and Conference Center serves guests all year long, but they are right in the middle of their busiest season and they are sharing their story in all the ways that they can.
You can follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and SmugMug to see how they are sharing the gospel this summer with thousands of campers. You can also watch a live stream of some of their worship services here: http://www.hlccc.org/summer-camps/live-stream/.
Here are some of the things that you will see:
Please pray right now! for our worship service at Highland Lakes Camp Journey Youth Camp. The Clayton Tyner Band is ready to go and Read more...
African American Fellowship visions future, studies new age statistics
by Guest Author — July 16, 2013
SAN ANTONIO – African American Baptists were challenged to look into the future with a new set of lenses as they gathered together at this year’s Culp Banquet, celebrated during the Texas Baptists Family Gathering.
Photo: From left to right: Oscar Epps, President; Ponce L. Brown, Vice President; Glen J. Samuels, Secretary; Elmo Johnson, Treasurer; Michael Evans, Former President
Nat Irvin II, professor of management at the University of Louisville, recalled a childhood memory when an unfortunate incident with glass caused blindness in one of his eyes.
“Just because you have eyesight doesn’t mean you aren’t blind,” he said as…
Go Now Missions: The nations in New York
by Guest Author — July 15, 2013
“From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and find him through he is not far from any one of us.” Act 17:26-27
This bible verse is the driving force of the kind of perspective that I have as I take a look of New York, because the nations are here. I have interacted with people from India, Ecuador, Columbia, Mexico, and Dominican Republic on a daily basis. This has become my norm. It’s amazing to see how a state within the U.S. serves as a home to the nations!
Guarneri: Bible calls Christians to embrace diversity
by Guest Author — July 14, 2013
SAN ANTONIO – The bible calls believers to embrace diversity, not just tolerate it, according to Julio Guarneri, who presented the Baptist General Convention of Texas Annual Meeting sermon July 14. Using Acts 1:8 and Revelation 7:9 as his guiding texts, Guarneri, pastor for Calvary Baptist Church in McAllen, preached that God’s heart and vision for the church is inclusivity. Acts 1:8 delivers Jesus’ stated purpose for the church: to reach “the ends of the earth,” Guarneri said. This can – and often does – mean crossing geographic boundaries, but it also means crossing cultural boundaries close to home. Samaria was…
Common Ground at the Cross of Christ
by Guest Author — July 14, 2013
SAN ANTONIO – Christians should seek unity because of their desire for and delight in the Lord, Earl Grant, pastor of Covenant Church in San Antonio, shared in the opening session of the Texas Baptist Family Gathering.
“Diversity is a given because diversity is the inherent mix,” he said. “It is the inclusion or intentional integration that makes the mix work well.”
“You need to know you are saved, and because of your salvation you can handle it,” Grant explained. “You have been called and cleansed by God. You have been washed in the blood.”
He went on to share that as Texas Baptists, “we come to a common ground at the cross…
Go Now Missions: Divine appointment
by Guest Author — July 12, 2013
From the moment I stepped foot through the doors I knew this place was different from any that I had been in all summer. I have been doing missions work everyday for three weeks but when I entered this portable building I knew the presence of the Lord was at work there stronger than I had felt it anywhere else. I looked out the window and saw a crowd of people in a line the wrapped around the building and into the parking lot of First Baptist Church Orlando.
Each face was a face that was in desperate need of help. They were here as a last resort. They had found their way to this church on this rainy Wednesday morning to ask…
A safe place in the storm
by Guest Author — July 3, 2013
Moore, Oklahoma is a town we will not soon forget. The nation looked on in stunned silence at the devastation from the violent tornadoes that visited this community. Too many realized too late that a truly safe place was all that stood between life and death.
Storms often come without warning. Some are more severe than others. Some storms threaten our physical safety while others wreak havoc on our emotional wellbeing. Preparation is key for storms not to be too costly. As the people of Moore discovered, everyone needs a safe place.
As a pastor’s wife of 24 years, finding a safe place in the midst of ministry was my greatest…
A little bottle of “fixes everything”
by Guest Author — July 2, 2013
Change, whether good or bad, is difficult. The Kennedy clan has just moved from the shores of Alabama to the mountains of Colorado. Are our new vistas awesome? Yes! Has the move been exciting? Yes! Am I grieving? You bet!
One of the last things I did was make that final hair appointment with my hair dresser and dear friend of 15 years. When it came time to get that last “Everything-I-can-get-done-to-my-hair-that-will-last-me-for-as-long-as-possible,” she fixed me up, including giving me a little bottle of “Fixes Everything.” Really? Everything?
I can think of some broken areas of my life that could use some fixing…
The little things: God uses volunteers to answer big prayers in Oklahoma
by Guest Author — June 13, 2013
By: Molly Livingstone
LITTLE AXE, Okla. – Dressed in a long-sleeved gray shirt ornamented with a small orange OSU emblem, Zach Rowell, stood in the bed of his white truck as the sweltering summer sun beat down relentlessly. Carefully, he pushed a large, maroon corduroy recliner to the back of the bed, securing it with yellow bungee cords.
Rowell traveled June 4 to Little Axe with a youth group of about 25 people from University Heights Baptist Church in Stillwater to help with tornado relief efforts. The group does a service project each Tuesday and chose to help the tornado-ravaged communities. He ended up being an answer…
Coaching to mentor
by Kaitlin Warrington — June 12, 2013
As athletes grow older and out of the ranks of high school and college sports, many turn to younger teams and begin coaching – sometimes for fun and sometimes as an occupation. For some, coaching comes through other natural connections, becoming the parents who coach their son or daughter’s team.
Coaching, whether it’s out of a desire to stay involved with sports or because your children need a team leader, can be a wonderful opportunity to mentor students and to be involved in your community. For several hours a week through practices and games, these young athletes are in a coach’s care. A coach is there to give…
Go Now Missions: Last minute choice and provision
by Guest Author — June 6, 2013
In late March during one of our weekly BSM Bible studies, an Alaskan missionary named Brenda Crim began speaking about her ministry and the Alaskan culture that she is trying to reach. I began to think to myself, “If I were to actually do any summer mission, this would probably be the closest to perfect for me.” Well, that feeling grew the entire time that Brenda spoke.
After she was done, we had a worship break and I was wrestling with the thoughts of school, work and money while the band went through a few songs. Cody, our BSM director, begins with his message on Jonah and his disobedience to go to Nineveh. It was…