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Executive Board approves purchase of BUA property

by Kalie Lowrie — October 1, 2014

DALLAS – During the September 29 business session of the Baptist General Convention of Texas Executive Board, it was unanimously approved for the convention to purchase 12.87 acres of land in San Antonio currently owned by the Baptist University of the Americas. The land will be purchased for $4.373 million, with an additional cash payment of $200,000 to pay off two bank loans held by the university.

“Thank you for walking alongside them [BUA] in this time of need,” said Dr. David Hardage, executive director. “We will continue to pray for them and seek God to meet their needs. This is a great way to help one of…

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Internet Church and you

by Kalie Lowrie — September 29, 2014

Live streaming, podcasting, providing worship services online…there are many different ways for churches today to offer online options for their congregations. What works for one church may not work for another, but there are a myriad of options available for churches interested in providing an online community, connections and resources to their members. Lake Pointe Church in Dallas is hosting the iMinistry Conference on October 14-16 and I will be attending this conference to learn more about options available for our Texas Baptist churches.

I visited with Nate Merrill, Internet campus pastor for Lake Pointe, last…

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Hand-painted prayer reminders

by Kalie Lowrie — September 19, 2014

ADAMSVILLE – Betty Rials was looking for a way to remind her church members at Adamsville Baptist Church to pray for state missions during the WMU of Texas Mary Hill Davis emphasis week. She looked out in her front yard and found the answer – bricks! Betty became a brick collector about 25 years ago, and knew the value of the bricks made in Ferris, Texas, between 1902 and 1903.

She gathered together 12 bricks and began painting the names of River Ministry Coordinators Mario Garcia, Dr. Gloria de la Pena, and Vanessa Quintanilla on them. After an especially difficult summer along the border, Betty knew the River Ministry…

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​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…

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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…

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Where the healing begins

by Kalie Lowrie — August 26, 2014

This story is 2 of a 3-part series addressing the effects of sexual abuse and the power of healing through Jesus Christ.

Sexual abuse is a sensitive subject and many times hearing about the pain and struggles loved ones have experienced through this type of abuse can be extremely difficult. Many people can be prone to want to gloss over the hard details and look for the silver lining or try and tie a little bow on the story and move on. However, for those suffering from sexual abuse, this is far from what they actually need.

There is power in the spoken word. For sexual abuse survivors like Tricia Martin*, sharing with…

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Because of where you have been

by Kalie Lowrie — August 11, 2014

This story is 1 of a 3-part series addressing the effects of sexual abuse and the power of healing through Jesus Christ.

Tricia Martin* was a fun-loving preacher’s kid in the 1970s who played outside constantly and never met a stranger. Though she was small for her age, she never felt inferior or out of place, that was just the way God made her. She grew up in a loving, Christ-centered home and knew she was accepted and valued.

When she was eight years old, Tricia was sexually abused by one of the men in her church, a man whom she knew and trusted. She did not understand the things she was asked to do, but it did not…

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Dallas shelter & ‘For the Children fund’ open doors for Texas Baptists to care for border children

by Kalie Lowrie — July 7, 2014

DALLAS — Seeking to fulfill the commands of Jesus in Matthew 25 to provide for those in need, Texas Baptists have an opportunity to provide care for unaccompanied children who have crossed the border and will soon be transported to Dallas through volunteer opportunities and a new “For the Children” fund.

Dallas County has volunteered to open a temporary shelter in the area to house 2,000 unaccompanied children. On Tues., July 1, Texas Baptist representatives, along with more than 30 faith-based groups in the Dallas area, met with Clay Jenkins, Dallas County Commissioner, and officials from HHS about the temporary…

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Hispanic Baptists focus on discipleship at Convencion 2014

by Kalie Lowrie — July 7, 2014

MCALLEN — Focused on being passionate disciples, the Hispanic Baptist Convention of Texas gathered in McAllen for their annual meeting from June 29-July 1. A total of 1,374 were registered in attendance, with 490 serving as messengers from Hispanic Baptist churches.

Families enjoyed the three-day event, with activities provide for children and a special track for youth and college students.

“During Convencion we were challenged to be passionate disciples, taking the great commission personally and be faithful to God’s calling in our life,” said Rolando Rodriguez, director of Texas Baptist Hispanic…

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Hispanic Baptists seek ways to help border crisis

by Kalie Lowrie — July 3, 2014

MCALLEN — The crisis along the Texas/Mexico border regarding more then 47,000 unaccompanied children was on the hearts and minds of those attending Hispanic Baptist Convention of Texas in McAllen this week.

“It is necessary for us to bring attention to the humanitarian crisis affecting tens of thousands finding themselves abandoned and in need of basic necessities,” said Jesse Rincones, executive director of Hispanic Baptist Convention of Texas, during the Monday morning session. “We are here to express our commitment as Hispanic Baptists to provide assistance, awareness and prayer for those in need.”

Hispanic Baptist…

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CLC approves Resolution on Immigrant Children Crisis

by Kalie Lowrie — June 27, 2014

DALLAS — The Christian Life Commission has called on Texas Baptists to respond in a compassionate way to the influx of unaccompanied immigrant children and teenagers along the southern United States border.

Commissioners approved a resolution Friday, June 27, outlining the current situation involving immigrant minors who are fleeing poverty and violence in Central America. More than 46,000 immigrant children have crossed the border since October 2013. The CLC is the Texas Baptist body which deals with ethical and public policy issues.

In affirmation of the resolution, Texas Baptist Executive Director Dr. David Hardage said…

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Eternal victories through soccer tournaments

by Kalie Lowrie — June 24, 2014

GUADALAJARA — As the little boys gathered around preparing for the final game in their soccer tournament, River Ministry coordinator Pedro Munoz reminded them that this was the moment they had been preparing for over the past month.

“Some of you will be winners today, as your team wins the tournament, but all of you can be winners if you give your life to Jesus Christ,” he said.

Arenas, the area where these boys were playing, can be very dangerous at times. When Pedro was on the street the day before, he encountered teenagers with cocaine and marijuana in hand, not fazed by the public visibility. Located on the…

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The need for No Mas Violencia in Guadalajara

by Kalie Lowrie — June 20, 2014

GUADALAJARA — People are gathering across the globe in masses to cheer on their favorite team in the World Cup. Watch parties have emerged in several areas in Guadalajara as nationals cheer on the Mexican team, or enjoy watching games like Greece vs. Japan. This week, amongst soccer jerseys and team paraphernalia, individuals wearing black shirts with the simple message “No Mas Violencia” can be found around the city. Churches in the Emmanuel Baptist Regional Association in Guadalajara have handed out 35,000 flyers around the city, promoting the message of peace and many have been very receptive and interested in…

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Christian Life Commission announces office relocation to Austin

by Kalie Lowrie — June 16, 2014

DALLAS — The Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission has announced a relocation of all offices from Dallas to Austin effective Sept. 1.

“This is an exciting decision that will enhance the effectiveness of the Christian Life Commission,” said Dr. David Hardage, executive director. “Having the CLC in one location in Austin makes it easier for our churches to engage with the CLC’s ministry and mission. It also positions us in close proximity to the state government to better garner support for our legislative priorities.”

The CLC, currently under the leadership of Director Dr. Gus Reyes, has served as the ethics agency of the…

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Summer Disaster Recovery trips need volunteers

by Kalie Lowrie — June 2, 2014

DALLAS – Texas Baptist Disaster Recovery is looking for volunteers to assist with summer trips responding to areas devastated by floods, wildfires and tornadoes. Recovery efforts will take place in Estes Park, Colorado; Mayflower, Arkansas; Eagle Pass, Texas; and Fritch, Texas.

“Every year, thousands of homes are destroyed and lives are lost by disasters. Recovery from these disasters is long, hard and costly,” said Marla Bearden, disaster recovery specialist. “The goal of recovery is to bring a community back to a new normal after a disaster, restoring both physical structures and the holistic well-being of…

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Risenhoover named associate endorser for chaplaincy relations

by Kalie Lowrie — May 30, 2014

DALLAS – Texas Baptists have named Chaplain Georgia Risenhoover, of Granbury, associate endorser for Chaplaincy Relations. Risenhoover is the first woman to be named to the position and she will also serve as state coordinator of “Hands on Ministry,” a teaching certification program for volunteer chaplains.

“Georgia is well qualified for these positions,” said Bobby Smith, director of Texas Baptist Chaplaincy Relations.

Smith also noted he expects Risenhoover to greatly expand the “Hands on Ministry” program.

Ordained by Agape Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Risenhoover has been endorsed by the BGCT. She received her Clinical…

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Executive Board approves building sale, agreement with STSCS

by Kalie Lowrie — May 20, 2014

DALLAS -Baptist General Convention of Texas Executive Board convened on Mon., May 19, and Tues., May 20. Several decisions were made, including the sale of the BGCT’s Dallas facility to Baylor University for $16 million. For more information on the building sale, click here.

“The discussions and sale of the building is a spiritual and stewardship decision,” said Dr. David Hardage, executive director. “As the face of Texas continues to change, so will the way we do church, the way we do convention and the way we collaborate to reach the state with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Twenty-five years ago, God directed our leaders to…

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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.

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State Youth Bible Drill and Speakers Tournament Winners Named

by Kalie Lowrie — May 15, 2014

The 2014 Texas Baptist State Youth Bible Drill and Speakers Tournament was held at the Baptist Building on May 2 and 3. There were 82 participants from 29 churches who competed over the weekend.

Overall, for 2014, there were 991 participants in Texas Baptist Bible Drill and Speakers Tournaments from 130 churches competing in six regional events. The highest-scoring youth from each region traveled to Dallas for the annual state competition.

State Winners included:

Youth Bible Drill (7-9th grades) 1st Place – Zachary Gray, First Baptist Church, Allen 2nd Place (tie) – Megan Shipman, First Baptist Church, Allen 2nd…

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Into the wood

by Kalie Lowrie — May 8, 2014

BROWNWOOD – Today was a recovery ride for most of the cyclists, with a shorter distance of 59 miles from San Saba to Brownwood. While it may have been less miles, it still proved to be challenging for the riders. Some got dropped in the midst of continuous hills, but all in all, everyone enjoyed another great day of riding and raising awareness and funds to end the cycle of hunger with a great group of people.

We had a few riders join us for the day, including Rodney McGlothlin, pastor of First Baptist Church Brownwood, and his wife, Debbie. Tonight, FBC Brownwood hosted us for dinner along with their congregation and…

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Never too young

by Kalie Lowrie — May 6, 2014

FREDERICKSBURG – You don’t have to be an expert cyclist to take part in the week-long Bike Out Hunger event. Our youngest rider this year, Gertie Kate Adair, is only seven years old.

Gertie Kate is from Dripping Springs and she is a proud supporter of her dad, Ben. Last year, when Ben spent the week riding with Bike Out Hunger, Gertie Kate decided that she wanted to join her dad for his next ride.

“I’ve been waiting a whole year for this,” she said. When asked why, she said she really likes to ride her bike and spend time with her dad, and she wanted to help.

She rode 9.42 miles today, right alongside Ben. It was hot and…

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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…

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Backpacks of food and hope provided through Hunger Offering

by Kalie Lowrie — May 5, 2014

FREEPORT – Most children look forward to 3 p.m. on Friday afternoon, signaling the end of school and beginning of the weekend. There are roughly 65 hours between Friday afternoon and Monday morning when school starts again. Many kids delight in these hours, but for children who do not have food at home, the hours can be long and hard. While many schools have feeding programs for breakfast and lunch for students in need, the weekends can be a time when food is scarce.

Operation Backpack, supported through the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering, seeks to step in and provide homeless and chronically hungry students in the Freeport…

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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…

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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…

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Honduras: A display of His splendor

by Kalie Lowrie — April 11, 2014

CENICERA, Honduras – The kids here in Honduras have stolen my heart! Last night we attended a worship service at a house church in Cenicera, just a few miles from Gracias. When we arrived, I recognized several of the kids from the day before when we were at their house interviewing their parents. One precious girl named Ruby came up and hugged me, followed by another six I had never met before. They looked up at me with these beautiful eyes and told me their names. I hugged them each back and repeatedly asked, “Como estas?” (the only Spanish I really know).

Ruby is nine and currently suffering from leukemia. Her family…

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Hunger in Honduras: The face of a thankful heart

by Kalie Lowrie — April 10, 2014

CATULACA, Honduras – Felipe is paralyzed from the waist down after a tragic accident about five years ago. He has undergone eight surgeries and was forced to sell most of his land to pay for the medical procedures. He was the primary breadwinner for his family of six and now many times they wonder how they will eat. The family raises pigs for income and has many chickens roaming around the yard to provide sustenance.

When we arrived at his house today, Felipe, his wife, daughter and brother were overjoyed to see Shannon Hopkins, a missionary with 61 Isaiah Ministries, and his friends. They were also beyond thankful for the…

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Hunger in Honduras: Bringing hope across a footbridge

by Kalie Lowrie — April 9, 2014

GRACIAS, Honduras – Today, we saw the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering in action, with three men carrying nearly 60 pounds of food on their backs, across a shaky wooden footbridge to a family in need. Shannon Hopkins and his friends, Kevin and Hugo, carried the load of food to a family of 15, living in extreme poverty.

Shannon serves as a missionary with 61 Isaiah Ministries, a ministry that receives funding from the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering, and seeks to provide food to those in crisis situations in and around Gracias, Honduras. 61 Isaiah Ministries also partners with Ellis Baptist Association to receive support for the…

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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…

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Women in ministry conference encourages women to embrace leadership

by Kalie Lowrie — March 31, 2014

WACO – Women in ministry should embrace leadership in the areas God has called them to, according to speakers at the Texas Baptists Women in Ministry Conference held at George W. Truett Theological Seminary on Mar. 25.

“As a woman in ministry, you should have a sense of call,” said Bernadine Davis, minister of discipleship and spiritual formation at David Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Austin. “You need to understand the nature of that call, pursue quality education to have a solid foundation for your ministry, and make sure your ministry context supports the nature of your call.”

The conference provided learning and…

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Hunger Offering helps family overcome poverty in Bangladesh

by Kalie Lowrie — March 24, 2014

BHALUKA UPAZILA, Bangladesh – Conditions were hard for Asma Khatun and her family of five, living in extreme poverty in a small village in Bangladesh. While her husband, Babul Dhaly, worked hard to provide, they did not own any land to plant crops and they were not able to earn enough income to provide three meals a day for their family.

Asma was looking for a way to help her family out of poverty. She heard about a savings group program for women assisted by the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering, and soon she began attending classes.

Not only did she learn about business and agriculture, but Asma was also provided with a…

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Hunger funds help mom find a shoulder to lean on

by Kalie Lowrie — March 11, 2014

NEW BRAUNFELS – Gloria Mata needed help. Medical bills from her daughter’s illness stacked up, and the single mother realized she no longer had enough money to put food on the table for her family of six.

Deliverance came in the form of a voucher from her daughter’s school that referred Mata to the Harvest Food Pantry, a ministry of New Braunfels Christian Ministries, which is funded in part through Texas Baptists’ special Mother’s Day Hunger Offering.

“When I came here, I didn’t feel like I was receiving a hand-out. I found a shoulder to lean on,” Mata said. “As a mother, it meant so much to me to look in a bag of groceries…

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Miracles don’t just happen in the Bible

by Kalie Lowrie — March 6, 2014

Joseph Parker, pastor of David Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, in Austin, received a heart transplant on Jan. 23, 2013, following more than ten years of heart issues. Two weeks ago, he was able to meet the family of the donor who saved his life. He shared his story with the Executive Board during their meeting on Monday, Feb. 24.

One of the nurses asked when the doctor came into my room, “Where was the heart from?” The surgeon said, “Not far, I just need to go get it.” The only thing I knew was that there had been some vehicular accident that lead to the death of my donor.

So I received that new heart and went through…

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Executive Board adopts Engage24 as emphasis for Texas Baptists

by Kalie Lowrie — February 26, 2014

DALLAS – During their Feb. 25 meeting, the Baptist General Convention of Texas Executive Board voted to adopt Engage24, challenging every Texas Baptist to share the gospel with at least one person on Oct. 14, 2014. This day of intentional evangelism will be held in conjunction with a National Collegiate Ministry initiative to share Christ on campuses across North America

“This is a chance for us as, Texas Baptists, to show the power of 24 hours,” said Nathan Buchanan, a member of the Baptist Student Ministries committee and pastor of First Baptist Church Mineral Wells.

This conjoint resolution was brought before the board by…

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Texas Baptists endorse first oil patch chaplains

by Kalie Lowrie — February 25, 2014

DALLAS – Texas Baptists endorsed Hollas and Nelda Hoffman as the first Oil Patch Chaplains on Monday, February 24, during a meeting of the Executive Board. The Hoffmans, of Gonzales, will serve on the oil fields of South Texas as chaplains.

“Endorsement lends integrity, character, responsibility and accountability to a pastoral ministry in a specialized setting,” said Bobby Smith, director of Chaplaincy Relations. “Chaplaincy is a respected program of Texas Baptists. Endorsement provides a sense of worth and accountability and provides connection with a faith group.”

Hollas, an ordained minister and pastor for more than 30…

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Church Strategists: Connecting and helping meet needs across Texas

by Kalie Lowrie — February 19, 2014

On April 17, 2013, an explosion at a fertilizer plant forever changed the community of West, Texas. Richard Mangum, Texas Baptist church strategist for Central Texas, was in the town talking with local pastors and helping assess needs in the area within a few hours of the disaster.

As a church strategist, one of Mangum’s primary responsibilities is to connect with local pastors and help them in times of need. By being on the scene quickly after a disaster, strategists like Mangum can be the serving hands of Texas Baptists and help communicate needs to a broader audience. Several of the strategists have had the same…

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Record number of students respond to ‘Who will go?’

by Kalie Lowrie — February 17, 2014

MIDLOTHIAN – Who will go? That is the question that Go Now Missions has been asking college students around the state for the past year. This weekend, 205 students responded to that question with willing and able hearts as they attended Discovery Weekend, an interview and application weekend for summer and fall student missions.

“This is the largest group of students we have ever had,” said Brenda Sanders, director of Go Now missions. “We have been praying that students would hear God and obey. This is the first step in obedience.”

Discovery Weekend was hosted at First Baptist Church of Midlothian from February 7-9. Students…

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Texas Baptists give record $953,000 toward Hunger Offering

by Kalie Lowrie — February 13, 2014

DALLAS – Texas Baptists gave more than $953,000 to the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering in 2013 to help address hunger and poverty issues around the world. This is the largest amount raised through the offering since its creation in 1995, and an increase of $200,000 from 2012.

“I am humbled by the generosity of churches and individuals around the state who chose to give to the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering,” said Dr. David Hardage, executive director. “Without them, we, as an organization could not do what we do. Thank you to all of you who gave of your resources. We are extremely grateful. Your gifts are changing lives across…

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Wilson named director of church evangelism

by Kalie Lowrie — February 6, 2014

Dr. Charles Wilson has been named director of church evangelism for Texas Baptists.

Through his work, Wilson will coordinate ENGAGE evangelistic conferences across the state, as well as assist associations and churches in helping to inspire and equip individuals to be more effective in evangelism.

“Our vision is to help Texas reach Texas for Christ,” Wilson said. “We want to work within the Baptist family on the state, associational and local level to more confidently and comfortably present the Gospel to every segment of our culture.”

A pastor for more than 30 years, Wilson served at First Baptist Church Sunnyvale for 26…

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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.

Many…

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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…

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Students learn ‘God can use my life’

by Kalie Lowrie — January 10, 2014

EDINBURG – On a sunny Friday afternoon, five freshmen students walked across campus at the University of Texas – Pan American pulling a wagon filled with lemonade, musical instruments and salvation tracks. Their destination was the courtyard in front of the campus library, where they set up tables and began serving drinks and playing worship music with the intention of reaching out to their fellow students.

These students were part of the Baptist Student Ministry at UTPA and are just a few of the many that reach out to fellow students on a daily basis to share the love of God across their campus. Outreach is the heart of the…

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Texas Baptists provide testimony at federal hearing on arbitration

by Kalie Lowrie — December 19, 2013

DALLAS – Two Texas Baptist pastors raised concerns about payday and car title lending practices during meetings with the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau leadership in Dallas on Dec. 12.

Jeff Johnson, pastor of First Baptist Church in Commerce and president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, and Steve Wells, pastor of South Main Baptist Church in Houston, addressed CFPB Director Richard Cordray and other staff members of the federal body which oversees consumer financial products and services.

“Wise federal oversight and regulation are sorely needed.” Johnson said during a public hearing. “I encourage you…

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Texas team brings supplies, assesses disaster in Philippines

by Kalie Lowrie — December 17, 2013

ESTANCIA, the Philippines – Pastor Michael Rama huddled with his wife and their 11-month-old son in the Estancia Baptist Church parsonage as the winds and waters from Typhoon Haiyan pounded their home in the coastal town of Estancia. The winds soon took off their roof and they rushed into the adjoining church sanctuary, where they found 100 church members and friends seeking refuge. God protected their lives that day and Pastor Rama continues to praise the Lord for His blessings since the storm ravaged their town.

Rama was one of many pastors that the Texas Baptist disaster assessment team met with during their weeklong trip…

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Philippines Typhoon: Be still and know

by Kalie Lowrie — December 6, 2013

AJUY, the Philippines – During Typhoon Haiyan, many people were forced to evacuate their homes to seek higher ground or safer refuge. Villagers from Bobog needed to escape the remote area they were living in because of the great danger from the many trees around them and falling structures. As they were walking, Pastor Enlyn Rubrico shared with us that the fish ponds on either side of the road were rising up and they were not sure how they would cross. Suddenly, as they reached the crossing point, the waters receded and there was dry land for the villagers to cross. As soon as the last one made it past the pond, the water…

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Philippines Typhoon: Refuge and Strength

by Kalie Lowrie — December 4, 2013

ESTANCIA, the Philippines – Touring the coastal city of Estancia today was heartbreaking and overwhelming at times. The reality and the gravity of the situation hit each of us at different points and it was a very emotional day. The damage seemed to be even more severe than what we saw in Concepcion yesterday.

Houses have been reduced to rubble. Uprooted trees are everywhere you turn, some completely stripped of their bark, showing the powerful force of the winds and the water. Power lines are down on many streets and some homes have turned them into makeshift chords to hold their laundry. Not only are many of the houses and…

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Philippines Typhoon: Smile through the storm

by Kalie Lowrie — December 3, 2013

CONCEPCION, the Philippines – Pastor Noel and his family sat together in their home, praying that the Lord would protect and deliver them from Typhoon Haiyan. While they were huddled together, the storm blew around them and they heard a large crash and fall just yards away from their home.

When the rain stopped and the wind died down, they walked outside to see Hillside Gospel Church completely demolished. The pile of wood, metal and concrete that remains is a visible representation of the destruction of the storm, but it is also a testimony of God’s provision as their lives were spared that day. Pastor Noel was so grateful…

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Philippines Typhoon: Arrival

by Kalie Lowrie — December 3, 2013

ILOILO CITY, the Philippines – We arrived safely in the Philippines on Monday after many hours of travel. We were greeted at the airport in Manila by several friends of the Dagohoys who treated us to a delicious Filipino lunch and then transported us to our final airport for the flight to Iloilo City. One of their friends, Mae, is a local doctor and director of the Ruth Foundation for Palliative Medicine and Hospice Care in Manilla. Less than two weeks after the typhoon struck, she traveled to Concepcion with her foundation to provide medical relief to people on one of the islands. Their relief work was described as the…

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Churches partner to feed children in Haiti

by Kalie Lowrie — November 27, 2013

GONZALES – Baptist churches across South Central Texas joined together this holiday season to prepare 128,000 meals to feed needy children in Haiti. The area-wide packing event began as an idea more than a year ago through the Gonzales and Gambrell Baptist Associations’ annual meeting.

Several churches had prior involvement in clean up efforts and disaster recovery trips to the impoverished nation, still rebuilding from the earthquake that devastated the country three years ago. Associational leaders agreed to have special offerings in their churches throughout 2013 with the intention of coming together in November to…

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Philippines Typhoon: Preparing to go

by Kalie Lowrie — November 26, 2013

Our disaster assessment team of six leaves for the Philippines in four days to respond to the disaster that has affected so many following Typhoon Haiyan. Comprised of BGCT staff, disaster assessment “yellow caps” from Texas Baptist Men, and a Filipino pastor and his wife, we are all going with the hope of helping those in need.

Pastor Ernest Dagohoy has done a wonderful job working with friends and family in the Iloilo province and the Convention of the Philippine Baptist Churches to plan our itinerary. While we are in the province, we will be visiting three cities that were drastically impacted by Typhoon Haiyan…

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Providing spiritual nourishment for those in need

by Kalie Lowrie — November 25, 2013

CORPUS CHRISTI – Juan Rena was hungry and hurting when he came to the Crossbridge Fellowship Church food pantry. He had no idea how the Lord would change his life in the following year and lead him to become the director of the ministry that impacted him in so many ways.

Addicted to cocaine and meth for more than 25 years, Juan wanted to find a way to turn his life around and find meaning again. He was also in need of food, which led him to Crossbridge’s food pantry just a few streets away from his home where he could come twice a month for essential needs.

As Juan and his girlfriend, Tina, received food each month, they…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Memorial set for HSU Senior Taylor Huff

by Kalie Lowrie — November 11, 2013

Memorial service arrangements for Taylor Huff have been set for 11 a.m. on Thursday, November 14, 2013, at the Church on Rush Creek: Green Oaks Campus, 2350 S.W. Green Oaks Blvd., in Arlington, TX, 76017.

Huff passed away in a pedestrian/vehicle accident in Abilene early Sunday. He was a member of the Hardin-Simmons football team and was a senior exercise science major.

“These guys will honor Taylor by taking the field,” said Hardin-Simmons University head coach Jesse Burleson in a news conference this morning as he discussed the difficulty of thinking about football after losing a long-time member of the Cowboys.

Burleson…

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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…

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Community Resurrection

by Kalie Lowrie — October 16, 2013

WACO – The resurrection of Christ continues to reverberate throughout inner city communities across the nation, according to presenters at the No Need Among You Conference.

“We are part of a beautiful movement committed to making God’s love manifest,” said Shane Claiborne, who ministers in Philadelphia. “Resurrection wasn’t just an event that happened 2,000 years ago; it is something we participate in every day. Now we can live in the confidence that life is more powerful than death.”

The author and founding member of The Simple Way said God has revitalized the area in which he lives as believers have reached out to their…

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‘Go Now’ to the ends of the Earth

by Kalie Lowrie — October 1, 2013

Standing on a street corner looking towards the Financial District in New York City, Leilani Estrada could hear five languages being spoken at the same time.

“God really has brought all the nations together in NYC,” she said. “It is just amazing to see so many nations brought together on a little island called Manhattan.”

Leilani served as a Hispanic church planter in Queens, New York, for the summer through Go Now Missions, the student missions program for Texas Baptists. She and her partner, Erika Perez, both students from the University of Texas-Pan AM, were able to use their Spanish skills to reach the population in the…

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Lebanese partnerships spread hope and aid to Syrian refugees

by Kalie Lowrie — September 23, 2013

Spiritual revival is taking place in the midst of the Syrian crisis.

With the escalating disputes in Syria, many are fleeing to neighboring countries to escape the crossfire. Media reports depict the great suffering and desperation, yet “God is doing great things in the midst of a great crisis,” said Nabil Costa, executive director of the Lebanese Baptist Society. “The church is in revival in Syria. We are able to reach people we never dreamt of before.”

Costa acknowledges that the situation is extremely dangerous, but he has also seen God working in mighty ways and His name being glorified.

Youtube | MP4 | 3:00 | 71 MB

“God…

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