TBMF celebrates 30 years of making a difference

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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 creating the Missions Foundation.

Following Pinson, Dr. David Hardage, executive director for Texas Baptists, talked about the future of the Baptist General Convention of Texas and the continued need for missions funding.

“What a tremendous mission field we have in front of us,” Hardage said about the state of Texas while highlighting various ministries that have helped bring the Gospel across the state and the world. “Our future can be very exciting. It will take resources, and it will take you and me being good stewards of those resources.”

More than 160 TBMF donors and friends were in attendance at the luncheon commemorating the anniversary. Fund recipients gave testimonies of how funding has helped their ministries, churches and mission projects.

Ernest Baylor, a representative of Unlimited Partnerships, told the audience, “What Texas Baptist Missions Foundation has done not just for 30 years but 10,950 days, is contribute to students looking to make a difference in their communities.”

Contributions from TBMF help Unlimited Partnerships connect college students with local churches and universities to impact them with the call of Christ, he explained.Jay Lawson from Texoma Cowboy Church in Wichita Falls said TBMF donations have helped those attracted to the western culture find a church home.

“The appeal of the cowboy church whether it’s romantic in nature because of cowboy life, the music, or the atmosphere reaches those people that would not come to church for any other reason,” Lawson said.

In a video interview, David Scott, director of Bounce, introduced a giving opportunity with Bounce, one of the newest additions to Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery. It is a mission experience that provides student ministries the chance to serve in areas impacted by disaster.

More video and in-person testimonials from Baptist Student Ministries, a scholarship donor, Texas Baptist Men, the Vietnamese Baptist Church in Garland, and others gave donors insight into where the donations have helped and can continue to make a difference.

Bill Arnold, president of TBMF, said donations have and are continuing to fulfill the Foundation’s mission: To the glory of God, develop innovative partnerships with people who want to use their resources to change the world.

“By keeping our focus on the cross, we’re going to be able to stay true to our purpose,” Arnold said.

There are three things that have helped guide TBMF in the past and will help guide them in the future, he said. Those things are a clear mission, a clear focus and freedom to support new ministries.

“The funds given to the Mission Foundation are God-directed before we even get them,” Arnold said. “When we couple (the donations) with prayer, resources, ministry skills and God’s timing, then we get about our goal of making a difference for God’s kingdom.”

The TBMF also introduced 30 Ways $1,000 Can Make a Difference, a booklet which presents a variety of specific giving opportunities. To download the booklet and learn more about TBMF, visit texasbaptists.org/tbmf.

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