News

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HSU, Logsdon Seminary and Texas Baptists encourage and equip women in ministry

by Cheryl Sawyers — March 2, 2015

The 2015 Women in Ministry Conference, hosted by Hardin-Simmons University, Logsdon Seminary and Texas Baptists, was held on Friday, February 20, 2015. The Ninth Annual conference drew women and men alike, from across the state to help encourage, equip for ministry and support exploration of women leadership roles in a variety of contexts.

Meredith Stone, instructor of Christian ministry and director of ministry guidance, along with Dr. Bob Ellis, associate dean and professor of Old Testament of Logsdon... [continue]

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February 2015 Executive Board Review

by Kalie Lowrie — February 26, 2015

DALLAS – Amidst ice and freezing temperatures, the Executive Board of the Baptist General Convention of Texas convened February 22-24 for their spring meeting.

During Tuesday’s combined business session, President Kathy Hillman encouraged the board members to be equipped to move forward as Texas Baptists. Using a compass, map and GPS, Hillman noted Biblical examples of preparation. “The right people must have the right tools, at the right time, for the right situations,” she said.

Dennis Russell, from the First Baptist Church of Amarillo, was elected as the... [continue]

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​Did You Know It Pays to Prey on the Poor In Texas?

by Kathryn Freeman — February 26, 2015

An unexpected medical bill, car trouble, buying school supplies, a funeral or a summer utility bill—one or many of these expenses have pushed countless Texans to the financial brink. Needing a way to meet the unexpected expense, many families turn to payday and auto title lenders who are all too happy to profit off of people’s misfortune.

Usually payday and auto-title borrowers are already financially fragile and rather than being a lifesaver these loans become an anchor. Payday loans are unsecured short-term loans that simply... [continue]

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BGCT Executive Board approves resolution on transgender issues

by Leah Allen — February 26, 2015

DALLAS—At its Feb 23-24 meeting in Dallas, the Executive Board of the Baptist General Convention of Texas unanimously approved a resolution on transgender issues, declaring gender is determined biologically, not psychologically.

The request to consider the resolution came from several Texas Baptist university presidents stating the need to apply for a Title IX exemption from the United States Department of Education in dealing with accommodations for transgender students. Their application would be strengthened with a statement from... [continue]

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Hardage announces convention restructure to BGCT Executive Board

by Texas Baptists Communications Staff — February 23, 2015

DALLAS – Texas Baptists is preparing for a convention reset, Executive Director Dr. David Hardage announced at the Feb. 23 Executive Board meeting in Dallas, as they seek to best serve the state and churches in an ever-changing world.

This past year has produced big changes for the convention as the Executive Board made an agreement to sell the Baptist Building in Dallas in May 2014, signed a lease on a new office space in December 2014, finalized the sale of the building January 2015, and will begin operating under a new structure,... [continue]

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State of the State

by Kathryn Freeman — February 21, 2015

On February 17, Governor Greg Abbott gave his first State of the State address. The State of the State was first given by Governor J. Pickney Henderson in 1845, after Texas joined the Union. The State of the State is required by the Texas Constitution and is given at the beginning of each regular legislative session.

The State of the State is used by the Governor to lay out a vision for the state over the next two years and designate emergency items. Usually lawmakers cannot pass bills in the first 60 days unless it is an emergency appropriation or on the Governor’s list of... [continue]

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Removing obstacles to evangelism

by Kalie Lowrie — February 4, 2015

When Leslie Strobel became a Christian, she was so excited about the new life she had in Christ. But, she was also heavily burdened for her husband, Lee. A self-proclaimed atheist who actively pursued hedonism and pleasure over spiritual matters, Lee was far from Christ and Leslie worried that he would never be able to come to faith.

Within two years—after an intense investigation seeking to disprove the Bible, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and Christianity, along with the results of numerous prayers from his wife—Lee found himself kneeling in his... [continue]

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Teaching men to fish

by Anne Harman — January 26, 2015

The adage is well-known: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. Texas Baptists are both “giving fish” and “teaching to fish” — physically and spiritually — by providing $103,000 to equip IMB missionaries to teach people how to sustain a fish farm in South America and meet other needs around the globe.

When Gus Reyes, director of Baptist General Convention of Texas’ Christian Life Commission, was seeking help to allocate funds from The Texas Baptist Hunger Offering, he reached out through the Baptist... [continue]

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CERI aids families affected by flooding in Sri Lanka

by Leonard Favela — January 23, 2015

BATTICALOA , SRI LANKA — On December 23, 2014, nearing the tenth anniversary of the devastating 2004 tsunami that claimed more than 226,000 souls and left Indonesia’s island nations and the lives of their people utterly destroyed, BCFS’ overseas division Children’s Emergency Relief International (CERI) received notification of torrential rainfall in Sri Lanka. In only a few days, the rains sparked massive flooding and mudslides across the region, driving thousands out of their homes — and CERI into action.

Since responding to the... [continue]

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Texas Baptists sign lease for new Dallas office space

by Leah Allen — January 22, 2015

Texas Baptists executives signed a lease agreement on December 29, 2014, for new office space in Dallas approximately eight miles north of its current building location.

More than two years ago, Baylor University approached Texas Baptists executives in regards to purchasing the Baptist Building on 333 N. Washington Ave. in Dallas for its Louise Herrington School of Nursing.

On May 20, 2014, executives approved the sale of the building and on January 22, 2015, the sale was finalized. Baylor University is paying $8 million in cash and is financing... [continue]

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Texas Baptists celebrate MLK Day by packing 23,000 meals

by Leah Allen — January 21, 2015

DALLAS—The phrases, “Vitamins!” “Protein! and “Vegetables!” echoed across the concrete walls of Texas Baptist Men’s Dixon Mission Equipping Center as 175 Texas Baptist volunteers packed 23,000 meals on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to send to Liberia.

The event served as part of a Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery (TBDR) initiative to send food packets to Ebola-stricken nations in West Africa where starvation has become a crisis.

Volunteers came from all part of Texas, including Shertz, Lawn and Huntsville to pack boxes of food... [continue]

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Connections

by Rachel Hendricks — January 21, 2015

Department: Connections Team

Explain your ministry:

The Connections Team builds relationships with pastors and church leaders, connecting them to the resources, programs and ministries available through the Texas Baptists.

What are the different aspects of Connections?

Pastor/Church Connection, directed by Joe Loughlin

    1. Building relationships with pastors in order to connect them with the resources, programs and ministries available to help them do their job.
    2. Facilitating connections between Pastor Search Committees and potential ministry
... [continue]

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Angie Carter

by Rachel Hendricks — January 21, 2015
It all starts with a relationship. Most people won’t respond to something that doesn’t feel genuine – be real, vulnerable, and honest, and God will do the rest

Name: Angie Carter

Spouse: Nathan

Children: None, just a cat

Ministry: Hispanic Evangelism

Position: Events Coordinator

Number of years: 10.5, will be 11 in the summer

Where did you grow up?

Elsa, TX in the Rio Grande Valley

How old were you when you became a Christian and what is the strongest memory about that time?

I was in the 4th grade and I remember it was at a... [continue]

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Texas Baptists loving neighbors through Hunger Offering

by Jordan Corona — January 15, 2015

This month, the Christian Life Commission is set to distribute funds to 117 ministries throughout the state of Texas and more than 67 international ones through the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering. That is a reflection of the generosity of Texas Baptists, an indication about the contents of their hearts.

Feeding people who don’t have enough to eat and helping others to climb out of poverty is part of our obedience to Jesus’ command to love our neighbors as ourselves. Doing so in a way that maximizes the support we can offer to... [continue]

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New opportunities in a new year

by Kathryn Freeman — January 8, 2015

In Isaiah, the Lord tells the Israelites that His servants will faithfully bring forth justice to the nations and describes them as a light to the nations capable of opening blind eyes, breaking the chains of the oppressed, and setting captives free (Isaiah 42:1-9, Isaiah 58). As the 84th Legislative Session is set to begin next Tuesday, we have a new opportunity to engage in this kingdom work at the Capitol. Here are just a few of the policy priorities the Christian Life Commission will be focused on in the upcoming session:

  • Ending the financial
... [continue]

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The Long Haul

by Ryan Jespersen — January 7, 2015

I want to tell you a story about my friend Larry Venable. Larry has been pastor of Freeman Heights Baptist Church for 31 years. 31 years in the same church, coming to same office, ministering in the same community. This community, Central and West Garland has changed significantly through the years; it has become much more ethnically and socially diverse.

In fact, when Larry first arrived in 1983 this was already beginning to happen. Most guys in situations like his might just bide their time until they are able to find a new place of ministry – an easier spot to do the... [continue]

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New Year. New You.

by Rand Jenkins — January 1, 2015

Well, the first is easy to do, just flip a calendar. Ok, that sounds a bit 1991, just turn on your iPad.

The second, a new you, a new me, is much harder. We are a culture focused on improvements. Improving athletic ability (if I were an ESPN announcer I would have used a non-word: athleticism), improving our status, or improving the number of friends and followers on social media. As a cyclist who uses Strava, I’m constantly trying to improve time up a hill or time on a sprint zone for a coveted King of the Mountain badge on an app. No, there is no real value for... [continue]

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‘Tis the season—for refugees—to merely survive

by Leah Allen — December 16, 2014

For many in the United States, ‘tis the season to cozy up by the fireplace with family and friends. ‘Tis the season to sing merry Christmas tunes and to be grateful for freedom, relatives and Grandma’s cooking.

But for Syrian refugees who have had to flee to safety in Lebanon, ‘tis the season to fight brutal winter temperatures in their houses made of plywood, tarp or tents and hope they can find food to eat each day. ‘Tis the season to survive.

A writer from Tearfund, a charity passionate about tackling poverty, recently recorded his... [continue]

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Prayer

by Rand Jenkins — December 15, 2014

If prayers were answered the way I wanted them to be, you probably wouldn’t know me.

Why? I’d be sitting on the beach, that I’d own or in a mountain cabin, which I’d also own. Without truly confessing anything, perhaps I’ve prayed to win the lottery. Well, not in so many words, but bought a ticket thinking God was on my side for the win.

Prayer is an interesting thing, and honestly something I feel that I (and a majority of other Christians) get wrong. Sure, intercessory prayer is an aspect of prayer as our Father wants us to take our concerns to Him. However, we often come into... [continue]

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Political leaders still need to address immigration issues

by Gus Reyes — December 11, 2014

Recently, President Obama announced steps he is taking to help undocumented immigrants living in our country. The executive action increases border security in addition to providing temporary relief for some families and individuals.

Despite the President’s actions, the immigration system remains broken and in need of significant attention. We still need a permanent, holistic immigration bill that secures the borders, affirms families, treats people with dignity, and gives clarity with regards to status in this country.

My hope... [continue]

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Light it up

by Rand Jenkins — December 8, 2014

Returning home from the D.C. area after Thanksgiving, I noticed a certain glow about the DFW area and know that TXU will have another green Christmas.

The Christmas lights are up and on houses, trees, bushes, walkways, driveways, shingles and blades of grass. I’ve even found a few cars, children and animals with portable Christmas lights strung about them. This reminds me of one of my Christmas traditions – watching Christmas Vacation at least once. Along with that tradition, from Black Friday through Christmas Eve, I daily post on Facebook a random quote from that... [continue]

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School and church work together to help build stronger families in their community

by Leah Allen — December 5, 2014

FORT WORTH—Parents in a community on the north side of Fort Worth are spending one hour a week for 13 weeks in their children’s classrooms, gaining a unique education of their own.

This is the second term for what is called Parent University, where parents learn skills for raising their children, held at Manuel Jara Elementary School. Last April, 29 parents graduated from the program. This November, 21 of those came back for a second course, and 44 parents signed up for the first.

A little over two years... [continue]

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Mum's the word

by Rand Jenkins — December 2, 2014

Mum is also the amazingly large concoction that has appeared over the hearts of many a young woman this high school homecoming season.

Born in Texas, but raised in Tennessee, the concept of a mum larger than her date is rather odd to me. So, I’ve done a little research after doting over some friends’ pictures of their daughters’ “mumification.”

The Internet told me that the chrysanthemum, back in the late 1700s became known as the “Queen of Fall Flowers.” Perhaps there is a connection between that title and the idea of homecoming queen. (I didn’t search that, but feel... [continue]

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East Texas Cornerstone Assistance Network

by Rachel Hendricks — December 2, 2014
We realized our old methods of helping were not really providing people with the help they truly needed. In fact, some of our solutions were creating problems because they made people dependent on us.

Church: Green Acres Baptist Church, Tyler, TX

Pastor: Dr. David O. Dykes

Initiative: East Texas Cornerstone Assistance Network

What is one thing your church has had success with in the local community?

We have completely revamped our method of helping people in poverty. Instead of operating a clothes closet, a utility... [continue]

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Matt Snowden

by Rachel Hendricks — November 17, 2014

“Joy. I love teaching on joy. The joy of the Lord is so powerful. It is a stream in the desert.” -Pastor Matt Snowden

Name: Matt Snowden

Wife: Meredith Snowden

Children: Molly Katherine and Wes Snowden (ages 8 and 7)

Church: First Baptist Church Waco

Number of years: Four and I/4 years

Attendance: We have an active membership of 805

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Meridian, Mississippi.

How old were you when you became a Christian and what is the strongest memory about that time?

I became a Christian at 11. I was... [continue]

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African American Fellowship admires God as a God of justice

by Leah Allen — November 17, 2014

WACO—Though revenge seems sweet and payback fair, God commands His followers to let Him take control of the situation, Pastor John Ogletree from First Metropolitan Church in Houston told guests at the African American Fellowship of Texas worship rally on Nov. 16.

Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Waco hosted the rally preceding the 2014 Texas Baptists Annual Meeting. Visitors engaged in worship facilitated by the Antioch choir and a sermon based off Romans 12:17-21.

“This message is to people who know something about being... [continue]

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Dramatic presentations part of this year's annual meeting

by Ferrell Foster — November 13, 2014

“Theatre for the Mind and Spirit” is coming to the Texas Baptist annual meeting Monday, Nov. 17. This is how Bruce Kuhn describes his dramatic presentations. Kuhn will be part of the morning and evening worship services at the Waco Convention Center.

Bruce’s presentations bring Scripture alive. The words are literally from the biblical text, but Bruce helps them breathe with human passion. Below are 2 seven-minute videos of Bruce presenting a portion of the Gospel of Luke and Tales of Tolstoy, and there are other... [continue]

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'The Blind Side' couple to end BGCT Annual Meeting

by Ferrell Foster — November 5, 2014

The BGCT Annual Meeting this year will end with a special event on the Baylor University campus. Baylor President Ken Starr will host a “conversation” with Sean and Leigh Anne Touhy, the couple featured in the book and movie, “The Blind Side.”

It is part of the university’s “On Topic” series of events at Waco Hall. Tickets are required but are free and will be available Sunday and Monday, Nov. 16-17, at Waco Convention Center during the BGCT Annual Meeting. Tickets also will be available Tuesday, Nov. 18, at Waco Hall before the event.

“The... [continue]

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Kathryn Freeman

by Rachel Hendricks — November 3, 2014

Name: Kathryn Annette Freeman

Ministry: Christian Life Commission

Position: Director of Public Policy

Where did you grow up?

Grand Prairie, Texas

How old were you when you became a Christian and what is the strongest memory about that time?

I became a Christian at seven years old. I remember learning about inviting Jesus into my heart at Vacation Bible School. I remember being very excited about taking the pre-baptism class and obsessively wearing my salvation bracelet until it fell off.

Where did you do your undergrad?

Texas A&M... [continue]

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Ministry Profile: Christian Life Commission

by Rachel Hendricks — November 3, 2014

Department: Christian Life Commission

Staffers: Gus Reyes, Director; Ferrell Foster, Director of Ethics & Justice, Coordinator, Texas Baptist Hunger Offering; Kathryn Freeman, Director of Public Policy; Marilyn Davis, Congregational & Commission Specialist; Joyce Gilbreath, Hunger Offering Specialist; Julie Valentine, Ministry Assistant

Explain your ministry:

The CLC addresses ethical and public policy issues in order to help Texas Baptists follow Christ in their everyday lives. Each Baptist comes to his or her own conclusions... [continue]

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Live the Difference: around the world

by Sandy Wisdom-Martin — October 27, 2014

This year’s Annual Meeting theme is “Live the Difference.” We asked several individuals what it looks like to live the difference in their day-to-day lives. Here’s what Sandra Wisdom-Martin, executive director of WMU of Texas, had to say:

What does it mean to Live the Difference? Authors Ben Connelly and Bob Roberts say. “If you call yourself a follower of Jesus, He calls you a missionary! You may never go halfway around the world, but because of God’s work in you, you are on mission.”*

For me, living the difference means being on mission day in... [continue]

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Houston subpoenas raise religious liberty concerns

by Kathryn Freeman — October 23, 2014

The City of Houston gained national attention last week as a result of subpoenas sent to five local pastors seeking “all speeches, presentations, or sermons related to HERO, the Petition, Mayor Annise Parker, homosexuality, or gender identity prepared by, delivered by, revised by or approved by you or in your possession.”

CLC Director Gus Reyes spoke out against these subpoenas because they appeared to be designed to intimidate pastors and make them think twice about speaking on this critical social issue. Texas Baptists President Jeff... [continue]

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Ellis Orozco

by Rachel Hendricks — October 20, 2014

When I was working as an engineer, God made it clear that I was in the wrong place; He wanted me to prepare myself to serve him for the rest of my life. I have never regretted it and have never looked back! -Ellis

Name: Ellis Orozco

Wife: Priscilla Ruth Orozco

Children: Gabriel Antonio Orozco (22); Michael Andrew Orozco (16); Celeste Iliana Orozco (15)

Church: First Baptist Church, Richardson, Texas

Number of years: 5 and a half

Attendance: 1200

Where did you grow up?

Pasadena, Texas

How old were you when you became a... [continue]

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Run:4Justice

by Rachel Hendricks — October 20, 2014
As a church we committed to a partnership to curtail sex trafficking in Cambodia. Then, last year we also partnered with two other churches for an area-wide Choose Life 5k to raise funds for multiple crisis pregnancy centers in the Tarrant Country area. -Pastor Joe Sanchez

Church: 121 Community Church

Pastor: Ross Sawyers

Initiative: Run:4Justice

What is one thing your church has had success with in the local community?

Hosting and co-hosting fundraising runs for Justice and Life issues.

How did you recognize this need?

Our two... [continue]

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CLC director expresses concern regarding Houston subpoenas

by Ferrell Foster — October 15, 2014

Gus Reyes, director of the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission, has released the following statement regarding the City of Houston’s subpoenas sent to five churches:

“We are glad Mayor Annise Parker now agrees with critics that the initial City of Houston subpoenas were overly broad.

“The U.S. Constitution protects religious freedom, and that includes the right of pastors and church members to speak on social and community issues without fear of intimidation by the government.

“We now wait to see what city officials do next.... [continue]

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Texas Baptists prepare to Live the Difference

by Kalie Lowrie — October 14, 2014

WACO – Texas Baptists’ annual meeting November 16-18 in Waco will be an opportunity to see what it means to truly “Live the Difference.” The meeting, to be held at the Waco Convention Center, is centered on the theme verse from 1 John 2:6 with a special emphasis on ministry opportunities through Advocacy/Care and Chaplaincy, including the Christian Life Commission.

“This is an exciting time for our convention as we pave the way for our future and focus on what it means for us to ‘live the difference,’” said Executive Director David Hardage. “In this... [continue]

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Live the Difference: on social media

by Katie Swafford — October 13, 2014

This year’s Annual Meeting theme is “Live the Difference.” We asked several individuals what it looks like to live the difference in their day-to-day lives. Here’s what Katie Swafford, director of Counseling Services, had to say:

I’m browsing through Facebook this morning when I see the status update of a childhood friend. This friend is describing how she doesn’t feel that people treat her as she deserves to be treated.

Makes a few comments about how she perceives herself to be a good person who is fun to be around, yet feels as if the world takes her for granted... [continue]

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Ebola crisis leads to starvation; Texas Baptists send 570,000 meals in response

by Leah Allen — October 9, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Missouri – Though media is flooded with news of the Ebola crisis, a calamity nearly as fatal—starvation—has risen in West African countries due to the virus. In response to this dire need, Dallas-based Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery (TBDR), in partnership with Convoy of Hope in Springfield, Missouri, shipped 250,000 meals to Monrovia, Liberia on Thursday, Oct. 9, to help bring relief to the crisis.

When the container of food, holding 44,000 pounds of prepackaged meals, arrives to Monrovia in... [continue]

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Texas Baptist Hunger Offering needs end-of-year boost

by Ferrell Foster — October 9, 2014

Texas Baptists are generous, but our giving to fight hunger and poverty has lagged this year. Through August, Texas Baptists gave $548,395 through the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering. That’s a lot of money, but it is significantly less than we gave last year — $727,877 or 75.3 percent.

As we give millions of dollars to support church programs, it is important to remember that Jesus said care for the poor is a key indicator that a person is seeking to follow Him. When we seek to follow Christ we will have a Spirit-inspired burden to... [continue]

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Saying thanks to your pastor

by Kalie Lowrie — October 2, 2014

Being a pastor can many times be a thankless job. One works seemingly 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – going from meeting to counseling session to hospital visit. Not to mention the time needed to prepare for Sunday’s sermon, Wednesday’s Bible study, a luncheon for Senior Adults and a youth fellowship on Friday night.

Between all of the week’s activities, there are also opinions from church members on everything from the color of the carpet in the sanctuary to the dessert served on Wednesday night.

Pastor’s hear it all – but two words they may not hear very... [continue]

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Understanding the city and the culture

by Josue Valerio — October 1, 2014

Cities are known for their cultures and for their role of influence in societies. Also, there are other forces, which are constantly shaping the city and its cultures. But today, it is crucial for us to understand the city, the communities within the city and their cultures in order to collaborate in ministry and serve the different groups who live, work and visit the city.

I believe the basic elements of culture are languages, artifacts, practices, values, institutions and stories.

We all contribute towards the creation of culture, and culture... [continue]

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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... [continue]

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Bill Arnold

by Rachel Hendricks — October 1, 2014

Name: Bill Arnold

Spouse: Margaret

Children: Meredith and Jonathan Grandchildren: Ryan, Mason, Jake, and Hank

Ministry: Providing financial resources for Texas missions

Position: President of the Texas Baptist Missions Foundation

Number of years: 30

Where did you grow up?

Memphis, Tennessee

How old were you when you became a Christian and what is the strongest memory about that time?

Eight years old at an RA camp on the Mississippi coast.

Where did you do your undergrad?

Mississippi College

If you did any post-graduate work, where did you attend and what degree did you earn?... [continue]

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Texas Baptist Missions Foundation

by Rachel Hendricks — October 1, 2014

Department: Texas Baptist Missions Foundation

Staffers: Bill Arnold, President; Larry Thomas, Vice President; Bob Feather, Consultant; Marcy Strube, Donor Relations Coordinator; Rita Griffith, Administrative Assistant

Explain your ministry:

The Missions Foundation works with individuals that want to financially support missions in Texas and around the world. We do this by receiving cash and noncash gifts as well as by working with people who want to include missions in their estate plans.

What are the different aspects of the TBMF?

Working... [continue]

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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... [continue]

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Southern Dallas historic freedman town welcomes cowboy culture

by Leah Allen — September 25, 2014

Just six miles south of downtown Dallas is Joppa Community, an area where former slaves gathered to celebrate their first taste of freedom in the 1860s and now is the present-day home of Buffalo Soldiers Cowboy Church.

When the freedmen settled there nearly 150 years ago, they named the area after the biblical city of Joppa, which means “beautiful.” They bought property and built homes on the banks of the Trinity River. Though the area is now less than thriving, the residents embrace the rich culture and history and nickname the... [continue]

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3 ways to guard from a major mess up in a missional lifestyle

by Ryan Jespersen — September 22, 2014

Pet training, or “obedience school for dogs,” is held in a very distracting place for your dog to walk. I am referring to the dog training class at PetSmart. In our class, the trainer is a young man who handled bomb dogs in the military. He attempts to help us train our new dog Marley. While, this is an excellent endeavor and he does a good job in teaching us to train Marley, every 7 minutes he also attempts to sell me a new PetSmart product. I guess we should have probably expected this. The problem is when the trainer… [continue]

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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... [continue]

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Vision 6000

by Rachel Hendricks — September 17, 2014

Church: First Baptist Church of El Paso

Pastor: Dr. David L. Lowrie, Jr.

Initiative: “Vision 6000”

What is one thing your church has had success with in the local community?

“Vision 6000” seeks to stir the imagination and dreams of our people to envision touching the lives of 1% of the population of El Paso with the gospel of Jesus Christ. This vision statement challenges us to maximize our effectiveness at our home base, but also to stimulate the desire to plant new churches and ministries across the region. If we don’t think and dream big we will probably settle for business... [continue]

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Pastor Oscar Epps

by Rachel Hendricks — September 17, 2014

Name: Oscar D. Epps, Sr.

Spouse: Belenthia

Children: Destany, Oscar Jr., Aderius

Church: Community Missionary Baptist Church, Desoto, TX

Number of Years: 21

Attendance: 3,000

Where did you grow up?

Dallas, Texas

How old were you when you became a Christian and what is the strongest memory about that time?

I was 10 years old and very eager to be baptized.

Where did you do your undergrad?

Dallas Baptist University

If you did any post-graduate work, where did you attend and what degree did you earn?

Honorary Doctorate and am... [continue]

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Tears, Courage and New Beginnings

by Guest Author — September 15, 2014

Andrea Nedorostova was born and raised in the second biggest city of Czech Republic called Brno. Playing tennis competitively her whole life brought her to the United States when she received a scholarship to attend Northwestern State University of Louisiana. Upon graduation with a bachelor’s degree in communication, she moved to Austin, TX to pursue a master’s degree in journalism at The University of Texas at Austin.

When she visited West, she immediately felt like she belonged. West residents treated her like one of their own. Andrea was captivated by... [continue]

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THE BIG DOG and 5 ways to effectively knock on doors

by Ryan Jespersen — September 15, 2014

Clap, Clap, Clap, “This will make the dog leave us alone.” This was trick the pastor of a church meeting in our building was telling me would help keep a very large, very scary, very loud dog from jumping all over us the minute we walked through the gate. At the moment we pensively walked through the gate I certainly hoped this trick, which he learned on the mission field would actually work. We lived through this one without a scratch, and a couple of thousands other doors as a major attempt to reachour neighbors with the gospel... [continue]

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Conference inspires ministry leaders to

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... [continue]

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Burrito Blog

by Guest Contributor — September 10, 2014

While waiting in line at a Welcome Week event, Jenny and Cole met two international students, Lucy and Yorick, who just recently arrived in Texas from China. They made a discovery – the pair had never before eaten a burrito.

This is Texas. The land of Tex-Mex. Without thinking very long or hard about it, I can name six different burrito and taco restaurants within a five minute drive of the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD). And for Cole, who eats burritos as often as possible, typically multiple times a week, even being in Texas for just two weeks without having a... [continue]

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Lay down your burdens

by Katie Swafford — September 8, 2014

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

Sexual abuse – An uncomfortable phrase for most of us and a horrific experience and reality for far too many. In Christian circles, these words are not talked about very much. Whether it is the fear of the unknown, shame, disgust, naiveté or something else, there seems to be a common theme of silence.

Yet when we see others struggle, we have a tendency to talk about that. Many who have been sexually abused find themselves dealing with issues... [continue]

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Seeds of destruction: the city of West

by Guest Author — September 8, 2014

Andrea Nedorostova was born and raised in the second biggest city of Czech Republic called Brno. Playing tennis competitively her whole life brought her to the United States when she received a scholarship to attend Northwestern State University of Louisiana. Upon graduation with a bachelor’s degree in communication, she moved to Austin, TX to pursue a master’s degree in journalism at The University of Texas at Austin.

When she visited West, she immediately felt like she belonged. West residents treated her like one of their own. Andrea was... [continue]

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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... [continue]

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A fascinating day in the Quilombola village

by Guest Author — September 4, 2014

On August 9, Linda Freeman (a member of First Missionary Baptist Church in Fort Worth) and Bertha Vaughn (a member of Bethany Baptist Church in Houston) joined seven other Texas Baptist church leaders through the African American Ministry. Each followed the call to serve eight days in Salvador, Bahia in Brazil. Here the team did door-to-door evangelism and held Bible studies for Quilombola villagers under a shade tree. Read Freeman’s and Vaughn’s testimony as they recall unforgettable experiences from the village visits.

Linda Freeman

BRAZIL – It was a... [continue]

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No they're not here

by Ryan Jespersen — September 2, 2014

No they’re not here. No they’re not here. No they’re not here.” This is the response that the folks at Grace Temple Baptist Church of Dallas received as they walked down 10th St. on a hot summer day. They were looking for the apartment managers of the many apartment buildings located on their street. Finally, when they arrived at the very last building, someone was willing to talk with them.

Grace Temple has a dynamic AWANA Program, which reaches dozens of children each week. They desired to expand this program into the apartments on the same street as their... [continue]

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Fajita Feed

by Guest Author — September 2, 2014

No, we aren’t feeding fajitas. We are feeding students. About 1,800 of them, in the middle of campus, at lunch time, on the first day of the semester. The Father has blessed the Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) at the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) to be a part of its official “Welcome Week” activities, and Fajita Feed is one of the biggest!

At 9 a.m., the BSM at UTD staff and student leaders began setting up tables and tents and carrying cartloads of water bottles and cookies. We were also blessed with the Texas Baptist Men, who came with the food, and volunteers from... [continue]

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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... [continue]

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CCDA vision trip to McAllen

by Gerald Davis — August 28, 2014

How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things. Romans 10:15

Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery hosted a leadership group of the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) on a vision trip to the border which allowed the group to see first-hand the crisis plaguing the unaccompanied minors and family units along the U.S. Border in McAllen, Texas. The group witnessed how God is at work in the midst of the crisis along the border.

Although the situation appears to be bleak and many children, youth and adults suffer through the... [continue]

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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... [continue]

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A Church on Mission

by Ryan Jespersen — August 27, 2014

A new neighborhood, a new school, and a new place without the foundation of family and a familiar community—all of us know how hard that would be for a young person. Yet one little girl’s mother, Tasha, was praying and asking God to bring a church into her daughter’s life, a church where she could find Christ and be a disciple in that faith.

Enter the Eastern Hills Baptist Church in Garland, a Texas Baptist church whose youth group and church body had recently been renewed in its commitment to reach the surrounding neighborhood for Christ. The youth group at... [continue]

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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... [continue]

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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... [continue]

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Alaska: Making an impact

by Guest Author — August 18, 2014

Allison Dufour, a student at Stephen F. Austin State University, served in Alaska with Go Now Missions.

It has been just over a week since my return home from Alaska back. This last week has been a whirlwind emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually.

I have slowly begun to process the changes in my life since spending a summer in Alaska. I have often thought about how I could impact the people of Anchorage, but what I did not expect is how much of an impact they would make on me.

Since leaving Alaska, I have noticed how much the Lord changed me as a person.... [continue]

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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,... [continue]

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Boldly sharing Christ in South Asia

by Guest Author — August 15, 2014

B.B., a student from Texas A&M University, served with Go Now Missions in South Asia this summer.

Well jet lag is a beast. It’s currently 5 a.m. and I can’t sleep because I’ve crossed about 11 time zones to get home, but in this quiet darkness when I find myself alone in my living room, what better thing is there to do than think about the wonderful things that my God has done this summer. So this update will be sort of different than my others, for instance it’s probably going to be a lot longer because I need to tell you about the events of the past... [continue]

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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... [continue]

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New York: Busy summer ends

by Guest Author — August 13, 2014

Sadly, our summer interns are leaving New York City. It was such a privilege to serve with these 15 young adults for two months. I learned so much from them. Helping coordinate this summer internship was a privilege and a blessing. It feels different now that our Metropolitan New York Baptist Association mission house is empty.

The past two months, our associational mission house was full – not only with our summer interns, but also with mission teams from all over the United States. They were here to serve at the different churches in New York City.

Diana Mao,... [continue]

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Quebec: Afraid to believe

by Guest Author — August 12, 2014

Trying to communicate camp rules and activities to the French campers was challenging enough. Keeping the campers focused and interested during devotional time is a whole different ball game – especially when I’m trying to discuss a chapel message that was given in a language that I don’t understand.

After starting the week off with uninterested campers begging to go play instead of talk about God, I couldn’t help but be frustrated and growing impatient at my inability to reach my group of girls. I couldn’t understand why my girls were so cold to Christ and why... [continue]

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Embracing Central American families in Laredo

by Leah Allen — August 12, 2014

LAREDO – As River Ministry Coordinator Mario Garcia drives Central American families back and forth from the Greyhound bus station nearly every day, he cannot help but think of the paralyzed man Jesus healed in Mark 2.

“It’s not that he needed to walk. It’s that he needed salvation,” he said. “The people I’m working with need Christ.”

Garcia, director of missions for Laredo Baptist Association and River Ministry coordinator, is one of many Texas Baptists who have opted to embrace the families that have been seeking refuge from Honduras, Guatemala, El... [continue]

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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.... [continue]

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Orlando: When the world comes to us

by Guest Author — August 11, 2014

Central Florida is fortunate to be blessed with more than 50 million souls to minister to throughout the year.

Orlando has broken its record of people passing through the city with 59 million people, representing different cultures, ethnicities, languages and races. It is beautiful to imagine the hearts that could be touched, seeds that could be planted and souls that could be saved.

What is even better is the thought that one changed soul can change a nation or area. As we spread the gospel to one person, that one person can spread it in their home, and... [continue]

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A Christian view on the border crisis

by Ryan Jesperson — August 8, 2014

If one were to put 10 Baptists in a room, one would come up with 15 different opinions on something. The political issue of immigration is no different. In this blog, Dr. Ken Coffee points us beyond the politics of the current border crisis situation to an opportunity for ministry. Take a moment to read the perspective of a man who has lived his life in Christian missions.

Read Dr. Coffee’s blog…

Ken Coffee is the Former Associate Director of the State Mission Commission of the Baptist General Convention of Texas

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Vancouver: A summer of sowing seeds ends

by Guest Author — August 8, 2014

Here in Vancouver, we’ve been hanging out with some university students every Thursday this summer to play Ultimate Frisbee. They’ve let us join in supporting their team, even though not all of us play. They’ve let us come along to dinner with them after games. And now I can finally say that they let us share the gospel.

On a recent Thursday, I talked with three of the girls over dinner about what I believe and how Christianity differs from other religions. I shared with them the gospel and planted seeds of news they hadn’t heard before. We’re... [continue]

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England: God had other plans

by Guest Author — August 6, 2014

I was super-sad to leave Manchester. I had grown to love the missionaries, my teammate, the church I attended and the non-Christians I had befriended. I was flying back to Texas alone.

I was tired from staying up late saying goodbyes to everyone, and I had an early-morning flight. By the time I got on my flight from London to Texas, I was ready to sleep, watch movies and just shut out the rest of the world for the next 10 hours. That was not God’s plan for my flight.

Even before the plane took off, I was comfy in my seat with my neck pillow. Then the cutest... [continue]

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Massachusetts: Lessons from a cupcake

by Guest Author — August 5, 2014

It should come as no surprise to me that God is continuing to teach me through the tiny tots I so enjoy being with. But one lesson was far more subtle than usual, and it has taken me a few days reflection on an adorable moment to recognize how childlike we should be when approaching God’s throne.

It was a Thursday. The church was having a party in the park. As usual, I was running around with a few of the kids. One in particular had attached himself to me for the evening. I was carrying him on my hip, running around, doing all kinds of ridiculous... [continue]

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Pastors rally in prayer at the border

by Leah Allen — August 1, 2014

MCALLEN-Over 50 Hispanic pastors, leaders and family members gathered in McAllen July 26, to pray over the current circumstances regarding the Central American families and unaccompanied minors crossing the border.

The prayer event served as the kickoff of “For His Children,” an initiative of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, Convoy of Hope, Buckner International and Somebody Cares International to help meet physical and spiritual needs of the minors and families.“God’s word affirms His people working, worshiping and praying in unity,”... [continue]

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Georgia: Well done, my good and faithful servant

by Guest Author — July 31, 2014

These are the words we all long to hear. “You did well my Daughter, come rest with me for eternity to come.” There will be a time that comes when we stand in front of our Maker, as He evaluates the life we’ve lived, and the work we’ve done for His kingdom. If there’s one thing that should stir our affections and spur us on to good works, this should be it. It’s Sunday afternoon, and I’m back in College Station, Texas, sitting at my favorite coffee shop, on my favorite couch at Sweet Eugene’s, dwelling on my 6 1/2 weeks at The Living Vine in… [continue]

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Following Christ involves welcoming children

by Ferrell Foster — July 30, 2014

Parents will do just about anything to help their children. In Central America, parents are trying to help their children in ways that may seem odd and downright unwise to those of us in the United States, but their circumstances are very different. Their children’s lives are at stake.

Drugs, violence, and lawlessness threaten to engulf their children, so they do what must be heartbreakingly difficult — they send them away on a long, perilous journey to a place that seems to offer hope for their children. Many of those children make it, and... [continue]

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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... [continue]

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Georgia: Resting in his hands

by Guest Author — July 27, 2014

It is hard to really describe what we do here at The Living Vine Christian Maternity Home. It is one of those things that you can’t really understand it until you are actually doing it, living it. But I think this story really sums up exactly what is going on here.

Saturday, July 19th, was visitation day. The girls spent the morning doing their chores and then later in the afternoon, they were allowed to go out on visitation with family, if that was at all possible. We had one girl going on visitation, one girl who spent each day at the hospital with her baby in... [continue]

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Connecticut: The Story of Kenny

by Guest Author — July 25, 2014

A few weeks ago I got to have a conversation with a good friend of ours named Kenny at the soup kitchen. Kenny is probably mid-60s, military veteran who grew up in Norwich, Connecticut. When we first met him he shared with us that there were two things that he did not discuss with people: religion and politics. A few days later, we got to hang and chat with Kenny a little bit more and we were just making simple casual conversation. He started to ask what we had been up to the day before, and let’s just say that opened up a huge door.

Zach began to tell him that... [continue]

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Alaska: Satisfying physical and spiritual hunger

by Guest Author — July 24, 2014

It is hard to believe I have now been serving with Alaska Missions in the Last Frontier for almost two months. There have been many up and downs, but through it all The Lord had moved in miraculous ways. After spending a week serving in Kodiak, Alaska, our team took a ferry back to the mainland, eventually settling in Anchorage. This is where we have been serving for the last 6 weeks and will be until August.

We spend our mornings doing service projects in the community, which include light construction and a lot of cleaning. I would not... [continue]

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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.... [continue]

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Call to prayer: responding to the crisis

by Guest Author — July 15, 2014

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (BP) — As a former Texan, my heart goes to the border of Texas. As a born-again Christian, the Gospel of Jesus Christ calls me to compassionate action for those who are suffering right now as a result of the immigration crisis, especially the children.

Due to the gigantic nature of this entire issue, most of us become paralyzed or even intimidated by it. By no means do I imagine myself as an authority on this very complex issue, but as one American and Christian leader, I must respond.

As the medical community would sort through the issues as they... [continue]

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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... [continue]

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Rebuilders of walls, restorers of streets

by Kara Kistner — June 27, 2014

CORPUS CHRISTI – Impact City Church in Corpus Christi was planted by Felix Trevino, a worker at Valero Refinery, and his wife, Sara, as a response to a need for a missional church in the community of South Texas. They are a part of the Corpus Christi Baptist Association and a member of the Baptist General Convention of Texas.

“This was a fairly new concept to the culture of South Texas,” said Felix. “There weren’t too many churches at the time who were focused on building a body of believers on small groups and disciple making versus mass evangelism and the... [continue]

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Understanding Intentional Interim Ministry

by Kara Kistner — June 4, 2014

DALLAS – The interim period between one pastor leaving and the next pastor arriving can be a special time of God moving in a congregation. Instead of sitting back and waiting for the next person to arrive, the interim time creates a wonderful opportunity to address issues, questions, concerns, vision and the church’s health.

Throughout Texas Baptists there are a total of 88 trained Intentional Interim Pastors, 25 currently in training and 10 active pastors in the Baptist Convention of New England (BCNE). Whether a church needs a traditional interim pastor... [continue]

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Starting a Legacy

by Rand Jenkins — June 2, 2014

INDEPENDENCE – On Sunday morning, June 1, at the oldest continuously running Baptist church in Texas, Robert E. Dixon and Dr. Paul W. Powell were honored for the legacies they started and what they became through the Texas Baptist Legacy Award.

Bryan Finley, a member of First Baptist Church of Kerrville, led the group in Bible study and posed the question, “When does a legacy begin?” Through scripture and biblical personalities like Abraham, Moses, Joshua and others, he summed up the answer with, “Legacy begins by starting something God directed. It continues when others who are... [continue]

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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... [continue]

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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... [continue]

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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... [continue]

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Crawling, Walking, Running with BGCT Missions

by Ryan Jespersen — October 28, 2013

Right now our youngest daughter is learning to crawl and our older daughter, who is three, is walking as well as her mom and me. As children, we know that we crawl before we walk, and walk before we run. The same is true in your church when it comes to being on mission. Many times people need to do something small before they are ready to do something larger. Here at the BGCT we have mission opportunities for people at every level. Whether it’s you or your church looking to get started, we want to help.

We have Disaster Recovery trips for people of all... [continue]

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The Main Thing

by Ryan Jespersen — October 1, 2013

Jim Collins is known for a couple of different books, Good to Great, and Built to Last. However, there is another short little read he has called “How the Mighty Fall.” This particular volume talks about the rise and fall of really huge companies.

As a pastor, and now a denominational employee, I could not help but see in this book several ways where the church could learn a great lesson. One of the biggest ways Collins points out that the mighty fall is when a company stops tending to the thing that made it great. He gives several examples of this and it is worth the read.

The church... [continue]

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Community Partner Program helps churches offer access to state assistance for those without Interne

by stephen.reeves — September 3, 2013

There is now a new way your church can partner with the State of Texas to help meet the needs you see every day. Many of our churches have already engaged in a similar partnership by helping the Texas Department of Agriculture feed hungry children through their Summer Food Service Program. Now the Texas Health and Human Services Commission is looking for churches and other nonprofit organizations to help make sure folks are getting all the benefits for which they are eligible.

As a recent article in the New York Times demonstrates (A Push to Connect Millions) some people... [continue]

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We Care Haiti

by Marla Bearden — August 30, 2013

Partnership with Texas Baptist Disaster Recovery and Texas Baptist Men

How did it Begin? James Cundiff, a McKinney businessman and volunteer with Texas Baptist Men, was among the first responders to the Haitian earthquake in January 2010.

“We began to pray that God would provide food,” recalled Cundiff, “And God was faithful. At first it was a few meals, then a few hundred meals, then thousands, then tens of thousands of meals. I realized then that God had a much bigger plan here than I did.” James Cundiff founded We Care Haiti the next day.

What’s Happening Now? We Care Haiti remains... [continue]

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He redeems my wayward thoughts

by Guest Author — August 29, 2013

It’s my first morning in this apartment. I am aware of the presence of the Spirit and I let my thoughts wander. I feel a wave of thankfulness rush over me. I have such a homey space to live in for the next year. It’s old and dated, definitely doesn’t smell new, it has an interesting paint job from the previous BSM intern, mismatched furniture, stained carpet, and the ceiling looks like it’s falling down in the bedroom.

But my mind’s on something else. I’m imagining the fellowship that will happen in this space. I think of those who’ll meet here weekly and do life... [continue]

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Practical ways your church can share Christ's love in schools

by Guest Author — August 21, 2013

Mounds of glue sticks, construction paper, pencils, and backpacks line store shelves, signaling the fast approaching start of a new school year. For churches, these first signs point to much more than the end of the busy summer event schedule and the start of high attendance season for Sunday School. The start of the new school year marks the start of a unique and much needed opportunity to share Christ’s love with our local schools.

Popular belief might lead you to believe that school doors are padlocked and chained against anyone... [continue]

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Loving Oklahoma volunteers help victims rebuild and restore

by Guest Author — August 15, 2013

A series of tornadoes in May of this year devastated parts of Oklahoma, taking lives and flattening houses. Two and a half months later, residents still have needs as they try to restart their lives.

On August 5-10, Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery partnered with Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and World Vision to help meet many of those needs through the recovery effort Loving Oklahoma.

More than 130 volunteers scattered across a widespread area from El Reno to Shawnee, Okla. to aid in debris pick-up, house construction, donation sorting and... [continue]

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"The Show Must Go On"

by Tim Studstill — August 12, 2013

Did you hear the one about the three staff members comparing notes after their meetings with the finance committee? The youth pastor was a little glum about being asked to reduce his budget by ten percent. The education minister was pleased to find he could keep his proposed budget at 100 percent. While hearing the other two discuss the issue, the music minister sat uncharacteristically silent. When asked how his meeting had gone, he tried to change the subject. Finally he reluctantly admitted that the committee had raised his budget proposal by 25 percent! Stunned, the other... [continue]

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Go Now Missions: Overcoming fear

by Guest Author — July 31, 2013

Honestly, there were many things coming into South Asia that made me extremely fearful. I was nervous about the darkness, depravity and strongholds. I was terrified about my extensive traveling schedule.

But, I think majority of the fear that consumed me was feelings of inadequacy for my role in South Asia this summer. This summer, I have been doing media over the summer missionaries here in South Asia. My role was to create mobilization and awareness materials from summer students. I desired to utilize my talents in cinematography to capture God’s work on film so... [continue]

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Conference set to gear churches for boomer wave

by Guest Author — July 31, 2013

The baby boomer wave is upon senior adult ministries, and people from all across the country are registering to “catch it” with the National Boomer Ministry Conference Sept. 5-6.

At First Baptist Church in Allen, participants will have a full schedule of breakout sessions, general sessions and entertainment.

Baby boomers remain the largest population group, now ranging in ages 49-67, said Keith Lowry, Texas Baptists’ single adult/family ministry/senior adult specialist. They tend to have a different mindset than the previous generation when it comes to... [continue]

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Texas cooking draws people in - even in Italy

by John Hall — July 29, 2013

The smell of Texas barbecue tickles noses, makes mouths water and attracts a crowd.

Even in Italy.

A mission team from Coastal Bend Fellowship in Kingsville discovered Texas barbecue is an ideal way to bring Italians together. Partnering with Southern Baptist Convention International Mission Board missionaries Charlie and Shannon Worthy, the Texans held two barbecues during a June 7-17 trip.

The team held a barbecue for the missionaries in their neighborhood, where as many as 150 curious people – at least half of whom were non-Christians – came to experience... [continue]

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Pray. Just pray.

by Guest Author — July 24, 2013

Have you ever felt like a catalyst? A catalyst is “an agent that provokes or speeds significant change or action”. So put simply, a catalyst is something that helps the bigger something happen faster.

I feel as if I’ve been that for the past 6 weeks. I say this not to boast, but to share how God has humbled me. Here in East Asia, there are already people working to make God’s name known and I feel that God just picked me up and placed me in the middle of it all and said “Pray. That is all. Just Pray.”

“Pray Continually” – 1 Thessalonians 5: 17

There were many times when I would sit down... [continue]

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Texas Baptist Camps: Made to glorify Him

by Guest Author — July 23, 2013

After leaving my work at Camp Chaparral last summer, I knew I wanted to return to work there again. I loved the atmosphere and the fulfillment of serving God there.

This year as a returning staffer I was so excited to start work and my expectations were set high. I was nervous at first because I learned that most of my friends that I worked with last year weren’t returning but God has definitely exceeded my expectations this year. So far I’ve gotten to celebrate with two kids that gave their hearts to Christ. One of them is the child of a good friend!I’ve made... [continue]

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Go Now Missions: Planting the seed

by Guest Author — July 22, 2013

All morning we spent setting up for our community wide block party with help from the three hundred strong Prestonwood youth choir. The morning turned to noon and things became frustrating as the large bounce house inflatable failed to blow up. As I walked away feeling frustrated, God reminded me why we were setting up bounce houses and giving away five hundred hot dogs in the first place – to engage the community of Richmond, BC with the truth and life of Jesus Christ.

I redirected my heart and steps and introduced myself to a Chinese family enjoying hotdogs in the... [continue]

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Unified, Texas Baptists seek to carry out Great Commission

by John Hall — July 17, 2013

SAN ANTONIO – Fulfilling the Great Commission requires Texas Baptists to work united for the cause of Christ, according to presenters in the final worship service of the Texas Baptist Family Gathering.

The Great Commission is Christ’s command to His followers, said Michael Evans, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Mansfield. They are to be doctors for the sick, people who bring the ill to a place of healing.

“I believe that’s our mandate,” he said, preaching from Romans 12:3-4. “I believe that’s our call. I believe we must be passionate... [continue]

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Breaking the chains of darkness, revisited

by Guest Author — July 16, 2013

This summer, I have reverently been praying for divine appointments in South Asia. Honestly, my heart hurts deeply for this place. My biggest prayer is for His truth to be shared and embraced in the darkest corners of South Asia.

Last week, we were prayer walking around a Hindu temple in the city. These temples are incredibly dark places. Imagine yourself walking into a temple where people are convulsing and chanting to the daily animal sacrifices.

Darkness is heavy on your chest as you walk barefoot on the “holy”, blood, and dirt stained floor. Hundreds of... [continue]

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2013-2014 Officers Elected to the Hispanic Baptist Convention of Texas

by Guest Author — July 15, 2013

Hispanic Baptists elected the first female convention president in their 103-year history this morning.

The announcement came after two rounds of voting. The first – a race between Daniel ‘Tiny’ Dominguez, current president of the Hispanic Baptist Convention; Bea Mesquias, member of United Baptist Church in Harlingen; and Manuel Rios, pastor of Iglesia Bautista Monte Calvario in San Antonio – did not result in a clear majority.

The runoff was a close race; Mesquias won with 100 votes, versus Rios’ 97.

Mesquias has a long resume of... [continue]

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Hardage: Thank you, Texas Baptists

by John Hall — July 15, 2013

SAN ANTONIO – The breadth of Texas Baptists’ ministry is wide, and its commitment to sharing the gospel is deep.

For all that they are doing, Texas Baptists’ Executive Director David Hardage gives thanks. Because congregations are generous with their resources in their communities and through Texas Baptists, ministry is possible.

“You make a difference, Texas Baptists,” he said. “On behalf of the lives you touched and the lives you helped, let me just say ‘Thank you.’”

Speaking during the Baptist General Convention of Texas business session of the Family Gathering,... [continue]

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Johnson discusses Dr. Seuss and diversity

by Guest Author — July 14, 2013

SAN ANTONIO — With children gathered around and a Dr. Seuss book in hand, Baptist General Convention of Texas President Jeff Johnson added a metaphorical twist to this year’s presidential message.

Johnson began his message at the Texas Baptists Family Gathering, an event that brought together the diverse Texas Baptist family, by reading The Sneetches, a Dr. Seuss story where the sneetches learn a valuable lesson about peaceful coexistence between one another regardless of their diverse appearance. Johnson, pastor of First Baptist Church in Commerce, grasped... [continue]

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Go Now Missions: Contentedness in Christ despite earthly pain

by Guest Author — June 11, 2013

The people of Nueva Candalaria live on $6 per day and have received no aid prior to the arrival of Living Water. The constant hard work of the pastor and the obvious effects of poverty on the children made it easy for me to view the people purely as victims.

Continued interaction with the villagers showed me glimpses of pride, obsession with sex, and selfishness. Working next to them throughout the project helped me to see the people as they are, not helpless victims of a world pressing them down, but as real, flawed people in need a... [continue]

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