Golf Classic Creates Connections, Brings Awareness


The Fourth Annual Texas Baptists Golf Classic was as much a reunion as it was a sporting event.

“We have senior pastors and other church staff, camp and associational directors, institutional leaders, and so many others who participate,” said David Adams, Texas Baptists director of church administration and special projects. “The fellowship is really great to experience, and I have been amazed at how many players come every year from all over the state.”

The Golf Classic took place on April 24 at the Golf Club of Houston with 235 participants from across Texas. Teams were comprised of church ministers, associational leaders, institutional partners and other Texas Baptists affiliated ministries.

David Strawn, a retired minister of education who has played in all four Texas Baptist Golf Classics, said this was his favorite so far.

“The course was in great shape and our team from FBC, College Station, was on our game,” Strawn said. “We took 3rd place on the Member's Course. All-in-all it was an excellent experience. I am looking forward to 2018.

“One of the great experiences of the [event] is getting to interact with my church members away from the church building and pastoral responsibilities,” he added. “They come to know me as a real person not just someone they see once a week behind the pulpit.”

Katie Swafford, director of Texas Baptists counseling services, said that a lot of ministers struggle with feelings of isolation and an event like this helps them connect with others.

“That’s what this was designed for – to provide them the fellowship and social support that we all need,” she said.

This year’s Golf Classic raised awareness for Texas Baptist Counseling Services, which provides counseling services to ministers and their families and also serves as a resource that connects laypeople to Christian counselors and mental health resources.

A lot of times, people in need of counseling aren’t aware that they can go to the Texas Baptists for guidance, Swafford said.

“I still get calls from people who say, ‘I didn’t know this was available.’ When pastors don’t know that counseling services are available to them, they miss the opportunity to be ministered to or be comforted in their life struggles. They might also miss out on an opportunity to get help for someone in their congregation.

“Recently, I was contacted by a minister who wanted to help a suicidal teen in his youth group. I was able to provide him and the teen’s mom with resources, such as steps that need to be taken in a crisis situation and a couple of Christian references that they can utilize to help him. One of those counseling services even ended up being free.”

The 2018 Texas Baptists Golf Classic will be held at the Dallas Athletic Club on April 30. Visit texasbaptsits.org/golf for more information.

Congratulations to the 2017 Winners

Members Course - Gross Score

  • 1st Place - Randy Blackmon, Chad Sauntry, Mike Rose, Robbin Anderson (Sugar Land Baptist)
  • 2nd Place - Eron Green, Ryan Lofton, Tony Gray, Shannon Tanner (South Texas Children's Home)
  • 3rd Place - Chad Hayes, Randy Zator, Kevin Jones, Brian Zator (Fellowship Church, Royce City)

Member Course - Net Score

  • 1st Place - Gary Rodgers, Mike Tate, Paul Hartwick, Jeff Humphrey (First Lockhart Baptist)
  • 2nd Place - Cary Killough, Phil Jones, David McAdams, Tony Clines (Meadowbrook BC, Robinson)
  • 3rd Place - David Strawn, Patrick Dallas, David Neal, Billy Eiland (FBC, College Station)

Member Course

  • Closest to the Pin #4 - Randy Zator (Fellowship Church, Royce City; hole in one!)  
  • Closest to the Pin #12 - Michael Rose (Sugar Land Baptist)
  • Closest to the Pin #14 - Nick Holquin (Baptist Credit Union)
  • Closest to the Pin #17 - Frank Means (FBC, Corsicana)
  • Longest Drive  #18 - Jim Fowler (FBC, Waxahachie)

Tournament Course - Gross Score

  • 1st Place - Joe Schwenk, Red Kimble, Will Hacker, Chris Ryan (Baybrook Church, Friendswood)
  • 2nd Place - Dale Pond, Rick Maxey, David Dykes, Jim Gillen (Green Acres, Tyler)
  • 3rd Place - Jonathan Teat, Chase Rolland, Zane Smith, John Martin (Dallas Baptist University)

Tournament Course - Net Score

  • 1st Place - Tommy Thompson, Donny Taylor, Bob Savage, Oscar Martinez (BCFS)
  • 2nd Place - Jason Phillips, Jim Huey, Randy Mull, John Hawes (Columbus Avenue BC, Waco)
  • 3rd Place - Ray Still, J.K. Minton, Tom Billings, Josh Ellis (Oakwood BC, New Braunfels; Union Baptist Association, Houston)

Tournament Course

  • Closest to the Pin #7 - Karen Cain (BCFS)
  • Closest to the Pin #9 - Jim Gillen (Green Acres, Tyler)
  • Closest to the Pin #14 - Jacob Richardson (East Texas Baptist University)
  • Closest to the Pin #16 - Red Kimble (Baybrook Church, Friendswood)
  • Longest Drive #8 - Jonathan Teat (Dallas Baptist University)

Sponsors included:

  • Title Sponsor - BCFS
  • Platinum - Baptist Credit Union
  • Gold - Oakwood Baptist Church, New Braunfels and Texas Baptist Missions Foundation
  • Silver - Truett Seminary, East Texas Baptist University, Houston Baptist University, Dallas Baptist University
  • Ball Sponsor - Office of Cooperative Program Ministry
  • Individual Hole - Buckner International, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, Highground Advisors, Baylor Scott & White Health, Kyle Lake Foundation, Guidestone Financial Resources, STCH, Frost and Baptist Community Services.
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