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 Ministries. "The attendance surpassed our expectation. Without a doubt, God was glorified through this event."
President Bea Mesquias presided over the annual meeting where the $65,000 budget was approved for 2015.
"God indeed was in this Convencion and His people," said Mesquias. "I am so honored to lead this convencion to doing God's kingdom business!"
Emphasis was placed on the crisis along the Texas/Mexico border with more than 47,000 unaccompanied children entering the United States since October 2013.
"We were blessed with the wonderful support from the churches in the Rio Grande Valley," said Jesse Rincones, executive director of the Hispanic Baptist Convention. "We were able to use the occasion of our annual meeting to bring attention, prayer and support for the humanitarian crisis of unaccompanied children that are flooding the valley region."
Officers were also elected for 2014-2015 including Bea Mesquias who will serve a second term as president, from United Baptist Church in Harlingen; Rolando Aguirre was voted as first vice president, from Calvary Baptist Church in McAllen; Ray Zamora will serve as second vice president, from Primera Iglesia Bautista in Donna; and Joel Ake is the new secretary, from Primera Iglesia Bautista in Dallas.
During Monday evening's bi-lingual session, Dr. Albert Reyes, president of Buckner International, spoke on what it means to be a passionate disciple. Drawing from Deuteronomy 6 and Leviticus 9, he shared that disciples should love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. He encouraged attendees to give reverence, commitment and obedience to the Creator and Redeemer Jesus Christ.
"God took His creative hand and He made you with a purpose," Reyes said. "You will never be at your happiest until you know what that is."
Luis Gabriel Cesar Isunza, pastor titular for Iglesia Bautista de Ciudad Satelite, also shared about the non-negotiable attributes of following Jesus.
"God wants to be first above all relationships," Isunza said, drawing from Luke 14:25-33.
"Before you make your plans, you need to take them to the Lord."
Overall, the annual convention proved to be a rejuvenating time for Hispanic Baptists as they networked with fellow ministers and heard stories of God's work around the state.