​Texas Baptists elect diverse panel of officers for second consecutive year


FRISCO–For the second consecutive year, Texas Baptists messengers have elected a diverse officer panel with René Maciel, president of the Baptist University of the Americás [BUA], elected as President.

The election was held during the Monday afternoon business session of the 130th Annual Meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, which took place at the Dr Pepper Arena in Frisco Nov. 8-10.

Also elected to the panel were Bedilu Yirga, pastor of Ethiopian Evangelical Baptist Church of Dallas, who was elected First Vice President after previously serving as Second Vice President, and Danny Reeves, pastor of First Baptist Church in Corsicana, who was elected Second Vice President.

In 2014, he was elected First Vice President and served as Second Vice President the previous year. Maciel was nominated this year for presidency by Jerry Dailey, pastor of Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church in San Antonio.

"Everywhere [Maciel] has served, he has served with honor and distinction," Dailey said. "He made it better because he was there."

Maciel has invested more than 25 years in higher education and administration with Baptist institutions, such Hardin-Simmons University, Baylor University and New Mexico Baptist Children's Home. He has served as president of BUA since 2007 and prior to that served as Assistant Dean for Administration and Academic Services for George W. Truett Theological Seminary.

As president, Maciel aspires to emphasize the cooperation amongst Texas Baptists and to bring unification as a body of believers.

"There's many ways we have been separate in ideas and thoughts and ministries," he said. "For me, I hope that I can bring all this back to the table and [help to] understand the importance of the unity of the body. I look forward to hopefully being able to convene and bring us back to a table of togetherness and oneness."

Maciel earned his undergraduate degree from Hardin-Simmons University and his master's degree in higher education administration from Baylor University.

He also recently served 10 months as interim pastor at First Baptist Church in Castroville, where he and his family have been members nine years.

Dr. Hardage, executive director for Texas Baptists is optimistic about Maciel, Yirga and Reeves serving as officers and looks forward to working together.

"We are excited to have yet another diverse panel of officers," Hardage said. "They each bring unique gifts, experiences and leadership qualities that will help us better reach the state of Texas."

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