Texas Baptists Life

Volume 5 Issue 1

The impact of institutional giving: Natalie’s story

Since Natalie Rodriguez was 12-years-old, Texas Baptists have invested in Natalie Rodriguez in multiple, life-changing ways.

At the age of one, Natalie was placed in the foster care system, where she grew up living in multiple homes with her younger sister. Then, in 1996, she and her sister were brought to the Texas Baptist Children’s Home. During her first few months, she tried to adjust to new surroundings but was very overwhelmed and unsure about the permanency of her new home.

“I heard about Jesus daily, but I was so upset,” Natalie said. “I wasn’t ready for someone to actually be there for me.”

That December, Natalie was... [continue]

Evidencia de la esperanza, la ayuda, el entrenamiento, y el cuidado por medio de nuestras instituci

Comenzó en el 1941, con el bombardeo de Pearl Harbor. Un joven campesino en el oeste de Texas fue reclutado el servicio militar a principios del 1942. Él entrenó durante dos años, fue a la guerra, fue enviado a Alaska, y fue herido. Fue tratado en Alaska, luego en California, y finalmente tuvo tratamiento extenso y rehabilitación en Temple, Texas. 

Cerca de Belton, estaba la escuela para señoritas Colegio Mary Hardin-Baylor, ahora la Universidad de Mary Hardin-Baylor. Uno de los ministerios universitarios visitaba soldados heridos en el hospital. Una joven de la escuela, natural de la ciudad de Oklahoma, era una de las... [continue]

HPU student leads teammates to better understanding of Christ’s love

Though Chad Anders wasn’t searching for Christ when he enrolled at Howard Payne University, he says Christ was waiting for him there.

“You can come to HPU and find things you never even knew you were looking for,” says the senior and four-year member of the Yellow Jacket baseball team.

Chad didn’t attend church regularly growing up. After the death of his stepfather during Chad’s freshman year at HPU, he found himself even farther from God.

“I focused on what would make me happy,” he says. “I turned to a lot of different worldly pleasures for fulfillment. I was never satisfied and never happy. I knew there had to be more to... [continue]

Single father discovers joy in new beginning through Buckner

Hector Flores’ home in the middle of June was hot, dusty and cramped. Tattered bed sheets tried to block the blazing South Texas sun coming through the small square windows. As a single parent with four children, it’s hard to find time to keep up with the housework.

Flores has been a single dad of four – Hector Jr., 14, Rene, 11, Sandy, 7, and Tania, 6 – for the past five years, officially. He used to live in a tiny, trailer-like home that he slowly assembled by himself in an attempt to give his children a safe place to live.

Unofficially, he’s been a single dad for eight years since his ex-wife left for Mexico without telling... [continue]

Hendrick Breast Institute and the Hope Fund

Before they turned on the office computers or answered a phone that first day of work at the Hendrick Breast Institute in Abilene, the staff lined a hallway and prayed with Hospital Chaplain Bruce Lampert.

Breast Institute Registry Coordinator Melissa Boyd and her staff listened as Lampert spoke to them of the gentle power within the scarred hands of Jesus Christ.

“That same power exists in your hands,” Lampert told them. “And, just as the aroma permeates the air around us, the work you do here will be far-reaching.”

Boyd sees that morning as the beginning of a powerful ministry that would save the lives of countless women and... [continue]

Missionary Adoption Program opens doors for expanded ministry in Brazil and beyond

Deep in the Amazon rain forest, in the midst of 10,000 unreached people groups, lies a community known as Livramento. Translated in English, “deliverance” is a poetic title for the city where God is actively delivering new believers out of darkness and into light.

Rhuan Kaique was delivered from a troubled adolescence to a lifetime of ministry by the faithful discipleship of the youth leaders at Passare Baptist Church. In 2015, Rhuan’s church commissioned him as a missionary to Livramento, a place only accessible to locals.

While working in this new mission field, he met Elieuma. Rhuan built trust with her family and began to... [continue]

Providing hope, help, training and care through our institutions

It began in 1941, with the bombing of Pearl Harbor. A young farmer in West Texas was drafted for the war effort in early 1942. He trained for two years, went to war, deployed to Alaska and was wounded. He was treated in Alaska, then California, and finally had extensive treatment and rehab in Temple, Texas.

In nearby Belton stood the all-girl’s school Mary Hardin-Baylor College, now the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. One of the college ministries was visiting wounded soldiers at the hospital. A young woman at the school, a native of Oklahoma City, was one those visitors. The young farmer met the young woman and soon they fell... [continue]

SCS makes seminary education possible for Corpus Christi minister

Like most married couples, Josh and Melissa Fuentes had plans.

“I knew I wanted to go into ministry when I was 17,” recalls Josh. “As a kid, I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up, but when I felt God calling me into the ministry, it just made sense. I could see myself working in a church for the rest of my life.”

Josh met his wife, Melissa, while they were both interns at First Baptist Church-Universal City, just north of San Antonio.

“I didn’t like him when we first met,” says Melissa, “but he grew on me.”

“Kind of like a fungus,” kids Josh.

After the internship ended, the two started dating and were married not... [continue]

HPU graduate Jo Beth MacTavish charts new waters as mom and minister

“Being a mother while a full-time minister is hands down the hardest thing I have ever done,” says Jo Beth MacTavish, Howard Payne University graduate and youth minister at Kenefick Southern Baptist Church near Houston. “When I say there are few footsteps to follow in this field, I mean it. The books on how to be both mom and minister are still being written.”

Having grown up in church, MacTavish was called to ministry at a young age.

“As a teenager, I was given more and more opportunities to serve in leadership roles,” she says. “Between these opportunities, growth in my personal spiritual life and the encouragement of others, I... [continue]

DBU students serve in Spain, share the hope of Christ

Boarding a plane in DFW, Shelby Weatherly, a junior biology major at Dallas Baptist University, grew increasingly excited about the week ahead. While many of her classmates spent their Fall Breaks participating in travel studies, going on vacation or visiting family at home, Weatherly decided to join a group of DBU students to serve overseas in Denia, Spain.

“I was so expectant of what the Lord was going to do,” Shelby recalls. “Leading up to the trip, I was excited to see how my love for Hispanic culture combine with my passion for Europe, but God did exceedingly more than I could have imagined.”

The team of 18 students and... [continue]

Transformational Ministry from Student to Student

Sharing a physical location with the Baylor University campus allows George W. Truett Theological Seminary to partner with and minister to the broader University in ways that many seminaries located off campus or not linked to an undergraduate institution are unable to. Perhaps one of the most meaningful opportunities to arise from this partnership is the ministering to Baylor undergraduates by seminary students. Truett students are able to take the ministry skills and theological knowledge they develop in seminary and share their faith with the Baylor campus.

Through the resident chaplain program – a partnership between Truett... [continue]

How one ministry is equipping churches to reach people at their point of greatest need

It does not take much searching to find alarming statistics about the financial health of the typical American household. USA Today recently reported that 69% of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings.1 Perhaps even more alarming is a study quoted by CNN Money, which reveals that up to 35% of US households are in debt collection.2 Add in the fact that the average credit card debt is over $16,000 for households that carry a balance,3 and it becomes clear that an overwhelming number of Americans live in a precarious financial state.

Jimmy Rodriguez has seen the toll taken on families by financial strain and uncertainty first... [continue]