Annual Meeting News & Video


Texas Baptists gather in Waco for 132nd Annual Meeting

Keynote Address: Will Mancini

Executive Director's Report: Dr. Hardage

Keynote Address: Delvin Atchison

President's Address: Danny Reeves

Texas Baptists compelled towards God’s will, word and work


WACO–More than 1,700 messengers and visitors attended the 132nd Texas Baptists Annual Meeting in Waco where they were equipped and encouraged to live compelled for Christ. Messengers adopted a 2018 total budget over $37 million, passed a number of resolutions, and through speaking, worship, workshops and fellowship, were urged to live out Great Commandment and the Great Commission in every aspect of their lives.

“Be compelled to seek God’s will, search God’s word and support God’s work. This is the heartbeat of Texas Baptists,” said President Danny Reeves during his Monday morning address.

Budget approved, resolutions highlight... [continue]

Challenging Texas Baptists to change the world by looking up


Delvin Atchison closed out the 2017 Texas Baptists’ Annual Meeting Tuesday morning by calling Texas Baptists to “peer at our possibilities from God’s perspective.”

He preached from Genesis 15:1-5, a passage that deals with a conversation between Abram and God right after Abram has won a military victory. In spite of this win, Abram was grappling with his disappointment that God had not yet fulfilled His promise of providing descendents.

Atchison highlighted four statements from God to Abram that apply to Texas Baptists today.

First, He tells Abram “fear not.” Atchison points out that it’s an interesting moment for that... [continue]

Gregory discusses preaching to persuade


Trying to separate preaching from persuasion is a false dichotomy, said Joel Gregory, professor of preaching at George W. Truett Seminary at Baylor University.

Persuasion has gotten a bad rap lately, often because it has become associated with manipulation or even coercion, but it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It was almost a motto for Paul’s ministry, Gregory said.

Paul was always trying to persuade, from his first stop in each new town speaking to the Jews at the local synagogue to the Gentiles with his Areopagus address.

“When you seek to persuade, you’re preaching with a desire to change or reinforce attitude or behavior,&rdquo... [continue]

Church security basics and preparing for the unexpected


An additional workshop addressing church safety and security was added to the 2017 Texas Baptists Annual Meeting schedule following the tragic shooting at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs. Led by David Adams, director of Church Administration and Special Projects, and John Litzer, legal consultant, the Tuesday morning workshop presented practical tools and resources to create an emergency operations plan and to discuss legal policies that influence churches.

“Use people in your church who know your church, community and law enforcement, and use people outside your church to help you prepare,” said Adams.

There will not... [continue]

I Was a Stranger


The Vickery Meadow area of Dallas is often referred to as “the Little United Nations.” On any given day, refugees and immigrants from Burma, Iran and the Congo can be found trying to make ends meet. This community is where Project: Start Refugee Resource Center, supported by Texas Baptists, engages in daily ministry. 

Project: Start Director Leonid Regheta led a workshop Tuesday morning at the 2017 Texas Baptists Annual Meeting, teaching fellow believers about the plight of refugees in the city of Dallas and how they can help “the least of these.”

For Regheta, it is a personal issue. As a child, he and his family fled the Ukraine... [continue]

Mancini challenges churches to dream big


A dream can move the people of God to do incredible things for the kingdom of God, but most churches aren’t dreaming big enough. Will Mancini’s keynote address at the Monday evening worship session of the 2017 Texas Baptists Annual Meeting urged leaders to seek clarity and specificity on their “special assignment from God.”

Mancini is an author, church strategist and founder of the non-profit church consulting group, Auxano. He said most churches he consults with have mission statements that are too broad and vague, relying on phrases such as “making disciples,” “glorifying God,” or “reaching more people in the next five... [continue]

Living Compelled to end hunger together


During the Monday afternoon workshop session of the 2017 Texas Baptists Annual meeting, Jeremy Everett, senior director of the Texas Hunger Initiative, shared a compelling message on the need for Christians to unite against the rampant issue of hunger in Texas, the United States and across the world. 

Everett works to educate and equip individuals with practical strategies to end hunger for those who are in need within their own communities. He opened the workshop by asking those in attendance about their personal experience with hunger ministry. From across the room, people from around Texas shared about food pantries, backpack... [continue]

Hardage bears witness to the good work of Texas Baptists


Texas Baptists participate in a vast array of life-changing work every day. To bring recognition and awareness to this year's most prominent ministry and evangelism efforts during his Monday evening report at the 2017 Annual Meeting, Executive Director David Hardage recognized notable leaders that partner with Texas Baptists.

Those Hardage recognized included Tamiko Jones, newly-elected executive director-treasurer, WMU of Texas; Mickey Lenamon, executive director, Texas Baptist Men, who shared about Hurricane Harvey Disaster Recovery efforts; Katie Sciba, governing board officer from the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, who... [continue]

Church Unique: Strengthening Your Culture


Will Mancini, author and church strategist, presented the ideas published in his book Church Unique to an afternoon workshop on Monday, Nov. 13, at the 2017 Texas Baptists Annual Meeting. Mancini, who has worked as a church consultant for 17 years, declared each church is as unique as a snowflake with many different needs.

He began the session speaking on the “cloning conference” epidemic many churches fall victim to. “You can’t go to a conference and cut and paste a playbook. Make your own playbook,” said Mancini.

In order to make a playbook, churches must have a clear vision of who they are as a church and what they wish to... [continue]

Texas Baptists officers re-elected to second terms


WACO–Officer elections bookended the business session of the 132nd Texas Baptists Annual Meeting Monday afternoon in Waco. Danny Reeves, pastor of First Baptist Church of Corsicana, was re-elected president; Joe Fields, pastor of New Beginnings Baptist Church in Lewisville, was re-elected first vice president; and Jim Heiligman, pastor of First Baptist Church of Bryan, was re-elected as second vice president.

With First Vice President Fields presiding, Reeves was nominated for his second term as President of the convention by Bobby Bell, a messenger from First Baptist Church of Edna and district judge. Prior to his pastorate at... [continue]

Robert Pinder, Bob Feather and First Baptist Belton honored by Texas Baptist Mission Foundation


Texas Baptist Missions Foundation (TBMF) honored two individuals and one church Monday at its annual missions awards luncheon.

Don Cramer presented the Adventurer Award to Robert H. Pinder.

“I wanted you to get a glimpse of his heart, so I asked him two questions,” Cramer said. “The first question was, ‘What was the most rewarding experience of your ministry?’” 

“Pinder said, ‘Starting four churches in Argentina and training six young deacons how to share their faith.’ That stood out among everything he’s done. Then I said, ‘How would you summarize your life and ministry?’ He said, ‘Seeing people come to know Jesus and maturing... [continue]

Texas Baptists urged to remain centered on Christ


“How on earth did we ever get into this mess?”

Danny Reeves, president of Texas Baptists, confronted the audience with this sobering question during his presidential address at the 2017 Texas Baptists Annual Meeting.

“Between national debt, natural disasters, shootings and terrorists attacks, it seems like our culture is in complete disintegration. Some days I feel like I’ve had enough. The word that would sum this up is catastrophe.”

He continued, “Brothers and sisters in Christ, the question I ask you today is a recurring question Texas Baptists has been trying to answer all year long: In the midst of chaos in our world, what... [continue]

Cross-cultural, cross-generational communication in Hispanic churches


The United States has the second largest Hispanic population of any country in the world. This represents a huge opportunity for Texas Baptists in particular, said Rolando Rodriguez, director of Hispanic Ministries, in his Monday morning workshop at the 2017 Texas Baptists Annual Meeting.

In the session, “Preaching to Reach Hispanics in Texas,” Rodriguez said the biggest challenge is finding ways to minister effectively to the diverse generations within the Hispanic community.

The first generation was born outside the United States and Spanish is used in the home most of the time. This generation tends to be very traditional and... [continue]

Churches to be recognized for faithful cooperative program giving at 2017 Annual Meeting


As Texas Baptists are called to live “Compelled” at this years’ Annual Meeting, nine churches were recognized for their Cooperative Program giving. Since 1925, the Cooperative Program has provided the fuel to fund mission work in Texas, the United States and all around the world.

“The Cooperative Program is effective because of the generosity of thousands of Texas Baptists churches working together,” said Chris Liebrum, director of the Office of Cooperative Program Ministry. “The churches we recognize at Annual Meeting represent giving among nine categories of church size and ethnicity, all exemplary in their commitment to mission... [continue]

A Theology of Caring in the church


“What is a theology of care? How is this appropriate in our church and our lives?” asked Rev. Byron Stevenson, pastor of The Fort Bend Church in Sugar Land, at the 2017 Texas Baptists Annual Meeting workshop, “A Theology of Caring.” Stevenson opened the workshop with a time of prayer and worship to God, for “He is good and He is kind.”

The encouragement he shared was anchored in Matthew 9:35-36, when Jesus was moved with compassion for the multitudes.

“One of the things that blesses our church are the five pillars of faith our church is built upon - trust, faith, kindness, liberal giving and compassion,” said Stevenson. “And... [continue]

Christian Community Development, the mission trip that doesn't go away


“The people with the problem must be part of the solution to the problem,” shared Jimmy Dorrell, pastor of Church Under the Bridge and executive director of Mission Waco, during the “Caring for the least of These” workshop presented Monday morning at the 2017 Texas Baptists Annual Meeting.

Dorrell detailed how he grew up without need and was blessed with more than he wanted. Upon arriving in Waco and attending college at Baylor University, his perspective changed. For the first time in his life, he saw real poverty.

“Our background is our glasses,” Dorrell said. “It shapes how we see things.” The lens Dorrell continually looked... [continue]

African American Rally encourages vibrant, not tepid Christianity


The 2017 Texas Baptists’ Annual Meeting began with an impassioned crowd Sunday night at the African American Fellowship Worship Rally. Toliver Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Waco brimmed as members of different congregations came together to worship the Lord through song and teaching. The night was filled with enthusiastic preaching and passionate praise.

The praise team from Greater New Light Missionary Baptist Church of Waco began the night with worship. Dr. Jim Heiligman, 2nd vice president of Texas Baptists, and pastor of First Baptist Church, Bryan, brought greetings from Texas Baptists and shared, “I am convinced that... [continue]

Cowboy Church Rally encourages attendees to pray big


Moms, dads, brothers, sisters, and grandparents alike gathered on a beautiful Sunday night at Top Hand Cowboy Church in Valley Mills, Texas for a time of fellowship and to kick off the 132ndTexas Baptists Annual Meeting. The smell of southern barbecue filled the air and laughter and conversation flowed freely throughout the room as the church hosted the annual Cowboy Church Roundup on Nov. 12 in Waco.

Inside the church, a banner with vibrant red letters listed the church's main priorities: “Prayer, Bible study, serving God & others, and missions.” At the bottom of the banner read Matthew 22:37-40, the foundational verses of the... [continue]

Hispanic Baptists worship, emphasize being compelled to action


The Texas Baptists Hispanic family gathered Sunday night at Iglesia Bautista Maranatha in Waco to worship together, hear from pastors around the state, and encourage one another to live Compelled for Christ. The rally was one of three held on the first evening of the 2017 Texas Baptists Annual Meeting.

The first sermon of the evening focused on evangelism.

“A church in action is evangelism; a church in action is reaching the lost,” said Israel Villalobos, associate pastor of Plymouth Park Baptist Church in Irving.

If Texas Baptists want to be churches in action, Villalobos said, they need to look to Jesus’ example.

“Jesus was... [continue]