DALLAS--Over 900 Texas Baptists churches are located in the North Texas region surrounding Dallas, also known as Area 8, where diversity is vast and culture is ever-changing.
Texas Baptists has recently welcomed former pastors John Nguyen and Dowell Loftis to partner together as part-time area representatives for Area 8, which encompasses counties as far north as Grayson and Fannin Counties and as far south as Leon County.
The duo will work together to build relationships with pastors, key church leaders and directors of missions for Dallas area associations. They will also be available to fill pulpits and preach on behalf of Texas Baptists.
Nguyen joined Texas Baptists in September of last year, while Loftis joined Feb. 1 of this year.
Originally from South Vietnam, Nguyen has served 35 years as a pastor, including 24 years as senior pastor of the Vietnamese Baptist Church in Garland. Throughout his career, he has held a variety of ministerial roles and has served as president of the Vietnamese Baptist Fellowship in Texas for 20 years and president of the National Vietnamese Baptist Fellowship for North America for two terms.
Loftis has served as a chaplain for Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, and pastor of Hillcrest Baptist Church in Bryan and Shearer Hills Baptist Church in San Antonio. He also currently serves as interim pastor at Madison Hills Baptist Church in San Antonio.
There are now 10 area representatives covering the entire state of Texas, ministering to over 5,300 Texas Baptists churches and their associations. Joe Loughlin, connections team director, is confident Loftis and Nguyen will make great additions to the team and will effectively represent Texas Baptists in Area 8.
"With five decades of pastoral experience between them, having John and Dowell building relationships with and resourcing pastors in North Central Texas is an invaluable service to offer our churches," Loughlin said.
As part-time area representatives, Nguyen said they will each visit an average of 15 churches each week, building relationships with pastors and connecting with them in ways only they, as former pastors themselves, can.
"As former pastors, we know how challenging it is to be a pastor," he said. "We would like to spend time to pray with them, to visit with them, to share what we've learned, support them however we can and connect them with Texas Baptist with whatever need they may have."
Area representatives can help your church whenever a need arises, such as training, a pastorless period, declining or plateaued churches and more. All area reps have several years of experience serving on church staff which will aid in serving your church better. Find your church's area representative here.