Kalie Lowrie

Singing Men of Texas celebrate 40 years of impact on music and worship

More than 1,200 attendees gathered on Tuesday evening to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Singing Men of Texas [SMOT], providing a beautiful ending to the 130th Annual Meeting for Texas Baptists. Hosted by Cottonwood Creek Baptist Church, in Allen, the concert featured 275 singers, with representatives from all six regional chapters.

Musical selections ranged from “Who Can Satisfy My Soul,” by Jernigan, to “Your God Will Come” by Fielding/Morgan/Williamson.

Jay Ghormley, conductor from SMOT South, shared about... [continue]

Hardage thanks Texas Baptists for commitment to impacting the state

Texas Baptists are engaged in exciting work around the state, according to Executive Director David Hardage’s report during Monday’s business session at the Annual Meeting.

Hardage introduced several staffers beginning new work around the state of Texas. David Scott serves as director of BOUNCE, a student-led disaster recovery effort for students from 6th grade through college. Scott invited churches to send their students to join in trips during Spring Break and in the summer of 2016 for disaster recovery and community... [continue]

Finding and restoring the lost

A large sign hangs in the hallway of nineteen:ten church with one simple word on display: Found. Each letter of the sign is made up of individual light bulbs. When a person accepts Christ as their Savior, turning their life from the darkness into the light, they turn on one light bulb, representing their decision. The sign serves as a reminder for church members and staff of the exciting new life found in Christ, and also of those who have yet to receive salvation.

The litmus test Pastor Jason Brown and his staff use to evaluate every component of their... [continue]

Freedom through surrender

Serving as a co-pastor at Community Life Church (C-Life) in Forney, Randy Wade wears multiple hats day-in and day-out. From pastor, counselor, mentor and friend to husband, father and son, Randy serves many people in a variety of ways.

One day last fall, as he began listing out his roles in life and how he thought he ranked in each one, it became very apparent something was not right. While many ministers and leaders in the church complimented Randy on his giftings, it was hard for him to honestly rank himself above a two on a 10-point scale in any... [continue]

Nine churches to be recognized for Cooperative Program giving during Annual Meeting

DALLAS – This year, during the Texas Baptists Annual Meeting in Frisco, nine churches will be recognized for their Cooperative Program giving. Since 1925, the Cooperative Program has provided the fuel to fund missions work in Texas, the United States and around the world.

“There is no way to measure, this side of heaven, the kingdom impact made by the sacrificial giving of thousands of Texas Baptists churches participating in CP over the last 90 years,” said Chris Liebrum, director of the Office of... [continue]

How can baby boomers impact millennials and why should we care?

In an address to baby boomers about their sphere of influence within churches today, David Kinnamon, president of Barna Group, encouraged attendees to take time to pour into the upcoming generations of millennials.

Kinnamon served as a keynote speaker at this year’s National Boomer and Senior Adult Ministry Conference hosted by Trinity Baptist Church in San Antonio. The event drew 215 attendees, representing 90 churches and organizations from 17 states.

Referring to present-day America as a “Digital Babylon,” Kinnamon... [continue]

Be unApologetic about your faith

Always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence. 1 Peter 3:15

Just as the biblical figures of Paul and Peter were ever-ready to give a defense to various groups for the hope that they had in Jesus, Christians today should arm themselves with scripture to defend their faith and the authenticity of the Bible.

According to Barna Research, 59-69 percent of people ages 18-29 are leaving the church or rethinking their faith. Mike Licona, a frequent... [continue]

Comm Shop Tip #33: Social media permission slips

Have parents in your church fill out social media permission slips before you post any photos of their children online. This is for their protection and your own.

What a baby boomer taught a millennial about life and work

According to Barna Group Research, the average tenure of an American employee per job is 4.4 years of service. They have found 91% of millennials expect to stay in a single job for less than three years. Only 27% of millennials have a clear goal for where they want to be in five years, and sadly, only 19% are extremely satisfied with their work or career.

I think my generation of millennials has a lot to learn from people like my friend, Looie (a baby boomer).

Looie Biffar starting working for Texas Baptists in... [continue]

College connection for your high school grad

At the end of the school year, high school seniors are recognized and their future plans are celebrated by family, friends and their local church. In the coming months, many students likely will be taking classes at junior colleges, colleges and universities within the state of Texas. Have you equipped your graduates with information on how to find a local church and get involved in a Baptist Student Ministry on their future campuses?

Of the 158 campuses in Texas, 115 campuses have a local BSM with a director ready and willing to connect with... [continue]

Comm Shop Tip #26: Images & Social Media

Use images as often as you can when posting content on social media. Pictures help your post stand out and engage your church members more than just words.

Hispanic Baptists urged to stand firm in faith

AUSTIN – An estimated 11 million Hispanics live in Texas, with projections of Hispanics becoming the largest ethnic group in the state within a decade. Currently, there are more than 1,100 Hispanic Baptist churches seeking to share the Gospel with this ever-increasing ethnic group.

This year, Convencion Bautista Hispana de Texas was hosted by Hyde Park Baptist Church in Austin, June 28-30, with 1,529 registrants in attendance, including 487 messengers. Many area church members also joined for worship services, with approximately 2,100 in... [continue]

Leadership Texas Baptists seeking emerging leaders

DALLAS – Texas Baptists is launching Leadership Texas Baptists this fall, a new program aimed at emerging leaders. Leadership Texas Baptists is a nine-month experience to engage, equip, and inform emerging leaders from churches across the state. Pastors, staff, and lay leaders accepted into the program will gather once a month in a cohort experience to hear from and dialog with BGCT leaders.

“We are excited to launch this new initiative aimed at identifying and equipping emerging Baptist leaders from around Texas,” said Dr. David... [continue]

Youth help rehabilitate homes in South Dallas through BOUNCE

Armed with hammers, power tools, paint and enthusiasm, 100 junior high and high school students flooded into South Dallas June 8-13 to help repair homes through Urban BOUNCE. The Texas Baptists Student Disaster Recovery program, which began in 2014, started a new track this year with an emphasis on urban areas in need of rehabilitation.

The students formed nine teams and worked on seven homes, identified and secured through a partnership with by People Helping People through the City of Dallas.

“Our partnership with People... [continue]

Jurassic World: Is bigger and better ever enough?

Spoiler alert: If you haven’t seen Jurassic World yet and you plan on seeing it, you may want to wait to read this post since a few plot points may be given away.

Just when you thought T-Rex was the scariest possible villain you could image, Jurassic World proves that scarier dinosaurs are possible.

While I’m not a well-respected cinema critic, I do enjoy seeing the latest blockbuster film, especially in the heightened summer time, when releases are even “bigger and better.” I went with some friends to see Jurassic World this... [continue]

When disaster hits home

WIMBERLEY – As Bobby Catt and his family were on vacation in his hometown of Wimberley over Memorial Day weekend, the flood waters rose and the small stream of the Blanco River swept homes off foundations and left many stranded.

Catt, who serves as a youth minister at First Baptist Church of San Angelo, knew as he assessed the damage on Monday morning he wanted to return as soon as possible to help his friends and former neighbors recover.

Nine days later, Catt and three members from his home church traveled to Wimberley to begin work. Their project was helping... [continue]

Executive Board encouraged by testimonies of BSMs, discuss church planting increases

DALLAS – Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) directors are being missional on college campuses, a place not like any other in America, Bruce McGowan, director of Collegiate Ministries shared with Executive Board members on Monday, May 18, during their May board meeting in Dallas.

“Thousands of students are gathered together with a common purpose of getting an education, going to class, and being open and willing to dialogue,” McGowan said. “Our goal is to incarnationally meet students on campus – to go where... [continue]

Go Now students encouraged to start sharing now

DALLAS – Rather than waiting to share the Gospel until Go Now missionaries arrive on the mission field, Joe Osteen encouraged students to starting sharing as soon as they leave, even on the plane. Osteen, BSM director at the University of Texas at Tyler, encouraged more than 200 college-aged students to embrace their callings this summer as they spread out around the world for mission projects.

The Go Now Missions Commissioning service was held in the Pilgrim Chapel at Dallas Baptist University on Sunday, May 24, following a weekend of... [continue]

TBDR seeks volunteers and funding to help Central Texas flood victims

SAN MARCOS – Following intense flooding in the Central Texas region of San Marcos and Wimberley, Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery is working to coordinate volunteers and funds to assist those in need. More than 400 homes have been destroyed in San Marcos, with assessment continuing in the town of Wimberley as to the number of homes damaged or destroyed.

Chris Liebrum, with TBDR, and Fred Ater, area representative, traveled to the region on Tuesday, May 26 to meet with local pastors about needs in the communities. On... [continue]

Comm Shop Tip #19: Encouragement through social media

Social media provides a great opportunity to engage your congregation in communication. Don’t just use it as a bulletin board for announcements. Be creative in the content that you share on your church’s page. Take polls, ask for ways to pray for church members or what about their favorite traditions. Use Twitter and Facebook as a two-way communication piece for your church to gain the most value.

Texas Baptists assist FBC Mineral Wells following tornado damage

MINERAL WELLS – A tornado tore through downtown Mineral Wells on Tuesday, May 19, damaging First Baptist Church, along with several local businesses. The next day, Texas Baptists were on-hand ready to help in a myriad of ways. David Scott, director of Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery, Chris Liebrum, director of Cooperative Program, and Joe Loughlin, director of Connections, traveled to the church to provide support and meet with Pastor Nathan Buchanan.

Additionally, a team from Texas Baptists Church Architecture assessed... [continue]

Cyclists weather storms to end hunger

When you are driven by a great cause, like working to end the cycle of hunger and poverty experienced by millions worldwide, a 500-mile bike ride seems a little more possible. Twenty-nine cyclists from across Texas, along with a few riders from Colorado and New York, joined together May 11-16 for the Sixth Annual Bike Out Hunger-Texas ride. This year, the team traveled from Boerne, near San Antonio, to Dallas with shared goals to raise money and awareness for hunger needs across Texas and around the world.

Funds raised by the cyclists were given to... [continue]

The Gospel of grace for Millennials and Gen Z

Researchers are spending hours upon hours studying millennials (born 1981-2000) and Gen Z (born 2001-present) – what they like, dislike, their passions and motivators. These upcoming generations, which comprise our youth groups, are clearly different than our parents’ or grandparents’ generations. But, similar to all the generations that have gone before, they are in desperate need of a Savior.

The youth which fill our churches across Texas need to be well-equipped with the tools necessary to share the Gospel with their friends. Super... [continue]

Texas Baptist Disaster Recovery Update on Nepal Earthquake

In response to the devastation experienced in Nepal following the 7.9 earthquake on April 25, Texas Baptist Disaster Recovery has been in communication with several partnering Baptist entities worldwide. TBDR leaders have been working with Asia Pacific Baptist Federation and Baptist World Aid through the Baptist World Alliance to receive updates and coordinate aid.

Funds are being collected through TBDR, (Click here to give) which will be appropriated to our Baptist partners in Nepal as needs are expressed.

The Texas Baptist... [continue]

Children in volatile community find hope and health through local ministry

Open House Ministries is a ministry actively seeking to alleviate hunger and poverty in Homestead, Florida. They receive funds from the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering, which help OHM in a variety of ways:
  • Providing healthy snacks for 70 students after school daily
  • Teaching elementary-aged students about nutrition and healthy eating habits as they help grow vegetables in six community garden beds
  • Interacting with youth and children through homework assistance, Bible stories, music, art, sports and
... [continue]

CLC opens doors for advocates to interact at the Capitol

AUSTIN – Advocates work for the best interest of all, the voiceless, or marginalized, Kathryn Freeman, director of public policy for the Christian Life Commission, shared with attendees at CLC Advocacy Day.

The event was hosted on April 9, at the First United Methodist Church in Austin, across the street from the State Capitol building. Listen to a review of the day here:

Executive Director David Hardage was in attendance for the day, giving a welcome to Advocacy Day attendees. Hardage was encouraged by the... [continue]

Comm Shop Tip #14: Stick with social media accounts

If you’ve created a social media account for your church or ministry, stick with it! Don’t just start a page, attract a lot of followers and then ignore the page for weeks/months at a time. Social media can be very valuable to help promote your ministry, but it does require time to curate content and respond to comments. If you are thinking about launching a new social media account, try making a month-long social media plan. If you can brainstorm enough content to populate your account 3-4 times per week, go for it! If you are… [continue]

Table for 12

The number of single adults in America is on the rise. There are 124.6 million singles in the U.S., which now outnumbers married adults over the age of 16 (Source: Bureau of Labor and Statistics, August 2014).

What that means is, now, more than any other time in the past century, more people are alone than ever before. But that does not have to be the case.

As a 30-year-old single adult, I could easily fall into the trap of woe-is-me, negativity and seclusion. But I believe the Lord created me for relationships, and while I’m not married yet, it does not mean that I have to... [continue]

Who’s your padre?

At a glance
  • 1,060 BSM students served at Beach Reach over the course of three weeks.
  • 110 salvations were recorded on South Padre Island.
  • 53 baptisms of new believers took place in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • 11,765 Gospel conversations took place on the beach, in vans, over pancakes and around the island.

At the end of my week at Beach Reach, I saw a t-shirt for sale in a local shop at South Padre Island asking a simple question: “Who’s your Padre?” First, the shirt struck me as a funny play on words. And then, I thought about it from a spiritual perspective and... [continue]

Champs Camp reaches community and empowers students

HARLINGEN – While spring break is time for teachers and students to take a vacation from classes, many parents working full-time jobs do not have resources available to find childcare for their children while they continue to work. First Baptist Church of Harlingen saw this need in their community 18 years ago and began a Spring Break sports week called Champs Camp.

This year, 215 children from first to fifth grade came to the church from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 16-20 for a week filled with fun, games, crafts, meals and a time to hear... [continue]

WOW: Christian Kid Jams from the 90s

When someone tells you to “Go West,” do you automatically follow it up with “Young Man?” If so, you might be a Christian kid of the 90s like me. I grew up as a PK (pastor’s kid) in East Texas where we jammed out with the best of them – Steven Curtis Chapman, Amy Grant, Michael W.Smith – you know the ones.

I was talking with a couple of my co-workers at lunch yesterday and we were reminiscing over our favorite contemporary Christian songs from our childhood and I thought I would put together a little compilation of some of the best. While I am... [continue]

​Moving mountains for Maggie

Blind, deaf, paralyzed, orphaned. All these words could have defined Maggie Mei Henderson, but by the power of God, this energetic two-year-old is now living with her forever family, walking, talking and seeing the world with curiosity and wonder.

Pastor Trent Henderson and his wife, Ginny, have seen the hand of the Lord move mountains for their daughter, Maggie. Trent serves at Heritage Park Baptist Church in the Friendswood and League City area, and his wife, Ginny, is a physical therapist. Born with a severe heart defect and orphaned as a newborn,... [continue]

Educating parents impacts communities

Two years ago Principal Marta Plata of Manuel Jara Elementary School realized her staff of excellent teachers and leaders could work tirelessly every year to seek to educate their students and empower them to be the best they could be. However, without positive reinforcement at home, many of the lessons taught in the classroom would not change the behaviors of their students.

Through collaboration with Primera Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Plata was able to begin a program called Parent University, which is a 13-week curriculum educating... [continue]

February 2015 Executive Board Review

DALLAS – Amidst ice and freezing temperatures, the Executive Board of the Baptist General Convention of Texas convened February 22-24 for their spring meeting.

During Tuesday’s combined business session, President Kathy Hillman encouraged the board members to be equipped to move forward as Texas Baptists. Using a compass, map and GPS, Hillman noted Biblical examples of preparation. “The right people must have the right tools, at the right time, for the right situations,” she said.

Dennis Russell, from the First Baptist Church of Amarillo, was elected... [continue]


Instagram is quickly becoming one of the most popular apps for Millennials and I am right there along with my peers. I love Instagram and check it multiple times each day (I would be embarrassed to actually count and admit how many times a day I check it).

The other day I was reading an article about how our constant desire to capture photos and share them with the people in our lives is changing the way we experience the world around us. Daniel Kahneman, a professor at Princeton University and Nobel laureate, said, “The 'Instagram Generation’ now experiences the... [continue]

Resisting Rest

When I think of the word “rest,” most of the time it’s my mom’s version of rest when I was a little girl. Every Sunday afternoon was mandatory nap time in the Lowrie house, being a pastor’s home bustling with four little girls where silence was hard to come by. Mom would tell us to go to our rooms for an hour to take a nap and when we whined and tried to convince her we weren’t tired, oftentimes we were told, “Well at least rest in your room for an hour.” I would count down the minutes until the hour was up and once again I was given my freedom. Rest equaled lack of... [continue]

Removing obstacles to evangelism

When Leslie Strobel became a Christian, she was so excited about the new life she had in Christ. But, she was also heavily burdened for her husband, Lee. A self-proclaimed atheist who actively pursued hedonism and pleasure over spiritual matters, Lee was far from Christ and Leslie worried that he would never be able to come to faith.

Within two years—after an intense investigation seeking to disprove the Bible, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and Christianity, along with the results of numerous prayers from his wife—Lee found himself kneeling... [continue]

Questions and faith

Do you have questions and anxiety rise up when you think about sharing the Gospel? Will I know all the answers to their questions? What if they ask me something I can’t explain? What if I stumble upon my words?

Think about it from an unbeliever’s perspective. What questions might stand in the way from receiving the Gospel? Can you show positive proof Jesus was who he said he was? How do you know who really wrote the Bible? How do you know everything in the Bible is true? Do heaven and hell really exist?

There are many questions building obstacles between... [continue]

You are not alone

Last Sunday, I walked into church with two friends looking for a place to sit. I saw one of our elderly ladies sitting by herself, so I walked up and asked if we could join her. She hugged me and said, “Yes, of course! I hate sitting alone. Thank you so much for joining me.“

She has been widowed for several years and she went on to tell me sometimes when she cannot find someone to sit with in church it makes her cry. What she said really stuck with me the rest of the day, and it also served as a good reminder. Sometimes, I think being single in church is only hard when... [continue]

Lessons from A Christmas Carol

On my way out the door to the airport last week I realized I needed a book to read on my plane ride to New York. I quickly glanced on my shelf and Charles Dicken’s classic A Christmas Carol caught my eye. I must have bought it several years ago when I was on a classics kick at Barnes & Noble – I purchased one almost every time I went in the store. Since it’s Christmastime and my mom and I were headed to New York to enjoy all of the holiday festivities, I thought this was the perfect time to read it.

Prior to opening the book, my knowledge of the classic... [continue]

​Texas Baptists approve 2015 budget, elect new officers at Annual Meeting

WACO – During the 129th Annual Meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, several important business items were discussed, voted on and approved.

On Tues., Nov. 18, at 9:30 a.m., Earl Ann Bumpus, chair of the Committee on Credentials announced 1,240 messengers and 515 visitors had registered for a total of 1,755 in attendance at the meeting held at the Waco Convention Center.

President Jeff Johnson presided over the business portions of the meeting, held on Monday afternoon from 1:00-3:00 p.m. and Tuesday... [continue]

City Reach Waco shares Gospel and inspires local churches in evangelism

In a celebration luncheon on Monday during Annual Meeting, there was cause for much rejoicing as stories were shared of evangelism outreach throughout Waco and the surrounding Central Texas area. City Reach Waco, an intentional emphasis on evangelism in the Annual Meeting host city, involved a prayer initiative, soccer tournament, prison outreach and neighborhood block parties.

Vince Smith, director of missions for Collin Baptist Association, shared about an initiative in Collin County to pray for every home... [continue]

​Texas Baptists elect diverse officer panel

WACO – Texas Baptists have elected the most diverse officer panel in the 129-year history of the Annual Meeting. Kathy Hillman, messenger from Columbus Avenue Baptist Church in Waco, has been elected President, marking the second woman to hold the office. The election was held during the Monday afternoon Business Session in Chisholm Hall at the Waco Convention Center.

Additionally, René Maciel, president of Baptist Univeristy of the Américas, was elected as First Vice President and Bedalo Yirga, pastor of Ethiopian Evangelical Baptist Church... [continue]

​Texas Baptists gather in Waco for Annual Meeting

WACO – Texas Baptists’ will welcome messengers to the annual meeting November 16-18 in Waco. The meeting, held at the Waco Convention Center, is centered on the theme “Live the Difference” with a special emphasis on ministry opportunities through Advocacy/Care and Chaplaincy, including the Christian Life Commission.

Registration begins at 4 p.m. on Sunday, November 16, and rallies for Hispanic and African American Ministries, as well as Texas Baptist Men, will begin at 6 p.m.

Monday morning registration will open at 8 a.m. and workshops... [continue]

Engage 24 stories from around the state

Engage 24, an intentional one-day emphasis on evangelism, was held this year on October 14. Texas BSMs found unique ways to embrace the emphasis on their campuses, some making it a week-long event and others choosing more than one day to reach their campus.

The goal behind Engage 24 is to empower students to get on their campuses and in their communities and start Gospel-centered conversations. Below are stories from BSMs across the state about the impact of the intentional outreach.

Texas A&M University

At Texas A&M University, the... [continue]

Churches built to last

MIDLAND – Churches, like the human body, have a natural life cycle. The average lifespan of a church is around 70 years, unless something supernatural happens to further its impact, according to David Lowrie, senior pastor of First Baptist Church El Paso.

Lowrie was one of two keynote speakers during the “Built to Last” Conference hosted by First Baptist Church in Midland Oct. 9-10. The conference was organized for church leaders around the state to come together to learn how to build a solid church foundation. Dr. Randel Everett, president of the 21st Century... [continue]

Texas Baptists prepare to Live the Difference

WACO – Texas Baptists’ annual meeting November 16-18 in Waco will be an opportunity to see what it means to truly “Live the Difference.” The meeting, to be held at the Waco Convention Center, is centered on the theme verse from 1 John 2:6 with a special emphasis on ministry opportunities through Advocacy/Care and Chaplaincy, including the Christian Life Commission.

“This is an exciting time for our convention as we pave the way for our future and focus on what it means for us to 'live the difference,’” said Executive Director David Hardage.... [continue]

Saying thanks to your pastor

Being a pastor can many times be a thankless job. One works seemingly 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – going from meeting to counseling session to hospital visit. Not to mention the time needed to prepare for Sunday’s sermon, Wednesday’s Bible study, a luncheon for Senior Adults and a youth fellowship on Friday night.

Between all of the week’s activities, there are also opinions from church members on everything from the color of the carpet in the sanctuary to the dessert served on Wednesday night.

Pastor’s hear it all – but two words they may not hear very... [continue]

Executive Board approves purchase of BUA property

DALLAS – During the September 29 business session of the Baptist General Convention of Texas Executive Board, it was unanimously approved for the convention to purchase 12.87 acres of land in San Antonio currently owned by the Baptist University of the Americas. The land will be purchased for $4.373 million, with an additional cash payment of $200,000 to pay off two bank loans held by the university.

“Thank you for walking alongside them [BUA] in this time of need,” said Dr. David Hardage, executive director. “We will continue... [continue]

Internet Church and you

Live streaming, podcasting, providing worship services online…there are many different ways for churches today to offer online options for their congregations. What works for one church may not work for another, but there are a myriad of options available for churches interested in providing an online community, connections and resources to their members. Lake Pointe Church in Dallas is hosting the iMinistry Conference on October 14-16 and I will be attending this conference to learn more about options available for our Texas Baptist churches.

I visited... [continue]

Hand-painted prayer reminders

ADAMSVILLE – Betty Rials was looking for a way to remind her church members at Adamsville Baptist Church to pray for state missions during the WMU of Texas Mary Hill Davis emphasis week. She looked out in her front yard and found the answer – bricks! Betty became a brick collector about 25 years ago, and knew the value of the bricks made in Ferris, Texas, between 1902 and 1903.

She gathered together 12 bricks and began painting the names of River Ministry Coordinators Mario Garcia, Dr. Gloria de la Pena, and Vanessa Quintanilla on them. After an especially... [continue]

​Texas Baptists raise $182,000 for hunger through Mother’s Day Offering

DALLAS – Texas Baptists gave more than $182,000 to help end hunger and poverty through the Second Annual Mother’s Day Hunger Offering. These gifts are used for hunger relief and anti-poverty programs both in Texas and abroad.

“As Texas Baptists we heed God’s call to minister to those in need, in Texas and around the world,” said Dr. David Hardage, executive director.

The Texas Baptist Hunger Offering strives to show the power of God’s love to those in need. Ministries supported through the offering range from feeding... [continue]

Construction nears completion for 16 Filipino pastors’ homes

ILOILO CITY, the Philippines – In January, Texas Baptist churches were asked to respond to a great need in the Philippines following damage cause by Typhoon Haiyan. A request was sent out from Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery for churches to help raise $80,000 for the rebuilding of 16 pastors’ homes. Pledges filed in quickly, with the remaining eight being made during the February 25 executive board meeting.

This summer, Civil Engineer Fred Golveo was sent by the First Philippine Baptist Church in Missouri City to... [continue]

Where the healing begins

This story is 2 of a 3-part series addressing the effects of sexual abuse and the power of healing through Jesus Christ.

Sexual abuse is a sensitive subject and many times hearing about the pain and struggles loved ones have experienced through this type of abuse can be extremely difficult. Many people can be prone to want to gloss over the hard details and look for the silver lining or try and tie a little bow on the story and move on. However, for those suffering from sexual abuse, this is far from what they actually need.

There is power in the spoken... [continue]

Because of where you have been

This story is 1 of a 3-part series addressing the effects of sexual abuse and the power of healing through Jesus Christ.

Tricia Martin* was a fun-loving preacher’s kid in the 1970s who played outside constantly and never met a stranger. Though she was small for her age, she never felt inferior or out of place, that was just the way God made her. She grew up in a loving, Christ-centered home and knew she was accepted and valued.

When she was eight years old, Tricia was sexually abused by one of the men in her church, a man whom she knew and trusted.... [continue]

Dallas shelter & 'For the Children fund’ open doors for Texas Baptists to care for border children

DALLAS — Seeking to fulfill the commands of Jesus in Matthew 25 to provide for those in need, Texas Baptists have an opportunity to provide care for unaccompanied children who have crossed the border and will soon be transported to Dallas through volunteer opportunities and a new “For the Children” fund.

Dallas County has volunteered to open a temporary shelter in the area to house 2,000 unaccompanied children. On Tues., July 1, Texas Baptist representatives, along with more than 30 faith-based groups in the... [continue]

Hispanic Baptists focus on discipleship at Convencion 2014

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... [continue]

Hispanic Baptists seek ways to help border crisis

MCALLEN — The crisis along the Texas/Mexico border regarding more then 47,000 unaccompanied children was on the hearts and minds of those attending Hispanic Baptist Convention of Texas in McAllen this week.

“It is necessary for us to bring attention to the humanitarian crisis affecting tens of thousands finding themselves abandoned and in need of basic necessities,” said Jesse Rincones, executive director of Hispanic Baptist Convention of Texas, during the Monday morning session. “We are here to express our commitment as Hispanic Baptists... [continue]

CLC approves Resolution on Immigrant Children Crisis

DALLAS — The Christian Life Commission has called on Texas Baptists to respond in a compassionate way to the influx of unaccompanied immigrant children and teenagers along the southern United States border.

Commissioners approved a resolution Friday, June 27, outlining the current situation involving immigrant minors who are fleeing poverty and violence in Central America. More than 46,000 immigrant children have crossed the border since October 2013. The CLC is the Texas Baptist body which deals with ethical and public policy issues.

In... [continue]

Eternal victories through soccer tournaments

GUADALAJARA — As the little boys gathered around preparing for the final game in their soccer tournament, River Ministry coordinator Pedro Munoz reminded them that this was the moment they had been preparing for over the past month.

“Some of you will be winners today, as your team wins the tournament, but all of you can be winners if you give your life to Jesus Christ,” he said.

Arenas, the area where these boys were playing, can be very dangerous at times. When Pedro was on the street the day before, he encountered teenagers with cocaine and... [continue]

The need for No Mas Violencia in Guadalajara

GUADALAJARA — People are gathering across the globe in masses to cheer on their favorite team in the World Cup. Watch parties have emerged in several areas in Guadalajara as nationals cheer on the Mexican team, or enjoy watching games like Greece vs. Japan. This week, amongst soccer jerseys and team paraphernalia, individuals wearing black shirts with the simple message “No Mas Violencia” can be found around the city. Churches in the Emmanuel Baptist Regional Association in Guadalajara have handed out 35,000 flyers around the city, promoting the… [continue]

Christian Life Commission announces office relocation to Austin

DALLAS — The Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission has announced a relocation of all offices from Dallas to Austin effective Sept. 1.

“This is an exciting decision that will enhance the effectiveness of the Christian Life Commission,” said Dr. David Hardage, executive director. “Having the CLC in one location in Austin makes it easier for our churches to engage with the CLC’s ministry and mission. It also positions us in close proximity to the state government to better garner support for our legislative priorities.“

The... [continue]

Summer Disaster Recovery trips need volunteers

DALLAS – Texas Baptist Disaster Recovery is looking for volunteers to assist with summer trips responding to areas devastated by floods, wildfires and tornadoes. Recovery efforts will take place in Estes Park, Colorado; Mayflower, Arkansas; Eagle Pass, Texas; and Fritch, Texas.

“Every year, thousands of homes are destroyed and lives are lost by disasters. Recovery from these disasters is long, hard and costly,” said Marla Bearden, disaster recovery specialist. “The goal of recovery is to bring a community back to a new normal after a... [continue]

Risenhoover named associate endorser for chaplaincy relations

DALLAS – Texas Baptists have named Chaplain Georgia Risenhoover, of Granbury, associate endorser for Chaplaincy Relations. Risenhoover is the first woman to be named to the position and she will also serve as state coordinator of “Hands on Ministry,” a teaching certification program for volunteer chaplains.

“Georgia is well qualified for these positions,” said Bobby Smith, director of Texas Baptist Chaplaincy Relations.

Smith also noted he expects Risenhoover to greatly expand the “Hands on Ministry” program.

Ordained by Agape... [continue]

Executive Board approves building sale, agreement with STSCS

DALLAS -Baptist General Convention of Texas Executive Board convened on Mon., May 19, and Tues., May 20. Several decisions were made, including the sale of the BGCT’s Dallas facility to Baylor University for $16 million. For more information on the building sale, click here.

“The discussions and sale of the building is a spiritual and stewardship decision,” said Dr. David Hardage, executive director. “As the face of Texas continues to change, so will the way we do church, the way we do convention and the way we collaborate to reach... [continue]

Texas Baptists announces sale of Dallas facility

DALLAS – The Executive Board of the Baptist General Convention of Texas unanimously approved the sale of the Convention’s Dallas facility to the Baylor University School of Nursing during a meeting on Tues., May 20.

The 100,000 square foot facility, located at 333 N. Washington Avenue in Dallas, will be purchased for $16 million through a combination of monetary funds and in-kind gifts.

David Hardage, Executive Director of Texas Baptists, announces the sale of the Convention’s Dallas facility.... [continue]

State Youth Bible Drill and Speakers Tournament Winners Named

The 2014 Texas Baptist State Youth Bible Drill and Speakers Tournament was held at the Baptist Building on May 2 and 3. There were 82 participants from 29 churches who competed over the weekend.

Overall, for 2014, there were 991 participants in Texas Baptist Bible Drill and Speakers Tournaments from 130 churches competing in six regional events. The highest-scoring youth from each region traveled to Dallas for the annual state competition.

State Winners included:

Youth Bible Drill (7-9th grades) 1st Place – Zachary... [continue]

Into the wood

BROWNWOOD – Today was a recovery ride for most of the cyclists, with a shorter distance of 59 miles from San Saba to Brownwood. While it may have been less miles, it still proved to be challenging for the riders. Some got dropped in the midst of continuous hills, but all in all, everyone enjoyed another great day of riding and raising awareness and funds to end the cycle of hunger with a great group of people.

We had a few riders join us for the day, including Rodney McGlothlin, pastor of First Baptist Church Brownwood, and his wife, Debbie. Tonight, FBC Brownwood hosted us for... [continue]

Never too young

FREDERICKSBURG – You don’t have to be an expert cyclist to take part in the week-long Bike Out Hunger event. Our youngest rider this year, Gertie Kate Adair, is only seven years old.

Gertie Kate is from Dripping Springs and she is a proud supporter of her dad, Ben. Last year, when Ben spent the week riding with Bike Out Hunger, Gertie Kate decided that she wanted to join her dad for his next ride.

“I’ve been waiting a whole year for this,” she said. When asked why, she said she really likes to ride her bike and spend time with her dad, and she wanted to help.

She rode 9.42... [continue]

Parents learn skills for raising highly capable kids

FORT WORTH – Twenty-nine parents from Manuel Jara Elementary School set aside time for 11 weeks this spring to learn tools, skills and confidence to raise healthy, caring, and responsible children through Parent University. A graduation ceremony was held on Wednesday, April 30, to recognize the achievement of the parents.Many officials from the city council, county and school board members were in attendance to celebrate the successful program.

Funded through gifts from Primera Baptist Church in Fort Worth, the curriculum entitled Raising... [continue]

Backpacks of food and hope provided through Hunger Offering

FREEPORT – Most children look forward to 3 p.m. on Friday afternoon, signaling the end of school and beginning of the weekend. There are roughly 65 hours between Friday afternoon and Monday morning when school starts again. Many kids delight in these hours, but for children who do not have food at home, the hours can be long and hard. While many schools have feeding programs for breakfast and lunch for students in need, the weekends can be a time when food is scarce.

Operation Backpack, supported through the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering,... [continue]

Congreso Nation is Everlasting for 50th Anniversary

WACO – Congreso is an experience thousands have encountered over the past 50 years. What began in 1964 as a ministry to Hispanic Baptist students has continued to impact thousands of lives across the state.

This year, from Apr. 17-19, more than 4,000 youth and college students gathered in Baylor University’s Ferrell Center for the weekend focused on “Everlasting.” Students worshiped with abandon, with 127 coming forward to give their lives to Christ, 51 rededications and 32 feeling called to ministry.

“I am glad to be here because I know I am... [continue]

WMU reflects on defining moments at annual meeting

GEORGETOWN – Sharing of God’s faithfulness in the midst of many trials, Steve McCord stated, “We are not compelled but surrendered to Him who loved us with an everlasting love.“

The theme of surrender was tied with the overall “Defining Moments” focus during WMU of Texas Annual Meeting and Missions Celebration at First Baptist Georgetown Apr. 4-5. McCord, global research analysis services team leader with the International Mission Board in Richmond, Virginia, was one of many missionaries featured at the meeting, which drew 700 people from... [continue]

Honduras: A display of His splendor

CENICERA, Honduras – The kids here in Honduras have stolen my heart! Last night we attended a worship service at a house church in Cenicera, just a few miles from Gracias. When we arrived, I recognized several of the kids from the day before when we were at their house interviewing their parents. One precious girl named Ruby came up and hugged me, followed by another six I had never met before. They looked up at me with these beautiful eyes and told me their names. I hugged them each back and repeatedly asked, “Como estas?” (the only Spanish I really know).

Ruby... [continue]

Hunger in Honduras: The face of a thankful heart

CATULACA, Honduras – Felipe is paralyzed from the waist down after a tragic accident about five years ago. He has undergone eight surgeries and was forced to sell most of his land to pay for the medical procedures. He was the primary breadwinner for his family of six and now many times they wonder how they will eat. The family raises pigs for income and has many chickens roaming around the yard to provide sustenance.

When we arrived at his house today, Felipe, his wife, daughter and brother were overjoyed to see Shannon Hopkins, a missionary with 61... [continue]

Hunger in Honduras: Bringing hope across a footbridge

GRACIAS, Honduras – Today, we saw the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering in action, with three men carrying nearly 60 pounds of food on their backs, across a shaky wooden footbridge to a family in need. Shannon Hopkins and his friends, Kevin and Hugo, carried the load of food to a family of 15, living in extreme poverty.

Shannon serves as a missionary with 61 Isaiah Ministries, a ministry that receives funding from the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering, and seeks to provide food to those in crisis situations in and around Gracias, Honduras. 61... [continue]

How to seek God through frustration

GEORGETOWN – Frustration is a theme everyone will journey through at one point or another, according to Dave Edwards, keynote speaker for the Single Adult Rally on Apr. 5, “One is a whole number.“

“Frustration occurs anytime our expectations and reality collide,” Edwards shared with single adults from across the state.

Referencing Genesis 40, Edwards detailed how Joseph overcame a long season of frustration in his life to come to the point where God could use him most effectively.

“The Bible teaches us how to journey through this season and come out on the other side... [continue]

Women in ministry conference encourages women to embrace leadership

WACO – Women in ministry should embrace leadership in the areas God has called them to, according to speakers at the Texas Baptists Women in Ministry Conference held at George W. Truett Theological Seminary on Mar. 25.

“As a woman in ministry, you should have a sense of call,” said Bernadine Davis, minister of discipleship and spiritual formation at David Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Austin. “You need to understand the nature of that call, pursue quality education to have a solid foundation for your ministry, and make... [continue]

Hunger Offering helps family overcome poverty in Bangladesh

BHALUKA UPAZILA, Bangladesh – Conditions were hard for Asma Khatun and her family of five, living in extreme poverty in a small village in Bangladesh. While her husband, Babul Dhaly, worked hard to provide, they did not own any land to plant crops and they were not able to earn enough income to provide three meals a day for their family.

Asma was looking for a way to help her family out of poverty. She heard about a savings group program for women assisted by the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering, and soon she began attending... [continue]

Hunger funds help mom find a shoulder to lean on

NEW BRAUNFELS – Gloria Mata needed help. Medical bills from her daughter’s illness stacked up, and the single mother realized she no longer had enough money to put food on the table for her family of six.

Deliverance came in the form of a voucher from her daughter’s school that referred Mata to the Harvest Food Pantry, a ministry of New Braunfels Christian Ministries, which is funded in part through Texas Baptists’ special Mother’s Day Hunger Offering.

“When I came here, I didn’t feel like I was receiving a hand-out. I found a shoulder to lean on,” Mata said. “As a mother,... [continue]

Miracles don’t just happen in the Bible

Joseph Parker, pastor of David Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, in Austin, received a heart transplant on Jan. 23, 2013, following more than ten years of heart issues. Two weeks ago, he was able to meet the family of the donor who saved his life. He shared his story with the Executive Board during their meeting on Monday, Feb. 24.

One of the nurses asked when the doctor came into my room, “Where was the heart from?” The surgeon said, “Not far, I just need to go get it.” The only thing I knew was that there had been some vehicular accident that lead to the... [continue]

Executive Board adopts Engage24 as emphasis for Texas Baptists

DALLAS – During their Feb. 25 meeting, the Baptist General Convention of Texas Executive Board voted to adopt Engage24, challenging every Texas Baptist to share the gospel with at least one person on Oct. 14, 2014. This day of intentional evangelism will be held in conjunction with a National Collegiate Ministry initiative to share Christ on campuses across North America

“This is a chance for us as, Texas Baptists, to show the power of 24 hours,” said Nathan Buchanan, a member of the Baptist Student Ministries committee and pastor... [continue]

Texas Baptists endorse first oil patch chaplains

DALLAS – Texas Baptists endorsed Hollas and Nelda Hoffman as the first Oil Patch Chaplains on Monday, February 24, during a meeting of the Executive Board. The Hoffmans, of Gonzales, will serve on the oil fields of South Texas as chaplains.

“Endorsement lends integrity, character, responsibility and accountability to a pastoral ministry in a specialized setting,” said Bobby Smith, director of Chaplaincy Relations. “Chaplaincy is a respected program of Texas Baptists. Endorsement provides a sense of worth and accountability and provides... [continue]

Church Strategists: Connecting and helping meet needs across Texas

On April 17, 2013, an explosion at a fertilizer plant forever changed the community of West, Texas. Richard Mangum, Texas Baptist church strategist for Central Texas, was in the town talking with local pastors and helping assess needs in the area within a few hours of the disaster.

As a church strategist, one of Mangum’s primary responsibilities is to connect with local pastors and help them in times of need. By being on the scene quickly after a disaster, strategists like Mangum can be the serving hands of Texas Baptists and... [continue]

Record number of students respond to 'Who will go?’

MIDLOTHIAN – Who will go? That is the question that Go Now Missions has been asking college students around the state for the past year. This weekend, 205 students responded to that question with willing and able hearts as they attended Discovery Weekend, an interview and application weekend for summer and fall student missions.

“This is the largest group of students we have ever had,” said Brenda Sanders, director of Go Now missions. “We have been praying that students would hear God and obey. This is the first step in obedience.“

Discovery Weekend... [continue]

Texas Baptists give record $953,000 toward Hunger Offering

DALLAS – Texas Baptists gave more than $953,000 to the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering in 2013 to help address hunger and poverty issues around the world. This is the largest amount raised through the offering since its creation in 1995, and an increase of $200,000 from 2012.

“I am humbled by the generosity of churches and individuals around the state who chose to give to the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering,” said Dr. David Hardage, executive director. “Without them, we, as an organization could not do what we do. Thank you to all of... [continue]

Wilson named director of church evangelism

Dr. Charles Wilson has been named director of church evangelism for Texas Baptists.

Through his work, Wilson will coordinate ENGAGE evangelistic conferences across the state, as well as assist associations and churches in helping to inspire and equip individuals to be more effective in evangelism.

“Our vision is to help Texas reach Texas for Christ,” Wilson said. “We want to work within the Baptist family on the state, associational and local level to more confidently and comfortably present the Gospel to every segment of our culture.“

A pastor for... [continue]

Antoine named bivocational pastor ministry director

DALLAS – Texas Baptists named Ira Antoine director of bivocational pastor ministry.

With a growing number of pastors serving in bivocational ministry across the state, Antoine will serve as a resource for these ministers.

“The mission of this ministry is to serve as a resource to Texas Baptist churches and associations in developing a model for Bivocational Pastor Ministry that will result in a significant increase in available, truly-called, and well-equipped bivocational pastors,” Antoine said.

In his new role, he will coordinate and... [continue]

Trusting in the hard places

Go Now missionaries returning home from a semester of serving around the world sat in a panel discussion across from new students preparing to go during their January retreat in the BSM at the University of Texas at Arlington. The nine college students returning from service were in a time of debriefing, while the eight students preparing to go were part of orientation.

The unique nature of the night was that all of the students in the room had the same heart for sharing Christ with the world.

As the new semester missionaries asked questions like, “What was the... [continue]

Students learn 'God can use my life’

EDINBURG – On a sunny Friday afternoon, five freshmen students walked across campus at the University of Texas – Pan American pulling a wagon filled with lemonade, musical instruments and salvation tracks. Their destination was the courtyard in front of the campus library, where they set up tables and began serving drinks and playing worship music with the intention of reaching out to their fellow students.

These students were part of the Baptist Student Ministry at UTPA and are just a few of the many that reach out to fellow students on a daily basis to... [continue]

Texas Baptists provide testimony at federal hearing on arbitration

DALLAS – Two Texas Baptist pastors raised concerns about payday and car title lending practices during meetings with the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau leadership in Dallas on Dec. 12.

Jeff Johnson, pastor of First Baptist Church in Commerce and president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, and Steve Wells, pastor of South Main Baptist Church in Houston, addressed CFPB Director Richard Cordray and other staff members of the federal body which oversees consumer financial products and services.

“Wise federal... [continue]

Texas team brings supplies, assesses disaster in Philippines

ESTANCIA, the Philippines – Pastor Michael Rama huddled with his wife and their 11-month-old son in the Estancia Baptist Church parsonage as the winds and waters from Typhoon Haiyan pounded their home in the coastal town of Estancia. The winds soon took off their roof and they rushed into the adjoining church sanctuary, where they found 100 church members and friends seeking refuge. God protected their lives that day and Pastor Rama continues to praise the Lord for His blessings since the storm ravaged their town.

Rama was one of... [continue]

Philippines Typhoon: Be still and know

AJUY, the Philippines – During Typhoon Haiyan, many people were forced to evacuate their homes to seek higher ground or safer refuge. Villagers from Bobog needed to escape the remote area they were living in because of the great danger from the many trees around them and falling structures. As they were walking, Pastor Enlyn Rubrico shared with us that the fish ponds on either side of the road were rising up and they were not sure how they would cross. Suddenly, as they reached the crossing point, the waters receded and there was dry land for the villagers… [continue]

Philippines Typhoon: Refuge and Strength

ESTANCIA, the Philippines – Touring the coastal city of Estancia today was heartbreaking and overwhelming at times. The reality and the gravity of the situation hit each of us at different points and it was a very emotional day. The damage seemed to be even more severe than what we saw in Concepcion yesterday.

Houses have been reduced to rubble. Uprooted trees are everywhere you turn, some completely stripped of their bark, showing the powerful force of the winds and the water. Power lines are down on many streets and some homes have turned them into... [continue]

Philippines Typhoon: Smile through the storm

CONCEPCION, the Philippines – Pastor Noel and his family sat together in their home, praying that the Lord would protect and deliver them from Typhoon Haiyan. While they were huddled together, the storm blew around them and they heard a large crash and fall just yards away from their home.

When the rain stopped and the wind died down, they walked outside to see Hillside Gospel Church completely demolished. The pile of wood, metal and concrete that remains is a visible representation of the destruction of the storm, but it is also a testimony of God’s... [continue]

Philippines Typhoon: Arrival

ILOILO CITY, the Philippines – We arrived safely in the Philippines on Monday after many hours of travel. We were greeted at the airport in Manila by several friends of the Dagohoys who treated us to a delicious Filipino lunch and then transported us to our final airport for the flight to Iloilo City. One of their friends, Mae, is a local doctor and director of the Ruth Foundation for Palliative Medicine and Hospice Care in Manilla. Less than two weeks after the typhoon struck, she traveled to Concepcion with her foundation to provide medical relief to... [continue]

Churches partner to feed children in Haiti

GONZALES – Baptist churches across South Central Texas joined together this holiday season to prepare 128,000 meals to feed needy children in Haiti. The area-wide packing event began as an idea more than a year ago through the Gonzales and Gambrell Baptist Associations’ annual meeting.

Several churches had prior involvement in clean up efforts and disaster recovery trips to the impoverished nation, still rebuilding from the earthquake that devastated the country three years ago. Associational leaders agreed to have special offerings in their churches... [continue]

Philippines Typhoon: Preparing to go

Our disaster assessment team of six leaves for the Philippines in four days to respond to the disaster that has affected so many following Typhoon Haiyan. Comprised of BGCT staff, disaster assessment “yellow caps” from Texas Baptist Men, and a Filipino pastor and his wife, we are all going with the hope of helping those in need.

Pastor Ernest Dagohoy has done a wonderful job working with friends and family in the Iloilo province and the Convention of the Philippine Baptist Churches to plan our itinerary. While we are in the province, we will be visiting... [continue]

Providing spiritual nourishment for those in need

CORPUS CHRISTI – Juan Rena was hungry and hurting when he came to the Crossbridge Fellowship Church food pantry. He had no idea how the Lord would change his life in the following year and lead him to become the director of the ministry that impacted him in so many ways.

Addicted to cocaine and meth for more than 25 years, Juan wanted to find a way to turn his life around and find meaning again. He was also in need of food, which led him to Crossbridge’s food pantry just a few streets away from his home where he could come twice a month for essential... [continue]

Bringing God to soldiers and soldiers to God

FORT SILL, OK – Twenty-four soldiers dressed in PT uniforms sat on the chapel stage on Quarry Hill before Spiritual Formation classes began. From varied backgrounds and more than 20 states across the country, the soldiers had little in common. This day, Sept. 29, however, would be a day they would each remember – it was the day they were going to be baptized.

Each stood before a room filled with their peers and shared their testimony: how they knew they needed Christ, how God has changed their lives and what they are going to strive for in their new... [continue]

Building community one house at a time

PEÑITAS – Down a road devoid of many street signs, and yet to be tracked by Google maps, stands a brand-new purple house shining at the end of the block. This house now belongs to the Lozada family – Miguel, Julia, Hosea (14) and Miguel, Jr. (4) -built with love by 25 women in Woman’s Missionary Union of Texas

The third consecutive year to construct a house in Peñitas, WMU has partnered with Buckner International and the Rio Grande Valley Baptist Association to build a better way of life in this small colonia in South Texas. The home, which... [continue]

Texas Baptists increase giving to SBC by 2.7%

DALLAS – Texas Baptists’ giving to the Southern Baptist Convention for 2013 has increased by 2.7% as compared to giving reports from the same time period in 2012.From January through September of 2013, Texas Baptist churches gave $8.5 million to support the SBC Cooperative Program, compared with $8.3 million in 2012.

Trends in annual giving to the SBC had been declining since 2007, according to Texas Baptists Treasurer Jill Larsen.

“The increase shows that Texas Baptists churches treasure our affiliation with the SBC as a national and... [continue]

Engaging Students in Sharing the Gospel

ARLINGTON – Christian college students across the nation set out on Oct. 10, with a common goal in mind – to share Christ. Through Engage24, students involved in Baptist Student Ministries were each encouraged to engage one person in a conversation about Jesus, and that is just what they did.

Morgan McAree, a junior at the University of Texas at Arlington, shared her faith for the first time and it made all the difference in her life, and in the life of the fellow student she talked with on campus.

Prior to Engage24, Morgan knew Jesus as her... [continue]

Memorial set for HSU Senior Taylor Huff

Memorial service arrangements for Taylor Huff have been set for 11 a.m. on Thursday, November 14, 2013, at the Church on Rush Creek: Green Oaks Campus, 2350 S.W. Green Oaks Blvd., in Arlington, TX, 76017.

Huff passed away in a pedestrian/vehicle accident in Abilene early Sunday. He was a member of the Hardin-Simmons football team and was a senior exercise science major.

“These guys will honor Taylor by taking the field,” said Hardin-Simmons University head coach Jesse Burleson in a news conference this morning as he discussed the difficulty of... [continue]

Business Leadership Principles Translate into the Ministry

ARLINGTON – Leadership principles from the business world can be translated to ministry principles as youth ministers across Texas learned during Leadership Tuesday at Youth Ministry Conclave. Colleen Barrett, president emeritus of Southwest Airlines, addressed attendees in an interview on Tues., Oct. 15, at the Arlington Convention Center, providing leadership strategies she learned through her time at the successful Dallas-based airline. The number one customer at Southwest Airlines is the employee, followed by the… [continue]

Community Resurrection

WACO – The resurrection of Christ continues to reverberate throughout inner city communities across the nation, according to presenters at the No Need Among You Conference.

“We are part of a beautiful movement committed to making God’s love manifest,” said Shane Claiborne, who ministers in Philadelphia. “Resurrection wasn’t just an event that happened 2,000 years ago; it is something we participate in every day. Now we can live in the confidence that life is more powerful than death.“

The author and founding member of The Simple Way said God has revitalized the area... [continue]

'Go Now’ to the ends of the Earth

Standing on a street corner looking towards the Financial District in New York City, Leilani Estrada could hear five languages being spoken at the same time.

“God really has brought all the nations together in NYC,” she said. “It is just amazing to see so many nations brought together on a little island called Manhattan.“

Leilani served as a Hispanic church planter in Queens, New York, for the summer through Go Now Missions, the student missions program for Texas Baptists. She and her partner, Erika Perez, both students from the University of Texas-Pan AM,... [continue]

Lebanese partnerships spread hope and aid to Syrian refugees

Spiritual revival is taking place in the midst of the Syrian crisis.

With the escalating disputes in Syria, many are fleeing to neighboring countries to escape the crossfire. Media reports depict the great suffering and desperation, yet “God is doing great things in the midst of a great crisis,” said Nabil Costa, executive director of the Lebanese Baptist Society. “The church is in revival in Syria. We are able to reach people we never dreamt of before.“

Costa acknowledges that the situation is extremely dangerous, but he has... [continue]