rachel hendricks


What homes of restoration and redemption look like


Nestled next to both Texas Christian University and Paschal High School lies a small building, which is home to Southside City Church pastored by Darrel and Kim Auvenshine. Before Southside was a church, it began as a group of people meeting at a park to serve the HIV community of Fort Worth.

"We built our church on Matthew 25," Darrel Auvenshine said during an interview. "We wished to serve 'the least of these,' and that our church could feel like their home when they might not have one."

On the southside of Fort Worth poverty has been... [continue]

African American Fellowship encourages an attitude of humbleness and wisdom


THE COLONY—We may do things differently, we may think differently, we may worship in different styles, we may speak different languages, but God calls us to one Gospel, Dr. Ponce L. Brown, pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church and president of the African American Fellowship, encouraged guests at the African American Fellowship of Texas worship rally on Nov. 8.

Friendship Baptist Church in The Colony hosted the rally preceding the 2015 Texas Baptists Annual Meeting. Visitors engaged in worship facilitated by the... [continue]

Who are Millennials, and one simple step to reach them


Here's a photo of me. If I asked you to label me, what words would you assign to me? Let me help. Would it be hippie, hipster, rebel, health nut, sporty, trendy, troublemaker? If these are some of the labels you gave, you're probably right; I've identified with all of these, and more, but these labels don't define me. Really, I am a wife, I'm caring and passionate, I love deeply, I love living in relationship with my peers, but above all, I am a Christ-follower. I am a Christian. And I'm a Millennial.

So, as a Millennial, I... [continue]

What a beautiful refugee taught me about the American Dream


An estimated 30,000 refugees live within a three-mile portion of North Dallas called Vickery Meadow. In July, I had the priviledge to meet, visit and photograph (photos below) some of these beautiful Zomi refugees for a new Texas Baptists initiative called Project: Start. While much is being done in Vickery Meadow to aid refugees, many simply do not know what resources are available; Project: Start will be a physical location in Vickery Meadow specifically designed to connect refugees to resources.

Nu Niang Hoih, a young... [continue]

Reflections on my marriage: an amazing six months later


The last couple of weeks, news of Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert's divorce has swarmed the media. FOX News and CNN are running stories on it, as well as the usual pieces in People Magazine and Us Magazine. In 2010, Shelton told Us Weekly this would be his last marriage, and in his "God Gave Me You" music video we can see Lambert saying, "We made it through the unthinkable, we have made it through everything we can possibly make it through. I know we have a lot more trials and tribulations to go, but I'm ready to join in with... [continue]

The powerful truth about our identity


I've been called by many names in my lifetime. Nicknames like Rach, Rae or Cricket. I've been called champion, All-American, ambassador, athletic, healthy and creative. I've also been called names I don't wish to repeat.

I believe names have meaning, names have a distinct purpose. Before we are born our parents mull over name after name until they settle on our unique name. Those names have a specific meaning. My parents settled on Rachel Katelyn, meaning "lamb," and "bright one."

In fact, the first job God gives Adam is to name all the creatures (... [continue]

Church Spotlight: FBC Weslaco


From operating a hunger care ministry to adopting a local school the amount of opportunities, and the ways our Texas Baptist churches reach and serve their communities are endless. Because each community is different, each church responds to needs differently.

Recently, I had the privilege of visiting with Dr. Steven Parker, pastor of First Baptist Church, Weslaco, and Joe Aguilar, youth and discipleship pastor, about two unique ways their church is assisting their community. "We really want the things we are doing to be an overgrowth of our fellowship,"... [continue]

My anti-shame campaign


For the next few minutes, I ask, no I beg you to put aside all political, religious and cultural opinions, but instead think back to a time when you felt humiliated, completely and utterly embarrassed. What other emotions does this moment in your past illicit? Is it sadness, tears, anger, depression? Now imagine if this moment of shame was broadcasted on a global scale.

In 1998, Monica Lewinsky says, "I was Patient Zero of losing a personal reputation on a global scale almost instantaneously." I applaud Lewinsky for speaking out about her experience in the new ... [continue]

How to change the world


This month, I turn 25. Out of all other birthdays, I feel this one is pretty significant, and apparently so does science, which has just confirmed adulthood begins at 25. Just 10 years ago, I was a bright-eyed high school freshman. A freshman who only wanted to travel the globe, be a missionary and change the world. It took me almost 10 more years to realize I don't have to travel the globe to be a missionary, and I cannot – no matter how hard I try – change the whole world.

Now this post isn't bashing those who are traveling, living and serving in other... [continue]

Before you build a new website: Part 2


Last week, I talked about two things to think about before building a new website: who your organization is and who will take care of your new website. This week, I'd like to talk more about the technical aspect of building a website: design and development.

DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT

Now we can start talking about some of the more technical things, like who will design and develop your website. There are probably as many different options for website creation as there are churches in our state. I'm going to mention these next steps at a... [continue]

Before you build a new website: Part 1


I was in an office consisting of wall-to-ceiling windows, which was a little warm because of the sunny summer day outside. It smelled like pepperoni pizza, and my heart was racing because of the coffee I consumed an hour earlier. I wore my new red Van's, Levi's and a gray tshirt. As I closed my eyes to relish in the moment, I was consumed by The Fifth Dimension's Aquarius playing in the background and hearing my coworkers clapping. We had done it...after eight months of hard work (three of which, were spent in this same small office with four people... [continue]

I am impatient, stubborn and unteachable


Now I wouldn't normally categorize myself as impatient, stubborn and unteachable, but pride has a funny way of manifesting itself. There's a reason pride is known as the seventh deadly sin; the worst, and the cause for them all; a literary theme used from mythology to Milton's "Paradise Lost" and Marlowe's "Doctor Faustus;" and a trait associated most strongly with Hitler's narcissism. And, if the Greeks or British poets had an epic about me, pride would be my folly.

On my journey to sanctification, pride has a particular hold on me. It... [continue]

Ira Antoine


I am most passionate about influencing those who are influencers. Everyday I seek to find a way to influence those who influence the lives of others. I try to share the things that I learn and experience in my daily walk of life with others who are called to lead people. Because I am a bivocational pastor I understand where other bivocational pastors live. This excites me the most. I am not talking about something I have learned. I am sharing something I am experiencing.

Name: Ira Antoine

Spouse: Cynthia

Children: Two God-daughters (28 & 20) who are children... [continue]

Apps we can't live without


Have you visited the App Store or the Play Store recently? There's such an overwhelming amount of apps for our devices, how would you begin to choose which ones to download and use? I asked our Communications team to share some of the apps they can't live without, so get your phones, iPads and computers ready to do some downloading.

Joshua Minatrea, Associate Director of Communications

iheartradio:Though I'm technically a millennial, I also happen to be an old-school AM/FM radio listener. When I started working in downtown Dallas, I had a hard time
... [continue]

Freebie Wednesday


"We started on a shoestring and look how God has grown it. We are investing in our kids because they are the future… And a lot of these kids won't have a homemade meal like this until next Wednesday." Virginia Cloud, volunteer

Almost every Wednesday during the school year, a group of volunteers gather in the Fellowship Hall of First Baptist Church, Killeen, in a circle, hold hands and pray: "Watch over the teens that are coming to us today. Begin to open hearts and minds to you God for those who don't know you. For those who this is their first experience... [continue]

Urban BOUNCE


"We must learn to not regard people in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer."- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

His name was Richard. Just being released from the hospital, he retreated home – a familiar place of peace and solitude, but that night he woke to his house under water. Richard, a victim of the October 31, 2013, Austin floods continued to live in his home sans electricity and water with a growing pain and wound to his psyche. That is until one of the first BOUNCE: Student Disaster Recovery teams came to help rebuild his home... [continue]

Connections


Department: Connections Team

Explain your ministry:

The Connections Team builds relationships with pastors and church leaders, connecting them to the resources, programs and ministries available through the Texas Baptists.

What are the different aspects of Connections?

Pastor/Church Connection, directed by Joe Loughlin

    1. Building relationships with pastors in order to connect them with the resources, programs and ministries available to help them do their job.
    2. Facilitating connections between Pastor Search Committees and potential ministry candidates who
... [continue]

Angie Carter


It all starts with a relationship. Most people won't respond to something that doesn't feel genuine – be real, vulnerable, and honest, and God will do the rest

Name: Angie Carter

Spouse: Nathan

Children: None, just a cat

Ministry: Hispanic Evangelism

Position: Events Coordinator

Number of years: 10.5, will be 11 in the summer

Where did you grow up?

Elsa, TX in the Rio Grande Valley

How old were you when you became a Christian and what is the strongest memory about that time?

I was in the 4th grade and I remember it was at a revival at... [continue]

When wedding plans go awry


I'm planning a wedding. My wedding to be exact, which is coming up very quickly. I am counting down the days as every bride does, but I'm also continually reminding myself of the significance of not only my marriage, but also my wedding.

I've been to a lot of weddings, and I used to roll my eyes when another pastor turned to Genesis 1 or Ephesians 5. I felt it was "so cliché." The older I became though, I began to see the importance of these passages - marriage is ordained by God. It has been put in place to reflect His glory. John Piper... [continue]

Joy in suffering


"Christianity teaches that, contra fatalism, suffering is overwhelming; contra Buddhism, suffering is real; contra karma, suffering is often unfair; but contra secularism, suffering is meaningful. There is a purpose to it, and if faced rightly, it can drive us like a nail deep into the love of God and into more stability and spiritual power than you can imagine." -Tim Keller

My phone rings. On the other side, I hear a voice - sometimes panicked, other times dejected, defeated or anguished - informing me something terrible has happened. The calls have included the... [continue]

East Texas Cornerstone Assistance Network


We realized our old methods of helping were not really providing people with the help they truly needed. In fact, some of our solutions were creating problems because they made people dependent on us.

Church: Green Acres Baptist Church, Tyler, TX

Pastor: Dr. David O. Dykes

Initiative: East Texas Cornerstone Assistance Network

What is one thing your church has had success with in the local community?

We have completely revamped our method of helping people in poverty. Instead of operating a clothes closet, a utility... [continue]

Only you can stop human trafficking


WACO–In a dimly lit room in the corner of the Waco Convention Center, a group of individuals left no seat empty to gather in hopes of learning more about a commonly misunderstood topic: human trafficking. Dr. Tomi Grover, author of Compelled, and Jay Abernathy, pastor of First Baptist Church, Palestine, defined human trafficking, gave ways to effect change, told of a new East Texas non-profit helping young girls and provided resources available to help educate Texas Baptists.

DEFINING HUMAN TRAFFICKING

"This is the very heart of God. Want... [continue]

Matt Snowden


"Joy. I love teaching on joy. The joy of the Lord is so powerful. It is a stream in the desert." -Pastor Matt Snowden

Name: Matt Snowden

Wife: Meredith Snowden

Children: Molly Katherine and Wes Snowden (ages 8 and 7)

Church: First Baptist Church Waco

Number of years: Four and I/4 years

Attendance: We have an active membership of 805

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Meridian, Mississippi.

How old were you when you became a Christian and what is the strongest memory about that time?

I became a Christian at 11. I was baptized in the... [continue]

Kathryn Freeman


Name: Kathryn Annette Freeman

Ministry: Christian Life Commission

Position: Director of Public Policy

Where did you grow up?

Grand Prairie, Texas

How old were you when you became a Christian and what is the strongest memory about that time?

I became a Christian at seven years old. I remember learning about inviting Jesus into my heart at Vacation Bible School. I remember being very excited about taking the pre-baptism class and obsessively wearing my salvation bracelet until it fell off.

Where did you do your undergrad?

Texas A&M University... [continue]

Ministry Profile: Christian Life Commission


Department: Christian Life Commission

Staffers: Gus Reyes, Director; Ferrell Foster, Director of Ethics & Justice, Coordinator, Texas Baptist Hunger Offering; Kathryn Freeman, Director of Public Policy; Marilyn Davis, Congregational & Commission Specialist; Joyce Gilbreath, Hunger Offering Specialist; Julie Valentine, Ministry Assistant

Explain your ministry:

The CLC addresses ethical and public policy issues in order to help Texas Baptists follow Christ in their everyday lives. Each Baptist comes to his or her own conclusions about... [continue]

Ellis Orozco


When I was working as an engineer, God made it clear that I was in the wrong place; He wanted me to prepare myself to serve him for the rest of my life. I have never regretted it and have never looked back! -Ellis

Name: Ellis Orozco

Wife: Priscilla Ruth Orozco

Children: Gabriel Antonio Orozco (22); Michael Andrew Orozco (16); Celeste Iliana Orozco (15)

Church: First Baptist Church, Richardson, Texas

Number of years: 5 and a half

Attendance: 1200

Where did you grow up?

Pasadena, Texas

How old were you when you became a Christian and... [continue]

Run:4Justice


As a church we committed to a partnership to curtail sex trafficking in Cambodia. Then, last year we also partnered with two other churches for an area-wide Choose Life 5k to raise funds for multiple crisis pregnancy centers in the Tarrant Country area. -Pastor Joe Sanchez

Church: 121 Community Church

Pastor: Ross Sawyers

Initiative: Run:4Justice

What is one thing your church has had success with in the local community?

Hosting and co-hosting fundraising runs for Justice and Life issues.

How did you recognize this need?

Our two Run:4Justice runs... [continue]

Bill Arnold


Name: Bill Arnold

Spouse: Margaret

Children: Meredith and Jonathan Grandchildren: Ryan, Mason, Jake, and Hank

Ministry: Providing financial resources for Texas missions

Position: President of the Texas Baptist Missions Foundation

Number of years: 30

Where did you grow up?

Memphis, Tennessee

How old were you when you became a Christian and what is the strongest memory about that time?

Eight years old at an RA camp on the Mississippi coast.

Where did you do your undergrad?

Mississippi College

If you did any post-graduate work, where did you attend and what degree did you earn?... [continue]

Texas Baptist Missions Foundation


Department: Texas Baptist Missions Foundation

Staffers: Bill Arnold, President; Larry Thomas, Vice President; Bob Feather, Consultant; Marcy Strube, Donor Relations Coordinator; Rita Griffith, Administrative Assistant

Explain your ministry:

The Missions Foundation works with individuals that want to financially support missions in Texas and around the world. We do this by receiving cash and noncash gifts as well as by working with people who want to include missions in their estate plans.

What are the different aspects of the TBMF?

Working with... [continue]

Vision 6000


Church: First Baptist Church of El Paso

Pastor: Dr. David L. Lowrie, Jr.

Initiative: "Vision 6000"

What is one thing your church has had success with in the local community?

“Vision 6000" seeks to stir the imagination and dreams of our people to envision touching the lives of 1% of the population of El Paso with the gospel of Jesus Christ. This vision statement challenges us to maximize our effectiveness at our home base, but also to stimulate the desire to plant new churches and ministries across the region. If we don't think and dream big we will probably settle for business... [continue]

Pastor Oscar Epps


Name: Oscar D. Epps, Sr.

Spouse: Belenthia

Children: Destany, Oscar Jr., Aderius

Church: Community Missionary Baptist Church, Desoto, TX

Number of Years: 21

Attendance: 3,000

Where did you grow up?

Dallas, Texas

How old were you when you became a Christian and what is the strongest memory about that time?

I was 10 years old and very eager to be baptized.

Where did you do your undergrad?

Dallas Baptist University

If you did any post-graduate work, where did you attend and what degree did you earn?

Honorary Doctorate and am currently enrolled in... [continue]

Becky Holt


Name: Becky Holt

Husband: I will be marrying Steven Barnes this weekend!

Children: None yet

Ministry: Collegiate

Position: Ministry Assistant

Number of years: 14

Where did you grow up? 

Dallas until I was 8 and then Garland

How old were you when you became a Christian and what is the strongest memory about that time?

I was 7 years old when I became a Christian. I was attending a GA Camp with my church at Mt Lebanon Baptist Camp. They had a puppet show and talked about sin and our need for a Savior. Although I had grown up in church, it finally clicked that I needed to be forgiven for... [continue]

Collegiate Ministry


Department: Center for Collegiate Ministry, Go Now Missions and Texas BSM

Staffers: Bruce McGowan - State BSM Director; Joyce Ashcraft - Ministry and Regional Coordinator; Brenda Sanders - Missions Consultant; Robert Hooker - Evangelism Consultant; Ginger Bowman - Church Life Consultant; Katie Gravens - Leadership Consultant; Rick Spencer/Nick Howard/John Pearce - Regional Coordinators and Ministry Assistants: Peggy Moulden, Cindy Zoller and Becky Barnes

Mission: To engage the 1.5 million college students in Texas to follow Christ and transform the world. We... [continue]

Playing golf to rebuild communities


DALLAS - On April 7, the Dallas Athletic Club hosted the inaugural Texas Baptists Golf Classic, benefitting Disaster Recovery. Special guests included first responders from the West explosion and EF5 tornado in Moore, OK, both taking place almost a year ago.

Chris Liebrum, director of Church Ministry Resources and tournament director said, "We were honored to host first responders from two of the communities that we are currently serving. Their presence at our tournament was a reminder that these disasters involve real people."

Sitting at the clubhouse... [continue]

The Charles Price Endowment for Associational Leadership


"Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life . . . Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. . ."

Matthew 28:19-20 The Message

ENDOWMENT MISSION

The Charles Price Endowment for Associational Leadership has been established to provide specialized training to help directors of missions be effective leaders in their associations. The endowment is named in memory of Charles Price who, as a director of missions, dedicated himself to helping fellow directors become successful in leading their... [continue]