Retreat brings mentally challenged adults together for weekend of fun and worship

The crowd roared with sheer excitement, clapping their hands and screaming with joy, all in response to one simple question: “Are you ready to study the Word of God this weekend?”

Much of the jubilant crowd, consisting of about 350 Special Friends Retreat campers and volunteers, had been looking forward to the Oct. 2-3 weekend all year long.

At the retreat for adults over 12-years-old with special needs, campers worship, engage in Bible studies and make crafts. But the highlight of the weekend... [continue]

Texas Baptists to observe Baptist roots at Annual Meeting

FRISCO—Texas Baptists are examining their roots at the Nov. 8-10 annual meeting with the theme “Deep Roots: Living Legacy.”

The meeting at Dr Pepper Arena in Frisco and will center around Colossians 2:6-7, with a special emphasis placed on the Baptist Distinctives.

“This year, we’ll examine Baptist Distinctives and share the reasons we choose to be Baptist,” explained Kathy Hillman, BGCT president. “Together we’ll explore our deep roots and celebrate our living legacy through inspiring worship, enlightening workshops and... [continue]

Executive Board recommends $35.42 million budget for 2016

DALLAS- At the Sept. 29 business session of the Baptist General Convention of Texas Executive Board, it was unanimously approved to recommend a 2016 net budget of $35.42 million to messengers at the Nov. 8-10 Annual Meeting.

The budget will rely on $31 million in Cooperative Program receipts from churches, a decrease of $900,000 from the 2015 budget. It also requires $4.42 million in investment income, a $1.82 million increase from 2015 made available in part due to invested proceeds from the sale of the Baptist... [continue]

Larsen named finalist for CFO of the Year award

Texas Baptists’ Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer Jill Larsen has been named a finalist for Dallas Business Journal’s CFO of the Year award.

Larsen was selected and named a finalist by a panel of independent judges after being nominated by a close business friend. She will join 28 other financial executives Oct. 26 at the CFO of Year Awards program in Dallas, where category winners will be announced.

The past year has brought an abundance of new challenges and opportunities for Larsen as she managed two substantial projects for the Texas... [continue]

Texas and Mexico Baptists partner to rebuild border town of Acuña, Mexico

Four months ago, a devastating tornado ripped through the city of Acuña, Mexico and hit with a ferocity that has not been witnessed in more than 100 years.

Baptists in both Texas and Mexico are gearing up to assist in recovery efforts for the city through “Acuña Rebuild.” Partners include Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery (TBDR), First Baptist Church in Del Rio, First Baptist Church in Acuña, Texas Baptists River Ministry and Eagle Pass-based Mission Border Hope.

The six-second twister was a part of the same... [continue]

Atchison named director of Great Commission Team

DALLAS–On Sept. 16, Texas Baptists welcomed Delvin Atchison, former pastor of Antioch Baptist Church in Waco, as director of the Great Commission Team.

Dr. David Hardage, executive director for Texas Baptists, announced the formation of the Great Commission Team as part of the convention restructure at the February Executive Board meeting. The team is a combination of the Evangelism and Discipleship Teams, which will collaboratively better address the discipleship process and evangelism training for churches.

In Atchison’s new role, he... [continue]

Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery to respond to Myanmar summer flooding

Dr. Mang Tiak of Houston could not eat or sleep for days when she heard news that flooding in late July wrecked her Myanmar hometown.

“Many people were suffering,” she explained. “It really hit me, and I felt like I needed to do something.”

The floods, which were caused by monsoons and a typhoon, brought destruction to all but two of the 14 states in Myanmar, (also known as Burma). The disaster reportedly affected one million people across the country, displacing many of them.

Tiak and her husband, Rev. Dr. Thong Kho... [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... [continue]

​Country churches: Where skeet-shooters and fishermen find community

With funds given through the Mary Hill Davis Offering, pastors seeking to plant a country church or transition their church to a country church have the opportunity to learn more about the process through Texas Baptists’ Leadership Summit for Country Churches. The Week of Prayer for Texas Missions and the Mary Hill Davis Offering is September 13-20, 2015. Click here for resources for your church to help promote this special offering in your church.

According to David LeFlore, pastor of Southfork Country Church in Parker,... [continue]

Go Now Missions: Where college students are sharing the Gospel 365 days a year

Go Now Missions sends college students to the mission field 365 days a year through semester, summer and Christmas break trips. Since 1946, Texas Baptists have sent 9,820 student missionaries across the state, country and world. The ministry is made possible by funds given through the Mary Hill Davis Offering. The Week of Prayer for Texas Missions and the Mary Hill Davis Offering is September 13-20, 2015. Click here for resources for your church to help promote this special offering in your church.

Cloe... [continue]

Texas Baptists dedicate new Rambler Park office space

After three days of unpacking crates and settling into new workstations, the Texas Baptists staff gathered together for a dedication of the eleventh and twelfth floors of the Rambler Park building located at 7557 Rambler Rd. in Dallas, which now houses the Baptist General Convention of Texas.

At the dedication ceremony, executive leaders recognized the dedicated work of internal employees and external partners who helped make the transition possible. The staff then joined one another in prayer for the building, the staff and for... [continue]

River Ministry in Piedras Negras: Where compassionate ministry transformed a community

Texas Baptists River Ministry connects and assigns churches to specific projects along the Texas/Mexico border as well as in the top 10 most populated cities of Mexico. The ministry is made possible by funds given through the Mary Hill Davis Offering. The Week of Prayer for Texas Missions and the Mary Hill Davis Offering is September 13-20, 2015. Click here for resources for your church to help promote this special offering in your church.

In some parts of Mexico, families often choose to live... [continue]

Texas Baptists passes Baptist Building legacy to Baylor University nursing school

DALLAS- On Wednesday, Texas Baptists held a monumental “passing the mantle” ceremony to commemorate the legacy of Texas Baptists at 333 N. Washington Ave. in Dallas and the future of the Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing (LHSON), which will soon take residency in the 100,000 square-foot building.

The August 26 ceremony featured remarks from leaders of both Baptist-affiliated organizations including Dr. David Hardage, executive director of Texas Baptists, and Dr. Shelley Conroy, dean and... [continue]

Special Friends Retreat: Where worship is pure

The Special Friends Retreats are made possible by funds given through the Mary Hill Davis Offering. The Week of Prayer for Texas Missions and the Mary Hill Davis Offering is September 13-20, 2015. Click here for resources for your church to help promote this special offering in your church.

Worship is anything but mundane at the annual Special Friends Retreat, hosted by Texas Baptists’ Childhood Discipleship Department. Smiles, laughter and joyful tears are evident all weekend long amongst the campers, who all face mental... [continue]

Boomers are turning 65 at 10,000 per day, are churches ready?

SAN ANTONIO—With the baby boomer generation turning 65-years-old at nearly 10,000 people per day, churches have the opportunity to reach a generation like they have never been reached before.

On September 9-11, Texas Baptists’ Adult Discipleship Team will host its 4th annual “Catch the Boomer Wave,” a National Boomer Ministry Conference, at Trinity Baptist Church in San Antonio to address how to effectively minister to boomers.

The term “baby boomers” derived after 77 million babies were born in the post World War II era from... [continue]

Disaster Recovery trip combines missions with summer fun

GALVESTON–Last week, volunteers teamed up with Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery (TBDR) to take part in a unique missions experience—one that allowed opportunities for mornings of servant-hearted labor and afternoons of summer entertainment.

Forty volunteers from five Texas Baptists churches spent the weekday mornings painting homes, building fences, cleaning yards and making repairs for homeowners who are still reaping the effects of Hurricane Ike, which devastated much of the Island in 2008.

In the... [continue]

FBC Carrollton Teenager Wins National Speakers’ Tournament

CARROLLTONFirst Baptist Church in Carrollton has an impressive reputation for producing award-winning Bible Drill and Speakers’ Tournament students. This year was no different with Hannah Mathes taking home first place in the National Speakers’ Tournament in Kingland, Georgia.

Mathes, an incoming junior at Prestonwood Academy, has been a participant in Bible Drill since fourth grade and started participating in Speakers’ Tournament in eighth grade.

“Speaking is kind of my talent, so I was able to use that opportunity to show... [continue]

African American Fellowship given a charge to keep, elects 2016 officers

Sugar Land—A lineup of passionate speakers and jubilant worship at this year’s African American Fellowship and Evangelism Conference (AAFC) made for a spirit of joy and encouragement amongst guests, giving them a “charge to keep,” as the conference theme stated.

At The Fort Bend Baptist Church in Sugar Land July 14-16, hundreds of pastors and lay leaders of African American churches gathered together to take part in the conference, which featured a Tuesday night Jim W. Culp, Sr. Banquet followed by two... [continue]

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]

​Camp Exalted encourages spiritual growth for 290 youth

From amusing games of human foosball to deep-hearted discussions in family groups to spirit-led worship, students at Camp Exalted gained both new friendships and spiritual growth June 22-26.

Nearly 300 students attended this year’s Camp Exalted, hosted by Texas Baptists’ African American Ministries and located at Camp Copass in Denton, and 32 of them made a profession of salvation.

Camp Exalted has three goals in mind, according to Camp Director Reverend Carlos Francis from Bethlehem Baptist Church in Mansfield: “We... [continue]

Texas Baptists respond to Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage

For the first time in history the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage throughout the nation on Friday, June 26, creating a challenge for churches and Christian organizations that believe marriage should only be between one man and one woman.

David Hardage, executive director for Texas Baptists, which has around 5,400 affiliated Baptist churches, said: “The Baptist General Convention of Texas is committed to loving, caring and treating all people with grace and respect. Also, we continue to affirm our long held... [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]

Culp and Spooner receive Texas Baptist Legacy Awards

INDEPENDENCE—Deep in the heart of Texas at historic Independence Baptist Church, friends, family and former co-workers of Jim Culp and Bernie Spooner gathered to honor the veteran denominational leaders at the annual Texas Baptist Legacy Awards presentation on June 7.

Culp and Spooner cumulatively devoted more than four decades to service on the Texas Baptists Executive Board staff.

“The Legacy Award acknowledges that we have seen these men sounding forth what they have received,” Executive Director David Hardage said. Culp and... [continue]

Following God and Going Now

The easiest way to making change in the world is through the law, or at least that is what Lilian thought. However, the Lord showed Lilian Ibarra* throughout her college career just how many different ways she could make an impact on society.

After becoming a believer in high school, Ibarra headed to the University of Texas at Austin where she planned on studying to eventually becoming a federal judge. As a college freshman, she was the youngest fellow in the state office where she worked, and although her experiences there were substantial and educational, is... [continue]

A burdened heart for the lost, Former FBC Shallowater pastor joins evangelism team

Texas Baptists welcomes Mitch Wilson, former pastor of First Baptist Church in Shallowater, as director of church evangelism.

In his 19 years of pastoring at FBC Shallowater, which is located just seven miles outside of Lubbock, Wilson developed a burden for the lost and felt a tug on his heart to research data in Lubbock County. The burden became heavier as he discovered there were 160,000 unchurched people in the county, and he began shepherding his church to engage in more evangelism... [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]

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]

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]

Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery Offers Church to Family Partnerships

Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery will launch a new initiative for churches in response to the recent onslaught of severe weather across the state. Through the new Church to Family Partnerships, the opportunity is available to partner with a family affected by flooding or tornadoes to help rebuild or repair their home.

In May, many homes were damaged and/or destroyed through tornadoes and flooding in the towns of Van (East, TX), and Donna (South, TX). In Van alone, over 60 homes were completely destroyed and declared... [continue]

Ebola Free Liberia Baptists Say, “Thank You”

We received the following letter from Olu Menjay, president of Liberia Baptist Missionary & Educational Convention, Inc, vice president of the Baptist World Alliance and principal/chief administrative officer of the Ricks Institute. He gives his thanks with a grateful heart, and thanks you for your prayers and tangible support during the raging storm of Ebola in Liberia.

“I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in everyone of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day
... [continue]

Disaster Recovery prepares to respond to Van tornado destruction

A deadly tornado, which struck the Texas town of Van Sunday, May 10, has affected 204 total homes. Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery (TBDR) is on the ground assessing damage and preparing to begin volunteer mobilization.

According to the Red Cross, 62 homes were destroyed, 56 made inhabitable, 41 received minor damage, and 45 were otherwise affected. There were two fatalities and 56 residents were injured.

Texas Baptist Men, a partner organization of Texas Baptists that mobilizes immediate response teams, has chain saw teams... [continue]

Golf Classic brings in $15,000 for disaster recovery

Blue skies and a bright shining sun made an appearance as 265 golfers stepped onto the green of the TPC San Antonio golf course on April 27 for the second annual Texas Baptists Golf Classic.

The tournament raised an estimated $15,000 by way of donors, event fees and 17 sponsors, with Baptist Church Loan Corporation (BCLC) serving as title sponsor. All proceeds will benefit Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery (TBDR).

“We’re grateful to all of our sponsors, especially BCLC who, without their help, the event wouldn’t have been... [continue]

Refugee families adjust to life in the US with help of Houston ministry

Loaves & Fishes is a ministry actively seeking to alleviate hunger amongst refugee children in Houston. They receive funds from Texas Baptists Hunger Offering via the Union Baptist Association, which help the ministry in a variety of ways:
  • Providing a hot meal for children on Saturday nights, when they do not receive a meal from school
  • Keeping a stock of food items such as rice and lentils for families to take when food stamps run low
  • Packing children’s backpacks in the summertime with food

Margie... [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]

A fire set ablaze at the WMU annual meeting

Wasn’t it like a fire burning in us when he talked to us on the road and explained the Scripture to us? Luke 24:32, GNT

For her birthday last year, IMB missionary Staci Powers’ most treasured gift was having her husband hold her hands without letting go. The fact that he had forgotten it was her birthday did not matter at that moment.

Four days later, on July 10, 2014, Staci held her husband Jeff’s hands for the last time as cancer took over his body.

Last weekend, Staci boldly stood on stage at the Woman’s Missionary Union... [continue]

​Disaster Recovery offers affordable Galveston mission trip and vacation for the whole family

During the week of July 26-31, Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery (TBDR) will be hosting its first-ever family mission trip to Galveston Island, where volunteers will have an opportunity to spend mornings on the worksite and afternoons on vacation.

“While all ages and types of people are invited, we wanted to focus on ‘families on mission,’” said Marla Bearden, disaster response specialist for Texas Baptists. “Spending time as a family, serving others in Jesus’ name, is a wonderful way for... [continue]

Alfalfa concentrate and education help alleviate malnutrition in Mexico

Hands in Service Ministries (HISM) is a ministry that is actively seeking to alleviate hunger in Mexico. They receive funds from Texas Baptist Hunger Offering, which help HISM in a variety of ways:
  • With travel and material costs to allow HISM to offer family garden courses
  • To provide intensive gardening techniques for those in urban and suburban areas
  • To help families to begin small animal production by providing quail, chickens and rabbits
  • To set up one alfalfa-processing unit that is functioning on a
... [continue]

Missions Foundation welcomes Dr. Jerry Carlisle as Vice President

Texas Baptists will welcome Dr. Jerry Carlisle to the position of Vice President for the Texas Baptist Missions Foundation (TBMF) starting April 16.

Carlisle comes to Texas Baptists after serving 13 years as senior pastor at First Baptist Church in Plano, as well as adjunct professor at Dallas Baptist University (DBU) for 11 years. Prior to that, he held a variety of pastoral and ministerial positions in Texas and Missouri.

In his new role, Carlisle will work with donors to help raise funds for the ministries Texas... [continue]

Student disaster recovery responds to Tulsa tornadoes

In response to Wednesday night’s tornadoes that brought devastation to many homes and families in Tulsa, Oklahoma, BOUNCE Student Disaster Recovery has announced a mission opportunity for students to help the city in its road to recovery.

Reports from CNN reveal the storms took one life, left dozens injured across the state and caused massive devastation in the Tulsa area and some damage in other cities including Moore, which is still in recovery from the catastrophic 2013 tornadoes.

As a branch of Texas Baptists... [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]

Texas Baptists contribute over $17,000 to winterize and bring the Gospel to Syrian refugees

Through generous offerings, Texas Baptist churches and individuals have contributed over $17,600 to the Texas Baptists’ Winterization Project, which is helping bring warmth and the Gospel to Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

The vision behind the Winterization Project began developing in August of last year when Matt Snowden, chair of the missions mobilization team for Texas Baptists; Mike Stroope, associate professor of Christian missions at George W. Truett Theological Seminary in Waco; and Steve... [continue]

BOUNCE students bring hope of restoration to South Austin

AUSTIN—Chris Rubs was cleaning his garage on the night of October 31, 2013, unaware that outside his door, torrential rains had caused the neighborhood creek to overflow.

He suddenly heard screams coming from outside and opened the door to find an unnerving sight: floodwaters were engulfing his neighborhood and neighbors were chasing after a little girl who had been swept off her feet by the rapids. Together, with other men and the help of a chain-link fence that snagged the girl’s clothing, Rubs helped bring her home to safe... [continue]

Executive Director serves as Pastor of the Day for Texas Senate

On Tuesday, March 10, Texas Baptists’ Executive Director Dr. David Hardage is serving as the Pastor of the Day for the Texas Senate, and prayed during the legislative session, beginning at 11 a.m. Thank you for being in prayer for him as he represents Texas Baptists in the Capitol building.

To hear his prayer, watch the video below. Sen. Royce West, representing the 23rd Senatorial District for Dallas County, introduced Dr. Hardage before he prayed.

​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]

Hardage announces convention restructure to BGCT Executive Board

DALLAS – Texas Baptists is preparing for a convention reset, Executive Director Dr. David Hardage announced at the Feb. 23 Executive Board meeting in Dallas, as they seek to best serve the state and churches in an ever-changing world.

This past year has produced big changes for the convention as the Executive Board made an agreement to sell the Baptist Building in Dallas in May 2014, signed a lease on a new office space in December 2014, finalized the sale of the building January 2015, and will begin operating under a new... [continue]

State of the State

On February 17, Governor Greg Abbott gave his first State of the State address. The State of the State was first given by Governor J. Pickney Henderson in 1845, after Texas joined the Union. The State of the State is required by the Texas Constitution and is given at the beginning of each regular legislative session.

The State of the State is used by the Governor to lay out a vision for the state over the next two years and designate emergency items. Usually lawmakers cannot pass bills in the first 60 days unless it is an emergency appropriation or on the Governor’s... [continue]

Grieving with the family of the cross

They have names – Milad Makeen Zaky, Abanub Ayad Atiya, Maged Solaiman Shehata, and on and on – 21 of them. Their names seem odd to most of us in America, but they are our brothers. Our human brothers. Our Christian brothers.

The Islamic State beheaded these Coptic Christians in Libya. There is no way to ignore the religious nature of this massacre. Muslim extremists killed Christians because of their faith.

The video of the killings is titled “A Message Signed with Blood to the Nation of the Cross.” Of course, we are no nation; we are a... [continue]

Local Chinese restaurant opens doors for ministry in Big Spring

BIG SPRING—Community evangelism comes in all shapes and forms, but oftentimes begins with a simple conversation. For First Baptist Church in Big Spring, one small seed planted in a local Chinese restaurant has grown to form a much-needed ministry in the community.

When Sherry Lindsey moved to Big Spring six years ago, she felt compelled to visit the local Chinese restaurant and meet the waiters. After that initial conversation, the restaurant quickly became a hub for church members to connect with local Chinese and... [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]

Texas Baptists sign lease for new Dallas office space

Texas Baptists executives signed a lease agreement on December 29, 2014, for new office space in Dallas approximately eight miles north of its current building location.

More than two years ago, Baylor University approached Texas Baptists executives in regards to purchasing the Baptist Building on 333 N. Washington Ave. in Dallas for its Louise Herrington School of Nursing.

On May 20, 2014, executives approved the sale of the building and on January 22, 2015, the sale was finalized. Baylor University is paying $8 million in cash and... [continue]

Texas Baptists celebrate MLK Day by packing 23,000 meals

DALLAS—The phrases, “Vitamins!” “Protein! and “Vegetables!” echoed across the concrete walls of Texas Baptist Men’s Dixon Mission Equipping Center as 175 Texas Baptist volunteers packed 23,000 meals on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to send to Liberia.

The event served as part of a Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery (TBDR) initiative to send food packets to Ebola-stricken nations in West Africa where starvation has become a crisis.

Volunteers came from all part of Texas, including Shertz, Lawn and Huntsville to pack boxes... [continue]

Ebola and starvation in West Africa: Nearly 998,000 meals arrive with more on the way

It was a joyful holiday season for many Liberians and Sierra Leoneans as they received 997,920 pre-packaged rice and high-nutrition meals sent by Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery (TBDR) in partnership with multiple ministries.

The first container of 142,560 meals, trucked in from South Africa in partnership with Virginia Baptists, came just in time for Christmas and New Year’s. Photos bear witness to grateful Liberian children and families holding the food packets at Zion Praise Baptist Church... [continue]

Church and military meet surprising need in San Antonio community

SAN ANTONIO—As members of Christian Family Baptist Church in San Antonio began praying for ways to connect to the surrounding middle-to-upper class community, they discovered a need for food, which caught many by surprise.

“In an area like ours (the need for food) is not apparent. It does not stick out like a sore thumb,” said Rob Johnson, pastor of CFBC. “But the economy has forced people to move in with their parents. Some are students with degrees and are just between jobs. They just have this temporary need for... [continue]

‘Tis the season—for refugees—to merely survive

For many in the United States, ‘tis the season to cozy up by the fireplace with family and friends. ‘Tis the season to sing merry Christmas tunes and to be grateful for freedom, relatives and Grandma’s cooking.

But for Syrian refugees who have had to flee to safety in Lebanon, ‘tis the season to fight brutal winter temperatures in their houses made of plywood, tarp or tents and hope they can find food to eat each day. ‘Tis the season to survive.

A writer from Tearfund, a charity passionate about tackling poverty, recently recorded... [continue]

School and church work together to help build stronger families in their community

FORT WORTH—Parents in a community on the north side of Fort Worth are spending one hour a week for 13 weeks in their children’s classrooms, gaining a unique education of their own.

This is the second term for what is called Parent University, where parents learn skills for raising their children, held at Manuel Jara Elementary School. Last April, 29 parents graduated from the program. This November, 21 of those came back for a second course, and 44 parents signed up for the first.

A little... [continue]

Filipino pastor to serve as Houston area representative

One of the most diverse regions of the United States, the greater Houston area, is home to a variety of ethnicities, creating a great hub for ministry and evangelism.

Texas Baptists welcomes Dr. Ernest Dagohoy, former pastor of First Philippine Baptist Church in Missouri City, as the new Area 5 representative, covering Greater Houston.

“As one of our nine area representatives, Bro. Ernest will be working to build relationships with pastors, key church leaders and directors of eight associations in southeast Texas and the... [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]

UNT BSM Breaks ground for new building

DENTON—With hands on shovels and eyes on the future, attendees of the University of North Texas (UNT) Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) groundbreaking ceremony celebrated an exciting new chapter for the 54-year-old campus ministry as they prepare to construct a new building.

The existing 7,200 square foot facility was built in 1960 as a tool to reach the campus community of 6,500 students for Christ. Now, over 50 years later, the student body has reached over 36,000, and there is need for a new space to reach the campus..

“The Lord is... [continue]

Texas Baptists welcomes new director of Hispanic evangelism

Joshua del Risco has been named director of Hispanic evangelism and associate director of evangelism for Texas Baptists.

Del Risco’s experience in directing evangelism and communicating with churches is extensive, having worked with the North American Mission Board for 13 years in various capacities including serving as a national missionary for evangelism and developing the international and multiethnic evangelism team.

“We are thankful to the Lord that He has sent Joshua (to Texas Baptists),” said Scott... [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]

Reaching Waco through the world’s most popular sport

WACO—Nearly every fair weather day of the week, grassy soccer fields see an abundance of size three, cleat wearing little leaguers running back and forth while parents and siblings cheer from the sidelines.

Texas Baptists, in partnership with the Waco Regional Baptist Association and the Central Texas Hispanic Ministers Alliance, hosted a City Reach event called the Fiesta Familiar soccer tournament and festival on Sept. 27 as an effort to reach a community that admires soccer.

City Reach is conducted annually as an... [continue]

A special weekend for Special Friends

CEDAR HILL—The 2014 Special Friends Retreat, hosted by Texas Baptists’ Preschool and Children’s Ministries, brought lots of smiles and laughter along with the opportunity for participants to share their talents on-stage.

The retreat for the mentally challenged of ages 12 and older took place at two locations – one in Floydada on Sept. 12-13, with about 90 campers, and another in Cedar Hill on Oct. 3-4, with 350 campers.

Participants made crafts, learned about parts of the world in Bible studies, performed their talents in a talent... [continue]

Inspiring the next generation, youth ministry as a divine appointment

ARLINGTON: Youth ministry is a calling that comes along with great trials but even greater rewards, including seeing the salvation of young souls and the opportunity to inspire a generation of future leaders.

Speakers at the 2014 Youth Ministry Conclave on Oct. 13-15 focused on youth ministry as a calling and encouraged leaders to recognize it as a divine appointment. Conclave is sponsored by Texas Baptists and supported through the Cooperative Program with ethnic scholarships provided by Mary Hill Davis... [continue]

Now is the time: Texas Baptists winterizing refugees in Lebanon

In Lebanon, millions of refugees are trying to figure out how to survive brutal temperatures as the winter months approach. Through the development of a winterization project, Texas Baptists are sending necessities like blankets and heaters to help refugee families prepare for the winter.

Since early 2011, when the Syrian conflict began, more than 1.5 million refugees have fled to Lebanon seeking safety. At least 10,000 Iraqis have also sought security in the country. Most of them have little money and no place to live.... [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]

Ebola crisis leads to starvation; Texas Baptists send 570,000 meals in response

SPRINGFIELD, Missouri – Though media is flooded with news of the Ebola crisis, a calamity nearly as fatal—starvation—has risen in West African countries due to the virus. In response to this dire need, Dallas-based Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery (TBDR), in partnership with Convoy of Hope in Springfield, Missouri, shipped 250,000 meals to Monrovia, Liberia on Thursday, Oct. 9, to help bring relief to the crisis.

When the container of food, holding 44,000 pounds of prepackaged meals, arrives to Monrovia in... [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]

Southern Dallas historic freedman town welcomes cowboy culture

Just six miles south of downtown Dallas is Joppa Community, an area where former slaves gathered to celebrate their first taste of freedom in the 1860s and now is the present-day home of Buffalo Soldiers Cowboy Church.

When the freedmen settled there nearly 150 years ago, they named the area after the biblical city of Joppa, which means “beautiful.” They bought property and built homes on the banks of the Trinity River. Though the area is now less than thriving, the residents embrace the rich culture and history and... [continue]

Texas Baptists promote educational initiatives for Sept. 18 giving day

DALLAS -Texas Baptists are taking part in North Texas Giving Day on Sept. 18 by highlighting two initiatives in the North Texas community. Funds given toward the Baptist General Convention of Texas will help build an outdoor classroom at Truett Elementary School in Dallas and a new Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) building at the University of North Texas (UNT) in Denton.

As stated on northtexasgivingday.org, “North Texas Giving Day is an online giving event that provides nonprofits opportunity to gain expose to—and... [continue]

Conference inspires ministry leaders to

More than 250 individuals from churches across the country “caught the boomer wave” at the second annual National Boomer Ministry Conference on Sept. 4-5 at First Baptist Church in Dallas.

Hosted by Texas Baptists Bible Study/ Discipleship Team, the conference shed light on the need for better ministry amongst the baby boomer generation.

Conference leaders pointed out baby boomers, born in the years 1946 to 1964, are now turning 65 at the rate of 10,000 per day, and will continue to for the next 18 years.

Keynote speaker Amy... [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]

TBMF celebrates 30 years of making a difference

DALLAS—The Texas Baptist Missions Foundation (TBMF) celebrated 30 years of giving toward missions and ministries with a luncheon held at Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas.

In 1984, TBMF began as a two-year experiment to raise additional funds for new churches. Thirty years later, the Foundation has worked with over 33,000 different donors to support 250 mission projects all over Texas and around the world.

Outlining the beginnings of TBMF, Dr. Bill Pinson, former executive director for Texas Baptists, described the time when... [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]

Attorney named CLC’s director of public policy

AUSTIN – Kathryn Freeman has been named director of public policy for Texas Baptists’ Christian Life Commission (CLC).

The CLC helps Texas Baptists, churches, communities and government leaders give voice to critical issues in society from a Christian and biblical perspective. Freeman will lead the CLC’s efforts related to government and legislation.

“I’m very encouraged that we will have Kathryn alongside Dr. Gus Reyes and Ferrell Foster as a strong presence in Austin at the legislative session this next spring,” said David... [continue]

Victoria church embraces its Jerusalem

VICTORIA – Through discovering a community need and a partnership with the local food bank, Greater Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Victoria has begun a feeding program that is making an impact in both the city and the church.

“We believe that the church is not supposed to be an institution that caters to itself,” said Montari Morrison, pastor of Greater Mount Calvary. “The church is always supposed to be a resource to the community. Our message is supposed to go outside of the walls and not only be a spiritual help but also a physical help.”

Since... [continue]

The Israel battlefield, from the eyes of a missionary

Lana Fashi Zayed is a missionary in Israel with the Arabic Church of Dallas as her sending church. She asks for prayer as she and her husband search for a vehicle and give birth to their firstborn this month. They will be visiting Texas next summer to share about living and ministering in Israel.

The church-based mission sending fund provided by gifts to the worldwide offering of BGCT provides matching funding to the Arabic Baptist Church to support Zayed’s ministry. For information on how to support the fund please contact Ryan... [continue]

BSM nears $2 million goal for new facility

The J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation of Tulsa, Oklahoma has issued a $400,000 challenge grant to Texas Baptists to complete the funding for a new Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) building on the campus of the University of North Texas (UNT). The building, which will cost $2,000,000 to construct, will be built on the site of the old BSM building.

The Texas Baptist Missions Foundation has been coordinating the fundraising effort. “Added to what Texas Baptists have already given, we need only $100,000 to reach the goal so construction can begin,” said Larry... [continue]

Texas Baptists offer aid for border crisis in Rio Grande Valley

MCALLEN-The border issue: some call it a crisis, some call it a disaster, but to many Texas Baptists, it is an opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ.

All eyes turned to the doorway as Daniela Cruz* and her two daughters, Lorena* and Carmen*, stepped inside Sacred Heart Church in McAllen, Texas. Volunteers with various religious backgrounds clapped and cheered as the girls entered.

It is a welcoming gesture, said Nadia Chapa, volunteer coordinator for Catholic Charities who is hosting the relief... [continue]

Sixty quilts handmade and delivered with love

VILLA FRANCA, Spain – Even when verbal communication seems impossible, there’s one language that is spoken by all: love. It can be spoken through hugs, laughter and 60 quilts hand-made by Texas Baptist women.

The quilts were a part of Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU) of Texas initiative “Covered with Love” in which they presented the request for 50 quilts for the Evangelical Baptist Retirement Home in Villa Franca, Spain.

Together women within WMU, Texas Baptist staff, and local Baptist churches, donated their time and their stitching skills to... [continue]

African American Fellowship hosts conference, elects officers

FORT WORTH — Powerful worship, thought-provoking sermons, and enlightening workshops made this year’s African American Fellowship Conference on July 8-10 one to be remembered.

Over 200 guests representing 35 churches received a challenge at each of the three worship services held at Great Commission Baptist Church in Fort Worth to be armed and ready for spiritual warfare. Even children were taught to be ready for battle through daily games and lessons at “Camp Battlefield.”

At the Culp Banquet, Dr. Howard E. Anderson,... [continue]

For the Children

Our Texas borders are being flooded with unaccompanied children coming from Central America, with an estimated 47,000 coming across since October 2013. The majority of the children are from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. Find out how you can help…

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]

Thank you for giving to Mother’s Day Hunger Offering

Mother’s Day, May 11, 2014, marked the conclusion of the Christian Life Commission’s Mother’s Day Hunger Offering initiative. With a goal of raising $1 million on this day, churches from across the state joined hands to help beat the cycle of hunger and poverty not only in Texas, but around the world. Final tallies will be made as donations continue to pour in throughout the month.

Last year marked the first annual Mother’s Day offering as a part of the greater, year-around Texas Baptists Hunger Offering and raised over $250,000. This year, we are... [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]

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]

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]

Hunger offering inspires others to give back

FORT WORTH – This year churches are holding a special offering on Mother’s Day to support the Mother’s Day Hunger Offering. By uniting the efforts of Texas Baptists, we can raise $1 million this Mother’s Day to end hunger one mom at a time. One mom that has received help from this offering is a woman named Kay Schmenk.

Kay Schmenk is a 73-year-old who has been participating in the Senior Supplement Program, a monthly feeding program at Northside Inter-Community Agency (NICA), since 2006. She lives off of her Social Security check each month of... [continue]

Help provide an accurate compensation baseline among churches

The 2014 SBC Church Compensation Survey helps determine fair pay for church pastors and staff. All submitted information is kept private and no individual reporting is created – it just creates ranges for compensating ministers fairly.

Giving their break to serve

While working the hat stand in a Ukrainian market, Emma French, a student at University Mary-Hardin Baylor, met a boy named Dennis. He was looking for a warm hat to take back to his village for another child who needed it.

“I was a little taken aback so I asked, ‘This hat is not for you?’ He told me, ‘No, I already have one hat, I don’t need another. But I know some people who do’,” said Emma. “Dennis broke my heart and humbled me that day. His generous, caring, and selfless heart brought me to tears.”

With his one hat, Dennis understood the true meaning of... [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]

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]

Texas Baptists prepare response to Typhoon Haiyan

Multiple thousands of people are feared dead in the Philippines, killed by what many are calling the worst storm ever recorded in the country.

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]

Central Texas Flooding

Flooding in the Austin area has affected over 1,600 homes. Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery, working with our State VOAD partners, is assisting in the cleaning out of homes and first response case management.

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]

DBU Students Respond to The Calling Conference

Dallas, TX – Nearly 400 DBU students gathered together for The Calling Conference, an event geared to help college students discern their calling to ministry and determine the next steps for them to take along that journey. Sponsored by Texas Baptists and coordinated by Dr. Bill Tillman, director of the Theological Education Division of the BGCT , the meeting brought together seasoned ministry professionals to share with the students knowledge and insight gained from years of ministerial work within local churches, college campuses, and... [continue]

Life is so good

Truthfully, I do not know how else to describe the change that has taken place in my life. Through it all, God has still been faithful. I have recently moved to Denton, Texas to serve as the Campus Missionary at the University of North Texas. I have been blown away by how blunt people are in Denton, how exhausting campus ministry is, and how God works all things together for his good.

That last one blows my mind. God is truly blessing my ministry right now. He is literally bringing people to my feet.

My first couple of weeks in Denton were really slow. I... [continue]

North Texas Team Works in Piedras Negras

A team from Lake Pointe Church in Rockwall, Texas, just completed a very successful health clinic in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico. The team worked in cooperation with Iglesia Fuente de Vida and mission coordinator Gloria de la Pena to minister to the needs of the people of the city. The clinic was focused in the four areas of wheelchair ministry, eyeglass ministry, dental care, and health screening.

As a result of this clinic, 53 people received wheelchairs, walkers, or canes. Our dental team provided care for 120 people in cooperation with a... [continue]

Executive Board approves 2014 convention budget

DALLAS – The Baptist General Convention of Texas Executive Board approved a $40.4 million 2014 budget for the convention.

The budget reflects essentially flat church giving through the convention’s Cooperative Program, $2.29 million in investment income and $1 million less to be raised by the Texas Baptist Missions Foundation.

Total Cooperative Program from Texas Baptists for 2014 is forecast to be $48.95 million, including $11.3 million to the Southern Baptist Convention, $1.0 million to Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and $1.8 million for... [continue]

‘The Art of Black Preaching’

SAN ANTONIO – The energetic call and response style of African American preaching garners the attention of those who have witnessed its finest practitioners.

But “the art of Black Preaching” is found in the heart of its message: transformation is possible through Christ.

Pastors call African American churches to cling faithfully to Christ, no matter how difficult circumstances become, Kinney said. Historically, African American preachers have done this well through trials and struggles.

“The black preacher never loses focus that I am to take what’s broken and... [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]

Changing one life at a time

Over the last couple of months, as I have prepared to serve as a Campus Missionary Intern this school year, God has been teaching me a lot about myself and the mission He has called me to. For someone my age I look at the world I live in and see so many big issues but I also see God moving in big ways.

I was sitting thinking yesterday about how I am moving away from my family and the close friends I have been blessed with while in college in order to serve at a new campus in a new town. As I began to think about the life that I am leaving behind, I was... [continue]

Heart notes about my time with Russian orphans

June 1 – While in the city we have been given the opportunity to volunteer at a local hospital. Children who are removed by social services from problem homes or Russia’s streets are taken to this hospital. Here the children are evaluated and diagnosed medically. It is then decided whether the children will enter into something similar to foster care, go to an orphanage, or be placed in any other kind of institution that houses children.

June 2 – At the hospital, a few of the children stuck out in my mind. One of them was Anya. She was two... [continue]

Needs from disaster area apparent as school starts

The pastors in Eagle Pass are intent on helping families recover from the recent flooding in Eagle Pass and Piedras Negras. Their immediate need is to supply families with needed items like household goods, furniture, bedding, school supplies & back packs to replace items that were lost in the flood. Eagle Pass is also in need of volunteers to help replace sheet rock and reconstruct homes that were damaged by the flooding.

Donated supplies should be sent to: Iglesia Bautista Peniel Pastor – Felipe Garcia 1595 Juanita Drive Eagle... [continue]

Go Now Missions: A new understanding of Father

It is Ramadan here in South Asia. Ramadan is a month long fasting for Muslims. Honestly, it is epitome of a works based system. Islam is a spiritual power that exerts control over this time. Muslims are repressed into Islamic traditions. Many Muslims blindly follow strict fasting due to extreme fears.

Satan has strongholds on these traditions and fear. It is overwhelming the extent of darkness during this time. It is heartbreaking. This past week, my friend and I were invited into a Muslim home to break fast for the evening.

I was blown away... [continue]

Texas Baptists set to help tornado victims by

Texas Baptists are preparing to help people affected by last Spring’s tornados through “Loving Oklahoma,” five-day concentrated service effort to assist those around Oklahoma City.

Volunteers and teams will be working Aug. 5-10 on projects identified through local long-term disaster recovery officials. The ministry will vary from cleaning up debris to working distribution centers to light construction.

The mission opportunity is made possible by Texas Baptists’ Disaster Recovery, through a partnership with Cooperative Baptist... [continue]

African American Fellowship visions future, studies new age statistics

SAN ANTONIO – African American Baptists were challenged to look into the future with a new set of lenses as they gathered together at this year’s Culp Banquet, celebrated during the Texas Baptists Family Gathering.

Photo: From left to right: Oscar Epps, President; Ponce L. Brown, Vice President; Glen J. Samuels, Secretary; Elmo Johnson, Treasurer; Michael Evans, Former President

Nat Irvin II, professor of management at the University of Louisville, recalled a childhood memory when an unfortunate incident with glass... [continue]

Go Now Missions: Divine appointment

From the moment I stepped foot through the doors I knew this place was different from any that I had been in all summer. I have been doing missions work everyday for three weeks but when I entered this portable building I knew the presence of the Lord was at work there stronger than I had felt it anywhere else. I looked out the window and saw a crowd of people in a line the wrapped around the building and into the parking lot of First Baptist Church Orlando.

Each face was a face that was in desperate need of help. They were here as a last resort. They... [continue]

Jespersen named urban missions director

DALLAS — Texas Baptists has named Ryan Jespersen director of urban missions.

With a majority of the population living in urban, inner-city areas, Jespersen believes these communities need more outreach, which he plans to encourage through his new position.

“You’re typically not going to have as strong of churches in the inner-city,” he said. “My goal is to eventually ‘call out the called’ of young people who want to pastor and work in urban churches.”

In his new role, Jespersen will provide leadership and guidance for short-term, mid-term and... [continue]

A beautiful mosaic

Diverse…We all would love to use this word to describe our worship experience. But is that the true depiction of what we see on Sunday morning?

Texas Baptists is no doubt an ultra diverse association of Baptist churches, but what about each church individually? If we ALL were to assemble in one place, we would resemble a beautiful and grand mosaic art piece. But, this is not what I see in my neck of the woods.

In my city and in most of Texas, Sunday morning worship still is the most segregated hour. We publicly endorse social progression, but then we allow our... [continue]

A safe place in the storm

Moore, Oklahoma is a town we will not soon forget. The nation looked on in stunned silence at the devastation from the violent tornadoes that visited this community. Too many realized too late that a truly safe place was all that stood between life and death.

Storms often come without warning. Some are more severe than others. Some storms threaten our physical safety while others wreak havoc on our emotional wellbeing. Preparation is key for storms not to be too costly. As the people of Moore discovered, everyone needs a safe place.

As a pastor’s wife of 24... [continue]

A little bottle of

Change, whether good or bad, is difficult. The Kennedy clan has just moved from the shores of Alabama to the mountains of Colorado. Are our new vistas awesome? Yes! Has the move been exciting? Yes! Am I grieving? You bet!

One of the last things I did was make that final hair appointment with my hair dresser and dear friend of 15 years. When it came time to get that last “Everything-I-can-get-done-to-my-hair-that-will-last-me-for-as-long-as-possible,” she fixed me up, including giving me a little bottle of “Fixes Everything.” Really?... [continue]

The little things: God uses volunteers to answer big prayers in Oklahoma

By: Molly Livingstone

LITTLE AXE, Okla. – Dressed in a long-sleeved gray shirt ornamented with a small orange OSU emblem, Zach Rowell, stood in the bed of his white truck as the sweltering summer sun beat down relentlessly. Carefully, he pushed a large, maroon corduroy recliner to the back of the bed, securing it with yellow bungee cords.

Rowell traveled June 4 to Little Axe with a youth group of about 25 people from University Heights Baptist Church in Stillwater to help with tornado relief efforts. The group does a... [continue]

Coaching to mentor

As athletes grow older and out of the ranks of high school and college sports, many turn to younger teams and begin coaching – sometimes for fun and sometimes as an occupation. For some, coaching comes through other natural connections, becoming the parents who coach their son or daughter’s team.

Coaching, whether it’s out of a desire to stay involved with sports or because your children need a team leader, can be a wonderful opportunity to mentor students and to be involved in your community. For several hours a week through practices and games, these young athletes... [continue]

Go Now Missions: Last minute choice and provision

In late March during one of our weekly BSM Bible studies, an Alaskan missionary named Brenda Crim began speaking about her ministry and the Alaskan culture that she is trying to reach. I began to think to myself, “If I were to actually do any summer mission, this would probably be the closest to perfect for me.” Well, that feeling grew the entire time that Brenda spoke.

After she was done, we had a worship break and I was wrestling with the thoughts of school, work and money while the band went through a few songs. Cody, our BSM director,... [continue]