September 2013

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 worldwide portion of the Texas Baptist Cooperative Program. The Board also approved the... [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 provide a word to bring it back together," John W. Kinney, dean of the... [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 also seen God working in mighty ways and His name being glorified.

Youtube | MP4 | 3:00 | 71 MB

"God is at... [continue]

Baby Boomers: A harvest waiting to take place

ALLEN - The largest cohort of Americans also happens to be the one that's living longer than all those who came before it.

That's no coincidence, claims Amy Hanson, the featured speaker at a conference entitled "Catching the Baby Boomer Wave," sponsored by Texas Baptists' Bible Study/Discipleship Department, First Baptist Church in Allen, Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler, LifeWay Christian Resources and the Louisiana Baptist Convention.

"I don't think that's by accident," she said. "I think God is up to something. He's raising up a generation."

As Baby Boomers continue entering their retirement years, they have the time to serve in... [continue]

Ignite Your Passion Outreach

The Ignite Your Passion Outreach was a huge success this past weekend. Pastors and Church Leaders in Eagle Pass, Texas had hoped to have a prayer meeting spanning across the bridge (between Eagle Pass, Texas and Piedras Negras, Mexico) which serves as a walkway across the border. They had received permission from city officials but the decision was rescinded at the last minute and therefore the group met in the parking lot at the border and prayed for the border violence and needs of both cities.In spite of this development, over 300 from the community participated in the outreach. The event consisted of a block party, concert... [continue]

Christ shared around pizza boxes and guitar cases

There are two kinds of people in our town: people who like the smell of church and people who don't. That is not to say that they are not open to Jesus, but their perception is that the church comes with pews and weird music. So our church's leadership has been exploring non-traditional types of Christian education by building faith community into other activities that don't smell like church.

Our inaugural effort was to come up with a way to creatively have a study using the Alpha Course ( The Alpha Course is designed to approach questions of faith in Christ in a non-threatening and non-religious manner. It uses... [continue]

ISAAC Projects opens center to directly minister to immigrants

SAN ANTONIO - The Immigration Service and Aid Center opened its doors on the Baptist University of the Américas campus Aug. 30 to directly help people with their citizenship issues.

The ISAAC center is Texas Baptists' first effort to directly help immigrants work within the law and navigate the complicated path toward citizenship. In addition to helping people resolve their citizenship status, the center will serve as a training institute for people who desire accreditation to help immigrants.

In recent years, the ISAAC Project, a collaborative ministry of BUA and the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission, has focused on training... [continue]

May Christ's mandate determine our work

Osvaldo Lerma, River Ministry Coordinator in Brownsville, TX and a few other River Ministry Coordinators were invited to go on a mission trip to Ciudad Victoria the Capital City of the state of Tamaulipas, Mexico (about 180 miles from the Texas border) with Lakepointe Baptist Church. Lakepointe has been doing ministry for years in this town but they had not traveled on the road to this town for years because of the threats of violence. Recently the reports of violence have subsided. During the Spring many of the roads on the border that were once unsafe to travel were now free of violence and well protected by the Mexican Military... [continue]

Church baptizes 85 in Guadalupe River

BOERNE - The waters of the Guadalupe River stirred Aug. 17, gathering hundreds. Only this time, floating the river was the last thing on visitor's minds.

Nineteen:ten Church in Boerne baptized 85 people that day as roughly 350 witnesses lined the shore as part of the congregation's annual end of summer celebration.

Children, teens and adults entered the water for the ordinance. Fathers baptized sons. Husbands baptized wives. Bible study leaders got to see people they're discipling take a public step of faith. The event provided an opportunity for those who made the decisions during the church's various camps and outreach effort to... [continue]

Are you thinking about missions in Mexico?

For the past four years we have not had Texas Baptist Churches working with us during Spring Break on the Mexican side of the border. This year Lamar BC of Beaumont, TX and FBC Vidor, TX decided to take a step of faith and go to Reynosa, Mexico in the spring. They had a medical clinic and VBS. They attended to 251 people in the medical clinic and had an average of 75 children attend VBS. 29 people made professions of faith, 6 were baptized and 1 new organic church was planted.

Here is a short letter from one of the mission team members:

On Friday we went to a small church, not far from where we were staying. We had an opportunity to
... [continue]