September 2016

Repurposing pastoral skills in retirement

Dr. E. L. “Skip” McNeal received the MWD Award (named for Dick Maples, Charles Lee Williamson, and Jan Daehnert) on September 22 for his contributions in interim ministry while serving Texas Baptist churches. Dr. McNeal was accompanied by his wife, Mary, and 11 other family members during a luncheon at the annual Fall Update continuing education event for the Texas Baptists Interim Ministry Network, where the annual award is given.

Dr. McNeal retired after serving for 30 years at First Baptist Church, Sanger. He had also served on the Executive... [continue]

Executive board approves 2017 proposed budget, other business for upcoming Annual Meeting

The Executive Board of the Baptist General Convention of Texas convened September 26-27 in Dallas and approved numerous recommendations including the 2017 proposed budget of $36.638 million.

Gerald Caldwell, chair of the Finance Committee, and Jill Larsen, Texas Baptists’ CFO, presented the estimated $29.6 million in Cooperative Program giving and $4.4 million in investment income to the board. The estimate is based on a predicted $1.4 million reduction in Cooperative Program giving and a slight... [continue]

George C. Marshall & the importance of self-mastery

I wonder today how many Americans are familiar with the name and exploits of one of the greatest persons of the 20th century – George C. Marshall.

Marshall orchestrated one of the greatest military victories of history – World War II -- and then shaped one of the greatest achievements of peace after the war with what came to be known as the Marshall Plan. In essence, Marshall led in the defeat of America’s enemies and then built them back into friends. Truly astonishing!

The New York Times columnist David Brooks highlights Marshall in... [continue]

How Tarleton BSM’s new Northwest partnership is an answer to prayer - Part 2

Morgan Little shares about a partnership Tarleton State University BSM has created with Northwest Collegiate Ministries to reach the lost in the Northwest region of the United States. To read more on this partnership, click here.

Tarleton has begun a 2025 vision. Their prayer is that over the next ten years 20 Tarleton graduates will move to the northwest after graduation to work among college students. Their prayer is that in 10 years they will be able to mark 20 northwest campuses from the unengaged campus list... [continue]

Texas Baptist Mission Foundation awards $242,000 in ministry grants

DALLAS - The Texas Baptist Mission Foundation has awarded $242,000 in grants to be used for ministry by Texas Baptists ministry staff in 2017.

In August, the TBMF Council considered and approved 28 grant requests, funded by undesignated donor gifts, to be used for ministry projects by Texas Baptists, Texas Baptist Men and WMU of Texas.

“We are so thankful for our donors and their generosity,” said Bill Arnold, president of the Foundation, “These grants help fund new and creative ways of ministry that could not otherwise... [continue]


¡Cumplimos 20 años! Salir de la adolescencia significa que ustedes, iglesias e individuos que ofrendan, nos han ayudado a crecer y a madurar.

Es asombroso ver en retrospectiva las dos décadas en las que la Ofrenda contra el Hambre de los Bautistas de Texas ha ayudado a superar la pobreza. En esos 20 años se han recolectado más de 15 millones de dólares para ayudar a personas a alimentar a sus familias. 

Así que ahora estamos listos para celebrar como familia bautista tejana, y usted está cordialmente invitado.

• Qué: Una comida para celebrar el 20o aniversario

... [continue]


Ali Hearon, especialista en Ministerios de Cuidado y Prevención del Hambre, y yo recientemente regresamos de un viaje a España durante el cual visitamos a nuestros colaboradores en la

Ofrenda contra el Hambre de los Bautistas de Texas

 en Barcelona y en Dénia. Para leer más historias sobre la Ofrenda contra el Hambre en acción, lea 

Que el amor sea genuino y Alcanzar al prójimo y la lucha para acabar con la pobreza


Mientras Oretta menea la enorme olla de sopa, casi tan grande como ella, nos compartió de su niñez en Italia,... [continue]

How Tarleton BSM’s new Northwest partnership is an answer to prayer - Part 1

In June of 2015, Clayton Bullion, the BSM Director at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, and his wife Bethany ventured to Portland, Oregon to visit five of their Go Now Missionaries who were serving with the Northwest Collegiate Ministries (NCM) for the summer.

“Our hope was to encourage our team, visit as many campuses as we could, and get a ‘feel’ for college ministry there and see if there was anything we could do to help,” Clayton said. “We were not prepared for what we encountered.”

From Seattle,... [continue]

Hunger Offering turns 20!

We’re 20 years old! Being out of our teens means that you -- churches and individuals who give -- have helped us grow and mature.

As we look back at two decades of the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering helping people overcome poverty, it is astonishing. In those 20 years, more than $15 million have been raised to help people feed their families and get out of poverty.

So now, we are ready to celebrate as a Texas Baptist family and you are invited.

  • What: 20th Anniversary Hunger Luncheon 
  • Who: You! And our Hunger Offering friends -- churches, past and
... [continue]


Por William M. Pinson, Jr.

“LOS BAUTISTAS SE OPONEN A LA CONSTITUCIÓN” pudo haber sido el encabezado de los periódicos en 1787.

¿Por qué los bautistas se opusieron rotundamente a la recientemente diseñada Constitución de los Estados Unidos de América? En pocas palabras, porque el documento no proveía una garantía de libertad religiosa, creencia muy apreciada por los bautistas.

En los primeros días de la llegada de los europeos a América, la libertad religiosa prácticamente no existía. La persecución a causa de puntos de... [continue]

Los bonos educativos son una amenaza a la libertad religiosa

Los legisladores de Texas tienen una serie de reuniones entre las sesiones legislativas para revisar propuestas de ley previamente aprobadas y para examinar problemas potenciales en la legislación de las próximas sesiones. El miércoles 14 de septiembre, el Comité del Senado sobre Educación se reunió para discutir varias propuestas sobre opciones de escuelas que desviarían fondos públicos de las escuelas públicas a instituciones educativas privadas. Históricamente la Comisión se ha opuesto a los bonos educativos debido a... [continue]

How Much Battery Do You Have?

How much battery charge does your phone have? Go ahead. Take a quick peek. I just started the day, so mine’s at 96%. Yours?

Now, what about your spiritual battery? Running a little low? Sometimes, I think it would be so much easier if we had some sort of gauge we could peek at, discreetly of course, to see what kind of spiritual charge or reserve we are working with.

With the recent news that yet another high-profile pastor has exited the work due to fatigue, exhaustion and burnout, we are reminded how vulnerable those in ministry leadership are to wearing... [continue]

Brief thoughts on restoration

Good Brunches are a series of conversations developed by an organization called Matryoshka Haus. Their purpose is to draw a diverse group of people around a common table to talk about meaningful things in healthy ways. The blog post below references the conversation that took place during the San Antonio Good Brunches around the topic of restoration. Click here to read the intro post for Good Brunches.

  • Brokenness mended.
  • Illness healed.
  • Dirty cleaned.
  • Destruction rebuilt.
  • Lost returned.
  • Depraved redeemed.
  • Weak reinforced.
  • Uselessness given
... [continue]

Vouchers pose a threat to religious liberty

During the time between legislative sessions, the Texas legislators have a series of committee meetings to review previously passed legislation and examine potential legislative issues for the upcoming session. On Wednesday, Sept. 14, the Senate Committee on Education met to discuss various school choice proposals that would divert public funds from public schools to private educational institutions. Historically, the CLC has opposed vouchers over religious liberty and educational inequality concerns.

As Dr. Pinson noted in “Baptists Oppose... [continue]

'Baptists Oppose Constitution' -- what might have been

By William M. Pinson, Jr.

“BAPTISTS OPPOSE CONSTITUTION” could have been the headlines of a newspaper in 1787.

Why did Baptists strongly oppose the newly drafted Constitution of the United States of America? In brief, because the document failed to provide a guarantee for religious freedom, a belief cherished by Baptists.

From the earliest days of the settlement of America by Europeans, religious freedom was practically non-existent. Persecution for religious views contrary to those of government-supported churches was widespread and severe in most of... [continue]

Following your passions

“Why would a 52-year-old Pastor’s wife from El Paso, Texas with four grown daughters want to live in Paris for six months?”

This is a question that was asked by our parishioners before I began an Internship at the Sorbonne in Paris, France, four years ago for my graduate studies in Applied Linguistics and French Language.

“Is pursuing passions outside of the church activities okay for pastors’ wives?”

I believe that all true passion is rooted in being created in the image of God. A passion from God would never contradict Biblical teaching, must have the... [continue]

Deweyville church helps encourage similar congregation in Louisiana

On August 30, I had the privilege of spending the afternoon with Pastor John Fortenberry and his wife Sybil, of Calvary Baptist Church of Deweyville, along with three of their church members. The church building flooded in March 2016, along with the homes of many of their church members. Flood waters rose to the ceiling of their entire church.

Calvary Baptist collected $700 in Walmart gift cards to help church members and residents affected by flooding in Louisiana last month. John asked Henrietta Gentry, of Texas... [continue]


Por Rubén Sánchez

El verano ya terminó y el regreso a clases dio inicio. En Texas, esto significa que comienza la temporada de futbol americano, las temperaturas empiezan a bajar y muchos niños todavía no tienen acceso adecuado a alimentos.

En Texas uno de cada cuatro niños sufren de escasez de alimento; esto significa que una cuarta parte de los niños de Texas viven en hogares en donde es posible que tengan que saltarse una comida o tomar decisiones difíciles, como decidir entre comprar... [continue]


Por Betsy Kerrigan

A los niños de hoy en día se les ha acortado la vida. Mientras que la opinión académica varía sobre las expectativas de vida, todos reconocen que la duración y calidad de vida están cambiando debido a enfermedades crónicas asociadas con la dieta alimenticia.

Desafortunadamente no es de sorprender que los niños en Texas padezcan de enfermedades relacionadas con la dieta alimenticia a una tasa más alta (y a menor edad) que en el pasado. El comienzo temprano de condiciones relacionadas con la dieta alimenticia... [continue]

Hunger is a health problem for Texas children

By Betsy Kerrigan

Children today are being robbed of time. While academic opinions vary about life expectancy, they all acknowledge that our length and quality of life is shifting due to chronic illnesses associated with diet.

It is unfortunately no surprise that Texas children are suffering from diet-related disease at a higher rate (and younger) than they have in the past. The early onset of diet-related conditions like obesity is bringing about many health problems that children do not typically suffer, such as type-two diabetes and... [continue]

Afterschool meals important for students, and churches can help

By Ruben Sanchez

The summer is over and school is back in session. In Texas, that means football is kicking off, temperatures are dropping, and many kids still don’t have adequate access to food.

In Texas, one in four children is food insecure. This means a fourth of the children in Texas live in households that may have to skip a meal or make a difficult choice like deciding between buying food or buying school supplies for the start of a new school year (a true story recently told to me).

Ensuring children have access to... [continue]

Rice BSM students spend Labor Day weekend assisting with disaster relief in Louisiana

Over Labor Day weekend, we took six students from Rice University to Baton Rouge to help Southern Baptist Disaster Relief work to begin rebuilding homes from the recent flooding. The team was mostly compiled of students that had never really hung out together, and some I barely knew.

When we started talking we all learned that none of us had ever been involved in a mission trip like this or ever worked with disaster relief. Personally, I had never done anything like this and had no idea what to... [continue]


Por Bill Tillman

El Día del Trabajo es una novedad y un concepto paradójico, o por lo menos es lo que piensan muchos estadounidenses. La fecha en que se celebra, el primer lunes de septiembre, tiene un origen ambiguo. El razonamiento detrás de esta celebración fue que el trabajador norteamericano debía ser reconocido por los logros económicos y culturales que trajo consigo el movimiento laboral nacional hace más de 100 años.

La paradoja es que, ¡no se trabaja en el Día del Trabajo! Es un día festivo para... [continue]


En el 2014, Brandy decidió hacer un cambio. “Sabía que necesitaba hacer algo diferente después de que accidentalmente tomé más medicamento del que debía tomar”, dijo. “Pude haber muerto; fue entonces cuando mi novio y yo decidimos hacer algo al respecto”.

Brandy supo de la organización CWJB en Abilene por una amiga de su iglesia que la invitó a una de las clases semanales de entrenamiento laboral.

CWJC ayuda a mujeres a tomar pasos hacia la autosuficiencia en sus hogares al ofrecerles entrenamiento para... [continue]

Texas Baptists urged to support state missions; meet $4 million Mary Hill Davis Offering goal

The Week of Prayer for Texas Missions and the Mary Hill Davis Offering will be held September 11-18, 2016. With a statewide goal of $4 million, the offering will go to support missions endeavors around Texas through strategic ministry partnerships.

David Hardage, executive director of Texas Baptists, is urging churches to support the offering. “I’m asking each church to double their gift to the Mary Hill Davis Offering this year,” Hardage said. “The work of the Mary Hill Davis Offering sends... [continue]

Texas Baptists Chaplain Leading Louisiana Flood Relief Effort

Editor’s note: To learn more about how Texas Baptists are partnering to help Louisiana flood victims through long-term Disaster Recovery efforts, click here

“The devastation in Livingston Parish is overwhelming.” Bob Page reflected on the destruction as he stood in the middle of a neighborhood in Denham Springs, Louisiana. The city and surrounding areas were all but destroyed in the wake of historic flooding of the Amite River.

A 42-year Air Force veteran and retired Texas Baptist Chaplain, Brigadier General Page said he... [continue]