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 greater Houston area," said Joe Loughlin, director of connections for Texas Baptists. "He will also be available to fill pulpits for pastors and preach on behalf of the Baptist General Convention of Texas."
Originally from the Philippines, Dagohoy and his family moved to Houston 20 years ago as he became pastor of the First Philippine Baptist Church in Missouri City. Before coming to the United States, Dagohoy studied theology at a Philippine university founded by American missionaries. He received his doctorate in the United States at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.
"God makes all things beautiful in His perfect timing," Dagohoy said. "I believe God has been preparing me for this position as area representative through 20 years of church work."
Dagohoy is most enthused about the opportunity to visit with pastors and looks forward to getting to know their families and churches.
He considers the Houston area part of the "Bible belt" as it covers more than 880 Texas Baptists affiliated churches. But it still needs much ministry, he said, and there are many opportunities with the variety of ethnicities and cultural backgrounds that can be found in the southeast.
Dagohoy has a vision to visit each church and engage pastors in personal relationships as well as to educate them on the work being done with Texas Baptists especially in missions and evangelism in the state and the world.
"I hope that when people see us (Texas Baptists), they would see Jesus Christ," he said. "Especially now that the world is looking for glimmers of hope…hopefully when they see us, they would see us living differently because of Jesus Christ."
Dagohoy previously served on the Executive Board for Texas Baptists as vice chairman. In December 2013, he and his wife, Cecile, went to the Philippines with Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery to assess damage from typhoon Haiyan. He began his work as the Houston area representative on Nov. 3.
Area 5, or the greater Houston area, includes the following associations: Creath Brazos, Tryon-Evergreen, Union, Trinity River, Golden Triangle, San Jacinto, Galveston, and Gulf Coast Baptist Associations.