By Tedrick Woods, pastor of Living Word Fellowship Church and a member of Leadership Texas Baptists Cohort 4
A Christian’s most noble enterprise is to know their rich faith in Jesus Christ and the history of Christianity. The future of Texas Baptists is being built on that enterprise. I believe that the architects of that future are the emerging leaders of Texas Baptist. The nine-month program of Leadership Texas Baptists (LTB) provides emerging leaders with the opportunity for growth, dialogue, and connection from churches across the state within the convention. As a cohort 4 member of Leadership Texas Baptists, one fundamental truth I learned was the story of Texas Baptists.
The historical roots of Texas Baptists are deeply rooted in assisting churches to fulfill God’s mission of reconciling the world to Himself. Baptist work in the state is strengthened with statewide bodies working together in unity. Texas Baptists, as I learned during my participation with Leadership Texas Baptists, has many functioning ministries to help strengthen churches across the state of Texas. The unique aspect of these ministries is the solidarity of working together.
For example, I attended the 2019 African American Leadership Workshop in Waco. The director of the African American Ministries is Dr. Roy Cotton. Dr. Cotton appealed to Dr. Gus Reyes, director of Christian Life Commission, to come on stage and personally inform attendees about the 2019 Advocacy Day in Austin. Dr. Reyes encouraged us to register and take part in the event, and spoke of solidarity between two ministries within the convention working together for a greater good.
Throughout the nine-month program of Leadership Texas Baptists, there were numerous valuable life experiences. The invitation from Dr. Reyes to go to Washington, D.C. and be a part of the Faith Summit at the White House was impeccable. The lunch with Dr. Dowell Loftis, Dr. David Adams, Dr. Steve Massey, and Dr. Roy Cotton was a joyous occasion learning about life and ministry. Of course, conversations with Dr. David Hardage, Ms. Jill Larsen, Dr. Ira Antoine also made a tremendous impact on my life, ministry and family. None of these events would have taken place if I was not a Cohort 4 member of Leadership Texas Baptists. I also valued the opportunity of fellowship with Cohort 4 members and to develop those friendships.
Honestly, Leadership Texas Baptists is an experience that can’t be written about, it’s something people must experience for themselves. Texas Baptists is opening up doors for emerging leaders to have the opportunity to participate in the convention and get connected as active members in the life of Texas Baptists. The most famous flag in Texas is the flag from the Gonzales clash with its “Come and Take It” message. I encourage those who are between 20–40 years of age to “Come and be a part of Leadership Texas Baptists,” the door is open, come on in.