annual meeting news
Autonomy—A key principle in Baptist diversity and unity
by Blake Killingsworth on November 18, 2015 in news
One of the key distinctives of a Baptist church, suggested Julio Guarneri during the Annual Meeting of Texas Baptists, is the concept of local church autonomy, rooted in the free access to God granted through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
Guarneri, who serves as pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in McAllen, utilized Thomas Friedman's work, "The World is Flat", as a way to consider the role of hierarchy in the church. Whereas the work of globalization transformed the world from being large and disconnected to being interconnected and small, or as Friedman put it, flat, the work of the cross transformed mankind's access to God through...
Singing Men of Texas celebrate 40 years of impact on music and worship
by Kalie Lowrie on November 17, 2015 in news
More than 1,200 attendees gathered on Tuesday evening to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Singing Men of Texas [SMOT], providing a beautiful ending to the 130th Annual Meeting for Texas Baptists. Hosted by Cottonwood Creek Baptist Church, in Allen, the concert featured 275 singers, with representatives from all six regional chapters.
Musical selections ranged from "Who Can Satisfy My Soul," by Jernigan, to "Your God Will Come" by Fielding/Morgan/Williamson.
Jay Ghormley, conductor from SMOT South, shared about the mission work of the combined choirs over the past 40 years, including their most recent trip to Ukraine in April...
Missions update showcases wide range of Texas Baptists partnerships
by Lauren Sturdy on November 12, 2015 in news
The Tuesday afternoon worship session at the Texas Baptists Annual Meeting featured a broad update on many of the missions efforts the convention has identified as priorities.
Without the generosity of convention churches, none of these projects would be possible. without the generosity of convention churches, the first order of business was expressing gratitude, saying thanks and recognizing the generosity and selfless giving evident across the state.
Chris Liebrum, director of the Office of Cooperative Program Ministry for Texas Baptists, honored nine churches throughout Texas for their dedicated giving to the Cooperative...
Three students awarded scholarships for reflections on Baptist Distinctives
by Courtney Hackett on November 12, 2015 in news
In the Tuesday morning session of the Texas Baptists Annual Meeting, Steve Vernon, associate executive director for Texas Baptists, introduced the winners of Texas Baptists' first sermon and essay scholarship contests.
Baylor University senior Nate Hilgenkamp was the winner of the sermon contest, and was provided the opportunity to share his sermon over Luke 1.
Hilgenkamp began by telling the audience about his apartment at Baylor, which he shares with seven of his friends. He mentioned that six of the eight roommates share one bedroom, by choice, in which Hilgenkamp's own mattress was on the floor of the closet. He explained that...
When words are not enough
by Lauren Sturdy on November 11, 2015 in news
"Do this in remembrance of me." These words of Christ reverberate in the ears of His followers.
He commands action. When words are not enough and language reaches its limit, Christians enter into Christ's suffering and death through the symbolism of the Lord's Supper.
On Monday night, Texas Baptists gathered to take, eat and remember Jesus Christ, while Joel Gregory and Ralph West's powerful preaching on the Lord's Supper invited all to reflect on the times "when words are not enough."
"[The Lord's Supper] is not just a mental exercise in intellectual dexterity," said West, senior pastor at Church Without Walls in Houston. "It's also...
Our Great Salvation: A Unifying Concept for Life and Baptists
by Blake Killingsworth on November 10, 2015 in news
During the Annual Meeting of Texas Baptists, Todd Still, dean and professor at Baylor University's Truett Seminary, provided a workshop on the concept of salvation and how it has been broadly understood throughout Texas Baptist life in the 20th Century.
Utilizing Hebrews 2:1-4 as a starting passage, Still focused the group on the "great salvation" afforded to mankind through the message of Jesus Christ. He then turned his attention to the Baptist Faith and Message, both the 1963 and 2000 versions, and how this salvation had been described in those confessions.
"Interestingly, these statements are more or less identical," Still...
Texas Baptist Missions Foundation Honors Three at Annual Luncheon
by Blake Killingsworth on November 10, 2015 in news
The 2015 Mission Awards Luncheon sponsored by the Texas Baptist Missions Foundation took place during the Annual Meeting of Texas Baptists in Frisco on Nov. 9.
Greeting those who had gathered for the luncheon held at ParkwayHills Baptist Church, Bill Arnold, president of TBMF, thanked those who had supported the Foundation through the years and recognized past award recipients. He also welcomed to the microphone Sam Dennis, senior pastor of ParkwayHills, who provided a welcome from the church and the opening prayer.
"Your being here is serendipitous for us as a church because we were a product of missions work and the...
Annual Meeting sermon: In an ever-changing world, dissension matters
by Leah Reynolds on November 10, 2015 in news
Life is more than just football games and weather forecasts. God made us spiritual beings and therefore spiritual discussions matter, said Taylor Sandlin, pastor of Southland Baptist Church in San Angelo, during the annual sermon for the 2015 Texas Baptists Annual Meeting.
At the Monday morning worship session held at the Dr Pepper Arena in Frisco, the Grand Chorus, a choir of college students from Dallas Baptist University, commenced the service with joyous singing, which echoed across the concrete walls of the arena.
Sandlin followed with the annual sermon and directed the audience's attention to Mark 12:28-34, where Jesus, after...
Building Community Through the Observance of the Lord's Supper
by Courtney Hackett on November 10, 2015 in news
There is not a Gospel message, which cannot be shared around the table, according to presenters at "Beyond Words: Building Community Through the Observance of the Lord's Supper", an Annual Meeting workshop led by Jennifer Garcia Bashaw, assistant professor of religion, and Emily Row Prevost, director of ministry guidance and assistant professor of leadership, both at East Texas Baptist University.
Bashaw began by laying historical groundwork for the institution and practice of the Lord's Supper within the early church. Concerning the institution, Bashaw looked largely at Matthew 26:26-29 and 1 Corinthians 11 as she discussed the...
Advocacy for 'the least of these' as evangelism
by Lauren Sturdy on November 10, 2015 in news
You're standing on a riverbank looking up at a roaring waterfall. You watch as person after person washes over the edge and plunges 100 feet into the water. They're drowning. You can pull them out and try to save them one at a time, or you can climb to the top and figure out why people are falling over the waterfall in the first place.
This hike to the top — searching for the cause and striving for change — is a good analogy for advocacy, said Kathryn Freeman, director of public policy for the Christian Life Commission.
"Advocacy is another way to serve 'the least of these,'" Freeman said. "It's one thing to give hungry...
The essence of Christianity is the Lordship of Christ
by Annie Wells on November 10, 2015 in news
Jesus is the most significant person to live on the face of the world, Paul Powell, dean emeritus at George W. Truett Seminary, shared during a Monday afternoon workshop at the Annual Meeting in Frisco. Speaking on the Lordship of Christ, Powell shared how integral Jesus was in the history of the world.
"The name of Jesus," said Powell, "is not merely written in history, but plowed into history."
Powell explained the importance of the confession that Jesus is Lord and supported the claim through evidence rooted in scripture.
Who Jesus is and what He has done will be proclaimed throughout the whole earth in the coming...
Baptism in today's church
by Annie Wells on November 10, 2015 in news
On Monday morning of the 2015 Annual Meeting, Stephen Stookey, a fellow of B.H. Carroll Theological Institute, and Dr. Alan Lefever, director of the Texas Baptists Historical Collection, led a workshop on "Believer's Baptism and Church Membership."
Baptism has been the center of the faith since before the Christian church was formed. Presenters asserted if baptism started with John baptizing Jesus, how is that to be imitated in the Church today?
Lefever addressed two areas of conflict concerning baptism: the age of accountability and how churches handle like faith and order.
Historically, infants were baptized through the sprinkling...
Evangelism efforts produce good fruit in Texas
by Lauren Sturdy on November 10, 2015 in news
Though he's new to his role in the convention, Great Commission Team Director Delvin Atchison already has big dreams for what Texas Baptists can accomplish in our state and beyond.
During Monday's evangelism luncheon at Annual Meeting, Atchison preached on "dreaming in league with God" and the story of Joseph in Genesis 37.
"We're committed to changing the world through Texas," he said. "If we're going to dream in league with God, we must seek our dreams from the divine. The text says Joseph dreamed a dream that God gave him. God is still in the dream-giving business, and you would do yourself a favor to seek your dreams...
Hardage thanks Texas Baptists for commitment to impacting the state
by Kalie Lowrie on November 10, 2015 in news
Texas Baptists are engaged in exciting work around the state, according to Executive Director David Hardage's report during Monday's business session at the Annual Meeting.
Hardage introduced several staffers beginning new work around the state of Texas. David Scott serves as director of BOUNCE, a student-led disaster recovery effort for students from 6th grade through college. Scott invited churches to send their students to join in trips during Spring Break and in the summer of 2016 for disaster recovery and community rehabilitation projects.
Elizabeth Biedryzcki has begun a new venture serving as the South Texas regional...
Texas Baptists elect diverse panel of officers for second consecutive year
by Leah Reynolds on November 9, 2015 in news
FRISCO–For the second consecutive year, Texas Baptists messengers have elected a diverse officer panel with René Maciel, president of the Baptist University of the Americás [BUA], elected as President.
The election was held during the Monday afternoon business session of the 130th Annual Meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, which took place at the Dr Pepper Arena in Frisco Nov. 8-10.
Also elected to the panel were Bedilu Yirga, pastor of Ethiopian Evangelical Baptist Church of Dallas, who was elected First Vice President after previously serving as Second Vice President, and Danny Reeves, pastor of First Baptist...
Why Baptists are a people of freedom
by Courtney Hackett on November 9, 2015 in news
The pursuit of freedom has long been a driving force for Baptists, according to a panel discussion on Monday morning led by Dr. Stacey Conner, Bill Tillman and Steve Vernon. "Baptist Freedom – Model for the 21st Century" was one of multiple workshops held at Texas Baptists Annual Meeting. Dr. Conner serves as the pastor of First Baptist Church Muleshoe, and Tillman and Vernon both serve with Texas Baptists, as Director of Theological Education and Associate Executive Director, respectively.
Vernon began the discussion by laying out the history regarding the Baptists' pursuit of freedom through the years.
He explained that "Baptists...
African American Fellowship encourages an attitude of humbleness and wisdom
by Rachel Hendricks on November 9, 2015 in news
THE COLONY—We may do things differently, we may think differently, we may worship in different styles, we may speak different languages, but God calls us to one Gospel, Dr. Ponce L. Brown, pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church and president of the African American Fellowship, encouraged guests at the African American Fellowship of Texas worship rally on Nov. 8.
Friendship Baptist Church in The Colony hosted the rally preceding the 2015 Texas Baptists Annual Meeting. Visitors engaged in worship facilitated by the Friendship choir and a sermon based off 2 Chronicles 1:7-12 given by Friendship pastor Rev. Gregory C. Trotter.
Hispanic Baptists rally around Baptist Distinctives
by Lauren Sturdy on November 9, 2015 in news
Hispanic Baptists gathered Sunday night at a rally, which marked the end of the Hispanic leadership conference and the beginning of the broader Texas Baptists Annual Meeting.
"This year's focus is the Baptist distinctives; we're emphasizing who we are as Baptists and what makes us unique," said Rolando Rodriguez, director of Hispanic Ministries for Texas Baptists. "And our distinctives are not only what make us unique – they make us strong biblically, spiritually and as a denomination."
Between worship music sets, the evening's speakers elaborated on three Baptist distinctives: Jesus is Lord, the priesthood of the believer...
Thanks for letting the CLC share about its work
by Gus Reyes on November 20, 2014 in
Thanks to Texas Baptists for giving the Christian Life Commission the opportunity to share about its ministries this week at the BGCT Annual Meeting. The CLC staff is proud to serve you day in, day out; it was especially rewarding to share about that work in this special setting.
A special word of thanks to Dennis Parrish, whom we contracted to produce our main stage and exhibit stage production. His design and production skills helped us greatly in presenting the ministries and impact of the CLC.
A.C. Miller, Foy Valentine, Jimmie Allen, James Dunn, Phil Strickland and Suzii Paynter established a tremendous direction for the...
Leaders of state child and family ministries invite Texas Baptists to join the Jesus Agenda
by Lauren Sturdy on November 20, 2014 in
By: Lauren Hollon Sturdy
During his time on Earth Jesus healed the sick, brought hope to the hopeless, touched the untouchables, dined with lowlifes and forgave prostitutes. The marginalized and oppressed members of society were always on His agenda.
Today, "The Jesus Agenda" is an international effort to raise awareness of God's heart for the poor and how He wants His followers to seek justice for the oppressed.
Three leaders from Texas nonprofits serving vulnerable children and families spoke in a panel discussion about their hearts and missions to carry out the Jesus Agenda among the most vulnerable in society during...
Hunger Luncheon honors Texas Baptists who see beyond the horizon
by Leah Reynolds on November 20, 2014 in
WACO—It was a packed house for the Hunger Luncheon at the 2014 BGCT Annual Meeting as special guest Jamaica-native Dr. Neville Callam of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) expressed his appreciation for Texas Baptists' efforts against hunger.
Hunger kills more people every year than aids, malaria and tuberculosis combined, said Callam, general secretary and chief executive officer of the BWA.
He commended the donors in the room and Texas Baptists as a whole for "being committed to the service to humanity. Not because you have to but because you recognize you need to."
"(You) have the capacity to see beyond immediate...
Churches Discover Role They Can Play in Mental Health Recovery
by Blake Killingsworth on November 20, 2014 in
During a Tuesday afternoon workshop at the Annual Meeting of Texas Baptists, co-founders of the Grace Alliance described the ways in which churches can better prepare themselves to both recognize the signs of mental illness and better minister to individuals and families suffering from mental illness.
Based in Waco, the Grace Alliance exists to be a bridge between the world of professional mental health care and the church, creating supports systems and educational opportunities for families and communities of faith.
According to Matt Stanford, co-founder and professor of psychology, neuroscience and biomedicine at Baylor University...
Texas Baptists approve 2015 budget, elect new officers at Annual Meeting
by Kalie Lowrie on November 19, 2014 in
WACO - During the 129th Annual Meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, several important business items were discussed, voted on and approved.
On Tues., Nov. 18, at 9:30 a.m., Earl Ann Bumpus, chair of the Committee on Credentials announced 1,240 messengers and 515 visitors had registered for a total of 1,755 in attendance at the meeting held at the Waco Convention Center.
President Jeff Johnson presided over the business portions of the meeting, held on Monday afternoon from 1:00-3:00 p.m. and Tuesday morning from 9:00-11:30 a.m.
Officers were elected for 2014-2015 including President Kathy Hillman...
TBMF hosts award luncheon during Annual Meeting
by Blake Killingsworth on November 19, 2014 in
WACO - Friends and supporters of the Texas Baptist Missions Foundation (TBMF) gathered together for the 2014 Texas Baptist Missions Foundation Awards Luncheon held in Waco, during the Annual Meeting of Texas Baptists. This year, TBMF presented three awards in recognition of work in missions in the state of Texas.
Bill Arnold, president of TBMF, welcomed those gathered at the luncheon and introduced Jay Abernathy, pastor of First Baptist Church of Palestine, to give the opening prayer.
Arnold then presented the 2014 Adventurer Award for Leadership in Missions to the Kyle Lake Foundation. The Adventurer Award is presented annually to...
Johnson compels Texas Baptists to live altruistically in a self-centered world
by Leah Reynolds on November 19, 2014 in
WACO— In a world that pursues self-centered goals such as wealth, comfort, and fame—altruism can get people's attention, BGCT president Jeff Johnson told the audience at the 2014 Annual Meeting. But living that kind of difference is not going to be simple.
Johnson presented his final address as president at the Monday night worship rally of the Meeting on Nov. 17. Introduced on stage by his three daughters Sara, Lori, and Julie, and preceded by worship led by the choir of the church he pastors, First Baptist Church in Commerce, Johnson gave a compelling message about truly being set apart in a world where generosity is...
City Reach Waco shares Gospel and inspires local churches in evangelism
by Kalie Lowrie on November 18, 2014 in
In a celebration luncheon on Monday during Annual Meeting, there was cause for much rejoicing as stories were shared of evangelism outreach throughout Waco and the surrounding Central Texas area. City Reach Waco, an intentional emphasis on evangelism in the Annual Meeting host city, involved a prayer initiative, soccer tournament, prison outreach and neighborhood block parties.
Vince Smith, director of missions for Collin Baptist Association, shared about an initiative in Collin County to pray for every home in the area. An idea started at First Baptist Church, McKinney, mobilized 900 volunteers sinced February to personally...
Discovering How Literacy Can Bless Your Community
by Blake Killingsworth on November 18, 2014 in
During the annual meeting of Texas Baptists, representatives from Literacy ConneXus provided churches with 50 ways to bless their communities through literacy ministries.
Literacy ConneXus is Christian ministry designed to help churches help people with literacy needs. Beginning in 2004, with an initial focus on advocacy and adult literacy, the organization has expanded to work in ESL training, childhood literacy programs, and a Books for the Border and Beyond program, which provides bookshelves and books for families in poverty.
Lester Meriweather, executive director of Literacy ConneXus, Pam Moore, editor and media...
Hardage identifies Texas Baptists as Great Commandment and Commission people
by Leah Reynolds on November 17, 2014 in
WACO - Texas is in a state of change and will be for many years to come, Dr. David Hardage, executive director of Texas Baptists told messengers and visitors at the 2014 Annual Meeting.
"This state is growing, and this growth is ushering a whole new level of diversity like we've never seen before," Hardage said.
Not only is Texas changing in ethnic diversity but also in religious diversity, he said, noting 45% of Texans do not believe in anyone or anything.
He told the audience that on an airplane ride about two months ago, he had a revelation from God that made him ask the question, "What makes Texas Baptists...
Only you can stop human trafficking
by Rachel Hendricks on November 17, 2014 in
WACO–In a dimly lit room in the corner of the Waco Convention Center, a group of individuals left no seat empty to gather in hopes of learning more about a commonly misunderstood topic: human trafficking. Dr. Tomi Grover, author of Compelled, and Jay Abernathy, pastor of First Baptist Church, Palestine, defined human trafficking, gave ways to effect change, told of a new East Texas non-profit helping young girls and provided resources available to help educate Texas Baptists.
DEFINING HUMAN TRAFFICKING
"This is the very heart of God. Want to know where God is? Look in the darkness. [Human trafficking] is the darkest thing...
Christian Life Commission teaches Texas Baptists to model Christ through advocacy
by Lauren Sturdy on November 17, 2014 in
Kathryn Freeman taught a packed room about the steps to becoming an advocate this afternoon at her workshop, "It's Our Government: We Can Make a Difference."
Freeman, the director of public policy at the Christian Life Commission (CLC), emphasized advocacy takes many forms and isn't always tied to the government. Advocacy can look like membership in the local PTA or mission work.
She said the Christian Life Commission recommends "starting with missions," when individuals are trying to decide, which issues they want to get involved in.
"Most churches have a missions or outreach or service pastor who's engaged in your...
Texas Baptists elect diverse officer panel
by Kalie Lowrie on November 17, 2014 in
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 in Garland, was elected Second Vice President. Maciel previously served as Second Vice...
Texas Baptists urged to fight sin, live like Christ
by Lauren Sturdy on November 17, 2014 in annual meeting news
Texas Baptists gathered Monday morning to worship and celebrate the first day of the Texas Baptists Annual Meeting in Waco.
The David Chapel Missionary Baptist Church choir gave a passionate performance of "How Great is our God" and "For the Rest of My Life." Their music was bookended by Bruce Kuhn's expressive recitation of Bible passages as he brought the text alive with his commanding stage presence and the voices he created for his characters.
Joseph Parker Jr., pastor of David Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Austin, preached from Romans 7:14-25 about how the enslavement of sin affects our ability to "live the...
Providing Hope for the Refugee
by Blake Killingsworth on November 17, 2014 in
A packed room of messengers gathered to hear about ministry among refugees at the annual meeting of Texas Baptists. Presented by the Texas Baptists Intercultural Ministry, the workshop offered participants a window into the world of refugees, offered guidelines for pursuing ministry among refugees, and also afforded the opportunity to hear-first hand from refugee pastors ministering in Texas.
Some 10.4 million individuals around the world are classified as refugees, those who are forced to flee their home country because of war, oppression and violence against them due to their religion, ethnicity or political views. Unlike...
TBM Rally reviews fruitful year of ministry
by Grace Gaddy on November 17, 2014 in annual meeting news
WACO - During a rally held to highlight God's recent activity through Texas Baptist Men, speakers gave accounts of water well drilling, salvations and village transformations, among other testimonies.
The rally was held the first night of Texas Baptists' Annual Meeting, a three-day event, which kicked off Sunday, Nov. 16, at the Waco Convention Center.
TBM Associate Executive Director Mickey Lenamon opened the evening with an overview of TBM's 17 ministries, complete with pictures, stories and statistics. Lenamon gave examples of TBM's continuance to show Christ's love: "anyway, anytime, anywhere," in accordance with the...
African American Fellowship admires God as a God of justice
by Leah Reynolds on November 17, 2014 in news
WACO—Though revenge seems sweet and payback fair, God commands His followers to let Him take control of the situation, Pastor John Ogletree from First Metropolitan Church in Houston told guests at the African American Fellowship of Texas worship rally on Nov. 16.
Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Waco hosted the rally preceding the 2014 Texas Baptists Annual Meeting. Visitors engaged in worship facilitated by the Antioch choir and a sermon based off Romans 12:17-21.
"This message is to people who know something about being a victim," Ogletree told the audience. "As believers, we have to understand it's alright to be a...
Hispanic Baptists Rally Inspires Attendees to “Live the Difference”
by Lauren Sturdy on November 17, 2014 in news
On a bitter cold November night, Hispanic Baptists exchanged warm greetings and friendly handshakes in the Paul W. Powell Chapel at Truett Seminary for their annual rally, which kicked off the Texas Baptists Annual Meeting on Nov. 16.
Church planting consultant and evangelist Roland Lopez preached from Acts 8:26-35 and used Philip the disciple as a model of what it means to "live the difference."
Lopez said Philip exemplifies a follower of Christ who lives the difference in three ways.
First, he was described as, "a man who was sensitive to the Spirit of the Lord." When an angel came to Philip to instruct him...
Texas Baptists gather in Waco for Annual Meeting
by Kalie Lowrie on November 16, 2014 in
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 beginning at 8:30. Workshops this year will intentionally address the intersection of Christian...
Dramatic presentations part of this year's annual meeting
by Ferrell Foster on November 13, 2014 in christian life commission
"Theatre for the Mind and Spirit" is coming to the Texas Baptist annual meeting Monday, Nov. 17. This is how Bruce Kuhn describes his dramatic presentations. Kuhn will be part of the morning and evening worship services at the Waco Convention Center.
Bruce's presentations bring Scripture alive. The words are literally from the biblical text, but Bruce helps them breathe with human passion. Below are 2 seven-minute videos of Bruce presenting a portion of the Gospel of Luke and Tales of Tolstoy, and there are other videos listed on his website.
A number of Texas Baptists saw Kuhn's presentations at...
'The Blind Side' couple to end BGCT Annual Meeting
by Ferrell Foster on November 5, 2014 in christian life commission
The BGCT Annual Meeting this year will end with a special event on the Baylor University campus. Baylor President Ken Starr will host a "conversation" with Sean and Leigh Anne Touhy, the couple featured in the book and movie, "The Blind Side."
It is part of the university's "On Topic" series of events at Waco Hall. Tickets are required but are free and will be available Sunday and Monday, Nov. 16-17, at Waco Convention Center during the BGCT Annual Meeting. Tickets also will be available Tuesday, Nov. 18, at Waco Hall before the event.
"The Blind Side" tells the story of Michael Oher, a homeless teenager turned first round draft pick...
Live the Difference: in your daily worship
by Jeff Johnson on November 3, 2014 in
This year's Annual Meeting theme is "Live the Difference." We asked several individuals what it looks like to live the difference in their day-to-day lives. Here's what Jeff Johnson, BGCT president and pastor of First Baptist Church of Commerce, had to say:
My ability to Live the Difference is often tested as a pastor in light of 1 Timothy 3 and the qualifications I am to embody. For instance: "Preacher, are you trying to make this church into a disco"?
My reply? "Yes, I have been trying to get a church to buy into it since the 1970's and this church is the first one that has taken me up on it." (Probably not a 1 Timothy 3 type...
Live the Difference: around the world
by Sandy Wisdom-Martin on October 27, 2014 in news
This year's Annual Meeting theme is "Live the Difference." We asked several individuals what it looks like to live the difference in their day-to-day lives. Here's what Sandra Wisdom-Martin, executive director of WMU of Texas, had to say:
What does it mean to Live the Difference? Authors Ben Connelly and Bob Roberts say. "If you call yourself a follower of Jesus, He calls you a missionary! You may never go halfway around the world, but because of God's work in you, you are on mission."*
For me, living the difference means being on mission day in and day out.
At WMU of Texas, our passion is also our purpose. We make...
Live the Difference: on a college campus
by Guest Author on October 20, 2014 in culture
This year's Annual Meeting theme is "Live the Difference." We asked several individuals what it looks like to live the difference in their day-to-day lives. Here's what Jay Leibold, campus missionary at the University of North Texas, had to say:
What is culture? Culture is defined as the beliefs, customs, and values of a particular society, group or place. I came to the UNT BSM my freshman year and have been here just long enough (starting year 5) to see a shift in our culture. We have begun to see a shift in what we value as a campus ministry and what our attitude should be as christians at a large public university. Our culture...
Texas Baptists prepare to Live the Difference
by Kalie Lowrie on October 14, 2014 in news
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. "In this exciting age of diversity, I think it fitting to focus our attention on what it...
Live the Difference: on social media
by Katie Swafford on October 13, 2014 in news
This year's Annual Meeting theme is "Live the Difference." We asked several individuals what it looks like to live the difference in their day-to-day lives. Here's what Katie Swafford, director of Counseling Services, had to say:
I'm browsing through Facebook this morning when I see the status update of a childhood friend. This friend is describing how she doesn't feel that people treat her as she deserves to be treated.
Makes a few comments about how she perceives herself to be a good person who is fun to be around, yet feels as if the world takes her for granted or just gives her an "ehh, maybe" rating. She proceeded to ask for...