community care


The Gospel, Gentrification, and Shalom


By Bryant Lee

The word “gentrification” is akin to “cancer” in many communities for those who have given their lives to challenges and concerns of these neighborhoods. The reality is that communities are always evolving into new shapes and forms as new people, businesses, ministries, and development change the cultural landscape.

I hear the words of Jeremiah ringing in my ears from church planters to well-established pastors. However, I often sit with multiple community investors who harbor a sense of discomfort and disappointment with the changing context. When offering counsel, the question that must be answered, is what does God want? Does God care for those new residents as much as the existing residents and how do we live together to the glory of God?...

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Good things happening in Marshall and at ETBU


Marshall anchors the eastern entrance to Texas near where Interstate 20 crosses from Louisiana. It is a smaller city that is home to East Texas Baptist University, which sits on a hill in the northwest portion of the city.

Once the fourth largest city in Texas (1860), Marshall has been an important community both for the state and its Baptists. Marshall has been a key transportation hub -- first as a stagecoach route, then a railroad center and now with highways (I-20 and U.S. Hwy. 59). But it’s the school on the hill that has been the Marshall focus for Texas Baptists.

Blair Blackburn is the newest president of ETBU. He and I...

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Now What? What to do the Day After A Life-Changing Experience


We have all been there. We’ve gone to a life changing conference or heard an amazing sermon or even just had a really amazing quiet time to start our day and afterwards, we are super charged and ready to do amazing things for God. We are going to change the world!

And then, we step outside our door or return home or enter our churches, and we aren’t quite as sure. We don’t know how to get started, or we do start and are met with obstacles or roadblocks. Other people aren’t excited; the pastor doesn’t want to implement your new missions strategy; your husband doesn’t want to sell all of your possessions and move to an immigrant...

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​Help That Makes A Difference


(Ali hearon will lead a workshop titled "Community Transformation: Foundations for Community Ministry" at the Micah 6:8 Conference March 31-April 1 at Trinity Baptist Church in San Antonio. The conference will feature authors Jen and Brandon Hatmaker.)

Amy has an outgoing personality, lots of perseverance, and a heart for service. Her welcoming presence and vivacious sense of humor draw others to her in friendship. Amy also happens to be in recovery from an intense addiction to alcohol that has wreaked havoc on her life and relationships.

Amy is now living in sobriety in Trinity, though her name is changed here. She is surrounded by...

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Christian community development brings Good News to the poor


(Jimmy Dorrell will be leading a workshop at the Micah 6:8 Conference March 31-April 1 at Trinity Baptist Church in San Antonio. His workshop is titled "Christian Community Development: How to Do It Where You Live!")

While the church and her people may have forgotten the poor and the call to justice at various times in history, God has always cared about the whole person and the whole city.

"If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?" 1 John 3:17

The Old Testament Law, the eighth century B.C. prophets, the gospels, and teachings...

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​Waco ministry digging in the dirt with students


"In the garden you learn a lot about identity," Kaley explained, as we discussed World Hunger Relief's School Garden Project.

WHRI, in Waco, is a "Christian organization committed to the alleviation of hunger around the world" through sustainable farming. While WHRI, supported by multiple Baptist churches, has agricultural programs internationally, such as in Liberia, El Salvador, and Haiti, they also have projects here in Texas.

The Texas Baptist Hunger Offering is a long-time partner of WHRI. Currently, the offering supports the ministry's School Gardening Project in three local schools. The project is an...

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The Cavalry Has Arrived: How the Federal Government Plays an Important Role in Protecting the Poor


Have you ever heard the phrase "send in the cavalry?" It's a colloquialism, but historically its a military term for the regiment of an army that fights on horseback. The cavalry historically was the most easily mobilized unit of an army and men fighting on horseback were at a greater advantage than those fighting on foot. For one they had greater height and speed than their opponents on the ground and the improved mobility helped them outflank and overpower their opponents more easily. In the movies, the moment the cavalry arrives is usually the moment the enemy is overpowered and the battle ends for the good guys.

Well, this week...

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Discovering How Literacy Can Bless Your Community


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...

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