connections


Texas Baptists welcome two new Connections Team staff members


DALLAS - Texas Baptists recently welcomed two new staff members to the Connections Team. Tim Marrow is the new Area Representative for Area 6, serving the Central Texas region, and Anthony Cobbs joins the staff as a Church Starter for Area 3 in Southeast Texas.

For 21 years, Marrow pastored the First Baptist Church of West Albuquerque, NM. In Oct. 2011, he and his family relocated to Plainview, where he pastored the First Baptist Church of Plainview, a position he held until joining the Texas Baptists staff.

In his new role, Marrow will serve as a connection point for Central Texas churches to Texas Baptists. This will include...

Keep reading...

Dan Curry joins Texas Baptists as Area Representative in North Texas


Texas Baptists welcomed Dan Curry to the staff as the new Area Representative for Area 9 from Fort Worth to Wichita Falls, effective Monday, October 3. As an Area Representative, Curry will serve as a connection to local churches and ministers in the area, providing help whenever a need arises such as for training, during a pastorless period or assistance with declining or plateaued churches. Click here to view a map of our Area Representatives.

Curry has served in ministry across Texas for more than four decades, with pastorates in Coahoma, Tahoka and a longtime tenure of 24 years at South Oaks Baptist Church in Arlington. He has...

Keep reading...

What If You Just Ask?!


In my early days of pastoral ministry, I met two of the “big” pastors in my city at a local event for pastor types. By big, I mean they led the two largest churches in the city and county, each one preaching to over 1,500 on any given Sunday. Considering I was usually preaching to about 50, that was huge.

I came home feeling intimidated. I wondered what it would be like to be them. You know, studs. Ha!

No really, what I wanted to do was get close to them and see what I could learn from them. They were each 10-15 years ahead of me in ministry experience, and I truly believed they had some lessons and advice from which I could...

Keep reading...

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 Board of the BGCT, in leadership roles in his association and in helping the BSM at...

Keep reading...

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 out early.

But, I think I should be honest here--vulnerable? susceptible?...

Keep reading...

Jason Bryant joins Texas Baptists staff as Western Heritage Consultant and Church Starter


DALLAS - Texas Baptists welcomed Jason Bryant to the staff as the new Western Heritage consultant and church starter, effective Monday, July 18.

Bryant has served as pastor of Triple S Cowboy Church in Palestine since 2011, when he planted the church in the area. He was also a church planter with 3C Cowboy Fellowship in Salado, which he planted in 2006. Additionally, he has served as a clinician and director at Cowboy camps in the past, as well as a coach for fellow pastors. 

“Jason has successfully planted and pastored two Cowboy churches,” said Joe Loughlin, director of Texas Baptists Connections Team. “On our team, he will...

Keep reading...

Texas Baptists welcome new church starter for North East Texas


DALLAS - Clay Jacobson has joined the Texas Baptists Church Starting staff as a new church starter for Area 4, covering North East Texas region from Dallas to Texarkana.

“I am very excited to have Clay join our team,” said Paul Atkinson, director of Church Starting. “He adds a dimension we need in perspective, training and passion for being a part of a church starting movement. I believe we will be able to push back the lostness of Texas with men like Clay on our team.”

Jacobson brings a well-rounded set of experiences, including previously serving as pastor of Lamar Street Baptist Church in Sweetwater; assistant network...

Keep reading...

Where to turn when ministry is hard


Ministry can be wonderfully fulfilling. It can also be incredibly taxing. Statistics concerning ministers are staggering! According to Life Recovered, 75 percent of ministry leaders report they’ve had a significant stress-related crisis at least once in their ministry. Thirty-three percent confess “inappropriate” behavior. The clergy has the second highest divorce rate among all professions. Forty-five percent of ministers’ wives say the greatest danger to them and their family is physical, emotional, mental and spiritual burnout.

Ministry leaders are expected to have perfect marriages, well-behaved children and no personal...

Keep reading...

Knowing Your Limits


I can't do impersonations. I've tried. It's beyond me. I speak for a living and work in a lot of humor in my talks, but the element of that hilarious impersonation of some celebrity is never in my act. And, ironically, I finally determined to quit trying after a failed attempt to impersonate Clint Eastwood's famous line, "A man's got to know his limitations." Ha!

One of my best friends approached me that day and simply said, "Pastor, you know I love you, but don't ever try that again." I laughed, and he put his hand on my shoulder and said, "I'm serious. It was embarrassing." So, now I quote celebrities but never try to...

Keep reading...

The art of one thing


Being the ultimate single-tasker, I often find myself overwhelmed with the aspects of ministry that resemble some version of juggling--believe me, those who've mastered tossing and catching chainsaws and things afire have nothing on today's ministry leader. But, more often than not, I have found the ability to hone in on one thing at a time to be a distinct advantage in three-plus decades of ministering in and through transition. It's the art of the one thing.

For example, when I arrived at a new ministry assignment which clearly called for major transition (the only other option was for the ministry to die), I found myself...

Keep reading...

Two former pastors to serve as Area 8 representatives


DALLAS--Over 900 Texas Baptists churches are located in the North Texas region surrounding Dallas, also known as Area 8, where diversity is vast and culture is ever-changing.

Texas Baptists has recently welcomed former pastors John Nguyen and Dowell Loftis to partner together as part-time area representatives for Area 8, which encompasses counties as far north as Grayson and Fannin Counties and as far south as Leon County.

The duo will work together to build relationships with pastors, key church leaders and directors of missions for Dallas area associations. They will also be available to fill pulpits and preach on behalf...

Keep reading...