- April 18, 2014
- By Kalie Lowrie / Texas Baptist Communications
GEORGETOWN—In life’s defining moments, God demonstrates loving faithfulness to those who surrender to his leadership, speakers stressed at the Woman’s Missionary Union of Texas annual meeting.
“We are not compelled but surrendered to him who loved us with an everlasting love,” said Steve McCord, global research analysis team leader with the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board.
The Texas WMU annual meeting drew about 700 participants to First Baptist Church in Georgetown, where speakers focused on “defining moments” as they highlighted ministries ranging from building a house for a low-income family in Penitas, in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, to addressing human trafficking issues in Las Vegas.
The college years are filled with defining moments, and Christians have a responsibility to teach and guide the next generation, said Carolyn Porterfield, WMU multicultural consultant.
“It is so important for us to share the gospel with the next generation,” Porterfield said. “We need to live authentic lives before them so they may know Jesus.”
Participants at the annual meeting joined in a defining moment for Texas Baptist Hope 1:8 missionaries who will serve throughout the state. In a commissioning service, they pledged to pray for the missionaries and their endeavors.
One of the new missionaries, Kenny Humphreys, told how he became a Christian in prison while serving a 20-year sentence. After his release last fall, he felt God calling him to spread the gospel and now serves as an oil-patch chaplain in Gonzales, along with his wife, Tawalia.
Others commissioned included Keron Jackson, music evangelist; Nelda Gerbine, missions connector for Southwest Metroplex Baptist Association; and a six-member team from Meadow Lane Baptist Church in Arlington who are working to transition the church into a multiethnic congregation.
During a business session, Texas WMU members elected Shirley McDonald of Stephenville as president, Charlotte Watson of Georgetown as vice president and DeRema Dunn of Sunnyvale as recording secretary.
In her final presidential address, Gloria Mills emphasized the importance and impact of each individual living out her faith.
“We were never created just to go to church,” Mills said. “He wants us to be the church. We are never more like Jesus than when we love the unlovable.”
During a breakout session, Patrick and Archalena Coats discussed defining moments in Miami, Fla., where they serve as church planters. Their congregation, Kingdom Covenant Baptist Church, meets in a movie theater and averages 80 in attendance on a Sunday morning.
The Coatses described evangelism and outreach strategies they use in their neighborhoods to share the gospel. Not every strategy is successful, but they gave thanks for victories their congregation has seen in the past two years, seeking to make a difference in a city of 5.3 million people.
“I always want the church to be about making Jesus famous and teaching about missional living,” he said. “The church does not exist to make us comfortable.”
Archalena Coats expressed appreciation to WMU for the group’s faithfulness in prayer and support.
“We are a product of your prayer,” she said. “Be faithful. Don’t stop praying, teaching or educating people about missions.”