DALLAS—At the Baptist General Convention of Texas annual meeting in Waco, Texas Baptists recognized nine churches for their giving to the Cooperative Program unified budget.
The BGCT recognized five congregations as top givers based on church size— Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler, Pioneer Drive Baptist Church in Abilene, Bacon Heights Baptist Church in Lubbock, First Baptist Church in Caldwell and South Seminole Baptist Church in Seminole.
Four churches were recognized for top giving among ethnic congregations—The Fort Bend Church in Sugar Land, Chinese Baptist Church in Houston, Northside Community Church in San Antonio and Vietnamese Baptist Church in Houston.
“South Seminole Baptist Church is a small church in a small West Texas town that has a big heart and a generous heart,” said Ricky Guenther, pastor of the church in Seminole. “Helping people—whether in our town, our state, our nation or our world; it is important to each of our church members.
“And being able to do this through the Cooperative Program allows us to accomplish one of the many tasks our church has. We feel it is our commission to give to help but also to go and help. At South Seminole Baptist Church, we believe in missions, the Cooperative Program and being a Texas Baptist church.”
Bacon Height Baptist Church in Lubbock gives to missions because the congregation values the “collaborative partnership” it represents, Pastor Jason Atchley said.
“Giving and going on mission are the heartbeats of the Cooperative Program and the overall DNA of Bacon Heights Baptist Church,” Atchley said.
In 2015, Texas Baptists churches contributed $30.2 million for causes in Texas, including ministerial scholarships for university and seminary students, financial support to help churches start churches, Baptist Student Ministries on 115 university campuses statewide, chaplaincy, health and human care ministries, and Texas Baptist Men.
“Participating in the Cooperative Program helps us accomplish our mission not only locally, but also globally,” said Stan Allcorn, pastor of Pioneer Drive Baptist Church in Abilene. “Just as Jesus multiplied what was placed in his hands by the young lad, so too, the Cooperative Program multiplies the influence and gospel impact of our congregation worldwide.”
In addition to Texas causes, Texas Baptists churches provided $13.1 million last year to Cooperative Program giving for the Southern Baptist Convention, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, and worldwide Texas initiatives and partnerships, for an overall $43.3 million total in Cooperative Program giving.
“Over the past 91 years, Texas Baptists have seen God do some amazing things through the unselfish giving of partnering churches,” said Chris Liebrum, director of BGCT Cooperative Program ministry.