Bivocational ministers reminded, spiritual renewal ‘begins with me’

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BELTON—The Texas Hope 2010 goal of sharing the gospel with everyone in the state will require the personal commitment of every Texas Baptist, speakers reminded bivocational and smaller- church ministers and their spouses who gathered at a statewide conference.

Conference President Randy Rather challenges ministers at the bivocational/smaller church annual conference to take the lead in financial support of Texas Hope 2010.

Texas Hope 2010 is an initiative of the Baptist General Con-vention of Texas to give every Texan the opportunity to re-spond to the gospel in his or her own language and cultural context and to ensure no person in the state goes hungry.

Throughout the conference, funded by Mary Hill Davis Offering for Texas Missions, speakers said spiritual revival “begins with me,” to emphasize the theme that communicating the gospel requires individual dedication.

BGCT Executive Director Randel Everett urged bivocational and smaller-church leaders to depend fully on God’s grace, stressing that ministry and evangelism are “all about Christ.”

With God’s blessing, Everett said, Texas Hope 2010 can become “not a controlled burn, but … a wildfire.”

“Wouldn’t it be something if this wildfire breaks out in our hearts?” he said. “It begins here, tonight, with us.”

Newly elected officers of the Texas Baptist Bivocational and Smaller Membership Church Conference are (left to right, back row) Danny Rogers, treasurer; Randy Rather, president; Tony Tawater, second vice president; (front row) Rosalind Ray, vice president; and Ellen Goodson, secretary. (BGCT Photo)

Randy Rather, president of the conference and pastor of Tidwell Baptist Church near Greenville, affirmed Everett’s challenge and encouraged ministers to set an example for larger congregations.

Rather suggested church leaders set cooperative goals, challenging ministers and deacons to make a collective, weekly donation to the BGCT equivalent to their church’s average Sunday attendance.

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For example, if an average of 100 people attended every Sunday at a church with a total of 10 ministers and deacons, each of those church leaders would make a weekly gift of $10 designated to the BGCT and Texas Hope 2010, he said.

“I’m asking our churches to take the lead in financial support,” Rather said.

Friday night culminated with an invitation for ministers to sign a Texas Hope 2010 poster as a gesture of commitment. The signed poster will go on display at the Baptist Building in Dallas and also at the BGCT annual meeting in Fort Worth.

During a business meeting, the conference elected its officers—Rather, president; Rosalind Ray of Fairy Baptist Church in Fairy, vice president; Tony Tawater, pastor of Lone Willow Baptist Church in Burleson, second vice president; Ellen Good-son of Memorial Baptist Church in Denton, secretary; and Danny Rogers of Field Street Baptist Church in Cleburne, treasurer.

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