BRYAN—Jim Heiligman, pastor of First Baptist Church in Bryan, will be nominated for second vice president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas at Texas Baptists’ annual meeting, Nov. 13-15 in Waco.
“He is a thoughtful and faithful, capable and youthful pastor,” said Todd Still, dean of Baylor University’s Truett Theological Seminary, who announced his intention to nominate Heiligman.
Both during his time as a seminary student and in his service to Texas Baptist churches, Heiligman demonstrated loyalty and commitment to the BGCT, Still said.
“He is coming not as an outsider so he can offer solutions to perceived problems. Rather, he is an insider who wants to serve the convention and to see it continue to flourish,” he said.
Heiligman, 37, has earned the respect of his peers and colleagues, said Still, who added the BGCT should seek to engage “bright, capable young pastors” in leadership.
“He brings the qualities the BGCT needs in its leadership,” he said.
As the father of a 2-year-old son and infant daughter, Heiligman acknowledged when he was approached about serving as a convention officer, he initially felt “too busy in life and ministry” to accept a nomination. However, after praying about it, he agreed to serve if elected.
“Texas Baptists have meant the world to me, both in my education and my ministry,” he said.
If elected, Heiligman hopes to use the office as platform to encourage other young ministers to see the value in working cooperatively through the BGCT and to recognize its relevance.
During the next year, he would like to see the state convention do all it can to foster healthy churches and healthy pastors.
“We need strong churches, healthy churches,” Heiligman said. “The church is God’s idea, God’s plan, God’s vehicle to take the gospel to all people.”
Likewise, congregations need pastors who are healthy physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, he added.
“Too many pastors are burned out, overwhelmed and depressed,” he said. “Too often, they are neglecting their health and neglecting their families. When ministers suffer, their ministry suffers and churches suffer. … I want to be a pastor who looks out for other pastors.”
Heiligman has been pastor of First Baptist Church in Bryan since June 2014. Previously, he served nearly six years as pastor of First Baptist Church in Castroville.
He also served as youth pastor at First Baptist Church in Moody, Central Baptist Church in Jacksonville and First Baptist Church in Charlotte, and he was a summer youth intern at First Baptist Church in Holdenville, Okla.
Heiligman earned his undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University in 2004 and his master of divinity degree from Truett Theological Seminary in 2009.
He and his wife, Courtney, have two children, Clarke and Camille.