DALLAS—In a ceremony filled with prayer and encouragement, the Baptist General Convention of Texas Executive Board installed Randel Everett as executive director May 19.
Texas Baptist leaders and family from across the state came together to pray over and encourage the new executive director and his wife, Sheila.
Their son, Jeremy, and daughter, Rachel, encouraged their father to remain true to the principles he showed raising them—honesty, fairness, humor and an ability to lead.
|Leaders of Texas Baptist affinity groups and missions organizations gather around BGCT Executive Director Randel Everett and his wife, Sheila, to pray for them. They included (left to right) Michael Bell of the African-American Fellowship, Baldemar Borrego of the Hispanic Baptist Convention of Texas, Peter Leong of BGCT Intercultural Initiatives, Charles Higgs with western-heritage ministries, Woman’s Missionary Union of Texas President Paula Jeser and Texas Baptist Men President Leo Smith. (Photo by John Hall/BGCT)|
Bruce Webb, pastor of First Baptist Church in The Woodlands, encouraged Everett to remain faithful to who he is and to his God. Everett hired him on the staff of University Baptist Church in Fort Worth when Webb was a student at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
“I think Christianity in some ways is defined by how you treat people who have nothing to give you back,” Webb said. “I can tell you Sheila and Randel treated me with kindness when I had nothing to offer them back.”
Mary Carpenter, former missionary to Albania and Christian studies professor at Howard Payne University, praised the Everetts as people of action.
“These are not people who say ‘This needs to happen.’ They say, ‘This needs to happen, and let’s do it.’“
Staying true to Carpenter’s words, Everett challenged Texas Baptists to give every person in their state an opportunity to respond to the gospel by Easter 2010 and to feed the hungry throughout the state.
By working together, Texas Baptists—who make up 10 percent of the population—can have a powerful impact in the name of Christ, he stressed. Concentrated Baptist outreach could transform the state, he insisted.
“Let’s make sure people in our state have enough to eat,” he said. “And make sure everyone has an opportunity to respond to the hope of Christ.”
By giving people the opportunity to respond to the gospel, Texas Baptists are giving individuals opportunities to change their lives, Everett said. Texans are seeking answers to life’s most profound questions. They are looking for the positive in what for many seems to be a grim and meaningless existence.
“There are millions of people living in Texas who have yet to understand the hope of Christ,” he said.