DALLAS—A committee has been formed to study the long-range future of the Baptist General Convention of Texas.
Stephen Hatfield, pastor of First Baptist Church in Lewisville, and Andy Pittman, pastor of First Baptist Church in Lufkin, will jointly chair the committee.
The Future Focus Committee, created as a result of a motion during the BGCT annual meeting, will look at the convention’s resources and relationships in an effort “to sharpen our focus to see what we do well and improve upon it,” Hatfield said.
Pittman added the committee is comprised of people who represent the diversity of Texas Baptist life.
“What I want to do is cast a vision for a new paradigm for state conventions not only in Texas but all over the nation,” Pittman said. “If we live in a post-denominational age, we can’t continue to base our future on a model that we’ve based our state and national convention on for the past 80 years.”
The committee grew out of a motion introduced at the BGCT annual meeting in Amarillo by Ed Jackson, a layman from First Baptist Church in Garland called on the BGCT president and Executive Board chairman to appoint a committee to consider a “shared vision” for the BGCT for 2020.
His initial motion called on the committee to bring interim reports to the Executive Board at its February, May and September meetings and bring a final report to the 2008 BGCT annual meeting. It also charged the committee to address the relationship between the BGCT and its institutions, set priorities, study changing missions strategies and analyze “the impact of innovation on our ministries and the sustainability of all programs.”
Philip Wise of Lubbock, chair of the committee on convention business, brought a substitute motion that was approved by messengers to the annual meeting.
Final report in 2009
The substitute motion stated: “I move that the officers of the BGCT and the officers of the Executive Board appoint a study committee of no more than 25 member to consider the shared vision of the BGCT. The committee would meet after the new executive director has been selected and make reports to the Executive Board at their regularly scheduled meetings. A final report will be made no later than the 2009 annual meeting.
“The committee will study, analyze and project income for the BGCT and address relationships between the BGCT and its institutions. The purpose of the committee is to determine the best use of resources to win Texas and the world to Jesus Christ and to encourage and support the ministries to which God has called us.”
Jackson was named to the committee. Other members are:
• Paul Armes, president of Wayland Baptist University
• Randy Babin, Soda Lake Baptist Association director of missions
• JoAnna Berry, vice president of South Texas Children’s Home Family Ministry and International Childcare
• Russell Dilday, chancellor of the B.H. Carroll Theological Institute and longtime Texas Baptist leader
• Michael Evans, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Mansfield
• Elizabeth Hanna, chair of the BGCT Executive Board’s finance subcommittee
• Jeff Harris, pastor of GracePoint Church in San Antonio
• Frankie Harvey of Nacogdoches Bible Fellowship in Nacogdoches
• Jeane Law of First Baptist Church in Lubbock
• Peter Leong, pastor of Southwest Chinese Baptist Church in Stafford
• David Lowrie, pastor of First Baptist Church in Canyon
• Tom Lyles of Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler
• Rene Maciel, president of Baptist University of the Americas
• Gary Morgan, pastor of Cowboy Church of Ellis County in Waxahachie
• Joseph Parker, pastor of David Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Austin
• Fred Roach of The Heights Baptist Church in Richardson
• Taylor Sandlin, pastor of Southland Baptist Church in San Angelo
• Bob Schmeltekopf, retired director of missions
• Noe Trevino, BGCT church starter
• Steve Vernon, pastor of First Baptist Church in Levelland
• Mark Wingfield, associate pastor of Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas
With additional reporting by Managing Editor Ken Camp