Jason Burden, pastor of First Baptist Church in Nederland, will be nominated for a second term as first vice president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas.
Ward Hayes, pastor of Valley Grove Baptist Church in Stephenville and chairman-elect of the BGCT Executive Board, will nominate Burden at Texas Baptists’ annual meeting, Nov. 17-19 in Waco.
Hayes characterized Burden as a strong leader who shows wisdom, patience and compassion.
‘The kind of leader we want’
“Jason has a heart for people in his church and for all the people of Texas,” he said. “He greatly demonstrated his concern for the people in his area by how he served after Hurricane Harvey.”
First Baptist Church in Nederland made its facilities available to an out-of-state Baptist disaster relief team after the hurricane hit, and members of the congregation sought to meet the needs of their neighbors personally in Harvey’s aftermath.
Currently, the Nederland church is serving as the base of operations for Texas Baptist Men disaster relief teams who have responded after Tropical Storm Imelda.
When God calls and presents opportunities to serve, Jason’s answer is always ‘yes.’ That is the kind of leader we want,” Hayes said.
Desire to ‘spur on cooperation’
Earlier experiences related to Hurricane Harvey and ongoing ministry in the wake of Tropical Storm Imelda undergirded Burden’s commitment to cooperation and “Baptists helping Baptists,” he said, particularly singling out the work of TBM disaster relief volunteers.
“My heart is full of gratitude to the Texas Baptist family,” Burden said. “Texas Baptists showed up in a big way, and we are thankful for the outpouring of love and care shown to our community in our hours of need.”
In addition to his desire to “spur on cooperation,” Burden noted he agreed to allow his nomination for another term as first vice president to provide continuity during a time of transition in BGCT life.
Jill Larsen resigned this summer as Texas Baptists’ treasurer and chief financial officer. Steve Vernon announced plans to retire as associate executive director of the BGCT at the end of the year.
“With the change in leadership, it seems it would be beneficial to have the executive officers of our convention remain to provide continuity,” Burden said.
Making friends, building relationships
He expressed thankfulness for having the opportunity to “contribute to the discussion and the decision-making” in convention meetings, as well as appreciation for the opportunity to represent Texas Baptists and build relationships with individuals throughout the state.
“I have become friends with people from every corner of our state and our convention,” he said.
Burden is a graduate of Tarleton State University who earned both his Master of Divinity degree and Doctor of Ministry degree from Baylor University’s Truett Theological Seminary.
He has been pastor at First Baptist Church in Nederland since 2011. Previously, he was pastor of churches in Trinity and Chilton.
He has been moderator both of Golden Triangle Baptist Association and Falls Baptist Association.
He and his wife Kristi have three children—Hayden, Hallie and Rylie.