INDEPENDENCE—Fred Roach, retired business leader and Baptist layman, received the Texas Baptist Elder Statesman Award during a worship service at historic Independence Baptist Church, near Brenham.
Roach, a member of The Heights Baptist Church in Richardson, is a former president of Texas Baptist Men, vice president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas and chairman of the Texas Baptist Missions Foundation.
He has served on numerous denominational committees and boards, including the BGCT Executive Board, the governing board of Baylor University and the board of Baylor Health Care System.
He and his wife, Gloria, served as cochairs for the Mission Texas emphasis, raising more than $20 million to help start 2,000 churches in Texas in the late 1980s.
Roach is the retired president and chief executive officer of Centennial Homes and past president of the Leadership Center of Baylor Health Care System.
In his sermon at the worship service that preceded the award presentation, BGCT Executive Director Emeritus Bill Pinson described the "three-legged stool" on which Baptist work in Texas rests—churches, organizations and institutions—noting Roach's involvement in each.
"Churches are primary," Pinson said. "Organizations enable us to do together what no single church can do alone. Institutions galvanize our efforts for education, health care, child care and ministries such as disaster relief."
In receiving the award, Roach noted how he had been guided by a Scripture he claimed as his life verse, Romans 6:13 from the Living Bible: "Give yourselves completely to God, every part of you."
"I realized this meant not just all of my church endeavors, but all of my business endeavors, all of my civic endeavors, all of my organization endeavors—absolutely everything I was leading," he said.
Total commitment to Christ in every aspect of life results in "joy in the journey," he asserted.
"I believe the only way we can have the kind of joy God wants us to have as believers is to be doing the kind of things he wants us to do," Roach said.