Texas Baptists unanimously elect officers

Officer of the Baptist General Convention of Texas are (center) President Michael Evans, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Mansfield; (left) First Vice President Jason Burden, pastor of First Baptist Church in Nederland; and Second Vice President Jason Atchley, pastor of Bacon Heights Baptist Church in Lubbock. All three are being nominated for a second term. (BGCT PHOTO)

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This article, originally posted July 30, was updated Aug. 1 to include the second day’s business session.

ARLINGTON—Texas Baptists elected by acclamation pastors from North Texas, Southeast Texas and the South Plains as Baptist General Convention of Texas officers.

As part of Texas Baptists’ Family Gathering, messengers to the 133rd BGCT annual meeting elected President Michael Evans, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Mansfield; First Vice President Jason Burden, pastor of First Baptist Church in Nederland; and Second Vice President Jason Atchley, pastor of Bacon Heights Baptist Church in Lubbock.

During a pair of exceptionally quiet business sessions, messengers presented no motions from the floor, adopted no resolutions and approved no budget.

‘Not allergic to taking risks’

In nominating Evans, Pastor Dennis Wiles of First Baptist Church in Arlington identified him as “a valued leader in every arena” who is “not allergic to taking risks.”

For 27 years, Evans has led his congregation “with skill, humility and integrity,” Wiles said.

Evans has served as an administrator with the Tarrant County College District and as president of the board of trustees of the Mansfield Independent School District. He is the founder of several community service organizations—the BBC Educational Enrichment Corporation, the Hope House Community Service Network and the Historic West Mansfield Texas Community Development Corporation.

Evans earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Arlington, his Master of Divinity degree from Texas Christian University’s Brite Divinity School and his Doctor of Ministry degree from Baylor University’s Truett Theological Seminary.

Vice presidential nominations

Joanna Jespersen, minister to children and families at Shiloh Terrace Baptist Church in Dallas, nominated Burden, calling him “a friend to pastors” and among “the best of who we are as Texas Baptists.”

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Daniel “Tiny” Dominguez, pastor of Community Heights Baptist Church in Lubbock, nominated Atchley, saying he can relate to leaders of churches across Texas Baptist life because he has served in a variety of ministry roles in congregations and communities of various sizes.

Also re-elected were Doug Powell from First Baptist Church in Garland as registration secretary and Bernie Spooner from Plymouth Park Baptist Church in Irving as secretary of the corporation.

All’s quiet on the business front

Messengers unanimously approved nominees for BGCT committees and boards as presented by the Committee on Committees, the Committee to Nominate Executive Board Directors and the Committee on Nominations for Boards of Affiliated Ministries.

During the time allotted for miscellaneous business, messengers presented no motions from the floor of the annual meeting, and the Resolutions Committee recommended no resolutions for messengers to consider.

The BGCT budget for the next year—normally adopted at the annual meeting in the fall—will be authorized by the BGCT Executive Board at its Sept. 25 meeting. The state convention’s constitution, as amended in 2012, states,  “The Executive Board will be responsible for budget adoption at its fall meeting in years when a summer annual meeting is held.”

Top Cooperative Program churches

Texas Baptists recognized nine churches as leaders in giving to the Cooperative Program unified giving plan. Pastors of top contributing churches in various categories are:

  • Byron Stevenson at Fort Bend Baptist Church in Sugar Land—African-American Fellowship.
  • Dan Ho at Chinese Baptist Church in Houston—Chinese Fellowship.
  • David Thompson at Northside Community Church in San Antonio—Hispanic Fellowship.
  • Hung Nguyen at Christ the King Vietnamese Baptist Church in Hewitt—Vietnamese Fellowship.
  • Kevin Mitchell at First Baptist Church in Pecos—Worship attendance 99 and less.
  • Monty Pierce at Central Baptist Church in Carthage—Worship attendance of 100 to 199.
  • Mark Roath at Acton Baptist Church in Granbury—Worship attendance of 200 to 499.
  • Stan Allcorn at Pioneer Drive Baptist Church in Abilene—Worship attendance of 500 to 999.
  • David Dykes at Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler—Worship attendance of 1,000 and above.

Fewer messengers, more guests than previous year

The 2018 BGCT annual meeting in Arlington registered 1,072 messengers and 973 visitors for a total attendance of 2,045. Last year’s annual meeting in Waco drew 1,183 messengers and 602 visitors for a total attendance of 1,785.

The first  Family Gathering, held five years ago in San Antonio, attracted 1,296 messengers and 1,129 visitors to the BGCT annual meeting for a total attendance of 2,425.


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