Texas Tidbits: Governor signs pastor protection bill

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Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law a bill protecting Texas pastors and churches from lawsuits or state penalties for refusing to participate in same-sex weddings. The bill—supported by Texas Baptists’ Christian Life Commission—bars lawsuits and government penalties against ministers who refuse to officiate or churches that refuse to make their facilities available for same-sex wedding ceremonies if those actions violate sincerely held religious belief. “Religious leaders in the state of Texas must be absolutely secure in the knowledge that religious freedom is beyond the reach of government or coercion by the courts,” Abbott said.

Baptist Foundation of Texas hires investment consultant. Baptist Foundation of Texas has hired consultant Roddy Cummins to work with the foundation’s investment team. His appointment comes after launching a marketing and branding study earlier this year to understand the brand perception among critical stakeholders. Roddy CumminsCummins, who brings more than three decades of experience in the nonprofit sector to his new position, will provide direction and expertise on the development of new, flexible product offerings in the investment department. Prior to his retirement in March, Cummins served as chief investment officer at GuideStone Capital Management from 1998 to 2015. He previously worked for the Baptist Foundation of Texas from 1991 to 1998. A member of the National Society of Institutional Investment Professionals Texas Advisory Board, the Baylor Scott & White Specialty Healthcare System Board and the Parkland Foundation Investment Committee, Cummins earned a bachelor of business administration degree in finance with honors from Texas A&M University and is a chartered financial analyst. 

Shallowater pastor named director of church evangelism. Mitch Wilson, former pastor of First Baptist Church in Shallowater, has been named director of church evangelism with the Baptist General Convention of Texas. mitch wilson130Mitch WilsonHe served 19 years at the church in Shallowater, near Lubbock. In his new role, which began June 1, Wilson will encourage Texas Baptists in evangelism among the 12 million unchurched people in Texas. Through leading evangelism events Engage and (un)Apologetic conferences and spearheading the Pray 4 Every Home initiative, Wilson will help church leaders develop strategies for intentional and relational evangelism. Previously, Wilson was pastor at River Road Baptist Church in Amarillo and was a bivocational youth minister while a student at Wayland Baptist University. In addition graduating from Wayland, he also attended Southwestern Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Mindy, have two children and four grandchildren. 


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