Veteran West Texas pastor Bobby Broyles will be nominated for second vice president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas this fall.
“Bobby Broyles is Texas Baptist born and bred,” noted Kyle Streun, pastor of First Baptist Church in Hereford, who announced he will nominate Broyles during the BGCT annual meeting in Fort Worth Nov. 10-11.
Broyles is pastor of First Baptist Church in Ballinger. He is a member of the Baptist Standard board of directors, BGCT Committee on Committees and steering committee of Lake Ivey Baptist Association.
“Bobby has been involved in Texas Baptist life his whole ministry,” Streun said, noting Broyles graduated from two Texas Baptist schools, Howard Payne University and Hardin-Simmons University, and has served on the BGCT Executive Board.
“He’s up to date on Texas Baptist issues and interested in what is going on in our convention. He’s committed,” Streun added. “He has a very strong opinion about the way things ought to be, but he’s very fair-minded. He wants to be reconciliatory as much as he can be but also wants to stand on his convictions.
“That’s what Texas Baptists need now. At this point, we need some new life, but not necessarily someone who has not been involved in Texas Baptist life. That’s where Bobby is; he’s been there from the outset.”
Broyles maintains a “passion for the convention,” Streun noted. “He definitely has a heart for what Texas Baptists can do together and wants to make sure we’re on the traditional Baptist path. … He thinks the threat of fundamentalism is lurking in the background, but we’re not in imminent danger.”
Broyles is a dedicated pastor, Streun said. Before moving to Ballinger five years ago, Broyles was pastor of First Baptist Church in Earth, minister to students and families at Southwest Park Baptist Church in Abilene, and music and youth minister at First Baptist Church in Bangs.
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“Bobby is very committed to his folks. He wants to know when they have a runny nose,” Streun said. “He’s always supportive in their lives. He’s a wise individual. He’s got a strong personality, but he’s got wisdom to know how to counsel and lead and direct, … not only church members but also other pastors.
“He’s a great friend of Texas Baptists. He knows people all over the state. I’ve gone to conventions with him and stood behind him and watched him. He loves folks. He loves Texas Baptists, for sure.”
Broyles said he’s willing to serve as a BGCT vice president because he wants to help the convention.
Texas Hope 2010
“I had the opportunity to spend an hour and a half or so with (new BGCT Executive Director) Randel Everett the other day, and he spelled out his vision of Texas Hope 2010,” Broyles said. Texas Hope 2010 is a project designed to share the gospel with every Texan and meet human needs such as hunger and illiteracy by Easter 2010.
“For several years now, I’ve felt like the way to unite Texas Baptist churches is to do what we do best, and that is share the gospel through missions and evangelism,” Broyles said. “And with the leadership of Dr. Everett, I think we’ll be able to do that—not only through traditional evangelical methods, but we’ll do a good job of sharing Christ through the social gospel as well, recognizing that meeting needs is an important part of the puzzle.”
Broyles noted he is a member of Texas Baptists Committed, the group formed to prevent ultra-conservatives from taking control of the BGCT the way they took over the Southern Baptist Convention. “I pay my $35 (dues) per year,” he said.
But he added Texas Baptists have signaled they are tired of political infighting.
Move past the conflict
“I think we got the message last year that people are ready for the fight to be over and ready to move past the conflict,” he said.
That “message” was signaled by the almost-successful presidential bid of David Lowrie, pastor of First Baptist Church in Canyon, he said. Lowrie came within 60 votes of winning the BGCT presidency without the endorsement of Texas Baptists Committed, a feat unprecedented in more than two decades.
“A main reason (Lowrie) was able to do that is Texas Baptists perceive there’s a small group of folks controlling things, and they’re ready for that to be over,” Broyles said. “I’m not saying I agree with that, but it’s still the perception.”
This year, two presidential candidates have been announced—Lowrie and Stephen Hatfield, pastor of First Baptist Church in Lewisville. Texas Baptists Committed is not expected to field a slate of candidates this year.
Texas Baptists can end their political conflict by clearly distinguishing between “what is conservative and what is fundamentalist,” Broyles suggested.
Conservative doesn't mean fundamentalist
“We have a whole lot of people who are conservative but not necessarily fundamentalist.
“A fundamentalist is someone of any belief—Christian or Muslim or what-have-you—who says: Here is the way we believe, and you must believe that way. And if you do not believe this way, we will do everything we can to take you over, destroy you, whatever.
“Conservatives can have legitimate disagreement about theological issues … but not be mad about it. They’re not demanding. Their basic message is ‘Christ is the answer.’”
Broyles repeated he wants to help the BGCT get past the fighting.
“It’s a critical time in the life of our convention, and I’m concerned for its future and think because of my background and history, I can help bring people to carry out the Great Commission,” he said. “Let us all quit demanding our own way and join together to change our world through the love of Christ.”
Broyles offered his phone number, (325) 977-0000, and e-mail address, firstname.lastname@example.org, to Texas Baptists. “If anybody wants to call me, I’d be happy to talk to them as long as they’re nice,” he quipped.
Attendance at First Baptist Church in Ballinger increased from 120 to 200 from 2003 to 2007, according to the Annual Church Profile. The church baptized 11 new Christians last year. Its total receipts were $509,088; total undesignated receipts were $320,053; total missions expenditures were $73,700; and Cooperative Program giving was $36,543.
Broyles leads the church in mission trips to Mexico each year and to sponsor a Spanish-language Bible study.
Broyles has been president and vice president of the Texas Baptist Association for Family Ministry. He has served on the board of the BGCT Christian Life Commission, BGCT Strategic Planning Com-mittee and BGCT Family Ministry Strategic Planning Team. He also has been involved in associational leadership.
He is president of the Ballinger Rotary Club and a member of the Ballinger Lion’s Club and serves on the board of the Ballinger Memorial Hospital. He was elected Man of the Year by the Earth Chamber of Commerce.
He and his wife, Karen, have two children—Kristen and Matthew.