Richard Ray: Conference will bless ministers & families

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On June 1, I became the new director of missions for the Tri-Rivers Baptist Area, serving out of Gatesville.

It is an honor and a privilege to serve the churches and their ministers in the Tri-Rivers Area. Serving as pastor of small Texas Baptist churches for the past 16 years has equipped me and encouraged me to serve in the Bivocational/Small Church Association. I understand what it is to serve in a small church and the challenges that arise from such a calling. I often leaned upon my fellow small church pastors in guiding me through those challenges.

richard ray130Richard RayI always looked forward to the annual Bivocational/Small Church Conference, where I would be encouraged, equipped and educated in how to do ministry in the small-church setting. I gained valuable information, but more importantly, I gained valuable friendships that have sustained me through the years.

I encourage you to attend the Bivocational/Small Church Association annual conference scheduled for July 11-12 on the campus of the Baptist University of the Americas in San Antonio. This conference is design to minister to small-church ministers and their families, who have taken on the call of God to serve in the small-church mission field.

During this conference, you will gain information that will help you serve your church; however, the friendships you will make will enable you to be encouraged and an encourager to those serving as ministers and to their families.

Families are so important to the life of the small-church minister. I have been married for more than 29 years, and I have five children. The annual Bivocational/Small Church Conference always has provided an avenue for my wife to build friendships with others who would listen to her and would pray for her. My children always found new friendships at the conference with others ministers’ children. Those friendships have lasted for years.

At the annual conference, we have developed a time where ministers’ children/youth can come together to fellowship and create friendships that will help them survive being a child of a minister. At this year’s conference, we will take the youth to the River Walk in San Antonio. The children also will receive care, and the women will enjoy a spa and time to relax and visit.

texas baptist voices right120I hope you will be able to attend this year’s conference to be better equipped in ministry and to create new friendships so that you will be better equipped in the challenges of being in the ministry.

If you need additional information or you would like to register for this year’s conference please go to our website at Remember, God has called you to serve, but God has not called you to serve alone. Let us be your advocate, your resource, and your prayer partner as you fulfill your calling. Until next time, please visit our website

Richard Ray is president of the Bivocational/Small Church Association and director of missions for the Tri-Rivers Baptist Area. You can reach him at

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