Hello, Texas Baptists! Let me begin by commending the cooperative spirit of the folks at First Baptist Church in Duncanville, where Keith Brister has been serving faithfully as pastor 17 years. I visited there and enjoyed telling them what we are doing together as a Texas Baptist family. The greatest blessing for me was when I learned that every year for the past 17 years, this church has increased Cooperative Program giving by one-quarter of a percent. They have done this during good economic times as well as poor economic times. Thanks to First Baptist in Duncanville for its support. It is a blessing to all of us.
Kathleen and I enjoyed our Sunday with A New Community Church in Garland. This is a 3-year-old small, ethnically diverse and socio-economically diverse congregation. However, they are doing good work and reaching folks in their community who have been unchurched or felt disenfranchised by the church. We were blessed.
On Jan. 29, under the leadership of Joe Loughlin, director of our Pastor/Church Connection, we hosted about 90 pastors in your Baptist Building for a day of information-sharing and fellowship. It was refreshing to hear of their good work and provide some encouragement and support. If you’d like more information about our next “Welcome Pastor Day,” please contact Alyssa Stiglets at (214) 828-5294 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. The next opportunity will be Sept. 10. Please go ahead and put this date on the calendar.
Pastor Pat Brown at Northlake Baptist Church in Dallas led a wonderful Wednesday night Bible study Kathleen and I had the privilege of joining. This church already shares its building with a Hispanic congregation and recently invited a church-start to share the building as well. With a core group of 50 already, look for some great things from Christ City Church in the coming months. We appreciate the partnership with the Dallas Baptist Association and Director of Missions Bob Dean.
Thanks to Tommy Hood and the folks of Lakeshore Drive Baptist Church in Weatherford for their kind and gracious hospitality. I enjoyed sharing with them in both of their morning worship services. He has served this church 17 years and continues to provide godly leadership and direction. There was a great crowd present for Super Bowl Sunday. I assumed it was because of my presence until I learned there was a churchwide chili cook-off after the second morning service. I should have known something was up!
I do hope you are making plans to join us in San Antonio July 14-17 for our annual meeting. This year’s convention is called “The Gathering” because it will be a joint meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, Hispanic Baptist Convention of Texas, the African-American Fellowship and our other ethnic and cultural partners. It will be like nothing we’ve ever done before, and I encourage you to attend.
Your Texas Baptist Executive Board will meet in Dallas Feb. 25-26. Please remember this meeting in your prayers. It is an honor to serve you. This group always wants to be faithful and responsible servants. God bless.
David Hardage is executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas Executive Board.