Hello, Texas Baptists. Thank you for allowing me the privilege of serving as your executive director this past year, 2013. I speak for Associate Executive Director Steve Vernon and Treasurer Jill Larsen when I say it is an honor to serve you!
Thanks to Pastor Nathan Buchanan at First Baptist Church in Mineral Wells for allowing me the opportunity to share with the church about our cooperative work as a Texas Baptist family. First Baptist in Mineral Wells has two excellent morning worship services at 8:30 and 11. I’m thankful to this church for allowing its pastor the time to serve on our Baptist General Convention of Texas Executive Board. He is a blessing to us. And Texas Baptists are thrilled to support this church’s great Upward basketball program. They have a wonderful outreach ministry through Upward, and the pastor’s wife directs it all!
Also, thanks to Pastor David Ritsema of First Baptist Church in Waxahachie for allowing me the joy of preaching on Dec. 29. I so enjoyed serving First Baptist in Waxahachie as an interim pastor for 18 months, prior to my coming to the BGCT. The opportunity to return to the church was such a blessing for Kathleen and me. And we trust the trip to the Holy Land was positive for Pastor Ritsema and his wife.
Speaking of the Holy Land, I’m contemplating putting together—with professional assistance, of course—a Texas Baptist trip there. Stay tuned for more information if it looks like something along these lines could come together.
The Hardage family enjoyed the Christmas Eve services at Lakeside Baptist Church in Dallas, where Jeff Donnell is the pastor. For the first time in my experience, and I’ve been to quite a few Christmas Eve services, the church celebrated the ordinance of baptism during the service. It was wonderful. I wish, when I was a pastor, I had given baptismal candidates the opportunity to be baptized on Christmas Eve. Just a thought for you pastors out there for 2014.
That is all for now. We look forward to a great year in 2014. Please make your plans to join us for our annual meeting next November in Waco. It will be a great time for all.
David Hardage is executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas Executive Board.