June 26, 2013 • ISSUE 12
Amid cultural changes and more crossdenominational marriages, are churches prepared to help Catholics who grace their doors understand what Baptists believe? A church in Beaumont is doing just that.
Cancer couldn’t stop DR childcare volunteers from ministering
TEXAS SENATE FAILS TO PASS ABORTION BILL AMID 11TH-HOUR CHAOS
A Pastor’s Excellent Adventure
hawn Peebles of San Angelo has always meant to attend the annual meeting of Southern Baptists. Between the reports he had read in newsmagazines and historical accounts recounted in seminary classrooms, he could see the value. And yet there was always something that made the trip out of reach for the Texas pastor. But this year he made the 400-mile trek. In fact, he had nothing but praise for the program and leaders who put it together. With children’s activities available throughout the four days he spent in Houston, he and his wife signed the kids up early. Each child was greeted by name and met new friends they will remember. Peebles said he was impressed by SBC employees and elected leaders who shared their hearts for local church ministry and sending missionaries throughout North America and the world. “It makes me smile to be part of such a wonderful convention of churches,” he remarked. This year SBC President Fred Luter bucked a trend to compress the agenda by scheduling what he called a revival service on Tuesday night. Several years earlier Bryant Wright led program planners to eliminate evening sessions in favor of giving participants more time for fellowship with family and friends. Mission reports were shifted to daytime sessions and time allotted for business was curtailed. The attentive crowd at the Tuesday revival service often responded with handclaps, amens and other affirmations, praising God and encouraging Luter during the 40-minute sermon, according to Baptist Press reporter Diana Chandler. Peebles called that service “amazing” and pledged to do everything possible in his church and town to seize the moments for effective ministry. How Southern Baptists spent their discretionary time may say more about the priorities of this year’s annual meeting in Houston than the business conducted on the floor. Attendance at side meetings before and during the annual meetings drew robust crowds.
For example, the two-day pre-convention Pastors’ Conference drew crowds ranging from 2,000 to 4,500, incorporating discussions on leadership, preaching and balancing ministry with family life. Ministers’ wives found encouragement in a separate morning session attracting 650 women and an annual luncheon with more than 1,300 in attendance. And over 3,500 people listened to a SEND North America presentation challenging Southern Baptists to help plant churches while the International Mission Board hosted two meals relating to overseas mission strategies that attracted 1,400 participants. Heavy-hitting theological discussions and practical application of biblical truth drew crowds to events like the Baptist 21 panel discussion on engaging the culture and the Ethics & Religious Liberty focus on family issues. The crowd standing throughout a Q&A with the Calvinism Advisory Group grew over the course of an hour from 200 to nearly 500 in the exhibit area. Dozens of other side meetings brought together affinity groups based on shared ministry interests, ethnic and racial identity and reunions of college and seminary alumni. The annual meeting serves as a personal reminder of our doctrinal convictions and missionary priorities. “This was my first convention but it certainly will not be my last,” Peebles shared. “My kids told me on the trip home that this was the best week ever. We are establishing this as a trip for our entire family every year from this point on. I challenge each pastor with children at home to do the same.” So as budgets are drawn up for 2014, earmark funds now to send your pastor to the annual meeting in Baltimore June 10-12 next year. As more pastors gain a first-hand view of the SBC’s priorities, appreciation for the denomination rises and vision for what could be gains focus. The end result should be more missionaries overseas, more church planters reaching the unreached areas of North America, more focus on how Southern Baptists can optimize resources toward reaching the world with the Good News. The old adage, “We can do more together than we can separately” still holds true amid a changing landscape. Denominational missions and ministries are no longer the only parachurch groups to which churches connect—there are multiple ministries vying for local church attention— but the SBC remains the only mission organization that can send 5,000 international missionaries to focus on the task in far-off places without raising their own funds. It still works and the Great Commission still matters. So does your voice, as does Pastor Peebles’. He found that out firsthand. You can do the same.
DR volunteers aid in flood-stricken Eagle Pass
Baptists, Catholics join to fight abortion mandate
Disaster relief volunteers from the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention were aiding victims of flooding in the South Texas border town of Eagle Pass. Fifty-four people are new Christ followers.
United States’ two largest religious denominations have joined forces in an effort to protect freedom of conscience.
SBC messengers pass 12 resolutions including one on Scouts Messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention dealt, as expected, with the hot-button issue of the Boy Scouts’ new membership policy, but also passed a series of resolutions expressing compassion for the victimized and vulnerable.
Santorum take reins of Dallas movie company Former Republican senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum has a new day job: chief executive officer of a Dallas-based movie company.
Church ‘Catholic Connections’ class helping Catholics understand Baptists
As the Hispanic—and traditionally Catholic—population of Texas continues to increase, so do opportunities for Southern Baptist churches to address the spiritual questions of Catholics.
TEXAN Digital is e-published twice monthly by the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, 4500 State Highway 360, Grapevine, TX 76099-1988. Jim Richards, Executive Director
DR childcare lays spiritual foundations, retiring director says Don’t let the combat-style boots fool you. Carma Hackett is no drill sergeant. In fact, the ministry she helped found cares for the smallest among us.
Gary Ledbetter, Editor Jerry Pierce, Managing Editor Russell Lightner, Design & Layout Stephanie Barksdale, Subscriptions Contributing Writers Bonnie Pritchett, Tammi Ledbetter, John Evans, Tom Strode, Michelle Tyer To contact the TEXAN office, visit texanonline.net/contact or call toll free 877.953.7282 (SBTC)
Briefly ///////////////////////////////////////////////// DR volunteers aid in flood-stricken Eagle Pass Disaster relief volunteers from the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention were aiding victims of flooding in the South Texas border town of Eagle Pass in the latest round of service in what has been a busy several months for disaster relief ministry. On the heels of tornadoes in North Texas and Oklahoma and the deadly explosion in West, about 25 volunteers were counseling, making damage assessments and beginning clean-up efforts for residents in more than 400 homes flooded from 17 inches of rain last weekend in Maverick County. As of June 25, 54 people had made professions of faith through the witness of disaster relief volunteers, SBTC DR Director Jim Richardson said. Also, volunteers were providing 2,000 meals a day in addition to flood recovery, assessment and chaplaincy. The effort was expected to last three weeks, Richardson said. Texas Baptist Men were working in concert with SBTC DR volunteers. “The needs are great and trained DR volunteers are needed to replace those currently serving,” Richardson said, noting that anyone interested in volunteering may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or toll-free at 877-953-7282 (SBTC). For information on DR ministry training, visit sbtexas.com/dr.
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Santorum new CEO of Dallas-based film company Former Republican senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum has a new day job: chief executive officer of a Dallas-based movie company. The longtime Pennsylvania senator known for his strong pro-life advocacy was a favorite of social conservatives in the last Republican presidential primary. His new position with EchoLight Studios evolved from
involvement to a place on its corporate board to running the show, according to Robert Wilonsky of the Dallas Morning News, who interviewed Santorum for its pop culture blog. “I’ve always been interested in working with people in the arts and always thought it was a mistake for conservatives to put walls around their families,” Santorum told the newspaper. “We
should be tearing them down and shaping the culture ourselves — and from my perspective, there’s no better place to do that from than Texas.” In the interview, Santorum did not rule out a 2016 presidential run.
Carter: Catholics need women priests, SBC believes women ‘inferior’ “A woman can be a nurse or a teacher but she can’t be a priest. This is wrong, I think.” So says former President Jimmy Carter, who years ago proclaimed himself a former Southern Baptist. Carter gave some of his views on women and religion in an interview with Time magazine’s website. “As you may or may not know, the Southern Baptist Convention back now about 13 years ago in Orlando, voted that women were inferior and had to be subservient to their husbands, and ordained that a woman could not be a deacon or a pastor or a chaplain or even a teacher in a classroom in some seminaries where men are in the classroom, boys are in the classroom. So my wife and I withdrew from the Southern Baptist Convention primarily because of that. “But I now go to a more moderate church in Plains, a small church, it’s part of the Cooperative Baptist fellowship, and we have a male and a female pastor, and we have women and have men who are deacons. My wife happens to be one of the deacons.” Carter added that some of the Baptists had made progress on this, as have Methodists and other mainline groups. An article on the family added to the Baptist Faith & Message confessional statement in 1998 stated that the “husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God’s image” and also that “A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church” and that the “wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ.” An article on the church was amended in the 2000 BFM to state, “While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.” —Briefly section was compiled from staff reports and Baptist Press
6-year-old boy may use girls’ restroom A suburban Colorado Springs school district likely discriminated against a 6-year-old transgender boy who presents himself as a girl when it said the child couldn’t use the girls’ restroom at his public school, a state civil rights panel has ruled. The Associated Press, which referred in its story to Coy Mathis, who has outward male parts, as “she” and “her” throughout their story, said the child’s family protested his use of only the teachers’ lounge or nurse’s office to relieve himself rather than the girls’ bathroom at an elementary school in Fountain, Colo. Parents Kathryn and Jeremy
Mathis argued the district’s policy would stigmatize the boy, which they refer to as their daughter. The Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, based in New York, have taken up the case. The AP said Mathises moved to the Denver suburb of Aurora and Coy was homeschooled following the disagreement with the school district.
Chinese pressure pushes activist from NYU New York University has asked lawyer Chen Guangcheng to leave before the end of June, and the foe of China’s forced abortion policy says the school’s action resulted from pressure by the Beijing regime. NYU welcomed Chen, his wife and two children in May 2012 following negotiations between the United States and China. A self-taught lawyer, he is best known for his organization of a class-action lawsuit in the province of Shandong against violent enforcement of the “one-child” coercive population control program. Chen served four years and three months in prison. After his release in 2010, Chen was placed under house arrest but escaped last year. Chen, who is blind, expressed gratitude to NYU for welcoming his family last year and supporting them at first, but he said Chinese officials began applying “great, unrelenting pressure” on the school as early as August. NYU officials soon began talking to Chen about his departure, he said. “The work of the Chinese communists within academic circles in the United States is far greater than what people imagine.... Academic independence and academic freedom in the United States are being greatly threatened by a totalitarian regime,” Chen said in a June 17 news release. Bob Fu, president of ChinaAid, confirmed Beijing’s influence on American universities, saying in the news release U.S. schools “are out chasing the China dollar and are very reluctant to work with dissidents who have a strong voice in China. It does not always have to be direct pressure from Beijing. There is also self-censorship, particularly if a college president believes their China campus or the future enrollment of Chinese students will be sabotaged.”
Baptists, Catholics join to fight abortion mandate United States’ two largest religious denominations have joined forces in an effort to protect freedom of conscience as full enforcement of the Obama administration’s abortion/contraception mandate nears. The leading religious freedom spokesmen for Southern Baptists and American Roman Catholics—Russell D. Moore and William Lori, respectively—urged Congress in a June 21 letter to pass legislation designed to bolster conscience protections in health care. The letter from Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, and Lori, archbishop of Baltimore and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ ad hoc committee for religious liberty, went to all members of the Senate and House of Representatives. The proposal for which they sought support—the Health Care Conscience Rights Act, H.R. 940 in the House and S. 1204 in the Senate—addresses health care generally, but Moore and Lori cited the abortion/contraception mandate as the most immediate challenge to religious freedom in that arena. The mandate, part of regulations implementing the 2010 health-care reform law, requires nearly all employers to carry insurance plans that cover drugs defined by the federal government as contraceptives, even if they can cause chemical abortions. Among those statedefined contraceptives are Plan B and other “morning-after” pills, which can prevent implantation of tiny embryos, and “ella,” which, in a fashion similar to the abortion drug RU 486, can act even after implantation to end the life of a child. The rule mandates plans to underwrite sterilization for women and related “education and counseling.” The abortion/contraception requirement is the target of more than 60 federal lawsuits and will be implemented for Christian institutions and other non-profit organizations beginning Aug. 1. It will take effect when each organization’s health plan begins a new year. The mandate’s start-up date for for-profit organizations was Aug. 1 of 2012.
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Pew RESEARCH: Media’s gay marriage support evident The mainstream media’s focus on support of same-sex marriage outnumbered news stories opposing it by roughly 5-to-1, according to a new Pew Research study showing the influence such coverage could have on the American public. Nearly half of the stories studied in the two months marked by Supreme Court deliberations on the subject, mid-March through mid-May, focused on support of gay marriage and only 9 percent focused on opposition. Pew said in its study, released June 17, 44 percent of the news stories included an even mix of support and opposition or were objective. Pew defined support or opposition by mandating that statements expressing that position had to outnumber the opposite view by at least 2-to-1. All three of the major cable networks, Pew said, had more stories with significantly more supportive statements
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than opposing, including Fox News. William Proctor, an evangelical commentator and author of “The Gospel According to The New York Times,” told Baptist Press the research shows the mainstream news media continues to demonstrate a “significant bias against biblical values on social and other issues.” “But second, and even more important, through a process I’ve called ‘culture creep,’ the values espoused by the media inexorably draw the public away from traditional biblical values and toward moral and social standards that are antithetical to those affirmed by historic Christianity,” Proctor, a two-time Harvard graduate, said. Proctor pointed to polls by Angus Reid Public Opinion that found as news reports have increased in support of gay marriage, Americans’ opinions have shifted dramatically as well. In 2010, he said, only 36 percent of Ameri-
cans affirmed same-sex marriage; in 2011 the figure had risen to 46 percent; and now a Gallup poll shows support at 51 percent or higher. Amy Mitchell, acting director of Pew’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, said the study shows how samesex marriage supporters had a clear message and succeeded in getting that message across in all sectors of mainstream media. One bright spot for gay marriage opponents, according to the Pew study, is that an analysis of Twitter conversation found that despite the nation’s shift toward acceptance of same-sex marriage, significant opposition remains. Statements on Twitter were closely split between those who supported and those that opposed, Pew reported. To read Pew’s study on the mainstream media and gay marriage, visit www.journalism.org/node/33731.
Dems’ filibuster succeeds in pushing omnibus pro-life bill beyond midnight deadline; second special session possible By Bonnie Pritchett AUSTIN
A nearly 13-hour filibuster and parliamentarian wrangling in the Texas Senate Tuesday and into early Wednesday exhausted the final hours of the 83rd Texas Legislature’s special-called session and ended efforts to pass comprehensive pro-life legislation. The final minutes of the session broke down in a cacophony of noise from protestors in the gallery and rules questions on the floor, leaving observers wondering if the measure passed by the midnight deadline and for several hours afterwards. “Pandemonium in the Texas Capitol with protestors attempting to shout down the Senate. But, praise God, it looks like SB 5 passed just before midnight,” read a post on the Texas Values Facebook page shortly after the session ended. But the tone changed as the morning wore on. Around 3 a.m., Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst returned to the podium and read from a prepared statement: “Members, regrettably, the constitutional time for the first called 83rd Legislature has expired. Senate Bill 5 cannot be signed in the presence of the Senate at this time and therefore cannot be enrolled.” Facebook and Twitter feeds from pro-life advocates called the news very sad and acknowledged their hope Gov. Rick Perry would call a second special session. Dewhurst may have given them a glimmer of hope when he returned to the microphone following his prepared statement. Dewhurst quipped, “It’s been fun. See you soon.” But abortion-rights advocates cheered the ruling. “Thanks to the powerful voices of thousands of Texans, #SB5 is dead. An incredible victory for Texas women and those who love them,” said Sen. Wendy Davis, D- Ft. Worth, in response. Davis’ filibuster effort while reportedly wearing a back brace for extra support seemed to be cut short just after 10 p.m. following her third rules violation called by Dewhurst. Parliamentarian rules wrangling stalled a vote for almost another two hours. A sharp rebuke Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San
Antonio, prompted howls and screams from abortionrights protestors who packed the Senate gallery. As midnight approached, a loud mob gathered outside and tried to enter the gallery. The shouts continued to rise as the senators took a roll call vote on a motion introduced by Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, to accept SB 5 as passed by the House. That vote passed, 19-10, but was not announced until 11:59 p.m. amidst the continued caterwauling from the gallery. Two or three minutes after midnight senators gathered near the speaker’s podium and another roll call vote could be heard. But during the vote Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, could be heard shouting “It’s past midnight!” Three hours later Dewhurst affirmed the timing. In an interview Tuesday evening as Davis’s filibuster continued, Ann Hettinger, state director of Concerned Women for America, said she still held out hope that the bill would pass. “I have never seen such prayer coverage in Texas,” she said. But she predicted there would be “a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking” about the bill’s demise. Critics of the bill said it was a thinly veiled attempt to incrementally suspend all abortions in Texas. Rallies at the Capitol since Sunday drew abortion activists from across the state. Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, showed up to cheer opponents. Following the bill’s demise Richards tweeted, “We’re sending @WendyDavisTexas a BIG thank you for standing up for women. Will you?” Arguing that the unborn baby can feel pain as early as 20 weeks of gestation, the bill puts restrictions on abortion after 20 weeks. The current state standard is 24 weeks. The bill would require abortion clinics upgrade their centers to meet standards of ambulatory centers; doctors to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion clinic; and stricter oversight of how the RU-486 abortion drug is given.
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GuideStone voices support for Church Health Plan Act By TEXAN Staff DALLAS
GuideStone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention has thrown its support behind a federal bill aimed at fixing what it says are inequities leveled at church health plans in the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. GuideStone, once known as the Annuity Board, has provided financial and health benefits to Southern Baptist pastors, ministers and employees of Baptistrelated organizations for 95 years. Those constituents—part of the 1 million or so across all denominations that are covered by so-called church health plans such as what GuideStone offers—were left in limbo when Obamacare was enacted in 2010. In a June 17 news release, GuideStone gave its endorsement of Senate Bill 1164, called the Church Health Plan Act, sponsored by two Democrat senators. “Those pastors, ministers and employees, as well as their families, were disregarded and put at a disadvantage when the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was enacted in 2010,” the news release said. “Beginning in 2014, premium tax credits will be made available to eligible individuals who purchase their health coverage from commercial health care exchanges, but those credits will not be available to pastors and others who get their health care coverage from church health plans.” The Church Health Plan Act would provide fairness for church health plans that cover ministers and others serving churches and ministry organizations, GuideStone said. “GuideStone strongly supports the efforts of Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., and Sen. Christopher Coons, D-Del., the 6 TEXANONLINE.NET june 26, 2013
sponsors of the bill, and urges both Democratic and Republican senators alike to stand with more than one million pastors and churches to ensure its swift passage,” the news release stated. The bill would not add to the cost of health care reform but “enables pastors and others who receive their coverage through church health plans to access the same premium tax credits that are provided to participants in secular health plans,” GuideStone said. “For many months GuideStone has been advocating on multiple avenues related to health care reform, and we continue to do so,” GuideStone President O.S. Hawkins said. “Now, Congress stands poised to provide fair treatment for church health care plans. If Congress fails to act, they will be disadvantaging church plans as compared to commercial, secular plans.” GuideStone provides health insurance coverage for 60,000 Southern Baptists ministers and ministry employees. For more information on the Church Health Plan Act of 2013 and GuideStone’s advocacy on behalf of pastors, visit FairnessForPastors.org. —Roy Hayhurst of GuideStone Financial Resources contributed to this report.
Beaumont church’s ‘Catholic Connections’ class helping Catholics understand Baptist doctrine By Jane Rodgers
Demographic realities are bringing Catholics into Baptist churches. Are churches ready to help them understand with sensitivity and tact what Baptists consider biblical Christianity? BEAUMONT
s the Hispanic—and traditionally Catholic—population of Texas continues to increase, so do opportunities for Southern Baptist churches to address the spiritual questions of Catholics. Calvary Baptist Church in Beaumont offers a Catholic Connection class to do just that, albeit in a French Catholic community. Hispanics made up 38.1 percent of the population of Texas in 2011, the U.S. Census reports. This reflects a nearly 10 percent increase since 2006 when Hispanics accounted for 35.7 percent of all Texans, according to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts’ office. The Texas trend of growth is reflected nationally. The SBTC has 193 affiliate churches listing Spanish as their primary or secondary language. Many of these congregants are former Catholics. Churches in southeast Texas such as Beaumont’s Calvary
Baptist also attract people from French Catholic traditions much like their neighbors in Louisiana a few miles east. In suburban areas with transplants from other parts of the country, Baptist churches are seeing some nominal Catholics enter their doors. How can a Baptist church, with sensitivity and wisdom, integrate former Catholics into its body? “Discipling former Catholics is a process, not a program,” said Bruno Molina, SBTC language evangelism associate. Molina, a former Catholic, helps lead Hillcrest en Espanol, a Spanish fellowship at Hillcrest Baptist Church in Cedar Hill, just south of Dallas, do just that. Integrating former Catholics into Baptist fellowships is “not a matter of going through so many lessons” or simply helping them find their JUNE 26, 2013 TEXANONLINE.NET 7
spiritual gifts, Molina said. “It must entail encouraging them to stay in the Word so they understand that everything flows from the Word, not just tradition.” Part of the process must also involve letting former Catholics know what they can expect from the Baptist or Protestant church for support, Molina said. Potential pitfalls occur when the old faith traditions collide with the new. Tension can arise as former Catholics relate to family members and friends. “It’s important to encourage former Catholics not to exclude themselves from previous relationships,” said Molina, who recalled his own experience with his traditionally Catholic family after he had trusted Christ as Savior. “When I came home from the Army and was going to explain the gospel to my dad, I was so excited. I didn’t realize at the time that when I thought they heard that God loved them and had a plan for their salvation, what they really heard was that I was rejecting their culture and the way they had raised me,” explained Molina. “It was as if I were rejecting being a Dominican because Dominicans are Catholic!” Despite the tension, it is important for former Catholics to include Catholic family members in celebrations of faith, Molina said. For example, while asking Catholic family members to attend one’s adult baptism may be awkward, it should be encouraged, Molina added. “That is a great opportunity to testify and help the family understand and experience true Christian fellowship,” Molina explained. Catholics and Baptists differ in 8 TEXANONLINE.NET june 26, 2013
“It was as if I were rejecting being a Dominican because Dominicans are Catholic!” some essential doctrinal points. Mike Gonzales, SBTC director of language ministries, recommends focusing on the nature of the salvation experience when discipling former Catholics. “A new believer who comes out of a Catholic background needs to understand that salvation is a spiritual experience” and not the result of adherence to the sacraments, Gonzales said. “Scripture makes it clear that Jesus is the only mediator to God,” Gonzales added, citing 1 Timothy 2:5, John 14:6, John 10:9-10, Acts 4:12 and Hebrews 4:14-16. Gonzales recommends discipling former Catholics with either Henry T. Blackaby’s “Experiencing God” or John MacArthur’s “Fundamentals of the Faith,” in addition to the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 confessional statement, which is heavily referenced with Scripture. But in many ways, discipling ex-Catholics is much like discipling any new believers, Gonzales said. Calvary Baptist Church of Beaumont offers a Catholic Connection class twice annually. About 200 people have taken the four-week class since it began five years ago. “We use the class to help people from a Catholic background understand the differences between the Catholic faith and the Protestant religion and our church’s beliefs” said Cliff Ozmun, Calvary minister of education. “It is not a formal pathway for new members,” Ozmun said, “but almost every term we offer it, people do join the church and are
baptized.” The Catholic Connection class is not intentionally promoted in the wider Beaumont area. “It is aimed at the Calvary community,” Ozmun emphasized. When enough from Calvary express interest, the class is offered. “The class is not an evangelism tool for us. It is comparative theology,” said Ozmun, who noted that the last time the Catholic Connection class was offered, four individuals from a local group of Catholic apologists attended for the purpose of, in their words, providing “the Catholic response.” “By the fourth week, they commended us,” Ozmun said. “It was not because we aligned with Catholic doctrine but because we taught the contrast in such a respectful way. They felt we were accurately presenting Catholicism.” One person from the Catholic group even later approached Ozmun in a restaurant to say how much he had enjoyed the class. Bill Morgan, Calvary’s minister to median adults, wrote the Catholic Connection class curriculum. Jim Robichau, a lay leader and former Catholic, teaches the course. “We focus on a handful of things,” said Ozmun, including the authority of the Bible, the completeness of the canon, concepts of baptism, the purpose of communion, the doctrines of heaven and hell and the nature and role of confession. Churches that wish to contact Ozmun may do so via email at email@example.com.
SBC re-elects Luter; Texan Barber elected as 1st VP By John Evans HOUSTON
(BP) Fred Luter, pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, was elected without opposition to a second term as president of the Southern Baptist Convention, leading a slate of candidates who ran mostly unopposed. Bart Barber, pastor of First Baptist Church in Farmersville and an Executive Board member of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, was elected first vice president, while Jared Moore, pastor of New Salem Baptist Church in Hustonville, Ky., won a term as second vice president. John Yeats, Missouri Baptist Convention executive director and a former Texas pastor, was reelected unopposed to a 17th term as recording secretary, nominated by his son, John Mark Yeats, pastor of Normandale Baptist Church in Fort Worth. Jim Wells, strategic partners team leader for the Missouri convention, was re-elected unopposed to an 11th term as registration secretary after being nominated by SBTC Executive Director Jim Richards, who told messengers he could think of no one possessing “greater integrity with a sweeter spirit” than Wells. Also, John Meador, pastor of First Baptist Church in Euless, will preach the 2014 convention sermon, with John Avant, pastor of First Baptist Church Concord in Knoxville, Tenn., as the alternate
preacher. Mark A. Croston Sr., pastor of East End Baptist Church in Suffolk, Va., nominated Luter for another term as president, calling him “the kind of guy we need on the scene.” Croston recounted Luter’s pastorate at Franklin Avenue Baptist Church beginning in 1986, when Luter took the helm of the struggling 65-member church and led its growth into a megachurch with several thousand members. “[They] called this young, fiery preacher to be their pastor because he preached boldly and lived holy,” Croston said. Croston praised Luter as a man of dignity who has led the Southern Baptist Convention with distinction, lauding Luter’s commitment to the inerrancy of Scripture, support of the Cooperative Program and love of biblical marriage. “He is the husband of Elizabeth, the father of Chip and Kimberly, the pastor of the Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, La.,” Croston said, “and a believer that Jesus Christ still is the way, the truth and the life, and that no man comes to the Father but by him.” Barber ran unopposed and was nominated by Steve Gaines, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, Tenn. Gaines lauded Barber’s years of service, including as a pastor, in key Southern Baptist Convention positions and as an adjunct professor at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Newly elected officers of the Southern Baptist Convention include (clockwise from bottom left): Bart Barber, first vice president, pastor of First Baptist Church in Farmersville; John Yeats, re-elected recording secretary, executive director of Missouri Baptist Convention; Jim Wells, re-elected registration secretary, strategic partners team leader for the Missouri Baptist Convention; Jared Moore, second vice president, pastor of New Salem Baptist Church in Hustonville, Ky.; and Fred Luter, re-elected president, pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans. Photo by Adam Covington
“He is a Bible-believing, Jesusloving, soul-winning, pastortheologian who leads a wonderful Southern Baptist congregation that is taking the gospel to the world,” Gaines said. In the only contested election of the meeting, Moore won the office over Don Cass, a longtime pastor and denominational leader in Texas and New Mexico. Cass retired in 2012 as SBTC evangelism director. Moore received 451 of 682 votes cast (66.13 percent) while Cass received 223 (32.7 percent).
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Messengers of the Southern Baptist Convention cast votes to approve a resolution on the Boy Scouts that expresses “opposition to and disappointment in the decision of the Boy Scouts of America to change its membership policy” to allow homosexual members. The resolution does not take a position as to whether churches should disassociate with the Scouts, but it does urge churches that do sever ties “not to abandon their ministry to boys but consider expanding their Royal Ambassadors ministry.” Photo by Thomas Graham
SBC resolutions cover Scouts, mental health, prisoner outreach & human trafficking By Tom Strode HOUSTON
(BP) Messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention dealt, as expected, with the hot-button issue of the Boy Scouts’ new membership policy, but also passed a series of resolutions expressing compassion for the victimized and vulnerable. At the annual meeting in Houston June 11-12, messengers passed 12 resolutions in either unanimous or overwhelming votes, including one voicing disappointment in the May decision by the Boy Scouts to open their membership to openly homosexual youth. Messengers declined to call for churches to boycott BSA. The resolution expressed Southern Baptists’ “continued opposition” to the new membership policy and urged removal of the executive and board leaders who tried but failed to loosen the BSA’s leadership guidelines to include homosexual adults. However, the statement also supported families and churches in determining what their relationship to the Boy Scouts should be and urged those who remain in the BSA to share the gospel of Jesus with boys and seek the revocation of the new membership rule. Resolutions Committee Chairman Steve Lemke, provost and ethics professor at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, said in a news conference that the BSA resolution “is not against any boys.” “We want to minister to the boys,” Lemke said, describing the resolution as “a balanced, middle way that tries to state what most Baptists would believe and respect the congregational autonomy that we believe.” Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, told reporters at the news conference, “I think 10 TEXANONLINE.NET june 26, 2013
many in our culture were expecting a caustic response to the Boy Scouts of America decision.” Instead, Moore said, the statement “is a careful, gospel-focused, balanced resolution that expresses our convictions as Baptists about human sexuality, human flourishing and also speaks to the larger question of our mission as churches.” (Read related BSA story here.) Lemke acknowledged the statement on the Boy Scouts was the big news but he said the Resolution Committee members “were really excited about the resolutions related to compassion ministries.” These resolutions: Call on churches to protect children from sexual abuse and to pray for abuse victims; Urge Southern Baptists to become informed about human trafficking, how to combat it and how to provide Christian ministry to its victims; Affirm the “immeasurable value
to God” of people with “mental health concerns” and oppose “all stigmatization and prejudice” toward those with such problems (Read related story here); Express opposition to laws that may result in health-care rationing for senior adults and encouraged ministry to the elderly, and Endorse possible probation and parole for some nonviolent offenders and called for churches to seek the “moral and spiritual transformation” of prisoners. Messengers also approved resolutions: Calling for religious liberty for college students, military chaplains and service members, and religious liberty for employers regarding the health care they provide their employees; Encouraging churches to pray “confidently, regularly, and fervently” for the president of the United States and other governmental leaders; Urging all Southern Baptists “to tithe cheerfully to their local churches;” Celebrating the 125th anniversary of the Woman’s Missionary Union and commending the organization for its faithful support of and involvement in missions. Expressing appreciation for Billy Graham, who will turn 95 years old in November, and his evangelistic team and encouraging churches to participate in his organization’s “My Hope” outreach campaign this fall, and Thanking God and all those who helped with this year’s
meeting. “I think the mental illness resolution is phenomenal. It speaks to removing a stigma among people in our churches who are suffering with mental illness and also with those who are caring for them in ways that I think will have ramifications (possibly) for decades,” Moore added. Two current Texans served on the committee: Carol Yarber, member of First Baptist Church of Malakoff, and David Dykes, pastor of Green Acres Baptist in Tyler. Resolutions may be read in full here.
Deadline for SBTC board and committee nominations The Committee on Nominations is receiving nomination forms to fill upcoming vacancies on the SBTC Executive Board and committees. Nomination forms can be completed online or downloaded at sbtexas.com/nominations. The deadline to receive nomination forms is July 15. The vacancies to be filled are as follows: Executive Board: 11 vacancies (8 eligible for renomination). Note: The composition of the Executive Board is based on certain considerations: 1) one-fourth (1/4) of the membership must be laypersons, 2) one-fourth (1/4) of the membership, at the time of election, must be members of a church of 400 or less in resident membership, 3) at least five (5) representatives from each quadrant of the state. Missions Committee: 3 vacancies; Evangelism Committee: 4 vacancies; Church Ministries Committee: 3 vacancies; Texas Ethics and Religious Liberty Committee: 3 vacancies; Minister/Church Relations Committee: 2 vacancies; Hispanic Baptist Institute of Biblical Studies Committee: 2 vacancies; Credentials Committee: 1 vacancy; Committee on Order of Business: 3 vacancies. Also: Criswell College Board: 3 vacancies; East Texas Baptist Family Ministry: 1 vacancy; Jacksonville College: 1 vacancy; Texas Baptist Home: 2 vacancies; Southern Baptists of Texas Foundation: 2 vacancies (both eligible for renomination).
JUNE 26, 2013 TEXANONLINE.NET 11
Not even cancer kept these DR volunteers from caring for kids By Bonnie Pritchett HOUSTON
Joe Dufner and Doyle Bosley leave little room for excuses. Among the 115 disaster relief volunteers from across the country who entertained, fed, walked, cradled, changed and loved on 136 preschool children during the 2013 Southern Baptist Convention June 9-12 in Houston, Dufner and Bosley had the best reasons not to be there. Like their peers, their days began before convention staff and messengers arrived and ended after everyone had left for the night. But nothing would deter Texans Dufner and Bosley from their commitments. Not long hours, demanding schedules or stinky diapers. Not even cancer. The men and their fellow DR yellow shirts, many of them long past child-rearing years, worked at the convention as a facet of their childcare ministry, usually done in the field following disasters. Crying toddlers are no strangers to these folks. “As long as I can and as long as they’ll have me I’ll be here,” said Bosley, 69, a leukemia patient who’s fought his disease since 2006. When Dufner, 72, wasn’t working security at the convention’s childcare unit, he was driving to meet with doctors at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center (MDA) in preparation for surgery at the end of that week. He was diagnosed last year with Merkle cell carcinoma, a rare and aggressive form of skin cancer. Surgery in October treated the initial outbreak but a recent follow-up exam found the cancer had spread to his lymph nodes. The news was disconcerting, he said, not because the cancer had returned but the upcoming pre-operative 12 TEXANONLINE.NET june 26, 2013
Joe Dufner, 72, spent days at the George R. Brown Convention Center helping entertain preschoolers whose parents were attending the SBC annual meeting. Dufner kept his commitment to pull childcare duty while juggling pre-operative appointments at M.D. Anderson for surgery related to his Merkle cell carcinoma, a rare and aggression form of skin cancer. Dufner and his wife Betty are now directing the SBTC’s Disaster Relief childcare ministry. Photo by Bonnie Pritchett
appointments conflicted with the commitments he and his wife Betty had made for the convention. “My priority was that I made a commitment to take care of children and I’m going to take care of the children,” he said. The bi-vocational pastor from Forest Branch Baptist Church in Livingston said the setback would not keep him from fulfilling his obligation. With the SBC annual meeting and the world-renowned cancer treatment center both in downtown Houston, Dufner figured he would simply split his time between the two facilities. After a long appointment at MDA the Tuesday of the convention, Dufner returned to the George R. Brown (GRB) Convention Center to finish his shift with the children. The next morning he shared his story with the TEXAN before leaving for another appointment. At the close of his shift at the GRB that evening, Dufner and his wife became the new directors of the STBC DR childcare unit following the retirement of Carma Hackett. Two days later, Dufner had surgery to remove cancerous lymph nodes. Bosley’s ongoing battle with cancer has taken its toll
Like Dufner, 69-year-old Doyle Bosley hasn’t let cancer keep him from serving. Bosley has fought leukemia since 2006, but it didn’t stop him from spending his week caring for youngsters during the SBC in Houston. Here, Bosley helps entertain a young boy in the DR ministry’s care. Photo by Bonnie Pritchett
“When you go somewhere and a child runs up to you and calls you by name, you know you’ve succeeded.” on his kidneys and a severe case of plantar fasciitis keeps him off his feet and on a motorized scooter. He can’t chase the older children (childcare at the convention and during disaster responses is for children up to 5 years old) but he can sit at a table and play with a toddler. It was one such encounter that made a significant impression on an 18-month-old child and his foster parents. “I was supposed to pull the trailer and be free. I didn’t retire to work childcare,” Bosley said of his trip to Lubbock in 2009 for the SBTC annual meeting. But finding little else to do with his free time, Bosley sat through the childcare training session (He was already certified in other areas of DR ministry).
Dufner was also in attendance that day—just another observer passing the time and hoping to be useful. When it came time to get to work both men reported to Hackett, donning aprons and a willing spirit. When Hackett stopped by Bosley’s room to check on the children she spotted an 18-month-old boy standing at a table playing with a car. Looking past the toddler she saw Bosley, on the floor, rolling a second car, keeping the boy happily engaged. It was an unremarkable situation except for the fact that the child had been severely abused as a baby and men terrified him. In the short time they had been together the toddler developed a trust in Bosley alone. He would not leave when called to eat supper, instead demanding Bosley help him with his meal. The child’s foster parents (who later adopted him) tearfully recalled to Hackett that each day of the convention their son could not wait to get to the meeting to see “Papa Do.” Dufner became “Papa Joe” to his charges and the name stuck. The men have served at disaster sites, SBTC conventions, and SBC conventions. At the annual meetings they delight in seeing children they cared for the previous year. Dufner said, “When you go somewhere and a child runs up to you and calls you by name, you know you’ve succeeded.” Dufner and Bosley are not the only volunteers facing difficult health issues. Most volunteers sport a “crown of glory” (Proverbs 16:31) and endure health troubles that come with age. Bosley’s wife Patricia can no longer work directly with the children so she switched to registration, allowing her to continue volunteering and being nearby. Dufner said he would like to see younger adults volunteer with SBTC DR childcare. Participation from a younger generation would only strengthen the ranks of the ministry. On average, about 10 percent of the DR volunteers respond when called, necessitating a pool of at least 200 trained workers to staff a convention or disaster. SBTC DR childcare only has a pool of 56 trained volunteers from which to draw when needs arise. “We have people say ‘I’m too old. I can’t walk. I can’t witness,’” Dufner said. But speaking as the soon-to-be childcare director, he added, “In disaster relief there is a job for anybody. There’s always a place for anyone who wants to serve.” JUNE 26, 2013 TEXANONLINE.NET 13
DR childcare lays spiritual foundations, retiring director says By Bonnie Pritchett HOUSTON
Don’t let the combatstyle boots fool you. Carma Hackett is no drill sergeant. She helped establish and directed the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention’s Disaster Relief childcare unit with the efficiency of a longtime business owner but the heart of a servant. And at the close of the 2013 Southern Baptist Convention June 12 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, she handed over her baby to new leadership so she could devote more time to something more near and dear to her heart. The 75-year-old retired construction company owner is newly married to Dennis Maywald. And after being single for 45 years she’d like to spend more time nurturing this newfound relationship without the interruption of disaster relief duty. That’s not to say she won’t again volunteer. She is open to God’s leading, she said, just as she was seven years ago when she moved from Arizona to Texas and stepped up to lead a program she had never heard of. “For the last seven years I have not had to worry about childcare because I knew if Carma was there it would be done right,” SBTC Disaster Relief Director Jim Richardson said of Hackett. Asked if Hackett was a trooper, Richardson answered no. “She’s a Ranger!” “Jim gets the concept of childcare. He tells [DR volunteers], ‘I trust my grandchildren with yellow shirts,’” Hackett said of the SBTC DR volunteers and their ubiquitous yellow shirts and hats worn on duty. One duty unrelated to disaster relief is the presence of DR childcare volunteers at Baptist annual meetings, where they care for the young children of messengers. 14 TEXANONLINE.NET june 26, 2013
Carma Hackett, retiring director of DR childcare ministry for the SBTC, holds a child during the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Houston. Hackett helped found the childcare ministry among DR volunteers. The littleknown ministry provides trusted Christian care in the aftermath of disasters and during Baptist conventions, watching over children up to age 5. Photo by Bonnie Pritchett
On the last day of the SBC meeting she retired again and turned over responsibilities to Joe and Betty Dufner. Hackett recounted God’s leading in her life, telling how the work impacted her, the volunteers and the children and parents they served. Just to make it abundantly clear, Hackett said at the outset, “This is not babysitting.” For seven years Hackett has nurtured, coddled and directed the operation of the SBTC DR childcare unit. She said the ministry encompasses so much more than merely changing diapers and wiping noses and to describe it as “babysitting” is to miss the divine nature of what is accomplished with each deployment. In 2005 the Arizona transplant had never even heard of disaster relief until her pastor, Larry Shine of Pine Forest Baptist Church in Onalaska, asked the congregation to pray that God would raise up a leader to lead the fledgling childcare unit. Hackett committed to pray. “One night I had a dream of a long line of people,” she recalled.
In that line was a woman. In her arms was a child. Clinging to her leg was another. A third youngster ran amongst the crowd. “I thought, ‘Oh my goodness. There’s got to be someone who can take care of that mom.’” After a few days of praying Hackett said she confessed to her pastor she was the one God was calling. God told her, “I’ve already trained you to do that.” She was sent to Georgia for Phase I training. The 18-hour drive home was spent creating a checklist of all that would be needed to establish and effectively operate a disaster relief childcare center. Today the ministry boasts a mobile state-of-the-art childcare center that can be operational in two hours, caring for 80 children 5-years-old and younger. The childcare units serve in the field following disasters and during the state and national conventions. At the recent SBC annual meeting, 115 volunteers from Texas, Louisiana, Florida, New Mexico, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Ohio and Missouri cared for 136 children—many of them repeat attendees.
“When the children see the yellow shirts their faces light up. The Lord has so much more for us to do than change diapers.” Hackett said, “When the children see the yellow shirts their faces light up. The Lord has so much more for us to do than change diapers.” The childcare centers at the SBC and SBTC annual meetings allow both parents to participate in the events. Hackett said some of her workers are compelled to volunteer because, as pastors’ wives, they rarely had that opportunity when their children were young so they happily provide it to a new generation of parents. In the field following a disaster, shell-shocked communities grieve for lives and homes lost, sift through rubble and file insurance or fill out government forms. All the while, children, with needs
of their own, require care. At every deployment and each convention there are “divine appointments.” The work of DR childcare volunteers influences the children and their parents and opens opportunities to share the gospel. One example: Leticia, age 5, was displaced with her family after a tree fell on their Livingston home during Hurricane Ike in 2008. A local church opened its doors to those left homeless by the storm. Hackett recalled Leticia’s grandmother telling the girl how wonderful it was that God let them stay in one of his houses. While grandma spent hours filling out forms and meeting with FEMA representatives, Leticia stayed with Hackett in the childcare unit. Leticia knew enough about Jesus to ask Hackett some very profound questions. She asked Hackett if she knew Jesus. When Hackett said she did, the child asked, “Why did they hate him? Why did he have to die?” As the girl colored pictures Hackett told her about the Lord. An occasional nod indicated she was still listening though focused on her artwork. When asked if she wanted Jesus to be her Lord, Leticia responded, “I’ll think about it.” That afternoon the grandmother retrieved Leticia from the childcare center. The pair had only gone a short distance when the child broke free from her grandmother’s hand and ran back to Hackett. She knelt down to receive the child’s hug. The girl leaned in close and whispered in Hackett’s ear, “I’m still thinking about it.” That, Hackett said, is why DR childcare is important. “Do I think that girl will be saved? Absolutely!” At the SBTC meeting last year in San Antonio, Hackett recalled one child crying as his younger siblings were checked in to the childcare center that he had outgrown. “But they like me here,” he cried as his parents tried to console him. Another child wailed when her parents arrived to take her home because she didn’t want to leave. “What do you do back there?” one of the parents asked Hackett. “We love on them,” she replied. “What more could a kid want?” Hackett asked, pointing to the rooms where children played. “Back there is Toys-R-Us and Grandma and Grandpa are in charge.” JUNE 26, 2013 TEXANONLINE.NET 15
Train collegians to share gospel, ministers told By Michelle Tyer What if collegians in Baptist ministries aren’t able to articulate the gospel message? Collegiate ministers were challenged with that possibility at the Collegiate Roundabout Conference in Dallas May 14-16. Brian Frye, the collegiate evangelism strategist for the North American Mission Board, said it is important that ministers give their students appropriate training in the gospel. “If we tell our students to go out and share the gospel without training them, what will Lance Crowell they revert back to?” Frye asked. There are approximately 20.7 million college students in the United States, Frye said. Meanwhile, there are about 75,000 Southern Baptist students participating in Baptist collegiate ministries, most of them in the South. Steve Maltempi, newest member of the SBTC missions and evangelism staff, said college ministers must consider that their students are a mission field but at the same time train them to become a mission force to reach other students with the gospel. Lance Crowell, an SBTC church ministries associate, said there are many tools that can be used to help train students, but the main goal is for them to become so comfortable speaking with their peers about Christ that they no longer need an outside source beyond Scripture. Frye said it is important that churches create disciples who make disciples as well. But when reaching college students, a different tactic often needs to be used. “As churches we have a ‘y’all come’ approach,” Frye said. But college students often need someone to first come to them before they show interest in attending a church. The college years are especially crucial because that time, similar to the toddler years, is one of the most 16 TEXANONLINE.NET june 26, 2013
malleable phases for any person, Frye said. College students need more than to be taught how to share the gospel in a theoretical context; they need to see and experience it, he said. Frye said church leaders, and parents especially, need to actively demonstrate evangelism. He suggested that college ministers visit their campuses more than once a week, taking their college students with them. “Our hope would be to win students to Christ,” Frye said. “To disciple them so they become disciples who make disciples.” Towards that end, the inaugural Steve Maltempi Engage 24 effort was held in October 2012 to encourage all believing college students to share the gospel on their campuses on a specific day. Frye said approximately 9,000 conversations were held and almost 2,000 shared the gospel with another person for the first time. “The goal isn’t to have hundreds of thousands of people to come to know Christ,” Frye said, although that would also be a good result. “But to not have anyone leave college without articulating the gospel.” The event will be held once again this fall and Frye said he hoped churches would use it as a way to get students to start evangelizing more than just the one day. Joey Tombrella of Birchman Baptist Church said about 40 college students from his ministry took part in the event and he encouraged them to engage the lost even if responses are not positive. Frye agreed that making a habit of witnessing should be a goal, despite the outcome of each conversation. “If we’re going to make a dent in evangelism, we’ve got to take strides in creating an evangelism culture,” Frye said. Those strides are made when college students and their leaders intentionally share the gospel with their campuses, he added.