BAPTIST GENERAL CONVENTION OF TEXAS 136TH ANNUAL
VOLUME 136, NO. 2 I GALVESTON I NOVEMBER 16, 2021
CELEBRATING 10 YEARS OF MINISTRY WITH DAVID HARDAGE By Bonnie Siess, News Manager
In a surprise ceremony at the end of the Monday evening worship session, Executive Director David Hardage was honored for 10 years of service with Texas Baptists. Executive Board Chairman Clint Davis presented Hardage with a crystal plaque in the shape of Texas. A video featuring past Texas Baptists executive directors and officers, current staff, and pastors and institutional presidents from around the state was shown to recognize Hardage’s contributions to the Convention.
“There’s a sweet spirit of unity and peace in the Convention right now,” Craig Christina, associate executive director of Texas Baptists, said. “Brothers and sisters, that doesn’t happen by accident. That happens because of the sagacious leadership of Dr. David Hardage, who is a true peacemaker. He has a big tent vision of leading the movement of God’s people that is Texas Baptists, and we would not be where we are today without his leadership.”
Convention President Jason Burden shared that within a few days of becoming executive director of Texas Baptists, Hardage made a 340 mile trip to Beaumont to meet with local pastors. “He didn’t go down to our area because he had to; he went because he wanted to,” Burden said. “That’s been not just my experience of David Hardage showing up in your field of mission, my field of mission. He goes because he desires to help Texas Baptists wherever they are. “Earlier tonight Dr. Hardage issued a lot of thank yous to all of us, but after 10 years of faithful, of fruitful ministry, of sacrificial giving and of servant leadership, we need our opportunity to tell David and Kathleen Hardage ‘thank you’ from all of our hearts.” Hardage’s children, John and Rebekah, surprised him by coming onstage during the recognition. Following the worship session, a dessert reception was held in Hardage’s honor. 1
schedule TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 16
8:30 AM - 9:30 AM SESSION 4
7:30 am: Free Coffee & Pastries
Tower Ballroom A
Crystal Ballroom A
The Next Great Movement Among American Congregations: Church Adoptions Outpace Church Closures
Thom Rainer, Sam Rainer, Jonathan Smith, Phil Miller
Crystal Ballroom B
Beyond the Mask: Ministry to Women in a Post-COVID World
Crystal Ballroom C
Child Sex Trafficking: What Every Church Needs to Know
Tower Ballroom B
8:00 – 10:00 am: Registration Open 8:00 – 10:00 am: Exhibits Open 8:30 – 9:30 am: Workshops – Session 4 9:45 am – 12:00 pm: W orship/Business – Session 2
FUTURE ANNUAL MEETING DATES & LOCATIONS Proposed
2022 annual meeting
2023 annual meeting
2024 annual meeting
will be held at the Waco
will be a Family Gathering held at
will be held at the Waco
the McAllen Convention Center
Nov. 13-15, 2022
July 23-25, 2023
Nov. 10-12, 2024 3
for guidance only. The order of business was adopted. 18. Burden asked anyone planning to make a nomination for president, first vice president or second vice president to come to the stage. All voting would be conducted by raising the ballot, or as otherwise determined by the Chair.
NOV. 15, 2021 Monday Morning Business Session 1 1.
Pre-session music provided by the Singing Men of Southeast Texas led by Jeff Nelson. David Hardage welcomed attendees and introduced morning speakers, Jason Bryant, Texas Baptists Western Heritage Consultant and Jordan Villanueva, BGCT Second Vice President. Katie McCoy, director, Texas Baptists Women’s Ministry, read Colossians 1:24-29 and opened in prayer.
Congregational worship led by Keron Jackson and Singing Men of Southeast Texas.
Jason Bryant, Texas Baptists Western Heritage Consultant shared a message from Romans 10:9-15 entitled “Beautiful Boots.” He encouraged churches to make disciples and walk beside people on their spiritual journeys.
6. Music and testimony by Keron Jackson. 7.
Jordan Villanueva, BGCT Second Vice President, preached from Acts 15. Finding unity in the gospel is essential, Villanueva said.
Hardage Reminded Attendees of workshops
Benediction was led by James Soy, senior pastor, First Philippine Baptist Church, Missouri City.
10. Post service concert by Keron Jackson.
Monday Morning Worship Session 1 11. Jason Burden, president, BGCT, declared the 136th Annual Meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Texas come to order. 12. Tony Celelli, president, Stark College and Seminary, Corpus Christi, read from Isaiah 40:21-31 and led in prayer. 13. Burden recognized Juan Lambarria, chair, Committee on Credentials, for a report. 14. Lambarria announced as of 10:00 a.m., November 15, there were 974 messengers enrolled and 460 visitors duly registered. He moved that the messengers who have been enrolled as of this time be seated. Motion was approved. 15. Burden stated if anyone wishes to challenge the seating of messengers from churches they would need to do so in writing to the Committee on Credentials. It would be referred to the Executive Board and reported back next year at the Annual Meeting. 16. Burden recognized Patrick Bradley, chair, Committee on Annual Meeting (COAM). Bradley moved the Standing Rules of the Convention as printed on page 35 of the Bulletin be approved for the Annual Meeting. Motion was approved. 17. Bradley then moved that the Order of Business as printed on pages 8-13 of the Program be adopted for the Convention. Burden mentioned the times stated were general orders and were intended
19. Burden said anyone desiring to make a motion should refer to page 36 in the Bulletin, making note of the notice on page 37. He noted that a motion will not be considered by the convention until a messenger has submitted it to the delegates during the Annual Meeting. 20. Burden recognized students from San Marcos Academy for serving as pages at the microphones. 21. Burden reminded messengers that anyone who desired to offer a resolution should remember that a resolution is defined as an expression of opinion as opposed to a motion calling for action. Additional information was in the Bulletin on page 34. Any resolution must be received by the Resolutions Committee no later than 11:00 a.m. on Monday. 22. Julio Guarneri, first vice president, BGCT announced the time for the election of the BGCT President for the year 2021 – 2022. Guarneri recognized Ray Meador, messenger, First Baptist Church, Nederland. 23. Meador nominated Jason Burden, pastor, First Baptist Church, Nederland. There were no other nominations for President. Burden was elected for the 2021 – 2022 term. 24. Burden called for nominations for candidates for First Vice President. 25. Tony Celelli, messenger, Second Baptist Church, Corpus Christi, nominated Julio Guarneri for First Vice President for the 2021 – 2022 term. There were no other nominations for First Vice President. Guarneri was elected.
26. Burden called for nominations for candidates for Second Vice President. 27. Ryan Jespersen, messenger, Hillcrest Baptist Church, Cedar Hill, nominated Nebiye Kelile for Second Vice President for the 2021-2022 term. There were no other nominations for Second Vice President. Kelile was nominated. 28. President Burden recognized Clint Davis, BGCT Executive Board chair, for a report from the Executive Board. Clint highlighted business from the 2021 executive board, including one Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) property exchange and one property acquisition; a new staff position to reach single adults in Texas; a recommendation to modify policy 525.1 in regards to sexual abuse and exploitation; and an adjustment to the ministerial retirement match program. 29. Davis introduced Ward Hayes, BGCT CFO/Treasurer, to present the Treasurer’s report for 2020. 30. Hayes presented the Treasurer’s Report for 2020. A video highlighting the Center for Ministerial Health was shown. During the video, David Hardage, BGCT Executive Director, announced the creation of the new Pastor Sabbatical Grant Program to aid churches with providing their pastors with meaningful time to rest. 31. Hayes brought a report on the proposed 2022 Budget. 32. Davis moved on behalf of the Executive Board the adoption of the proposed budget for 2022 of $34,588,280 and recommended the continuation of 79% BGCT and 21% Worldwide with each church selecting the recipients. The recommendation appears on page 53 of the Bulletin. 33. Burden asked for any discussion. Motion passed. 34. Davis moved on behalf of the Executive Board to adopt the 2022 Texas World
Missions Initiative and Partnerships Allocation in the amount of $1,000,000 as detailed on page 54 of the Bulletin. 35. Burden asked for any discussion. Motion passed. 36. President Burden introduced the time for Miscellaneous Business and opened the floor for messengers to make motions that were germane to the Convention. Motions could be made at this time on any topic except those issues that were otherwise delegated by the Constitution and Bylaws. Further information can be found on Pages 36-37 of the Bulletin. Motions to amend the Constitution and Bylaws could also be made at this time. Motions made on Monday would not be acted upon until the business meeting on Tuesday. They would be discussed in the order in which they were made. 37. Chris McLain, messenger, First Baptist Church, Bandera, made a motion for consideration. “I move that the president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas appoint a task force to study and recommend ways to increase involvement of Millennial and Gen Z Baptists in the life of the convention and its cooperating churches. The task force will have a budget of up to $10,000 to cover the expenses of the committee. The task force will report its finding and recommendations at the September 2022 Executive Board meeting for review and to the 2022 Annual Meeting of the convention for consideration.” 38. Chad Edgington, messenger, First Baptist Church, Olney, made a motion for consideration. “Regarding the GC2 movement. I move the convention add to the third bullet point of the GC2 statement of faith for website and future publications to read: ‘The virgin birth of Christ, the eternal Son of God, who died for our sins, was resurrected on the 3rd day, ascended to heaven, and is coming back.”
39. Burden recognized Jeff Gravens, chair, Committee on Committees, who moved for the election of the persons nominated by this Committee found on page 42 of the Bulletin. The persons nominated were elected. 40. Burden recognized Delbert Milstead, chair, Committee to Nominate Executive Board Directors, who moved for the election of the persons nominated by the CNEBD found on page 42 of the Bulletin. The persons nominated were elected. 41. Burden recognized Eric House, chair, Committee on Nominations for Boards of Affiliated Ministries, who moved for the election of the persons nominated by the committee found on pages 43-46 of the Bulletin. The persons nominated were elected. 42. Burden recognized Julio Guarneri, pastor, Calvary Baptist Church, McAllen, Josue Valerio, director, Center for Missional Engagement, Texas Baptists, and Mario Gonzales, director, River Ministry and Mexico Missions, Texas Baptists to present a report on ministry in the Valley. 43. Burden recognized David Hardage, Executive Director, Texas Baptists. 44. Hardage recognized new and retiring institution presidents. Incoming: Justin Doss, Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas Matt Stone, Baptist Health System Hance Dilbeck, Jr., GuideStone Financial Resources Retiring: David Parmer, Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas Keith Bruce, Baptist Health System O.S. Hawkins, GuideStone Financial Resources 45. Earl Ann Bumpus, president, Woman’s Missionary Union of Texas, led the benediction.
Monday Afternoon Worship Session 2 46. Pre-session music provided by Houston Baptist University Schola Cantorum directed by Kevin Klotz. 47. Hardage welcomed attendees. 48. Robert Rodriguez, director, Valley Baptist Missions Education Center, read scripture and opened in prayer. 49. Congregational worship led by Kevin Klotz and Houston Baptist University choir. 50. Samuel Tolbert, president, North American Baptist Fellowship, preached from Jude 24-25. God will pick you up if you fall, Tolbert shared, and He will lift you up to His Kingdom. 51. Congregational worship led by Cecile Dagohoy and praise team, First Philippine Baptist Church, Houston. 52. Thom Rainer, CEO and Founder, Church Answers, shared a message from Acts 2:41. He explained that the local church is God’s plan and that prayer should be the heartbeat of the church. 53. Benediction was led by David Lorenz, Senior Pastor, First Baptist, Friendswood.
Monday Evening Worship Session 3 54. Pre-session music provided by Kingsland Baptist Church Choir directed by John Bolin. 55. Video of Hardin-Simmons University shown. 56. Hardage introduced Robert Sloan, President, Houston Baptist University. 57. Sloan opened in prayer and gave a report on HBU. 58. Congregational worship led by John Bolin and Kingsland Baptist Church choir. 59. Texas Baptists Executive Director Hardage gave the Executive Director’s report. He spoke on the partnerships Texas Baptists has embarked on, thanking distinguished guests Gary Irby, director of Church Starting of
the Northwest Baptist Convention; Tim Howe, church starting catalyst, Northwest Baptist Convention; Ney Ladeia, director of the Fellowship of Brazilian Baptist Churches in North America; George Russ, executive director of the Metropolitan New York Baptist Association; Ben Neiser, collegiate network coordinator for the Utah/Idaho Southern Baptist Convention; Rolando Guzman, president of the National Baptist Convention of Mexico; Daniel Jimenez, president of the Baptist Seminary in Mexico City; Milton Monte, of the Association of National Missions for the Brazilian Baptist Convention; Joseph Fornah, president of Baptist Convention of Sierra Leone; and Alberto Prokopchuc, president of the Latin American Baptist Union. 60. Hardage introduced Leadership Texas Baptists Cohort 6: Andrew Bedo, Mike Bryant, Ryan Hefton, Eli Lopez, Jacob Mason, Daniel McKay, Ruben Rios, Luis Rodriguez, Scotty Swingler, Tammy Tervooren, Brian Vaughn and Adam Van Arsdale. 61. Hardage shared about what each of the five ministry centers in Texas Baptists has been doing in the past year. He highlighted the church revitalization in the Center for Church Health, the Missionary Adoption Program in the Center for Missional Engagement, the Christian Life Commission in the Center for Cultural Engagement, the counseling services in the Center for Ministerial Health, and the campus missionary interns in the Center for Collegiate Ministry. 62. Katie Frugé, Hunger Offering Specialist, Texas Baptists, led the offertory prayer.
leadership team of Texas Baptists: Ray Malone, Joshua Minatrea, Ward Hayes, and Becky Brown. 67. Recognition by Craig Christina, Associate Executive Director, Texas Baptist, Jason Burden, president, Baptist General Convention of Texas and Clint Davis, chairman, Baptist General Convention of Texas Executive Board to honor Hardage for 10 years of service as executive director. 68. Video shown to honor Hardage. 69. Clint Davis, Chairman, Executive Board, presented Hardage and Mrs. Hardage with gifts of appreciation. 70. Hardage thanked all those in attendance. 71. Elijah Brown, General Secretary/CEO, Baptist World Alliance, gave a report on the Baptist World Alliance (BWA). He invited Texas Baptists to join BWA at their meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, on July 11-15. 72. Benediction was led by Ryan Rush, pastor, Kingsland Baptist Church, Katy.
The Texas Baptists Bulletin is published on the second day of the Annual Meeting by the Communications Department of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. The Bulletin includes announcements, committee reports and proceedings. David Hardage Executive Director Craig Christina Associate Executive Director Ward Hayes Treasurer / CFO Coleen Wall Director, Conference & Event Planning Joshua Minatrea Director, Communications
63. An offering was taken in support of Texas Baptists World Hunger.
Casey Wright Assoc. Director, Communications
64. Congregational worship led by John Bolin and Kingsland Baptist Church choir.
Caleb Arndt Design Manager
65. Ed Stetzer, Executive Director, Billy Graham Center, shared a message from John 20:19. The moment we are in does not pause the mission we are on, he said. He said that fear is the opposite of faith and that peace is always the Christian response. The cross is always our hope and we always go, because Jesus came to us.
Neil Williams Multimedia Specialist
66. Christina introduced the executive
Bonnie Siess News Manager Maritza Solano Production Designer
TEXAS BAPTISTS MESSENGERS APPROVE $34.59 MILLION BUDGET, ELECT NEW SECOND VICE PRESIDENT AND RE-ELECT OTHER OFFICERS By Bonnie Siess, News Manager GALVESTON–Two convention officers were re-elected to serve for a second term and a new second vice president was elected during the Monday morning business session at the 136th Annual Meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Texas Monday in Galveston. Jason Burden, pastor of First Baptist Church in Nederland, was re-elected President of Texas Baptists. Burden was nominated by Ray Meador, pastor emeritus of First Baptist Church in Nederland.
to modify policy 525.1 in regards to sexual abuse and exploitation; and an adjustment to the ministerial retirement match program. The 2022 budget was introduced by Ward Hayes, treasurer and CFO for Texas Baptists. Hayes highlighted the work of the Center for Ministerial Health, citing the financial resources, counseling and other services they offer. He also introduced the Pastor Sabbatical Grant Program, a new program designed to give pastors the financial support they need to take meaningful time for rest and renewal.
Julio Guarneri, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in McAllen, was re-elected as First “We celebrate the incredible generosity of our Vice President. Tony Celelli, president of God demonstrated through the generosity Stark College and Seminary in Corpus Christi, of our Texas Baptists churches through nominated Guarneri for the position. cooperative giving,” said Hayes. Messengers also elected Nebiye Kelile, pastor of Pathway Church in Dallas, to serve as the Second Vice President. Kelile was nominated by Ryan Jesperson, executive director of the Dallas Baptist Association. Clint Davis, chair of the Executive Board, gave an update on business conducted by the Executive Board during 2021. Davis highlighted two Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) property exchanges and one property acquisition; a new staff position to reach single adults in Texas; a recommendation
Messengers approved the proposed 2022 Texas Baptists missions and ministry $34.59 million budget. This is a slight increase from the 2021 budget, the first such increase in decades. The recommendation for the 2022 Texas World Missions Initiatives and Partnership Allocation was $1 million. Chris Mclain, messenger and pastor from First Baptist Church in Bandera, submitted a motion to create a task force to study and recommend ways to increase Millennial and Generation Z involvement in Texas Baptists
life and churches. The task force would report their findings and recommendations at the September 2022 Executive Board and the 2022 Annual Meeting. A second motion was submitted by Chad Edgington, messenger and senior pastor from First Baptist Church in Olney, to amend the third bullet point of the GC2 statement of faith to include Jesus’ ascension. Other business included the approval of nominations from the Committee on Committees, the Committee on Nominations for Boards of Affiliated Ministries and the Committee to Nominate Executive Board Directors. First Vice President Julio Guarneri, River Ministry/Mexico Missions Director Mario Gonzalez, and Center for Missional Engagement Director Josue Valerio shared an update on the ministry happening along the Texas/Mexico border. Gonzalez explained that in Brownsville alone, River Ministry missionaries are serving about 2,000 people a month, meeting physical and spiritual needs. “As Texas Baptists, we have a great opportunity to reach the world by reaching the immigrants that God is bringing to our state,” Valerio said. 7
2021 RESOLUTION I Appreciation of Hosts WHEREAS, churches and members of Galveston Baptist Assocation have provided leadership and key service at annual meeting; and WHEREAS, Texas Baptists as a whole desire to affirm the work of Baptists in the Gaveston area; and WHEREAS, The City of Galveston, Galveston Island Chamber of Commerce, Galveston Island Convention Center and the Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Burea have provided hospitality, assistance, and a friendly welcome; BE IT RESOLVED that the messengers to the 2021 annual meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Texas in Galveston express their appreciation to the churches and members of Galveston Baptist Association and Galveston Island community; and BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that we express our gratitude to the members of the Committee on the Annual Meeting and their important contributions.
2021 RESOLUTION II Celebration of Women in Texas Baptist Life WHEREAS, women have served Texas Baptists in numerous and complex ways, which include elected offices, faithful service on committees, local and foreign mission work, positions in higher education, as well as within local churches; WHEREAS, that Texas Baptists continue to affirm and celebrate the contribution of women advancing God’s Kingdom. BE IT RESOLVED, that the messengers of the 2021 Texas Baptists annual meeting 8
affirm the ongoing efforts of Texas Baptists following Christ’s example of engaging, empowering, and entrusting women with the Gospel.
2021 RESOLUTION III Generational Change WHEREAS, according to many Texas Baptist pastors, young people in our state are leaving the church at alarming rates consistent with the national trends; and WHEREAS, the Baptist General Convention of Texas has a rich and worthy heritage of local churches, local and global service, and mission-sending to share; and WHEREAS, Texas Baptists have a long tradition of sharing the Gospel and reaching the “next generation” for Christ; and WHEREAS, in light of this tradition, Texas Baptists have the desire to reach, influence, and disciple Millennials and Generation Z towards faith in Christ; and WHEREAS, according to Gallup, only 36% of Millennials are members of a church; and WHEREAS, according to American Bible Society, only 9% of Gen Z are Biblecommitted Christians; and WHEREAS, according to Barna, Gen Z more than any other generation says, “I used to go to church, but it’s just not important to me anymore”; and WHEREAS, according to Barna, Gen Z Christians more than any other generation have a desire to share their faith with their friends; and WHEREAS, over half the population of the United States are Millennials and younger as of July 2019 and the current median age of Texans is 34 years old according to U.S. Census Data; and
BE IT RESOLVED that the messengers to the 2021 annual meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Texas in Galveston reaffirm a commitment to reaching, discipling, caring for, and welcoming Millennials and Gen Z into our local churches; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we reaffirm a commitment to calling into ministry and training up Millennial and Gen Z Christians, equipping them as pastors and leaders in our local churches; and BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that we encourage the Baptist General Convention of Texas and all its churches to make a purposeful effort to minister to Millennials and Gen Z both through the promotion of young leaders and shifts in ministry strategy that engage those generations’ language and cultural ethos with the gospel.
GC2 is a movement of God’s people to share Christ and show love. Our driving passion is to follow the LORD’s call to fulfill the Great Commission “to share Christ” and the Great Commandment “to show love.” The Great Commission and the Great Commandment form the two “GCs,” or GC2. We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with like-minded Christians across Texas and beyond through this exciting organic movement.
#gc2 | gc2movement.com 10
“We need to get back to making disciples the way the Book made disciples, the way Jesus made disciples” — Jason Bryant, Western Heritage Consultant
2022 TEXAS BAPTISTS
Annual Meeting A movement of God’s people Texas Baptists is a movement of God’s people to share Christ and show love by strengthening churches and ministers, engaging culture, and connecting the nations to Jesus. Experience the practice and power of cooperation in Waco in 2022.
november 13-15, 2022
waco convention center