Texas Baptists Life Volume 10, Issue 4

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Impacting the lives of migrants on the Texas and Mexico border


Produce prescriptions and urban farming education in McLennan County


Reaching across generations through new church startConclave focuses on strengthening generational, family bonds




From the Texas/Mexico border to the Panhandle, Texas Baptists are impacting their communities.


Ministers Financial Health Grant helps pastor focus on church efforts rather than financial burdens

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Director of Communications
Associate Director of Communications
SHAW News Manager CALEB ARNDT Design Manager NEIL WILLIAMS Multimedia Specialist You are receiving a free copy of Texas Baptists Life because of your generous support of the Cooperative Program. To subscribe or update your subscription preferences, visit txb.org/subscription. Volume 10 — Issue No. 4

Contents Spotlight Theme


In September, Chaplaincy Relations celebrated its 20th anniversary. Read about the celebration and the impact this ministry is making.


See how Freedom Church in Bedford is going out into the community and “breaking the huddle.”


Following Hurricane Ian, TBM volunteers got to work helping the families affected by this natural disaster.


Find information about the 2022 Annual Meeting, including schedule, workshops, speakers and more.


The World Hunger Relief, Inc. Farm outside of Waco provides nutritional food and educational workshops to reduce hunger in McLennan County.


Learn about Revive Zoe, a church start in Grand Prairie, and see how they are reaching their community.


Take a look at this year’s Conclave, a three-day event that provides encouragement, worship experience, networking, training and resources for those who oversee any component of NextGen or family ministry in the local church.


A pastor in the Texas Panhandle is able to relieve his family’s financial stress thanks to the Ministers Financial Health Grant.


Texas Baptists churches, ministries and partners are at work in every corner of the state. From the Texas/ Mexico border up to the Panhandle, and everything in between, people are coming to the Lord thanks to the dedication of hardworking believers. We invite you to take a peek at a small sampling of the great work they are doing every day.


See how River Ministry Missionary Kelly Knotts is working with the El Paso Migrant Center to bring the gospel to migrants.




World Hunger Relief, Inc. es una organización cristiana comprometida a aliviar la inseguridad de alimentos y el hambre a través de agricultura sostenible, educación transformativa, y colaboración entre comunidades.

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Be the L ight

The World Needs Servant Leaders

In a broken and hurting world, there is a desperate need for light— for leaders who are not only excellent at what they do, but who also have a passion for serving others. At Dallas Baptist University, we provide a Christ-centered education so our graduates can become servant leaders with one purpose—bringing light to a dark world.

“If things get darker…the problem is not with the darkness. The problem is with the light.” Henry Blackaby

Go and be the light.




I am a native Texan and a lifelong Texas Baptist. Growing up in Texas Baptists churches, educated in Texas Baptists institutions and serving in various BGCT churches, associations and on a variety of boards and committees over the years, I “thought” I knew the BGCT fairly well. However, I have learned over the years that, collectively, our churches engage in cooperative mission and ministry far beyond what I ever thought I knew.

The purpose of this magazine is to share, to some extent, the scope of our work across the vastness of our state. I hope you’ll be encouraged and inspired as you see what we share and where we serve.

Please know our centers, our institu tions and our Cooperative Program office are all effectively led by capable and called women and men. Please join me in praying for them. They need your prayers, and they want your prayer sup port. They are grateful for you!

And, I remind you, none of this work would be possible without the generos ity of our Texas Baptists churches. You are making a difference in our efforts to share Christ and show love. Your gifts to the Cooperative Program make a difference. Your gifts to the Mary Hill Davis Offering for State Missions make a difference. Your gifts to the Texas Bap tist Hunger Offering make a difference. Thank you!

I’m proud to be a Texan. I fly a Texas flag in front of my house every opportunity I get. I’m also very proud to be a Texas Baptist, and every Sunday, a Christian flag is flying in front of my house.

We have a great history to be sure. I’m hopeful and prayerful that our most impactful mission and ministry days are still to come.

Le invito a orar por ellos conmigo. ¡Ellos necesitan sus oraciones, ellos desean ser respaldados en oración y están agrade cidos por usted!


Soy natural de Texas y Bautista de Texas de toda la vida. Al crecer en iglesias Bau tistas de Texas, ser educado en insti tuciones Bautistas de Texas, y servir en varias iglesias, asociaciones, juntas, y comités de la Convención Bautista General de Texas (BGCT) a lo largo de los años, “pensé” que conocía la BGCT bastante bien. Sin embargo, he apren dido con el tiempo que, colectivamente, nuestras iglesias participan en misiones y ministerios cooperativos más de lo que me podía imaginar.

El propósito de esta revista es compartir, hasta cierto punto, el alcance de nuestra labor por todo nuestro estado. Espero que le sirva de ánimo e inspiración ver todo lo que compartimos y dónde servimos.

Sepa que nuestros centros, nuestras instituciones, y nuestra oficina del Pro grama Cooperativo están dirigidos por hombres y mujeres llamados y capaces.

Además, le recuerdo que nada de esta labor sería posible si no fuera por la generosidad de nuestras iglesias Bau tistas de Texas. Usted está haciendo una diferencia en nuestros esfuerzos de compartir a Cristo y demostrar Su amor. Sus ofrendas al Programa Cooperativo hacen una diferencia. Sus ofrendas a la Ofrenda Mary Hill Davis para misiones estatales hacen una diferencia. Sus ofrendas a la Ofrenda contra el hambre hace una diferencia. ¡Gracias!

Estoy orgulloso de ser tejano. Despliego una bandera de Texas frente a mi casa cada vez que puedo. Estoy también muy orgulloso de ser un Bautista de Texas, y cada domingo despliego una bandera cristiana frente a mi casa.

Tenemos una gran historia por seguro. Espero y oro que nuestros días de mayor impcato en ministerio y misión quedan por venir.

Blessings and Bendeciones,


Executive Board focuses on ‘predecessors’ and ‘progeny’ during September meeting

Texas Baptists joins with Uvalde Ministerial Alliance for special day of prayer

“When we serve as the vital link between our predeces sors and our progeny, we are honoring our mission to continue telling the story,” said Jason Burden, president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT) to the Executive Board members at the September 2022 board meeting.

In addition to Burden’s address, the board also heard updates from the Millenial/Gen Z Task Force and Executive Director Search Committee and honored Executive Director David Hardage for his faithful service to Texas Baptists.

Business was also approved during the meeting, including the proposed 2023 budget of $35.5 million. The board approved a recommendation to continue allocating undesignated gifts from affiliated churches at a split of 79% for Texas Baptists and 21% for Texas Baptists Worldwide, with each church selecting the recipient of its Worldwide giving. The budget will be pre sented at the upcoming Annual Meeting for approval.

Board members elected Bobby Contreras, current Executive Board vice chair and pastor of Alamo Heights Baptist Church in San Antonio, to serve as chair in 2023. Janice Bloom, current board representative of Sectors 9-11 and member of First Bap tist Church of Garland, was elected to serve as the vice chair.

On Sept. 4, Texas Baptists churches took part in “Prayers for the Pews,” a day of prayer led by the Uvalde Ministerial Alliance. This day of prayer focused on the families, children and community in Uvalde as they prepared for the district’s first day of school on Sept. 6.

Texas Baptists churches and ministry staff have been actively involved in responding to the shooting. On the day of the attack, Area Representative Joe Aguilar and TBM chaplains arrived on the scene and prayed with families and law enforcement offi cers. Rolando Rodriguez, director of Texas Baptists en Español, has been involved in planning long-term care strategies with local Uvalde churches. Executive Director David Hardage also met with pastors and church leaders to discuss how Texas Bap tists can continue supporting the churches and community.

The Alliance asked churches to pray for the families affected, the children returning to school and the Uvalde authorities as they made decisions, particularly those regarding safety and security.

“There are so many things that we as human beings cannot do, that we cannot accomplish. In fact, we rely totally on God to get through so many things, and there are so many things that only God can do for the church, for our communities, for the families,” Gutierrez said.


Texas Baptists partner with Send Relief to launch ministry center in Laredo

“The goal of this center is to serve families of all shapes and sizes in the Rio Grande Valley. We want to engage the local churches in impactful ministry for their community,” Josue Valerio, director of the Texas Baptists Center for Missional Engagement, explained. “We are so excited to be working with [Send Relief] on this project. They are bringing a lot of knowl edge and expertise.”

The Texas Baptists River Ministry has been working in the Rio Grande Valley for 55 years, connecting churches in Texas to projects along the Texas-Mexico border and supporting 15 missionaries who work in cities on both sides of the border. Send Relief, a collaborative compassion ministry of the North American Mission Board (NAMB) and the International Mis sion Board (IMB), has opened 19 other ministry centers across North America and Puerto Rico. This will be Send Relief’s first center in Texas.

The ministry center will be led by Director Osvaldo Lerma, a former Texas Baptists River Ministry missionary.

“We are here to strengthen local churches, encourage local pas tors and provide support to the communities in need,” Lerma said. “When we put all of that together, we will be helping churches advance the Great Commission, meet needs and change lives.”

Anew ministry center will open in Laredo, Texas, as part of a partnership between Texas Baptists River Ministry and Send Relief. The center will serve Laredo as well as the wider Rio Grande Valley area by connecting churches to ministry opportunities on the U.S.-Mexico border.

More information about the ministry center can be found at sendrelief.org/laredo

Kristen Ray has been named as the new Controller/Assistant Treasurer for Texas Baptists. Ray comes from a strong background in ministry and finances. She most recently served as director of Finance at Preston wood Baptist Church before beginning her role with Texas Baptists and has also served in a business capacity at First Baptist Church of Dallas.

“I’m a lifelong Baptist, and I was called to ministry when I was 18 years old. I Since then, I have worked in church finance for 23 years,” Ray said. “One of

the greatest joys of my career has always been when churches call and needed assistance, and I got to meet them in their time in need. So, I am thrilled to work for the Convention, and by exten sion, all the Baptist churches in Texas.”

Ray is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). She received her Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Baylor University. She also earned a Master of Business Administration in Accounting and Business/Management from Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business.

Kristen Ray announced as new Controller/ Assistant Treasurer
70 YEARS OF MINISTRY Celeb r ating Homes for Children | Homes for Families | Family Counseling International | Faith & Work | Faith & Finances Pastor Care | Family Support | Ministry Consulting www.STCHM.org

20, 2022

TBM A few weeks ago, TBM volunteers removed wet sheetrock from flooded homes in the Dallas area. Now, a TBM rebuild team is installing new sheetrock to make homes safe and secure. #dfw #dallas #volunteer #letsbuildtogether #disasterrelief #texas

JohnnySilva Excited for the launch of the 4th Cohort of the Lubbock Area Baptist Association Leadership Development Center (CPC). Will you join me in praying for these individuals as they discover God’s purpose for them in ministry. Thank you Texas Baptists for this opportunity. #txbme #GC2

@TXBMissions Exciting day of Church Planter Assessment at FBC Grand Prairie! Pray for our candidates as they seek God’s will for their lives. #txbme #GC2

25, 2022

@jptaguilar Thank you Pastor Terry McDaniel and Rangerville Baptist for having me today. #TexasBaptists #TXBMH #GC2

Tag Texas Baptists on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and use #gc2 for a chance to be featured in our next magazine.

Center for Missional Engagement October 7, 2022 Texas Baptist Men September Jose Aguilar Jr. September Johnny Silva August 6, 2022

Chaplaincy Relations celebrates 20 years of endorsing, equipping chaplains

On Monday, Sept. 12, Texas Baptists Chaplaincy Relations celebrated its 20th anniversary at a banquet in Dallas, Texas. Approximately 250 people attended, including cur rent and former chaplains and Texas Baptists staff, friends and family. It was a time of celebrating the past while also looking forward to the future.

“What began 20 years ago continues today, and we’re here to cel ebrate 20 years of chaplaincy relations, and to celebrate … the calling that God has placed in our lives to serve in chaplaincy in various and unique ways and settings … and to be representative of Jesus’s love to people who need to hear it,” Todd Combee, associate


endorser of Pastoral Care and Support, said to the crowd.

The Chaplaincy Relations ministry was formed following a study done by the Bap tist General Convention of Texas (BGCT) in 2001 under the leadership of then-Execu tive Director Charles Wade. Following the study, it was decided that a ministry ded icated to supporting chaplains would be created. Bobby Smith, who was a hospital chaplain and Texas Baptists employee at the time, was chosen to serve as the min istry’s first director.

Since its inception, Chaplaincy Relations has endorsed 1,125 chaplains in eight distinct categories: military, correctional, lifestyle, public safety, health care, mar ketplace, crisis response and pastoral counseling. Of those, 650 are actively serving through the program as of Sep tember 2022.

Chaplaincy Relations entered into a part nership with the Baptist General Associa tion of Virginia in 2017 to offer additional

training and networking opportunities for chaplains to represent churches in Texas and Virginia.

Looking out over the crowd, Bobby Smith, director of Chaplaincy Relations, said, “God has blessed us as a people, as a program and as a chaplain ministry. We became a family of chaplains, who grew to love each other and our families.”

Among those in attendance were some of the original 42 chaplains endorsed by the BGCT in 2002. Joe Perez, a hospital chap lain who was among the first endorsed, explained chaplains’ special bond and the need for fellowship.

“When you’re with a group of chaplains, you think, oh man, these are my brothers and sisters. We see the world in a different way,” he said, explaining the compassion and godly love that binds them all together.

Perez thanked Smith and Texas Baptists for promoting a culture of love and hospi tality within the program.

“You can’t be a chaplain and not practice hospitality,” Perez said. “It’s a core function to meet with people who are broken and hurt and not demand anything of them.”

For the chaplains in the program, Smith and the associate endorsers act as their chaplains, providing comfort, support and hospitality when needed. Perez and other chaplains who spoke gave exam ples of the times Smith met them in their place of hurt and supported them through that time.

The banquet was followed by a dessert reception for Smith and his wife, Vicky. The Chaplaincy Endorsement Council announced that an endowment fund for chaplaincy in Virginia would be started in the Smiths’ name.

The banquet and reception were part of a larger, annual chaplain training event. The three-day event provided chaplains an opportunity to take courses related to their respective fields and fellowship with other chaplains.

As Chaplaincy Relations wrapped up 20 years of ministry, they are excited to push forward to accomplish even more in the next 20 years. As Smith concluded the banquet, he shared his hope for the min istry to continue glorifying God and be an encouragement to chaplains serving around the world.

“May we continue to be blessed by God and be a family of chaplains who live in rela tionship, caring for one another,” he said.

To learn more about Chaplaincy Rela tions, go to txb.org/chaplaincy.

Bobby Smith passed away in October 2022. He faithfully served as director of Chaplaincy Relations for 20 years. Texas Baptists celebrates the rich legacy Smith leaves behind.

IN LOVING MEMORY, Bobby Smith 1953-2022

Breaking the huddle

On the fifth Sunday of the month the pews and halls of Freedom Church in Bedford are empty. But, if you look in the grocery stores and gas stations around the church, you will see the congregation serving among those running their Sunday errands, sharing the love of Christ and being the hands and feet of Jesus.

This is Freedom Church’s “No Huddle Sunday,” a chance for the congregation to “break the huddle” and serve their neighbors. Robert White, pastor of Free dom Church, explained the idea came about because the church realized that on Sunday mornings, Christians are gathered in churches, but nonbelievers are out, getting groceries, filling up on gas and running other errands.

“We kind of preemptively rapture our selves out of the world on Sunday morn ings, and the rest of the world is still working,” White said. “One of the best times to reach nonbelievers is on Sunday when all the other believers are in church. These are the people who are at the gro cery store, getting gas, etc. on Sundays, because they don’t go to church.”

White explained the name, “No Huddle Sunday,” came from a football analogy he often used.

“When we get into the huddle, we learn the plays. We call the plays, but you have to actually get out and run the plays,” he said.

Likewise, the church uses Sunday gather ings to study the gospel and discuss how to share it with others. But beyond that, Christians must then go out and enact the teachings they learn each Sunday.

No Huddle Sundays started as a one-off event in 2019. As the church came back together following going online due to

COVID-19, White realized the need for connectedness within the church. He saw many members coming for the ser vice, but not investing in the church’s community. This led the church to refo cus and prioritize service and fellowship. They restarted No Huddle Sundays, making them a quarterly event, falling on each month with a fifth Sunday.

The event begins at the church, where they host a short rally with music and prayer. This provides a time to center the church for the day and also ensures visitors do not show up to an empty building. Then, the group is broken up into serve sites, led by a site captain who makes sure people know what they are doing and the why behind it.

Between 70-100 people serve each No Huddle Sunday at five to seven loca tions around their community. White explained this is not a “day off” from church, but instead a different expres sion of church, and he encouraged the congregation to see it with that mindset.

Each event looks a little different, with the congregation providing free car washes, giving out gas gift cards and paying for people’s groceries.

The people they serve are always sur prised and full of questions, White said. They are shocked people have given up

part of their weekend to serve them. That curiosity gives church members a chance to share their faith and explain why they want to bless people in their community. Freedom Church has seen some of the recipients of these gifts go on to attend the church.

For many church members, the event builds their confidence in sharing the gospel. It gives them practical experience so that, outside of the event, they feel comfortable and prepared to be a witness.

“We figured the best way for us to equip our church to share the gospel was for us to get out and do it together. Then people can see how it is done practically versus just imagining what it would look like if I did a better job reaching people,” White said.

The Sundays have been a chance for the church to look beyond its four walls and engage in a new, unique way, White said.

“It’s engaged our congregation. It gives us pride in our church, and we invite more people because they know it’s not just talking. We are doers,” White said. “We get out and run the play, which is to be the hands and feet of Jesus and show people the love of Christ.”


Carrying Christ’s compassion throughout Texas and around the world

NAPLES, Fla. – Jo Campbell climbed onto her bed as Hurricane Ian pushed saltwater into her home. The water rose higher and higher. One foot. Two feet. Three feet, just below the top of her bed.

Fortunately for Jo, that’s where the water stopped. It took two days for it to recede. Everything in her home below the three feet mark was ruined.

Shortly after, TBM Disaster Relief volun teers arrived to help Campbell. The flood recovery team removed wet sheetrock, flooring and furniture. Then they disin fected the home, preparing it to be rebuilt.

“You talk about a godsend, and they are such sweethearts,” Jo said of the TBM volunteers at her house. “It was such a mess. I had things up on tables, but the water came in so fast that it knocked the tables over so everything I was trying to protect was floating.”

Jo, who has relatives in Texas, expressed astonishment at the willingness of “these people to come in and volunteer their time. You know, it’s somebody else’s junk they are having to go through. It was such a blessing, and the prayers are very nice; they help a lot.”

Time and again TBM volunteers deliv ered help, hope and healing to people in their most difficult days in 2022. In the first six months of the year, the ministry responded to more disasters than it did in all of 2021. This year, TBM volunteers served after:

• Tornadoes in six Texas cities

• Wildfires in two Texas counties, as well as one each in New Mexico and Colorado

• Five months of ministry in Poland and Ukraine in the midst of a ref ugee crisis created by the Russian invasion of Ukraine

• An elementary school shooting in Uvalde

• Flooding in Eastern Kentucky, as well as the Dallas-Fort Worth area

• Hurricane Ian in Florida

TBM’s holistic approach to ministry fol lows Christ’s model of meeting needs and sharing the gospel. Whether serving in Poland or Taylor, Texas, TBM volun teers travel to locations where disasters have occurred and serve long hours for free. They provide thousands of meals a day. They clean out flooded homes. They remove fallen trees and limbs.

As they do, the volunteers connect with the people they’re serving. They encour age survivors and often get to pray with people. Inevitably, a homeowner will ask why a volunteer left the comfort of their home to volunteer. The answer is simple.

“Our mission comes straight from the Bible,” said TBM Executive Director/ CEO Mickey Lenamon. “We help people take the gospel into communities across Texas and around the world. We love others because God loved us. He changed our lives, and we see Him changing lives after disasters year after year.”

TBM volunteers have responded to every natural and manmade disaster in Texas, most across the United States and many around the world since 1967. The min istry has more than 100 pieces of equip ment strategically positioned across the state to respond at a moment’s notice, including mobile kitchens, chainsaw units, fire/flood recovery units, mobile shower/laundry units and more.

“Tragically, disasters happen,” Lenamon said. “We know this. God is calling His people to respond each time with His compassion and love for the hurting. Through TBM, your church and church members are doing just that.”



GROW OF GOOD. WACO CONVENTION CENTER 100 Washington Avenue Waco, TX 76701 11.13-15.22 txb.org/am
AFRICAN AMERICAN RALLY TEXAS BAPTISTS EN ESPA ñ OL CELEBRATION PASTOR'S COMMON FOR YOUNG ADULTS Greater New Light Missionary Baptist Church 925 N. 18th Street Waco TX 76707 First Baptist Church Waco 500 Webster Ave Waco, TX 76706 Heritage Coffee 203 Halbert Ln. Waco, TX 76705 Learn more at txb.org/am FEATURED WORKSHOPS RALLIES A HOLISTIC, BIBLICAL APPROACH TO LGBTQ+ ISSUES AND MINISTRY David Sanchez THE OPENING STEPS OF CHURCH REVITALIZATION Jonathan Smith & Phil Miller HOW A HEALTHY CHURCH REACHES MILLENNIALS David Miranda POST ROE, WHERE DO WE GO? Katie Frugé
TONY CANADY JASON BURDEN Green Acres Baptist Church
Del Sol Church Church Planter, Triumphal Christian Fellowship of Waxahachie
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At Work Across Texas

exas Baptists is engaged in missions and ministry around the state thanks to the cooperative efforts of affiliated churches. Whether it is equipping the called for ministry, planting new churches or providing resources to pastors, every church in the Convention has a hand in the work being done. As you read through the following stories, we hope you feel encouraged that God is moving in Texas, and He’s using each and every one of us to grow His Kingdom.


Produce prescriptions and urban farming education in McLennan County

On the World Hunger Relief, Inc. farm in McLennan County, just outside of Waco, Texas, it is time to har vest a round of lettuce, radishes and turnips. A small group of interns from as close as Waco to as far-flung as New Zealand take turns harvesting, cleaning and packaging the veg etables. The produce will be sold at the Waco farmer's market and will also go toward ensuring low-income families in the community have access to fresh, healthy food.

The World Hunger Relief, Inc. is a Christian organization com mitted to alleviating food insecurity and hunger through sus tainable agriculture, transformative education and community partnerships. It is also a Texas Baptist Hunger Offering recip ient, using the funds Texas Baptists churches give to share Christ’s love as they accomplish their mission.


One of their most unique programs is the Produce Prescrip tion Box, an innovative way of distributing fresh produce to low-income families. Six years ago, Waco Family Medicine did an evaluation of its services and realized half of its over 46,000 patients needed treatment for ailments caused by a lack of proper nutrition. Waco Family Medicine works primarily with low-income families, many of whom struggle to afford nutritious foods such as produce.


“If they had access to and were eating healthier food, the illnesses they were struggling with would go away,” Jona than Grant, executive director of World Hunger Relief, Inc., explained.

So, the clinic approached the farm and asked to partner with them to create the Produce Prescription Box. The farm grows the produce, boxes it up into fam ily-sized parcels and delivers them to six of Waco Family Medicine’s clinics. The clinics then distribute the boxes to patients with vitamin deficiencies and other nutrition-based illnesses. There are also instructions for preparing the ingredients in each box.

World Hunger Relief makes about 150 boxes a week. They also distribute some of these boxes to churches, who hand them out through their food pantries.

This year, the organization is going a step further. The patients who receive boxes will be divided into cohorts of 12-15 people, where they will meet with representatives from the farm, the clinic and local churches.

“We want to do more than just distribute food; we want to engage our community in a way that we see each other as neigh bors,” Grant said.

During these meetings, World Hunger Relief volunteers will teach cohort members how to cook nutritious meals using the vegetables they were given, and they will also teach them how to grow their own urban produce gardens.


While the interns harvest the crops, a large field trip of second-graders are learning about urban gardening and the importance of food security. They giggle as they line up to see the chickens and point excitedly to the goats in the pen next door.

Education is another key component of the World Hunger Relief farm. In

addition to educating the families who receive prescription produce boxes, the farm also welcomes schools from around the area and interns from around the world to learn about sus tainable farming.

During their field trips, children learn about urban farming, healthy eating practices and the struggles many fami lies face to feed themselves daily.

Meanwhile, the farm has also become a hub for people from around the world who want to learn more about training others in sustainable farming practices. Interns have come from Pakistan, Haiti, and, most recently, New Zealand. These interns are trained and then dispatched worldwide, and World Hunger Relief has sent out former interns to five continents.

James, an intern from New Zealand, explained that his family had already been farming for themselves for over five years, but he wanted to learn more about how to teach those skills to others. So, his entire family moved to the farm, where they learned how to help low-income families start their own farms. James explained everyone should have the opportunity to provide healthy food for their families, regardless of their income or location. He hopes to spread the skills he learns at the farm to many others.

“We’ve been doing this for ourselves for a few years, and I want to learn how to help other people be healthy, people; that really need it,” he said.

During their time at the farm, interns help grow and assemble the Produce Prescription Boxes and other produce that is distributed throughout the wider Waco area.

Grant explained how the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering is one of the vital min istries keeping the World Hunger Relief programs going. The Hunger Offering disperses funds through partners to over 100 hunger relief and development min istries across Texas and around the world.

“We’re incredibly grateful for the Hunger Offering,” Grant said. “It’s easy to forget in our communities of abundance that folks are hungry in our own communi ties. And so the Hunger Offering allows us to engage that community, and it allows us to see one another as partners and help meet the needs of one another.”

To learn more about the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering and how you can make an impact, go to hungeroffering.org.


Reaching across generations through new church start


Revive Zoe, a church start in Grand Prairie, Texas, celebrated its two-year anniversary in Sep tember 2022. What started as a small group of 30 people meeting in Pastor Luis Torres’ living room has expanded to 125 worshippers, split between two worship services each week.

“It’s been a journey. It’s been two years of church planting, but we’ve seen the Lord work in glorious ways,” Torres said.

Since its launch on Easter 2020, Revive Zoe has seen 30 baptisms and 40 people give their lives to Christ. Torres cred its the church’s growth to following the Lord’s will and creating a unique, bilin gual space for worship.

Torres was working as a youth pastor at a Spanish-speaking church before he and his wife left to plant Revive Zoe. During his time there, he noticed that, while the older generations preferred speaking and worshiping in Spanish, many of the younger congregants pre ferred English. Torres saw a need to bridge the gap between the two genera tions, providing a space for both to come together and feel included.

Grand Prairie is a diverse area with a booming Hispanic population, but that was not why the church initially set tled there. In fact, Torres had originally looked to plant the church in Arling ton, but the Lord provided a building for them to worship in Grand Prairie, Torres explained.

“The Lord led us to Grand Prairie. When we didn’t have a building, God opened one here,” he said. “That was a sign to us.”

The building, a converted storefront nestled behind a sandwich shop, bar bershop and tax services store, has now become too small for the growing church, and they are looking for places to expand.

“It’s been a true blessing for us to be a part of what God is doing here in the city,” Torres said.

With new residents coming to Texas by the thousands, new church plants are essential to keep up with the growing spiritual demands.

“There are a lot of people moving to DFW alone, and we believe, that in that moment of their transition, a good, solid church plant can help reach those people and plug them into a church, into a body, and really bless them,” Torres said.

Furthermore, Torres explained that church plants can often reach their com munities in creative, out-of-the-box ways because they do not look like a traditional building. For people who are hesitant to engage with the church, a nontraditional building can feel more approachable.

In order to better reach those around them, Revive Zoe has put on free car washes, fed people affected by the Feb ruary freeze and gone to a laundromat and paid for others to have their laundry done. No matter how the congregation is serving, they take the time to share the gospel with everyone they interact with.

Torres was first connected with Texas Baptists through Chris Hughes, pastor of City on a Hill in Garland, and Mac Shirley, pastor of Authentic City Church in Arlington. Torres explained that being part of the state convention helped Revive Zoe connect to resources and a network of support.

“We got connected with Texas Baptists because we know we cannot do this alone … we’ve been able to go farther, faster because of Texas Baptists,” Torres said.

The Texas Baptists Church Starting ministry is supported by the Coop erative Program. These funds allow church-starting strategists to connect

with church starters across Texas, pro viding support and resources as they begin their ministries.

As Revive Zoe celebrates two years of ministry and looks ahead, Torres has started a new series, “Rise Up,” to help the congregation catch and carry the vision of the leadership. Torres chal lenged church members to “rise up” and do what the Lord is calling them to do.

“Our vision is for people to be revived and our mission is for people to rise,” he said. “There are lives at stake in this commu nity, and they need to be reached.”

To learn more about Texas Baptists Church Starting, go to txb.org/churchstarting.


Conclave focuses on strengthening generational, family bonds

We are part of an ancient work of God. The Kingdom of God was here way before us, and it will be here way after us. In NextGen ministries, I love that we’re innovative and creative, but I just want to remind you, we don’t start anything, we don’t end anything, it’s just our turn to be faithful to point Gen Z to the mighty acts of God,” Shane Pruitt, National Next Gen director for the North American Mission Board (NAMB), told attendees of the 2022 Conclave conference.

Conclave is designed to offer training and networking opportunities for youth, family and NextGen ministers from around the state. Participants heard from speakers such as Pruitt about how to engage a generation of devoted disci ples. Cory Liebrum, youth discipleship specialist for Texas Baptists and Con clave’s coordinator, recruited renowned

speakers to ensure conference par ticipants had access to high-quality resources and training.


During his session, Pruitt shared eight things leaders needed to know about reaching, discipling and mobilizing Gen Z. He said, above all else, this gen eration is looking for hope and truth, something the gospel can provide them. He reminded them to focus on building authentic relationships and raising up Gen Z leaders who can reach their peers most effectively.

The conference, which took place Oct. 10-13 at First Baptist Church in San Antonio, also featured breakout sessions led by a variety of ministers and special ists. These sessions gave attendees the

opportunity to explore in-depth topics designed to further their ministries.

Breakout sessions covered topics such as leadership, discipleship and minis try collaboration. In a workshop led by Abram Haley, pastor of Student Min istry at Sugar Creek Baptist Church in Sugar Land, participants learned about “The Art of Developing Student Leaders.”

Haley spoke about the importance of student leadership, explaining that as students assume more responsibility, they will become more impassioned and invested in the church, and the church will become more invested in them. He encouraged against a mindset of wait ing until students became adults to grow them into leaders, as students who are believers are already active members of the body of Christ and need to be treated as such.


“The minute they graduate high school isn’t when they become a believer or the church. When they commit their life to Christ, they are the church. And so it is our job, as the church, to disciple them,” Haley said.


Another breakout session, led by Jona than Williams, founder of Gospel Family Ministries, entitled “Intergenerational

not Multigenerational,” focused on fos tering connections across generational lines. He explained that putting an emphasis on intergenerational church ministry allows the church to have a shared vision across all age groups and gives older generations the opportunity to leave a legacy of faith as they disciple and mentor younger generations. Wil liams emphasized that intergenerational ministry can also better equip parents to disciple their children at home.

“The Great Commission was given to the church, and yet we see throughout Scrip ture that it starts at the home,” he said.

In the Tuesday night main session, Robert Purvey challenged ministry leaders to be equippers of the parents in their churches.

“I believe that if you program for kids and forget the parents, then you’ve lim ited discipleship and dismissed the big gest disciple-maker,” he said. “If we’re going to be effective leaders, our goal has to be not just being concerned with the kids we serve, we have to be con cerned about the parents as well.”

Conclave 2023 will take place Oct. 2-3 at Dallas Baptist University. Learn more at txb.org/conclave

"It’s our turn to be faithful to point Gen
Z to the mighty acts of God."

Ministers Financial Health Grant helps pastor focus on church efforts rather than financial burdens

Brad Newman and his wife, Sarah, have been married for 16 years and have five kids. They’ve called Amarillo, Texas, their home since 2007. Brad began serving at South Georgia Baptist Church in 2011 in various roles, such as student minister, family pastor and eventually the church planting pastor.

“During that time at South Georgia, we felt God calling us to something,” he shared. “We actually were leading teams to a church plant in Denver. It had a huge impact on our lives. And we just started asking God where he was going to call us.”

In a nearby growing area of Amarillo, both Brad and Sarah could see it was lacking the presence of the gospel. There was new construction and new families moving in at a rapid speed, but it did not offer families a spiritual home. They decided to plant Tradewind Community Church in the heart of this developing neighborhood.

Tradewind Community Church offered its first service on Easter in 2019. The church launched regular services in September 2019, and just six months later, the COVID-19 pandemic entered the U.S. But, they continued to see God’s faithfulness in their obedience.


Between life as a family of seven and planting a new church, life can get stressful and hectic.

“About a year ago, we found out we couldn’t rent the school where we were hosting services anymore,” Brad shared. “We recently moved into a new venue nearby, but there have been a lot of chal lenges over the last three years.”


Brad received an email in 2021 with information about the Ministers Finan cial Health Grant through Texas Bap tists. Eligible Texas Baptists pastors and church staff can apply for a grant that can provide much needed relief from financial pressures. At first, Brad did not want to apply, taking away the opportunity from another pastor who may need the assistance more. He knew they could cover their bills, but with such a large family, expenses each month weighed heavily on him and Sarah. After some encouragement from a church leader, he decided to apply.

Tradewind Community Church was paired with the Highlands Christian Industries Foundation to match the grant. Alongside the grant, the church also received courses on financial liter acy from Texas Baptists.

“The financial education was encour aging and educational,” Brad shared.

“While a lot of those things weren’t new to me, it was a great refresher.”

Jessica White, a member of the Tradewind finance committee also received the finan cial education and learned new things to apply to their church. Not only did they

learn new ways to steward their gifts, but also how to teach their congregation the importance of generosity.

“It reshaped how we do our church budget,” Brad explained. “It’s helped shape what stewardship, generosity and giving means in our church. We’ve had these conversations following the classes about things we just hadn’t thought of before.”


As a family of seven leading a new, small church, finances are often tight for the Newman family. Things like vacations, expensive Christmas gifts and even emergencies put a strain on the budget. And in 2022, inflation hit an all-time high.

“We’re a big family in a relatively small church,” Brad shared. “Our church pro vides for us incredibly well. But all of us have really experienced the shock of incredible inflation – even just in our regular grocery bills.”

The costs of basic living continued to sky rocket, leaving little room for things like a garage door breaking or an electricity bill.

“But through this gift from the Texas Baptists, it has helped stabilize us and give us the encouragement we really needed,” he shared.

According to Ministers Financial Health Ministry, 90% of pastors feel some level of financial stress in their family and church work. On top of that, over 30% of pastors work a second job to make ends meet. Both Brad and Sarah were grateful for the grant, not only for the financial

relief, but also the ability to refocus from their finances to the church.

“We can now put our attitude and our efforts into the ministry and the church and focus on what God has given us to do,” Brad said. “It took that extra burden off and made a huge difference.”


The Newman family had the opportu nity to take a few days away this summer and enjoy a vacation in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This mini vacation allowed them to reconnect, recharge and come back to Amarillo with a clear mind to serve the community and their church with excitement.

“With all the wildness of relocating the church, it was a needed break for us,” Brad said. “We probably wouldn’t have taken this trip or have been able to go without feeling regret if it weren’t for the support from the grant.”


Being connected to Texas Baptists has provided not only community to Tradewind Community Church, but a leg up to keep going.

“We’re thankful to be connected with a convention that sees its pastors and the ministry we do, and offers these resources,” Brad said. “We’re grateful as a church, and we’re so grateful per sonally that they come alongside us and encourage us.”

Learn more at txb.org/mfh

“We can now put our attitude and our efforts into the ministry.”

Impacting the lives of migrants on the Texas and Mexico border

Yes, Lord. I will help where I can and impact the lives that are crossing the border.”

This was Kelly Knotts’ response when the Lord called him to be an immigrant care missionary at the El Paso Migrant Center, which was established by the El Paso Baptist Association and operated in partnership with Texas Baptists River Ministry/Mexico Missions. Knotts is one of 15 River Ministry missionaries serving along the Texas/Mexico border.

Knotts encountered many migrants during his years working in churches, orphanages, prisons, food banks and other centers of ministry along the Texas and Mexico border. Now, the Lord was calling him to minister directly to migrants at the newly-established center.


The El Paso Migrant Center works to receive and register migrants from all over the world.

“When they arrive at our facility, we pro vide them with clothes, shoes, showers, hygiene kits and three meals a day,” Knotts said. “We also help them get to wherever it is they need to go — we call this their final destination. Many migrants need transportation to a bus stop or airport, or just internet connec tion to figure out how they can get where they need to go. We provide all of this.”

But the center does more than provide these basic physical necessities and assistance. Every migrant who comes through its doors also hears the gospel and is introduced to the Word of God.

“One time we received a group of Turk ish men,” Knotts recalled. “Since I don’t speak Turkish, I was wondering how I could present the gospel to them. But God provided … one of the men was fluent in English, and he interpreted

the gospel in his native language to the other men. At first, I was skepti cal since I couldn’t understand what he was saying, but I was still faithful to the Lord’s call to present the gospel to everyone coming in. The result was wonderful because every one of them professed Christ as Lord and Savior. They even asked for Bibles … those who could read English.”

“We will only be in operation as long as there is funding. Once funds run out, ministry is stopped to a halt,” he said. “Giving from churches helps us not only with bills but also restocking needed goods. We are constantly in need of food, clothes, deodorant, other hygiene items, underwear, socks, blankets, sheets and many other basic necessities. We wel come donations of these items.”

In addition to giving, churches can also send volunteers to support the work of missionaries like Knotts on the border.

Most importantly, churches can pray.

“To minister is costly, but sharing the gospel is free. God is impacting and changing lives through this ministry, and we need prayer too,” Knotts said. “Everyone is more than welcome to be part of it. It’s a big blessing.”

Stories of impact like this one are common at the center. Knotts said that since the El Paso Migrant Center was established just a little over a year ago, they have seen more than 2,000 professions of faith.

“The Migrant Center is a bridge to help others come to Christ and eternal life,” Knotts said. “Even though they’re enter ing the border, they’re also entering the Kingdom of God through this ministry.”


Knotts believes that the call to minister to migrants is for everyone.

“God is inviting everyone to join in this work,” he said. “The wave of migrants coming into our country really is a phe nomenon … The nations are coming to us. You don’t have to go abroad to share the gospel.”

There are several ways Texas Baptists churches can support the ministry hap pening on the Texas and Mexico border, the greatest of which is providing funds.

To learn more about how your church can get involved with Texas Baptists River Ministry and Mexico Missions, visit txb.org/riverministry.


Cajas de prescripción de productos agrícolas y educación para la agricultura urbana en el Condado de McLennan

En la granja de World Hunger Relief, Inc. en el Con dado de McLennan, justo a las afuera de Waco, Tejas, es tiempo para cosechar lechuga, rábanos, y nabos. Un pequeño grupo de practicantes desde tan cerca como Waco hasta tan lejos como Nueva Zelanda toman turnos para cul tivar, limpiar, y empacar los vegetales. Los vegetales serán vendidos en el mercado de agricultores en Waco y también garantizan que familias de bajos recursos en la comunidad tiene acceso a alimentos frescos y saludables.

World Hunger Relief, Inc. es una organización cristiana com prometida a aliviar la inseguridad de alimentos y el hambre a través de agricultura sostenible, educación transformativa, y colaboración entre comunidades. Además, recibe ayuda de la Ofrenda contra el Hambre auspiciada por los Bautistas de Texas, usando las contribuciones de las iglesias Bautistas de Texas para compartir el amor de Cristo al cumplir con su misión.


Uno de los programas más particulares es la Caja de prescrip ción de productos agrícolas, una manera únicas de distribuir productos agrícolas frescos para familias de bajos recursos. Hace seis años, Medicina Familiar de Waco (Waco Family Medicine) evaluaron sus servicios y descubrieron que la mitad de más de sus 46,000 pacientes necesitaban tratamiento para enfermedades causadas por la falta de nutrición adecuada. Medicina Familiar de Waco trabaja principalmente con familias


de bajos recursos para quienes alimentos nutritivos como frutas y vegetales están fuera de su alcance.

“Si tienen acceso y consumen alimentos más saludables, las enfermedades que los afligen desaparecerán", explicó Jon athan Gran, director ejecutivo de World Hunger Relief, Inc.

Por eso, la clínica se comunicó con la granja y pidió colaborar con ellos para crear una Cajas de prescripción de productos agrícolas. La granja produce los vegetales, los empaqueta en cajas tamaño familiar, y las entrega a las 6 clínicas de Medicina Familiar de Waco. Las clínicas distribuyen las cajas a paci entes con deficiencias de vitaminas y otras enfermedades relacionadas con nutrición pobre. Además, hay instruc ciones para preparar los ingredientes en cada caja.

World Hunger Relief prepara cerca de 150 cajas cada semana. También distribuyen algunas cajas a iglesias que las entregan a través de sus despensas de alimentos.

Este año, la organización está yendo un poco más lejos. Los pacientes que reci ben cajas serán organizados en grupos de 12-15 personas, donde se reunirán con representantes de la granja, la clínica, e iglesias locales.

“Queremos hacer más que solamente distribuir alimentos; queremos interac tuar con la comunidad de manera que nos consideremos unos a otros como vecinos", dijo Grant.

Durante estas reuniones, los voluntar ios de World Hunger Relief enseñan a los participantes cómo preparar comi das saludables usando los vegetales que recibieron, y también les enseñan cómo cultivar sus propios jardines urbanos.


Mientras los practicantes cosechan los cultivos, al otro lado de la granja un grupo de niños de segundo grado apren den acerca de la agricultura urbana y la importancia de tener seguridad

alimenticia. Se ríen al tomar turnos para ver las gallinas y señalan a las cabras en el corral del lado.

La educación es otra parte clave de la granja de World Hunger Relief. Además de educar las familias que reciben las cajas de prescripción de productos agrícolas, la granja recibe escuelas cir cundantes y practicantes de alrededor del mundo para aprender acerca de la agricultura sostenible.

Durante las excursiones, los niños aprenden acerca de la agricultura urbana, prácticas alimenticias salud ables, y lo que muchas familias enfren tan para alimentarse a diario.

Mientras tanto, la granja también se ha convertido en un centro para personas de alrededor del mundo que desean aprender más acerca de entrenar a otros en prácticas de agricultura sostenible. Practicantes han venido de Paquistán, Haití, y, recientemente, Nueva Zelanda. Estos practicantes son entrenados y enviados por todo el mundo. World Hunger Relief ya ha enviado otros prac ticantes a cinco continentes.

Santiago, un practicante de Nueva Zelanda, explicó que su familia ya ha estado cultivando por sí misma por más de cinco años, pero él quería aprender más acerca de cómo enseñar esas destrezas a otros. Por eso, toda su familia se mudó a la granja, donde aprenden cómo ayudar a familias de bajos recursos a iniciar sus propias granjas. Santiago explicó que todos deben tener la oportunidad de proveer alimentos saludables para sus familias, sin importar su ingreso o localización. Él espera poder enseñar las destrezas que aprende en la granja a muchos otros.

“Hemos estado haciendo esto durante varios años y quiero aprender a ayudar a las personas a estar saludables. Las per sonas verdaderamente lo necesitan", dijo.

Durante su tiempo en la granja, los practicantes ayudan a cultivar y prepa rar las Cajas de prescripción de produc tos agrícolas y otros alimentos que son distribuidos por toda el área de Waco.

Grant explicó que la Ofrenda contra el hambre auspiciada por los Bautistas de Texas es uno de los ministerios fun damentales para que los programas de World Hunger Relief continúen hacia adelante. La Ofrenda distribuye fondos a través de colaboradores a más de 100 min isterios de alivio del hambre y desarrollo por todo Texas y alrededor del mundo.

“Estamos increíblemente agradecidos por la Ofrenda contra el hambre", dijo Grant. "Es fácil olvidar en nuestras comunidades de abundancia que hay personas con hambre en nuestras pro pias comunidades. Por eso, la Ofrenda contra el hambre nos permite interac tuar con esa comunidad, y considerar nos unos a otros como colaboradores para ayudar a satisfacer necesidades".

Para aprender más acerca de la Ofrenda contra el hambre auspiciada por los Bau tistas de Texas y cómo pueden hacer un impacto, visite hungeroffering.org.

LIVE on PURPOSE At UMHB, living on purpose means we’re grounded in a Christ-centered faith that’s part of all we do. umhb.edu 254 .295 .4520    @umhbUNIVERSITY OF MARY HARDIN-BAYLOR 900 COLLEGE STREET | BELTON, TEXAS 04.06-08.23 John 8:12 • txb.org/congreso

January 23, 2023

First Baptist Church of San Antonio San Antonio, TX

Come meet with fellow ministers to be encouraged, challenged and trained to reach your community with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Learn about new evangelism resources that are available to assist churches to equip their congregation to share the gospel.

Register now:
Tony Evans Pastor, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship Dallas, TX Pastor, Northwest Church Houston, TX National Next Gen Director, North American Mission Board Pastor, Freedom Church Bedford, TX Director, Women’s Ministry Texas Baptists Apologetics Lead & Millennial Specialist Texas Baptists Steve Bezner Shane Pruitt Robert White Katie McCoy Eric Herndandez

McAllen, TX

Family Gathering

Celebrate and worship together

When we worship together, we witness on Earth a glimpse of the unity we will one day see in Heaven. Save the date for this joint session of the Texas Baptists Annual Meeting and African American, Hispanic and Intercultural fellowship gatherings in one place, at one time, for His purpose.

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