SPOTLIGHT / AN ENDURING COMMITMENT TO CHRISTIAN EDUCATION pg. 13
Volume 6 ∙ Issue 4
Lives changed and community restored pg. 6 The vital work of Texas Baptists Christian Education Institutions pg. 14 Uniting as One Accord Fellowship pg. 30 Unirse como compañerismo de Mutuo Acuerdo pg. 32
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TEX AS BAPTISTS LIFE / VOLUME 6 • ISSUE 4
CONTE NTS FE ATURES
6 11 30 32
PUBLICATION TE AM LIVES CHANGED AND A COMMUNIT Y RESTORED After attending Texas Baptists Church Planting Center (CPC) training in Houston, Pastor Ryan Thompson set out to plant a church that would reach the lost and broken in Nederland, Texas.
GET TO KNOW YOUR AREA REPRESENTATIVE: DANIEL DELEON Discover the day-to-day work of Texas Baptists Area Representatives with Daniel DeLeon, area representative for the Rio Grande Valley.
UNITING AS ONE ACCORD FELLOWSHIP Two struggling churches just two miles down the road from each other decided that together they could do more in bringing the kingdom of God to Lubbock and beyond.
UNIRSE COMO COMPAÑERISMO DE MUTUO ACUERDO Dos iglesias en aprietos a solo dos millas de la carretera una de la otra decidieron que juntas podrían hacer más para traer el reino de Dios a Lubbock y más allá.
Joshua Seth Minatrea, Director of Communications Kalie Lowrie, News Director Jeremy Honea, Art Director Kirsten McKimmey, News Writer Jordan Parker, Multimedia Specialist Kristen Clardy, Graphic Designer Chuck Lay, Guest Illustrator Brittany Thomas, Communications Assistant 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, call 214.828.5232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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DISCIPLING GENERATIONS Discipleship is vital to the life of the church. Read how three churches incorporate discipleship into their ministries to children, youth and adults.
AN ENDURING COMMITMENT TO CHRISTIAN EDUCATION
From the establishment of the first Baptist schools and Sunday School programs around the state in the early days of our convention, Christian education has always been a strong commitment for Texas Baptists.
THE VITAL WORK OF TEXAS BAPTISTS CHRISTIAN EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS Thirteen Texas Baptists educational institutions provide Christian education for future leaders in our churches, communities, nation and world.
MEET MARK JONES
BSM veteran Mark Jones takes on a new role as Director of Collegiate Ministries for Texas Baptists.
A BIBLICAL CALL TO CHRISTIAN EDUCATION Dr. Steve Mullen, director of Theological Education, shares biblical insights into Christian education within the home.
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TEXAS BAPTISTS LIFE
are able to provide expert discipleship and evangelism training to churches, regardless of the age of those attending. Each member of our Great Commission Team is anxious, willing, able and available to assist you and your church.
HELLO, TEXAS BAPTISTS! In my closet at home, I have nine shirts. Actually, I have a few more, but I do wear nine short-sleeved shirts on a rotating basis during the summer. Each one has an emblem of one of our fine Texas Baptists universities. Christian higher education has been, and remains, a high priority for Texas Baptists. Each year, we send about one-third of our budget to these institutions and to scholarship support for the next generation of missionaries and ministers. Over the course of the life of each of these universities, I speculate that the BGCT is the largest single donor in their respective histories. Therefore, on behalf of these institutions, I say ‘thank you’ to Texas Baptists for your consistent and generous spirit. Although we’ve just celebrated ‘Make Your Will Month’ this past August, any day, week or month is an appropriate time to consider leaving a lasting legacy. Perhaps leaving a gift to one of these fine institutions would be the Lord's direction for you. Kathleen and I have established a will, and I hope and pray you will consider doing the same. Of course, we at Texas Baptists would be faithful and responsible stewards of whatever you might be led to leave with us as well. Our own Texas Baptist Missions Foundation would be honored to talk with you about future plans. Education also takes place in our churches, and since our beginnings, Texas Baptists has prioritized Bible study, Sunday school and small groups. I am grateful that we
Additionally, our very own BaptistWay Press, led by Bob Billups, provides the finest Bible Study materials available. If your church already uses BaptistWay, I thank you, and if you are not currently using these materials, please consider doing so. There has never been a time where Christian education–at home, church or one of our academic institutions–has ever been more needed. Fortunately, we have been doing this work for decades, and we will not be deterred in teaching God's word and way.
¡HOLA, BAUTISTAS DE TEXAS! En el armario en mi habitación tengo nueve camisas. En realidad tengo un poco más, pero alterno mis nueve camisas de manga corta durante el verano. Cada una tiene un emblema de una de nuestras excelentes universidades bautistas de Texas. La educación universitaria cristiana ha sido, y continúa siendo, una alta prioridad para los Bautistas de Texas. Cada año, enviamos una tercera parte de nuestro presupuesto a estas instituciones para aportar a la educación de la próxima generación de misioneros y ministros. A lo largo de la historia de cada una de estas universidades, pienso que la Convención Bautista General de Texas es el donante más grande en cada una de ellas. Por lo tanto, a nombre de estas instituciones, doy las gracias a ustedes, Bautistas de Texas, por su espíritu consistente y generoso. A pesar de que acabamos de celebrar el mes ‘Prepare su testamento’ este agosto pasado, cualquier día, semana o mes es un tiempo apropiado para considerar dejar un legado que perdure. Tal vez dejar una donación a una de estas excelentes
instituciones pueda ser la dirección de Dios para usted. Kathleen y yo hemos preparado un testamento, y espero y oro que usted considere hacer lo mismo. Por supuesto, nosotros en la Convención seremos mayordomos fieles y responsables de lo que usted desee legarnos también. Será un honor para nuestra Fundación de Misiones Bautistas de Texas hablar con usted acerca de sus planes futuros. La educación también ocurre en nuestras Iglesias, y desde el principio, el estudio bíblico, la escuela dominical, y los grupos pequeños han sido una prioridad para los Bautistas de Texas. Estoy agradecido de que podamos proveer entrenamiento experto en discipulado y evangelismo a nuestras iglesias, no importa la edad de los participantes. Cada miembro de nuestro Equipo de Gran Comisión está deseoso, dispuesto, preparado, y disponible para ayudarle a usted y a su iglesia. Además, nuestro editorial BaptistWay Press, dirigido por Bob Billups, provee los mejores materiales de estudios bíblico disponibles. Si su iglesia ya usa materiales BaptistWay, le doy las gracias, y si al momento no está usando estos materiales, permítame sugerirle que considere hacerlo. No ha habido un tiempo cuando la educación cristiana—en el hogar, la iglesia, o en una de nuestras instituciones académicas—haya sido más necesaria. Afortunadamente, hemos estado haciendo este trabajo durante décadas, y no dejaremos de enseñar el camino y la Palabra de Dios. BLESSINGS AND BENDICIONES,
D AV I D H A R D A G E E XECU TIVE DIRECTOR DIRECTOR E JECU TIVO
LIVES CHANGED AND A COMMUNITY RESTORED
By Kalie Lowrie, News Director and Stephanie Arosemena, News Intern
THE MISSING PIECE OF THE PUZZLE
What started as a Gospel-centered community group, meeting in a house, became a thriving and growing church reaching the lost and the broken in Nederland, Texas.
Dedra Curtice first came to Cornerstone at the invitation of her oldest daughter, Madison. On the first Sunday she visited, Pastor Ryan Thompson was preaching from Acts on the early church and what the body of Christ should look like. “I remember the Lord saying, ‘this is where you are supposed to be seated,’” Dedra said.
Cornerstone Church began by God calling Ryan Thompson and his wife, Arin, as they felt burdened for their friends, family and neighbors who were lost and in need of the Gospel in their community. “We set out with this vision given to us by the Lord to start a church and partner with other great local churches in our city to seek and to save the lost, to make disciple-making disciples and to see our community transformed by the power of the Gospel,” said Thompson.
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Dedra was raised in church, but was never discipled or taught the importance of living out her faith. “There was no relationship or community,” she recalled. “I started attending Cornerstone with my family and began learning and digging into God’s word. The more I would hear and read about discipleship and coming together, I realized it was a big piece of the puzzle that was missing in my life,” Dedra continued.
A few months after joining Cornerstone, Pastor Ryan asked Dedra if she was willing to disciple a young lady in the church. Although she had never been discipled before, Dedra was excited about the opportunity to meet with Sally. They met weekly for prayer, Bible study and time to share about their lives. Then last Spring, Dedra was offered the opportunity to go a mission trip through Cornerstone to serve the Amazon region of Brazil alongside two other church members. The church sponsors an indigenous Brazilian missionary through Texas Baptists’ Missionary Adoption Program (MAP), who they would be able to meet for the first time. She began to pray for the Lord to provide the funds to go, and before she knew it, God provided exactly what she needed to go. The Amazon trip was life changing for Dedra as she learned evangelism strategies and spent a week ministering
to the Brazilian people away from the modern comforts of home. “I prayed and prayed from the time I knew God was opening the door to go that He would change me, that He would change my heart,” Dedra said. God began to show Dedra her dependence on earthly conveniences. She read in the Gospel of John where Jesus says, “where your treasure is, there your heart is also.” Over the summer, God continued to convict Dedra about her shopping and spending habits. She decided to limit her spending and commit money each month to sponsor another MAP missionary in Brazil. Rather than spending money on items she did not need, Dedra wanted to send money to a ministry partner to make a difference in the lives of others along the Amazon. Reflecting on how God has moved in her life over the last year, Dedra said, “My life has completely changed since I started being obedient to the Lord.” She has seen growth from intentional discipleship and commitment to studying and living out God’s word, to obediently serving in Brazil and now sponsoring another missionary to continue that work.
“THE MORE I WOULD HEAR AND READ ABOUT DISCIPLESHIP AND COMING TOGETHER, THE MORE I REALIZED IT WAS A BIG PIECE OF THE PUZZLE THAT WAS MISSING IN MY LIFE.” – Dedra Curtice Top: More than 100 people engage in community groups each week. Middle: Pastor Ryan Thompson (right) baptizes a new believer. Bottom: Bryan and Dedra Curtice and their daughters Sophie, Bryna, and Madison.
Dedra is just one of many whose lives have been transformed by the power of the Gospel at Cornerstone Church. Thompson has witnessed several friends from junior high and high school grow in their relationship with the Lord and celebrated immensely when his own father gave his life to Christ.
A DISCIPLE-MAKING FOCUS
“We have seen people far from God give their lives to Jesus, baptized and be discipled,” said Thompson. “It's been humbling and encouraging to see the Spirit of God at work amongst us and the fruits of Gospel ministry.” Thompson described the church as passionate to equip and train disciple-makers to live on mission in their spheres of influence. Whether in their neighborhoods, the workplace or at the gym, members of the church are helping each other to see all of life as an opportunity to demonstrate and declare the good news of Jesus. Thompson’s home congregation, First Baptist Church in Nederland, served as the sending church for Cornerstone. It was a special privilege to be sent out by those who he had served alongside for the majority of his life, according to Thompson. After months of meeting in their home, Thompson went through Texas Baptists Church Planting Center (CPC) training in Houston and began the process of laying the groundwork for Cornerstone Church. The CPC was valuable in many ways including a coach to meet with monthly and discuss challenges and successes of planting a church, and provided updates and reports to FBC Nederland on the progress of the church plant. “Cornerstone Church is a family of believers in Jesus Christ that love God, love His Word and love each other,” stated Thompson. “Our hope is to be used by God to bring about the obedience of faith in Christ in more and more people for the sake of His name among all nations." Currently, Texas Baptists has Church Planting Centers in El Paso, Belton and Tarrant County. Through gifts to the Cooperative Program, Texas Baptists provides funds for church planters to receive valuable training and resources.
To learn more about Texas Baptists Church Planting Centers, contact Paul Atkinson, Director of Church Starting, at (214) 828-5217 or email@example.com.
The church launched on Easter Sunday in 2017 with 20 covenant members and now has more than 100 people engaged in their community groups. OCTOBER 2018
By Kirsten McKimmey, News Writer, and Analiz G. Schremmer, Contributing Writer Discipleship is vital in the church. Found in the Great Commission, God instructed us to go to the ends of the earth to make disciples in His name, something that starts within our churches. The following are three stories of churches that are using different discipleship models among various age groups that we hope will serve as an encouragement for you and your church.
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DISCIPLESHIP WITH CHILDREN Every moment is an opportunity for discipleship at Del Sol Church in El Paso. More specifically, the Children’s Ministry offers a wide array of opportunities for children to grow in both their knowledge and love of the Lord. Cheryl Reed, children’s minister of the east campus, noted that they utilize multiple days a week to disciple their kids. On Sundays, the children attend Sunday school where leaders and volunteers use carefully selected curriculum to teach the students; on Tuesdays, during the church’s adult Bible study, the children are presented another Gospel-lesson and activity by teachers; on Wednesdays, the children, ages two to 6th grade, are given
the opportunity to participate in AWANA; and in the summertime Vacation Bible School is offered as a discipleship tool. It doesn’t stop there: the children are also encouraged to serve alongside the church. Mustard Seed Faith is a group of 6th grade students and their families who serve in community projects to show God’s love in practical ways. “This is one of the ways we teach the children to unleash compassion,” said Reed. During VBS, a special mission offering is collected by the children. Additionally, “Outside the Bowl” is an ongoing offering where their children are encouraged to bring one dime per week to provide meals for underprivileged children for a global ministry.
Not only are the children discipled by the church through these programs and events, but parents are also encouraged to disciple their children in the home by discussing the lessons, helping memorize Scripture and volunteering in the ministry. When it comes to equipping their children’s ministry volunteers, Reed said, “I feel that a good curriculum, and training in how to use it, is key so that your church’s mission and kingdom vision happens in your children’s ministry. Keep communication open with your teams. Be open to ideas from your volunteers about opportunities.” She continued, “As a church our mission is to help people to love God and others by encouraging and equipping them to follow Christ, build community and unleash compassion. That’s exactly what we teach our children.”
INTERGENERATIONAL DISCIPLESHIP First Baptist Church in Clifton has built a unique connection by facilitating relationships between youth and adults in their congregation. Steven Payne, youth pastor at FBC Clifton, understands the importance of showing students they are loved and have a support system in the church. “A lot of kids don’t get the encouragement they need at home,” he said. “So it’s important to find those adults who will really love them and care about them.” Payne started multiple activities to create this much needed support system for the young people in the congregation. The newest activity they integrated to form this unity was an intergenerational game night where they played Wagon Wheel and other get-to-know-you games. Sixty-two youth and 55 adults were present.
a little doubtful about the event. But he promised them that at the end they would all get hugs and have smiles on their faces. And they did. “Two, three, four months later, I still have adults talking to me about it and saying, ‘That was so great and how is this kid doing?’ because they learned their name,” he said. They had never interacted with people this way.” One senior adult in her 70s began writing notes to students as a form of encouragement. Payne said that when his church had a ministry Sunday, the youth was integrated with the adults, rather than separated into independent projects. “Together they were all doing yard work, filling backpacks or painting a fence in a nursing home,” he said. “Someone told me it was the best Sunday she’d ever experienced at church.” Payne said that students are not just the future of the church, they are participating and active members now. Not only that, but they will one day replace the adult members. FBC Clifton’s ministry has been so positive that about one-fourth to one-third of the students in the local high school participates in their annual Disciple Now weekend. Payne owes the success the ministry to the grace of God and the efforts put forth by the adults in the congregation. “It’s important to talk to the adults about the value of building those relationships,” he said. “Help them realize that teenagers won’t just walk up to an adult and start talking to them, so the adults need to take the initiative. Churches who want to do something similar should provide an avenue where the adults can interact with the students.”
DISCIPLESHIP FOR BOOMERS In First Baptist Church in San Antonio, a group of Baby Boomers went from seeking to grow as disciples to seeking to help others do the same. It all started with a group of Boomers that met to do Henry Blackaby’s 12-week Bible study, Experiencing God.
Payne said that before the game night, both the adults and youth were feeling
“We went through ‘Experiencing God’ with the boomers in our church and asked them to form small groups so that they could continue learning about the word and make disciples,” said Administrative Assistant for Missions Kappie Coffee. “So they formed those groups within their circles of influence.” Coffee, a Baby Boomer herself, said she expected the groups to stay within their generation, but the Boomers were already plugged in and serving all sorts of ministries and age groups. “If they were working with young marrieds, then that’s who they formed groups with and so on,” Coffee said. “You know how it is when you think you know what is going to happen, but it becomes something different.”
She said that the Boomers also led their groups through Blackaby’s Experiencing God. “It was one of the first studies that the Boomer group had done, so we decided to share it with the new groups they started,” Coffee said. “At any age you take it, truth is truth. It didn’t seem dated and I loved seeing the young groups respond the same way we did.” She said it was really great to see this movement start with Boomers because they are in a very unique stage in life. “It’s a time in life when all the kids are gone, and you think, ‘Lord, where do you want me? What do you have to say?’ Well, he has a lot to say.”
Coffee said the groups in FBC San Antonio are still learning, but they are so glad to be emphasizing discipleship and seeing people help each other grow closer to God. “It’s a growing process,” she said. “We are pushing ourselves forward. It’s not always easy but we know it’s right. And it is so rewarding.”
For more resources and training on discipleship strategies for your church, visit texasbaptists.org/ discipleship.
STRATEGIES FOR CHILDHOOD DISCIPLESHIP: • Give a volunteer manual to all Sunday leaders that helps them understand expectations and understand their vision for reaching children. • Require at least two teachers per team/ class and this allows them to know they are not alone when it comes to preparing and teaching. • Offer at least two planning/training sessions each year where you bring your leaders together to keep us all on the same page. • Provide parent handouts for the curriculum used so that they can talk with their children about their lesson. • Provide parent classes for parents whose child accepted Christ and is awaiting baptism.
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FOR INTERGENERATIONAL CONNECTIONS: • Pick one or two Sundays a month to let members of the youth serve as junior ushers. • Hold a meeting with adults to encourage them to lift up the youth and build relationships with them. • Organize an intergenerational game night that gives all age groups a chance to bond over card and board games. • Encourage your church members to participate and serve in Disciple Now Weekend or other youthfocused events. • Create opportunities for youth to share testimonies with the rest of the congregation. • Host an annual or biannual get-toknow you event to help youth and church adults come together.
FOR ADULT DISCIPLESHIP: • Start with the group you’re in. Begin discipleship in a group you’re already a part of. It can be in the workplace, with friends or with another type of church group. If you’re not already in a group, you can make one. • Keep the group size to about five people. It gives everyone a chance to participate and get to know each other. • Rather than making the study a priority, make the group a priority. You don’t want them to just come in, do a study, and check it off. You want them to be committed to each other. • Make disciples who make disciples. The idea is to disciple people and prepare them to disciple others. When you help others grow closer to Christ, it pushes you closer to Christ, too. It is all a part of God’s plan.
GET TO KNOW YOUR AREA REPRESENTATIVE DANIEL DELEON Area Representative • Service Area 3 Daniel and Iris DeLeon and their son, Caleb
I serve in Area 3, which covers a little more than half of the borderline between Mexico and the state of Texas, including cities like Del Rio, Eagle Pass, Laredo, McAllen (the Rio Grande Valley) and Brownsville. One of my main responsibilities as Area Representative is to keep a close contact with pastors and churches that participate in the Texas Baptists Cooperative Program. Some of these pastors are very familiar with the resources that we have to offer, but others simply do not have an idea of the possibilities they have to help their ministries grow. Two of the most common questions I get from churches and the answers I provide:
Are there any funds available to remodel or improve our building? I have the privilege of informing churches about our Small Church Matching Grant, through which, Texas Baptists will match up to $5,000 that the church already has in a building fund. This provides up to $10,000 for a church to begin building projects. Pastors and churches get excited when they learn about this resource.
We don’t have anyone to preach this coming Sunday, do you have a pulpit supply name that you can provide? Another opportunity in which Area Representatives get to serve is in helping those churches that are without a pastor. This could be one of the most frequent phone calls we get. We’re here to help. Having a list of pulpit supply pastors or preachers is an essential in our toolbox. Church secretaries and Pastor Search Committees get a great relief when we are able to help them on this matter. They really appreciate when Texas Baptists supports them in their time between pastors.
In spite of the opportunities mentioned to serve our churches, I truly believe there is one activity that I really enjoy more than anything else. My favorite activity among my responsibilities is just to be able to walk into a pastor’s office, introduce myself, start a conversation and then listen to their hearts speak. I enjoy being able to listen to them just sharing their hearts for the ministry, listening to the challenges they face, but also praying together. When that happens, I know they feel comforted, but I leave that office with a sense of accomplishment knowing that the Lord has given me that great opportunity to serve them beyond the material resources.
Texas Baptists have nine area representatives serving around the state to connect with our churches. To find your area representative, visit texasbaptists.org/connections or call 214.887-5475. OCTOBER 2018
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of His glorious
strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being
established in love, may have
together with all the Lordâ€™s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge that you may be
the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him
glory in the
church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:14-21
BE ENRICHED. BE ROOTED. BE EMPOWERED. BE FULFILLED.
EAST TEXAS BAPTIST UNIVERSITY | 903.923.2000 12 TEXAS BAPTISTS LIFE ONE TIGER DRIVE | MARSHALL, TEXAS 75670
T H E G R E AT E S T POSSIBLE
Back in 1848, at the first Baptist state convention in Texas, a handful of words were used to describe the primary purpose of the group gathered. Later on, in 1886, those same words were incorporated into the Baptist General Convention of Texas constitution at its formation. Today, Baptists in Texas continue
their cooperative efforts to live out the Great Commandment and the Great Commission with a commitment to those same words: "The object of this Convention shall be to awaken and stimulate among the churches the greatest possible activity in evangelism, missions,
Christian education and benevolent work and enterprises; to cultivate a closer cooperation among the churches and promote harmony of feeling and concert of action in advancing all the interests of the Redeemer’s Kingdom." [Article II - Object, Constitution of the Baptist General Convention of Texas]
AN ENDURING COMMITMENT TO CHRISTIAN EDUCATION By Kalie Lowrie, News Director The beginning of Texas Baptists’ influence in Christian higher education began in the Republic of Texas in 1845, with the founding of Baylor University in Independence, Texas. Located just yards away from the First Baptist Church in Independence, Baylor was one of 19 academic institutions chartered under the newly formed republic. By the late 1850s, Baylor was granting more degrees than all of the other colleges in the state combined. Baptist schools in the late 1800s were formed and managed by local associations, many started by local church leaders. In 1897, a decade after the creation of the BGCT, the Education Commission was formed to solicit funds to help support the partnering institutions and appoint trustees. In the 1910s, the BGCT worked to eliminate debt at all of the schools and endow Baylor. Drives and campaigns were launched throughout the state in the early 1910s and 20s. The partnership between the Christian schools and Texas Baptists was symbiotic. Texas Baptists celebrated the outstanding Christian education provided through the institutions and the schools offered free schooling to ministers and their children. Through the effort and financial commitment given to this work, the greatest theme to prevail was the desire to provide excellent Christian education training
for ministers and believers through these institutions. That commitment continues today through one private school, 10 universities and two seminaries all in partnership with Texas Baptists. Christian education also involved Sunday Schools which were established throughout Texas. In the late 1880s, “Sunday School evangelists” traveled around the state, training teachers, establishing new schools and educating churches on the importance of the program. Literature became increasingly more widespread, aiding to the growth of the schools. By 1915, the Executive Board noted that “in nothing are Texas Baptists doing better than in Sunday School development” as the program was embraced and expanded statewide. Initially, Sunday School was primarily geared toward children, but by the 1920s, programs expanded to incorporate adult classes in many churches. While traditional Sunday School models may look different in the 21st Century, Texas Baptists still maintain a commitment to the discipleship of believers through training and equipping leaders through our local churches. The Texas Baptists Great Commission team has specialists available to consult and train church leaders on new approaches for discipleship within their congregations. Texas Baptists churches remain committed to developing Christian disciples through a multitude of strategies.
Top: Baylor’s campus at Independence during the 1870s. Bottom: Wayland Baptist University graduates from the 1960s.
While many of our leaders were trained in our Texas Baptists institutions and churches, many new leaders on the horizon are in need of strong Christian education. Therefore, our commitment to this emphasis will endure for many years to come. Sources: Dawson, J. F. & Storey, J. W. (1996). Teaching them: A sesquicentennial celebration of Texas Baptist Education. TX: Nortex Press. McBeth, H. L. (1998). Texas Baptists: A sesquicentennial history. TX: Nortex Press. OCTOBER 2018
TIMELINE 1845 Baylor University (moved from Independence in 1886)
University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (originally Baylor Female College)
1889 Howard Payne University
1891 Hardin Simmons University (formerly Abilene Baptist University and Simmons University)
1898 Dallas Baptist University (originally named Decatur Baptist College until moving from Decatur in 1965)
1907 San Marcos Baptist Academy
1908 Wayland Baptist University
1912 East Texas Baptist University (founded as College of Marshall)
1941 Baptist University of the AmĂŠricas (founded as Mexican Baptist Bible Institute)
1947 South Texas School of Christian Studies (founded as University of Corpus Christi)
1960 Houston Baptist University
1994 George W. Truett Theological Seminary
2004 Logsdon Seminary 14
TEXAS BAPTISTS LIFE
The vital work of Texas Baptists Christian Education Institutions The following stories detail the commitment to Christian education across 13 Texas Baptists institutions. You will read stories from a private school emphasizing a reverence for biblical teaching, 10 universities offering unique biblical courses and mission endeavors, and two seminaries committed to theological training for ministers in a variety of cultures and contexts. Texas Baptists celebrate the strong partnerships and the work God is doing around our state through these institutions.
San Marcos Baptist Academy
San Marcos, Texas • Founded in 1907 Of the 1,191 religiously affiliated private schools in Texas, 151 are Baptist. Only one, however, is supported by Texas Baptists as a partner ministry: San Marcos Baptist Academy (SMBA). The Academy’s partnership with the BGCT began in 1910, just three years after Dr. J. M. Carroll founded the school. Dr. Carroll, whose contributions to Baptist life as a pastor, educator, historian and author are legendary, served as the Academy’s first president. He envisioned a school that would provide a rigorous college preparatory curriculum; an emphasis on and reverence for Biblical teaching; training in the fine arts and in literature; a strong athletic component; opportunities for leadership development; and an open invitation to students of other nationalities and faiths. These elements, outlined by Dr. Carroll during the Academy’s first session in 1908, remain central to the school’s mission today. Because of the Academy’s uniqueness among Baptist educational institutions, their booth at the annual meetings often draws quizzical looks and a fair amount of head-scratching. “So you aren’t a university?” people often ask.
No, they patiently answer, as they explain their enrollment of students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. “Where do your students come from?” many want to know, to which it is explained that day students from San Marcos and other surrounding communities attend, as well as boarding students from across Texas, a few other states and many different countries. This response often draws a follow-up question: “Why would parents send their child to a boarding school?” There is no single answer to that query; in fact, behind every student at SMBA, there is a story, and with every story comes a ministry opportunity. As SMBA begins the 2018-19 academic year with the theme “Growing Together,” the school continues to focus on opportunities to share Christ with students, reminded by Dr. Carroll’s challenge 11 decades ago: “Let us go on as we have begun, one thing at a time; all of us in harmony; all doing our dead level best; all of us looking constantly to God, and our final ending will be more glorious than our magnificent beginning.”
Location: San Marcos,TX Founded: 1907
Baptist University of the Américas San Antonio, Texas • Founded in 1941
Location: San Antonio,TX Founded: 1941
The late July prayers of two Baptist University of the Américas (BUA) students spanned cultures and connected continents while reaching into a Lubbock hospital. The BUA Called missions team wrapped up seven weeks of non-stop Vacation Bible Schools and “manual ministry” at Texas Baptists churches. At the end of the long drive to West Texas, the team was looking forward to a good night’s sleep. But, as Valentina Sanchez and Kimmie headed for bed, they sensed their hosts, Francisco and Darling Vargas, were uneasy. Feeling a “Holy Spirit nudge,” Valentina asked what was wrong. Francisco had been stunned that afternoon when he was told he needed a third emergency heart surgery. The Vargas’ are a hardworking and faithful family at Alliance Baptist Church Español in Lubbock. Two weeks earlier, the couple served on a mission trip to Chihuahua, Mexico. Now death was again threatening to intrude. After Valentina translated the Spanish conversation for Kimmie, the co-eds simultaneously asked to pray with the family. Those prayers, amplified, would continue for the next 24-plus hours. Valentina called her parents in Colombia, so they could join in. The final prayers of the evening, at 2 a.m., waited while
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Fransisco told his family goodbye in case he didn’t survive. Both student missionaries joined them in crying. The Vargas’ were already at University Medical Center when Kimmie and Valentina headed for the day’s ministry of deep cleaning the church. They shared the story with the rest of the team and all six of the BUA students prayed as they scrubbed floors and cleaned windows. At mid-afternoon, they heard that Francisco was out of surgery. At day’s end, Ramirez asked if the team would like to go to the hospital. The team prayed with Francisco and his family and thanked God for seeing him through the difficult surgery. BUA bridges cultures to share the word of God. Three of every four Hispanic Baptist pastors in Texas attended BUA, and the university has extension centers in three countries, with plans for further expansion.
Location: Waco,TX Founded: 1845
Baylor University Waco, Texas • Founded in 1845 In summer 2018, Baylor University commissioned more than 500 students to serve in summer camps across the country. In addition, 44 teams, comprised of almost 750 students, faculty and staff, served in 17 countries through Baylor missions experiences this past year. Utilizing fall break, spring break and summer trips, the teams actively addressed areas including health, community and leadership development, education, hunger, immigration, disaster relief, human trafficking and more. Hundreds more engaged in missions service through Waco churches. Each spring and fall, thousands of students join together to serve the
greater Waco community through Steppin’ Out, a tradition at Baylor for more than 30 years. It is one of the largest collegiate community service projects in the United States and is nationally recognized for its commitment to service. Baylor University provides a vibrant campus community for students as it pursues its mission to educate men and women for worldwide leadership and service by integrating academic excellence and Christian commitment within a caring community. The University’s Baptist founders sought to establish an institution of higher learning dedicated to Christian principles, superior
academics and a shared sense of community, and its leaders remain firm in the conviction that the world needs a preeminent research university that is unambiguously Christian. The University offers an active community of faith that extends from the campus into Waco and around the world. Preparing students for leadership and service at Baylor means illustrating the importance of serving with the full awareness of the needs of others.
Location: Dallas,TX Founded: 1898
Dallas Baptist University Dallas, Texas • Founded in 1898 “Transformative education for the glory of God,” is more than a slogan at Dallas Baptist University (DBU). It is the passion of the university. One of the ways DBU engages in transformative education is through internships and travel studies that help students put into practice the concepts they learn in the classroom. In the summer of 2018, students traveled throughout the U.S. and around the world to places like Australia, China, Hungary, Germany and Israel. For Corinna Keck, a senior philosophy, politics and economics major from Georgetown, her time in Spain interning with a travel agency allowed her to experience a new culture and develop new skills.
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“Working at Spanish Trails may not have directly correlated with my PPE degree,” Keck explained, “but it did teach me so much that will prove beneficial as I enter the workforce. God calls us to live lives that cherish the opportunities presented to us, and we are to grasp them with confidence.” Blake Pate, a senior biology major from Forney, took full advantage of an opportunity to do vaccine research at Yale University. “Through my time researching this summer,” shared Pate, “I acquired hands-on knowledge of biostatistics, obtained new insights into the realm of clinical research, and most
importantly, refined my skills as an aspiring physician.” “We are continuously looking to provide these types of experiences to grow and stretch our students,” said DBU President Dr. Adam C. Wright. “Our prayer is that DBU graduates will leave University Hill with a servant’s heart and the ability to engage culture through a Biblical worldview, regardless of their vocational calling, all for the glory of God alone.”
East Texas Baptist University
Marshall, Texas • Founded in 1912 At a young age, Folake Ishola left everything she knew to follow a call to East Texas Baptist University (ETBU). “When I started my freshman year at ETBU, I came all the way from Nigeria with two suitcases and no family in the United States,” Folake said. “I really didn’t know what to expect, but I am thankful God placed me at ETBU for my undergraduate studies. I was able to grow spiritually and mentally, despite being so young at the time. I also made lifelong friends that are family to me now.” After graduating from ETBU in 2014, with a Bachelor of Science in Biology, Folake transitioned to Johns Hopkins University to pursue a Master of Science in Biotechnology. According to Folake, her time at ETBU empowered her to pursue a career in medicine. “At ETBU, I was surrounded with God-fearing people, that truly love the Lord. I cherish the fact that I was integrated in a curriculum that allowed holistic development,” Folake shared. “My experience played a significant role in my relationship with God and continues to keep me grounded as I fulfill my dreams of becoming a physician.” Currently, Folake is studying at the Ross University School of Medicine.
In two years, she will return to the United States for clinical rotations. Although she has not anticipated the path, Folake has learned through her life experience, spiritual walk, and education at ETBU to trust as the Lord uses her in Kingdom work around the world. Committed to Christ-centered education and equipping students with the skills to pursue their vocational calling, ETBU offers diverse programs in health care-related fields of study. ETBU has nine pre-professional health programs with a variety of tracks for students interested in progressing to medical, dental, chiropractic, occupational therapy, pharmacy, physical therapy, and physician assistant graduate and professional schools. With undergraduate programs in Athletic Training, Biology, Chemistry, Clinical Lab Science, Nursing, Psychology, Rehabilitative Science, and Wellness Management, ETBU has many options for students interested in a career in health care. East Texas Baptist’s faculty and staff strive to provide students with a transformative, quality academic experience that prepares them to be Christian servant leaders on their future mission fields.
Location: Marshall,TX Founded: 1912
Hardin-Simmons University Abilene, Texas • Founded in 1891 Originally called the “University of Christ’s Love” by its founder, HardinSimmons University (HSU) strives to be a place where Christ’s love is glorified. Grounded in a belief that we are all made in the image of God, faculty and staff at Hardin-Simmons are focused on helping each student find God’s plan in their lives.
Location: Abilene,TX Founded: 1891
The founder of Hardin-Simmons University, James B. Simmons, had two questions that he asked himself and believed their students should ask themselves. 1. What is the greatest thought that has ever occupied your mind? 2. What is your duty towards fulfilling it? Hardin-Simmons embraces both the old and the new throughout its growing campus. Familiar red brick buildings and shade-providing pecan trees express the heritage of the university, while groundbreaking ceremonies are becoming a frequent occurrence for new legacies. New buildings include a new student fitness center, new apartment complexes, a new physical therapy building and a renovated physician assistant building.
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Founded in 1891, HSU offers more than 85 versatile undergraduate and graduate degree programs and an environment where more than 2,200 students can thrive. When you come to HSU, you join a welcoming family of diverse people who share a commitment to academic excellence fueled by Christian faith. As a fully accredited university, they offer a quality education that is affordable. At HSU, you experience a culture of Christian hospitality and authentic West Texas spirit that is second to none.
Location: Houston,TX Founded: 1960
Houston Baptist University Houston, Texas • Founded in 1960 Houston Baptist University (HBU) is a Houston classic, growing with the city they call home. The College of Engineering is the newest college; beginning in the fall of 2018, it offers Bachelor of Science degrees in Computer Science, Cyber Engineering and Electrical Engineering. Also, the prestigious Archie W. Dunham College of Business, with the HBU McNair Center for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise, now offers a Master of Science in Management and Entrepreneurship degree.
The HBU School of Nursing and Allied Health recently launched two Master of Science in Nursing tracks (Family Nurse Practitioner and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in Primary Care) and a Master of Science in Kinesiology. In the HBU College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, the Doctor of Education in Special Education Leadership became the University’s second doctoral program.
Houston Baptist University is fulfilling its mission of instilling in students a passion for academic, professional and spiritual excellence stemming from their central confession, “Jesus Christ is Lord.”
Howard Payne University Brownwood, Texas • Founded in 1889
Location: Brownwood,TX Founded: 1889
Howard Payne University’s (HPU) graduate programs in Christian studies were created with working ministers in mind. The Master of Arts in Youth Ministry (MAYM) degree and the Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry (MATM) degree, both of which are designed to train and equip men and women for ministry, are 42-hour, non-thesis programs with no residency requirements. This means those who are already in ministerial roles are able to keep serving, right where they are, while earning a master’s degree. The modular format for delivery of instruction, typically four days on campus for a 3-hour class, allows for a focused learning experience with minimal disruption to the schedule of a full-time minister. Students have an option to stay on campus for only $25 per week. HPU was the first Baptist university in Texas to offer both the undergraduate (1992) and graduate (2006) degrees in youth ministry and added the MATM degree in 2013. Both programs emphasize biblical, theological and practical application and can be completed in as few as two years.
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Through an accelerated undergraduate degree program, HPU offers students the opportunity to complete either a MAYM or MATM degree just one year after completing an undergraduate degree. HPU graduates become part of a large and close-knit alumni network and develop lifelong relationships with faculty, staff and their classmates. “This is the part in the journey where students get to come and be prepared for what it is God is calling them to do,” said Dr. Gary Gramling, professor of Christian studies and director of the Christian studies graduate programs. “We do not want you to major in Christian studies unless you sense God has put it in your heart to do ministry. That is a great thing for us though because we get to welcome and equip men and women who feel called by God to a ministry vocation.”
South Texas School of Christian Studies
Corpus Christi, Texas • Founded in 1947 At a time when there is a great need for faithful leaders in the local church and community, the South Texas School of Christian Studies (SCS) strives to help students answer God’s call. SCS educates and prepares followers of Christ to help build stronger communities and guide others on a path to righteousness. One of the unique benefits to studying at SCS is a student’s access to practitioner-scholars. In order to prepare men and women for service in the church, it is critical to have faculty who are serving in the church. Therefore, classes at SCS are frequently taught by instructors who have achieved an advanced degree and continue to serve as a pastor. This approach ensures that SCS students are trained by gifted, intelligent leaders who are also skilled practitioners of what they are teaching.
The inclusion of practitioner-scholars underscores the pastoral approach SCS takes with students. Every member of the SCS staff and faculty prays for students by name each week. It is common to see a staff member praying with a student. Students at SCS are a part of the “SCS familia.” The entire SCS staff also gathers together each week to pray specifically for pastors and local churches. This practice is borne out of a clear focus on serving the local church. President Tony Celelli frequently reminds the staff and faculty that SCS measures success by the health and development of the local church.
Location: Corpus Christi,TX Founded: 1947
Location: Belton,TX Founded: 1845
University of Mary Hardin-Baylor Belton, Texas • Founded in 1845 When alumni return to the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (UMHB), they invariably talk about how much the campus has changed. With the addition of six new buildings in the last seven years and exciting new programs in health care and engineering, it’s easy to spot the changes. But closer investigations reveal the university’s enduring commitment to preparing men and women for Christian leadership in all walks of life. That steadfast commitment is certainly clear each spring: on the Wednesday before Easter, students have enacted the story of Christ’s life, death and resurrection annually on campus for the last 79 years. In an era when young adults seem obsessed with Snapchat, Insta-
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gram and online gaming, it would seem unlikely that college students would be interested in putting on an Easter pageant, but UMHB students put countless hours into the production, which they consider to be an essential university tradition. The production, which features student vocalists and more than 300 students in period costumes, draws more than 5,000 visitors to the campus each year to witness the story of Christ’s sacrifice and triumph over death. In recent years, the impact of the production has been expanded through video streaming and social media; last spring thousands of viewers from around the globe experienced the pageant live via the Internet.
Through the years, the pageant has touched the hearts of thousands of visitors, but it has also proved to be a life-changing experience for many of the UMHB students who take part in the production. Each year the work on the pageant leads student actors and audience members to professions of faith and decisions to be baptized.
Wayland Baptist University
Plainview, Texas • Founded in 1908 Donnie Brown, director of the Wayland Baptist University (WBU) Mission Center, was decked out in a loaded backpack, walking on a treadmill. It was once again the time of year when he had to prepare for Kaleo, a month-long, intensive leadership training experience for high school juniors and seniors. The Kaleo program combines a wilderness immersion with overseas mission work and a theological study course to transform the lives of students who are committed to Christian leadership. Funded by a grant from the Lilly Foundation, Kaleo was inspired by conversations with leaders of the Baptist General Convention of Texas and other organizations. They expressed a growing interest in trying to find a way to help more students consider Christian leadership and how it affects their lives both in the church and in their communities.
In the wilderness, students are encouraged to find their true leadership calling. Upon returning to Wayland, they spend a week completing Biblical and theological study modules led by WBU professors, as well as conducting a ministry project with a local church. In the final phase of the program, students participate in an overseas mission trip to the Dominican Republic. Once complete, students return to their home churches where they spend eight months in a mentorship, implementing some sort of ministry project within their church or community. “We want them to leave the program with a strong sense of how God can work through them to change the world around them,” Brown said. “It is an incredible journey to experience God working so powerfully in students’ lives.”
Location: Plainview,TX Founded: 1908
“Our goal is to help students affirm God’s call to Christian leadership no matter what their future vocation will be,” Brown said. “We discuss that life is God’s story and He has called all of us to live our lives for His glory.”
Logsdon Seminary Abilene, Texas â€˘ Founded in 2004
Location: Abilene,TX Founded: 2004
At Logsdon Seminary, men and women are prepared for servant leadership in a manner that meets the unique needs of ministry students today. Ministers are offered an education that is accessible, relational and missional.
relational instruction interactive-video offers, they are able to maintain the personal dimension of ministry education while also accommodating students in the far-flung reaches of our state and around the globe.
Logsdon is accessible through six locations across the state: Abilene, Corpus Christi, Dallas-Fort Worth, Lubbock, McAllen and San Antonio. At these campuses students participate in traditional face-to-face learning and also interactive video courses. They are also accessible in terms of cost, as they have significant scholarships for all students, so that the cost of a seminary education is less than one-half of a typical graduate degree.
Logsdon education is also missional in that their goal is to prepare students to be sent on mission by the Spirit of God. Their learning community is focused on the centrality of Christ, the authority of Scripture and the global mission of the church. While they work hard to help students understand the Bible and theology, their ultimate goal is to prepare ministers with practical skills that fit the various contexts of missional service in our world from the local church, to hospitals and military bases, to counseling centers and non-profits and to missional outposts around the world.
Ministry preparation at Logsdon Seminary is also relational, because ministry is all about relationships. They have a few online courses available to meet the demands of hectic student schedules, but their focus is on more personal education, through face-to-face classes or by interactive video. Students can join a video class at one of their campuses, or join a live synchronous video class from home. Because of the
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Location: Waco,TX Founded: 1994
Truett Seminary Waco, Texas • Founded in 1994 Baylor’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary is coming to Houston this fall, in partnership with Tallowood Baptist Church. Students can earn a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry (MACM) or a Master of Theological Studies (MTS) degree completely in Houston. Leading the initiative is Dr. John Burk, assistant dean for strategic initiatives at Truett. “The Truett in Houston campus will provide highly contextualized instruction that meets specific needs in the nation’s fourth-largest city,” Burk said. The launch of the extension campus in Houston entwines innovation with tradition. One of the long-standing strengths of Truett Seminary is a commitment to a thorough core curriculum, emphasizing
Scripture, theology, practical theology, global Christianity and spiritual formation. The Houston extension campus will continue this commitment, while also offering unique opportunities particular to the needs of the city. Distinctive course offerings will provide instruction in ministry to resettled refugees and to the incarcerated population, as well as classes in theology and the arts. A community health track offered in partnership with Baylor’s Diana R. Garland School of Social Work is on the horizon, as well as offering courses related to anti-human trafficking initiatives. “We are committed to meeting both the needs of the students and the needs of the city,” Burk said. Classes will be held in
the evenings and on weekends and will be taught by Truett faculty from the Seminary’s main campus in Waco, in addition to qualified instructors from the Houston metropolitan area. Since the first students enrolled in 1994, Truett has offered a theological education that equips women and men for Gospel ministry in and alongside Christ’s Church by the power of the Holy Spirit. The tradition continues with the extension of Baylor’s Truett Seminary in Houston.
Mark Jones Mark Jones, the new Collegiate Ministry Director for Texas Baptists, is a native on the college campus. In addition to his education background, receiving his Bachelor of Arts from Baylor University, Master of Divinity from Southwestern Seminary and Doctorate of Ministry from Beeson Divinity School, Jones served as the Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) Director for Tyler Junior College for two decades from 1996-2016. During his time at Tyler Junior College (TJC), Jones played a pivotal role in establishing the BSM on the University of Texas at Tyler’s campus. Jones found it vital for the TJC’s BSM to be intentional with UT Tyler’s rapidly growing student population, acknowledging the critical time this was in the lives of students. After years of hard work and ministry, UT Tyler’s BSM was officially established in 2001, and now, alongside TJC’s BSM, is a fruitful and multiplying ministry. Prior to his new role as director, Jones served as a Campus Consultant for BSM. He helped supervise and strengthen BSM ministries around the state, including East Texas Baptist University and Wayland Baptist University, providing them encouragement, guidance and resources for effective ministry. In his new role, Jones will oversee the vital work of Texas Baptists Collegiate Ministry in engaging the 1.6 million college students in Texas. His vision is to work in tandem with churches to reach not only students on four-year college campuses, but also those on junior college campuses. “Ministry comes from burden,” he said. “And I want us to have a deep, prayerful burden for the lost and disconnected students on college campuses.”
To learn more about Texas Baptists Collegiate Ministries, visit txbsm.org.
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THE BIBLICAL CALL TO CHRISTIAN EDUCATION By Dr. Steve Mullen, director of Theological Education
Today’s society wants to play the blame game. Many people blame their behavior on how they were taught at home. Christian education in the home is no different. The Old Testament is clear to a biblical mandate that Christian education must begin and continue in the home.
The Church should help families in this biblical mandate. The first institution formed in Scripture was the family. Hebrew fathers saw the instruction of their children as their number one task. This mandate is for both parents to be involved in Christian education.
Parents are instructed to teach God’s law. In Deuteronomy, Moses is trying to prepare the Israelites for the Promised Land. His biblical mandate is for parents to be active in Christian education. The best way to form and keep a nation of people devoted to God is to begin education in the home.
Churches should teach parents how they can witness to their own children. The church has to be active in Christian discipleship. Churches cannot take the place of what has been biblically mandated toward parents. Unique family situations cause some road blocks within this biblical mandate. The church must help single parent families, blended families and other family units in teaching Christian education to their children.
Parents need more than head knowledge about the Bible. Children and youth are yearning for biblical examples of what the Bible teaches about being living sacrifices for God. Christian education is more caught than being taught. Effective teaching in the home happens all of the time. Having God’s commandments written upon our hearts means that we have made life changes that reflect the glory of God. Moses is
Educating families on the different developmental stages of their children and youth will prepare them for different teaching opportunities. With the leadership and guidance of the Holy Spirit, there are many teachable moments that occur each day. Remember, we are commanded to teach all of the time.
Hear, O Israel: The Lord your God is one. Love the Lord your God with all of your heart and with all your soul and with all of your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deuteronomy 6:4-7
asking us to use our hearts in teaching our children and youth. We must have passion for Jesus Christ. The Word of God must permeate the total atmosphere of the home. Moses challenges us to impress God’s commands to our children, to do it at any and all opportunities. To impress His commandments while we sit, walk, lie down and get up.
Family devotions can be a time of teaching in the home. A family that reads and discusses Scripture is well equipped to handle any situation they may find themselves in. Some of the best prayers are the ones that are offered by children. Allowing children and youth to communicate with God is vital in their Christian journey. The home is a great place to practice some of the spiritual disciplines we are commanded to teach.
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By Kirsten McKimmey, News Writer What was once two separate churches, two miles apart, consolidated and quickly became a thriving, culturally-diverse church in the heart of Lubbock. The revitalized congregation came about after an instant connection between Sam Medina, pastor of Templo Baptist Church, and Dr. Marcus Murphy, pastor of Oakwood Baptist Church. Their aligned passion of bringing the Kingdom of God to Lubbock and beyond helped both pastors realize that they could do more together than apart.
THE BEGINNINGS The former Templo Baptist Church and Oakwood Baptist Church were less than two miles away from each other. At the time, both churches were facing many struggles. Murphy noted that his church had been through a wilderness together. For them to survive, Murphy said that “God was going to have to step in and show us something.” Medina said their churches’ main issue was their building. He said, “Templo was in an older building. Money was being spent on brick and mortar instead of ministries. You have to fix the roof, you have to fix leaks you have to re-carpet. None of us felt like that was the best use of resources, but it had to be done.” Knowing this, the pastors were introduced by Jerry Joplin, director of the Lubbock Area Baptist Association. “It was easy to see that both churches had strengths that could benefit the other to form a healthy organism,” said Joplin. “That is exactly what happened when I was blessed to introduce Marcus and Sam to each other. Only God can take a simple meeting and bring forth a healthy consolidation that leads to more souls finding eternal hope in Jesus.” Initially, both churches simply tried to do ministry together from their separate ends of the town, but as time progressed, it didn’t seem to be an effective model. Being in a highly multicultural area, the churches discovered they could be more effective in reaching people by coming together as one church in the process of consolidation.
That’s when the discussion between the two pastors started. “How can we do it? What would have to happen? How would we be organized? What is our purpose?” Medina said, “Both Marcus’ heart and my heart were in reaching people and wanting people to come to the Lord and impacting the Kingdom of God. The more we talked, the more we realized our hearts were together, that we were on the same page.” After presenting their vision, the leadership of both churches’ were on board, and they moved forward. However, it was not an easy task. There were many challenges they had to overcome, the first of which was the reality of a predominantly Anglo church joining together with a predominately Hispanic church.
THE CHALLENGES “You have these two different cultures that worship the same Lord, have the same theology, and are both Baptists, but you’re still dealing with two different church cultures when you bring any two congregations together,” said Murphy. “We had to talk it through and say, ‘what are we willing to concede? Are we willing to submit and humble ourselves and allow the Holy Spirit to form the new fellowship?’” The men tackled this issue in differing roles as co-pastors. Medina focused on evangelism and administration, and Murphy focused on teaching. They worked hard to bring the congregations together to join them in their vision for Lubbock. “It starts with the pastors,” said Murphy. “The pastors should really function as a gatekeeper for the fellowship. If Sam and I did not have a healthy relationship, this would not work. Both of us respect the others’ gifts, and our gifts work well together.” “You can’t just be pastors; you’ve got to be friends,” added Medina. The church also overcame the trial of creating a new name. While the congregation had varying opinions, the pastors held fast to the fact that even know they were meeting in the building of the former Oakwood Baptist Church, it was a completely new
fellowship with a completely new church culture. That’s when they landed on One Accord Fellowship. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, the church experienced indescribable unity, according to both pastors. Though it has not always been easy, it has been worth it for all.
THE IMPACT Since their inception on May 6, 2018, One Accord Fellowship has hosted a flea market ministry where they shared the Gospel through free bracelets; made free burgers at the park for the community; and distributed free burritos for the teachers going back to school. They are currently dreaming of developing a music lab where kids can bring instruments to the church to learn how to play. They would also like to create a computer lab for senior citizens to come and learn useful skills and connect with family members outside of the United States. The church is also experiencing exciting, God-given growth. Every Sunday since May 6, some type of decision has been made, whether that was people coming to know the Lord as Savior, joining the church, asking prayer or desiring to be baptized. They see around 250 to 300 people on any given Sunday and membership continues to grow, according to Medina. They currently have two services, one in English and another in Spanish, with one multicultural praise and worship team that ties them together. “We complemented each other as churches because we both wanted the same things - to reach people for the Lord Jesus and think about what we could do together to impact our community,” said Medina. “Not just reach them, but be relevant to them.”
To learn more about church revitalization efforts, contact Phil Miller, associate director of the Great Commission Team, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 214.828-5213.
UNIRSE COMO COMPAÑERISMO DE MUTUO ACUERDO Por Kirsten McKimmey, Redactora Lo que una vez fueron dos iglesias por separado, a dos millas de distancia, se consolidaron y pronto se convirtieron en una iglesia próspera y culturalmente diversa en el corazón de Lubbock. La congregación revitalizada surgió después de una conexión instantánea entre Sam Medina, pastor de la Iglesia Bautista Templo (Templo Baptist Church), y el Dr. Marcus Murphy, pastor de la Iglesia Bautista Oakwood (Oakwood Baptist Church). La pasión compartida de llevar el Reino de Dios a Lubbock y más allá ayudó a ambos pastores a darse cuenta de que juntos podían hacer más que separados.
COMIENZOS Templo Baptist Church y Oakwood Baptist Church estaban a menos de dos millas de distancia. En aquel tiempo, ambas iglesias enfrentaban muchas luchas. Murphy notó que su iglesia había pasado por el desierto. Para poder sobrevivir, dijo Murphy, “Dios tenía que intervenir y mostrarnos algo Medina dijo que el problema principal de su iglesia era el edificio. Dijo: “Templo estaba en un edificio viejo. Gastábamos el dinero en mantenimiento en vez de ministerios. Teníamos que reparar el techo, reparar goteras, y reemplazar la alfombra. Ninguno de nosotros pensábamos que éste era el mejor uso de nuestros recursos, pero tenía que hacerse.” Sabiendo esto, los pastores fueron introducidos por Jerry Joplin, director de la Asociación Bautista para el área de Lubbock. “Fue fácil ver cómo ambas iglesias podían contribuir para beneficiar a la otra para formar un organismo saludable,” dijo Joplin. “Eso es exactamente lo que sucedió cuando tuve la bendición de introducir a Marcus y a Sam. Solamente Dios pudo tomar una simple reunión y lograr una consolidación saludable que resultara en que muchas más almas encuentren la esperanza eterna en Jesús.” Al principio, ambas iglesias trataron de ministrar juntas desde su respectiva localización en el pueblo. Siendo un área altamente multicultural, las iglesias des32
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cubrieron que podían ser más efectivas en alcanzar a las personas llegando a ser una iglesia en el proceso de consolidación. Así fue cuando comenzó la conversación entre los dos pastores. “¿Cómo podemos hacer esto? ¿Qué tiene que suceder? ¿Cómo nos organizaremos? ¿Cuál es nuestro propósito?” Medina dijo: “El corazón de Marcus y el mío estaban en alcanzar a las personas y desear que vinieran al Señor y hacer un impacto en el Reino de Dios. A más hablábamos, más nos dimos cuenta de que nuestros corazones estaban unidos, que éramos de un mismo pensar.” Después de presentar su visión, el liderazgo de ambas iglesias estuvieron de acuerdo, y se movieron hacia adelante. Sin embargo, no fue una tarea fácil. Hubo muchas pruebas que vencer, la primera de las cuales fue la realidad de una iglesia predominantemente anglo uniéndose con una iglesia predominantemente hispana.
LAS PRUEBAS “Tenemos estas dos culturas diferentes que adoran al mismo Señor, tienen la misma teología, y ambas son bautistas; pero todavía se trata de dos culturas diferentes cuando unes a dos congregaciones,” dijo Murphy. “Tuvimos que dialogar y decidir: ‘¿qué estamos dispuestos a ceder? ¿Estamos dispuestos a someternos y humillarnos y permitir que el Espíritu Santo forme una nueva congregación?’” Los hombres enfrentaron el asunto en roles diferentes como co-pastores. Medina se enfocó en el evangelismo y la administración, y Murphy se enfocó en la enseñanza. Se esforzaron para que las congregaciones se unieran a ellos en su visión para Lubbock. “Todo comienza con los pastores,” dijo Murphy. “Los pastores en realidad funcionan como los guardianes para la congregación. Si Sam y yo no tuviéramos una relación saludable, esto no hubiera funcionado. Ambos respetamos los dones de cada uno, y nuestros dones se complementan.” “No podemos ser pastores solamente; tenemos que ser amigos,” añadió Medina. La iglesia también venció la prueba de crear un nombre nuevo. A pesar de que la
congregación tenía varias opciones, los pastores se aferraron al hecho de que, aunque sabían que se estaban reuniendo en el edificio de Oakwood Baptist Church, era una congregación completamente nueva con una cultura completamente nueva. Así fue como se decidieron por One Accord Fellowship, (Compañerismo de Mutuo Acuerdo). A través de la obra del Espíritu Santo, la iglesia ha experimentado una unidad indescriptible, de acuerdo a ambos pastores. A pesar de que no ha sido fácil, ha valido la pena.
EL IMPACTO Desde sus comienzos el 6 de mayo del 2018, esta congregación ha auspiciado un ministerio en el pulguero (flea market) donde comparten el evangelio por medio de brazaletes gratis; han cocinado hamburguesas para la comunidad en el parque; y, ha distribuido burritos gratis para los maestros de regreso a la escuela. Actualmente están soñando con desarrollar un laboratorio de música donde los niños puedan llevar sus instrumentos a la iglesia y aprender cómo tocarlos. También les gustaría crear un laboratorio de computadoras para que personas mayores vengan y aprendan destrezas útiles y conecten con sus familiares afuera de los Estados Unidos. La iglesia también está experimentando un crecimiento emocionante, producido por Dios. Cada domingo desde el 6 de mayo, hay diferentes tipos de decisiones, sea personas viniendo a conocer al Señor como Salvador, uniéndose a la iglesia, pidiendo oración, o deseando ser bautizadas. En cualquier domingo ven alrededor de 250 a 300 personas y la membresía continúa creciendo, de acuerdo a Medina. Al presente tienen dos servicios, uno en inglés y otro en español, con un equipo multicultural de alabanza y adoración que los une. “Nos complementamos mutuamente como iglesia porque deseamos lo mismo—alcanzar a las personas para Cristo y pensar en qué podemos hacer juntos para hacer un impacto en la comunidad,” dijo Medina. “No solamente alcanzarlos, sino también ser relevantes.”
“ 52 Sundays has been a tremendous help for us at FBC Corsicana! Our people are realizing the impact every dollar has, how big our ministry is, and how far our ministry is reaching through the Cooperative Program! I encourage all Texas Baptists churches to use 52 Sundays. ”
Senior Pastor FBC Corsicana, TX Immediate Past President of Texas Baptists
52 SUNDAYS is a FREE, quick, and easy-to-use resource to encourage a year of prayer for CP missionaries and ministries. Visit texasbaptists.org/cp to download the stories, powerpoint slides, and bulletin inserts. Available in English and disponible en Español. OCTOBER 2018
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