Texas Baptists Life, Volume 8 Issue 2

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Issue No. 2

Baptist Student Ministry Spotlight Engaging college students to follow Christ and transform the world

E S PA Ñ O L : Haga clic aquí para leer el contenido en español.


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I N S I D E : COVID -19 Resources for you and your church



at ETBU’s School of Christian Studies DEGREES OFFERED Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministry Master of Arts in Christian Ministry Master of Arts in Theological Studies Dual Master of Arts in Christian Ministry Master of Business Administration Dual Master of Arts in Christian Ministry/ Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Programs feature specializations and concentrations in Bible Studies, Business Leadership, Discipleship, Missions, Spiritual Guidance, Theology, Children’s, Pastoral, Worship, Youth, and Sports and Recreation Ministry


“ETBU has prepared me to thrive by giving me the opportunity to be a servant leader.” —Landin Brown

Fall 2019 President’s Award Recipient and School of Christian Studies Graduate

100% Graduate Tuition Scholarship available for students who have completed an undergraduate degree at ETBU since 2017 and are members of a BGCT-affiliated church


Contents Engaging college students to follow Christ and transform the world The heart of Texas BSM is to engage Texas college students to follow Christ and transform the world. Over the last five years, Collegiate Ministry Director Mark Jones has seen intentionality in building an evangelizing, engaging culture on campuses across the state and thousands of lives have been impacted by the Gospel.

Publication team Joshua Seth Minatrea Director of Communications Kalie Lowrie Associate Director Communications/News Director

8 Meet your area representative: Tim Watson, Area 7 Get to know Area 7 Representative Tim Watson and learn about how he supports pastors in East Texas.


COVID-19 Resources

Texas Baptist ministries across the state have been sharing Christ’s love and providing help to those in need during the COVID-19 outbreak.


Baptist Student Ministry Spotlight

Engaging college students to follow Christ and transform the world.


An expanding network of Collegiate Ministry


Beach Reach 2020

See how Beach Reach changed the lives of the students involved.


Reaching Texas’ largest college town BSMs around Houston are using unique ministry tactics to reach the city’s 300,000 college students for Christ.


A spiritual marker: Celebrating 1,000 chaplaincy endorsements


Ministers Financial Health Grant opens doors for student ministry in Corpus Christi

Bonnie Shaw News Writer Maritza Solano Production Artist

Learn how the Center for Financial Health helped Student Pastor Micah Roddy achieve financial stability and better serve his church.

Caleb Arndt Graphic Designer


Brittany Thomas Communications Assistant

Contenido en español

Neil Williams Multimedia Specialist

Haga clic para leer el contenido en español aquí.


Allan Escobar and Amelia Barton, two Texas Baptistendorsed chaplains, share their calling and vision in celebration of Chaplaincy Relation’s 1,000th endorsement.

See how Tarleton BSM has become the hub for new collegiate ministries in Texas and the Northwest.

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 subscriptions@txb.org.


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Jeremy Honea Art Director


OUR STATE OUR STATE IS CHANGING IS CHANGING Every day, more than 1,000 people become Texans. The state is growing more ethnically Every day, more than 1,000 diverse as our demographics people become The shift. With that Texans. growth come state is growing more ethnically great opportunities to reach diverse as our demographics more than 12 million lost shift. With that growth people with the Gospel.come great opportunities to reach more than 12 million lost people with the Gospel.

Texas Baptists are working across the state, engaging the lost through church planting, Texas Baptists arediscipleship working campus ministry, across the state,training, engaging the and evangelism lost through church planting, caring for the vulnerable, campus ministry, discipleship and countless other and evangelism training, Christ-centered ministries. caring for the vulnerable, and countless other Christ-centered ministries.

It’s going to take all of us to reach this great state with the Gospel through cooperation It’s to take all of us to andgoing prayerful ministry. reach this great state with the Gospel through cooperation and prayerful ministry.


View the Annual Report

online at txb.org/cp txb.org/cp

from the


Hello, Texas Baptists! I’m so proud of our BGCT Communications staff and all the work they put in providing us a quality magazine every few months. However, this time our magazine will be only digital and not the customary paper edition. Due to Covid-19 changing so much, so fast we need to be flexible and able to add the very latest information. And, as you might expect, the digital edition is less expensive. However, I am happy to report that with some of the financial savings we experience by using just a digital platform this time, we will be able to provide for some of our bi-vocational pastors who lost their jobs during this crisis. If the only reason our Texas Baptist churches cooperated to do mission and ministry in this state was to support the work of, in and through our Baptist Student Ministry, it would be worth it. This year we celebrate the 100th Anniversary of BSM, our collaborative ministry on college and university campuses in Texas.

Today our state BSM Director is Mark Jones, and he has a wonderful staff in our central offices and an amazing group of campus missionaries all over this great state. I have visited a number of these BSM sites around the state and am just so impressed with the passion for the Gospel, the lost and the needs of students held in the hearts of our BSM campus directors. Every single day, they lead staff and students to actively engage the campuses they serve with the good news of Jesus Christ. Please pray for this work! A couple of larger, cooperative mission endeavors are Beach Reach and Go Now

Missions. You’ll read about them in this edition. Having visited South Padre Island during Beach Reach, I can honestly say that the work of the Great Commission is alive and well during Spring Break each year. I keep in my office a poster of the 450-500 Students who are serving in 2020 as Go Now Missionaries. This poster, every time I walk past it, reminds me to pray for this work. I encourage you to support the work of the BSM on the campus near you. Please help them with their weekly luncheons. Please pray for the directors and, if you are able, give above and beyond to this wonderful work. The BSM is something unique to the BGCT in that no other state convention has as great a Gospel witness on so many campuses as does the BGCT, and that is only possible through the Cooperative Program. As always, please know I am honored and humbled to serve with you. And, as always, thanks for the support you provide for our cooperative ministries such as Baptist Student Ministry. God bless you all.


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From left to right: Tim Watson’s daughters, Taylor and Kelley, son-in-law Travis, Tim, and son, Karson Furthermore, Watson connects pastors with Texas Baptist resources, such as counseling, Church Architecture, the Center for Financial Health, and more. He also helps pastors network and connect with one another. Recently, Watson led a two-day retreat for ten young pastors to give them rest and to introduce them to one another.

“We want to always remind pastors that Texas Baptists and area representatives exist for the pastors and the churches.”

“They have the same struggles as anyone else, and they need someone to step in. And that’s the real value of Texas Baptists and our denomination is that we have the time and resources to do that,” Watson said.

GET TO KNOW YOUR AREA REPRESENTATIVE: TIM WATSON Area Representative Director, Service Area 7

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After 25 years as a full-time pastor, Tim Watson felt God leading him to expand his ministry beyond the walls of a single church. Watson wanted to support the spiritual, emotional and even physical health of pastors so they would be able to lead strong, healthy churches. In order to do this, Watson became a Texas Baptist Area Representative in 2013 and now spends his time traveling around East Texas to support pastors.


Watson represents Area 7, which is in East Texas. It has about 550 Texas Baptist congregations. In addition to being an area representative, Watson is also the Area Representative director and provides leadership and guidance to eight other representatives as they assist pastors in their areas. As an area representative, Watson sees himself as a pastor to pastors. His job is to care for pastors in the good times and the hard times. “We empathize and identify with the local pastors, and I love this role because I get to be a good listener and an informal counselor and pass along wisdom,” Watson explained. “Every pastor needs a pastor and a friend.”

Watson earned his Master of Divinity and Doctorate in Ministry from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. During his 25 years of pastoring, he has led four different churches. Even though it is no longer his full-time occupation, Watson is currently serving as an interim pastor at First Baptist Church in Woodville. It is his sixth interim pastorate. Watson is also the proud father of three children: Kelley, Taylor and Karson and is also a grandfather to Caroline Grace. At the end of the day, Watson wants his pastors to know that he is there to serve them as they pursue God’s calling for their churches. “We want to always remind pastors that Texas Baptists and area representatives exist for the pastors and the churches,” Watson said. “The churches don’t exist for us, we’re here to help them fulfill the Great Commission and reach their God-given potential.” Texas Baptists have nine area representatives serving around the state to connect with our churches. To find your area representative, visit txb.org/areareps or call 214.828.5111.



New CFO/Treasurer for Texas Baptists

AUSTIN—The Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission (CLC) coordinated the first-ever Celebration Worship and Prayer Service, held in conjunction with the Texas Rally for Life, at Hillcrest Church in Austin on Jan. 25. Following the service, Executive Director David Hardage and President Michael Evans addressed the crowd at the Texas Rally for Life on the steps of the Capitol, where over 20,000 were in attendance.

Hardage brought greetings on behalf of Texas Baptist churches and read from Psalm 139:14 as he shared that God is the creator and giver of life. Evans led a closing prayer. “We gathered here today in order to rally for life,” Evans prayed. “We have come from all over the state of Texas to stand for the unborn. We know that life is right. God, we thank you for that.”

INSTITUTIONAL LEGACY DAY HONORS BAYLOR UNIVERSITY FOR 175 YEARS OF CHRISTIAN EDUCATION ANDERSON—Texas Baptist Institutional Legacy Day recognized Baylor University for 175 years of exemplary Christian higher education. The recognition, which took place during a worship service at the historic Anderson Baptist Church on Jan. 26, honored the faith and commitment of Baylor leadership, both past and present. It also celebrated the partnership between the university and Texas Baptists.

Baylor President Linda Livingstone was present to accept the award from Texas Baptist Associate Executive Director Craig Christina. Worship was led by three students from Baylor’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary, and Todd Still, dean of Truett Seminary, delivered a sermon from 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 about faithfulness.

“I am excited to see what God will do in the opportunity to meld ministry and missions through this position,” Hayes said following his nomination. “I know from the business standpoint that Texas Baptists have many strengths to share. Also, from the church perspective, I understand the needs of cooperation and the things we can do together that we can’t do apart.” Hayes has served as pastor of Valley Grove Baptist Church in Stephenville since 2013 and became a Certified Public Accountant in 1993. In his new position, Hayes will provide administrative support and direction for the BGCT Executive Board staff operation in the areas of budget, finance, accounting, information systems, building and support, convention planning and related resource support.

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DALLAS—Ward Hayes was elected to serve as the new Chief Financial Officer (CFO)/ Treasurer of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. The Executive Board approved the nomination of Hayes, a Texas Baptist pastor, by a ballot vote on Feb. 18 during the board meeting.


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COVID-19 changes methods but not need for ministry


On Feb. 25, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urged businesses, hospitals and communities to plan for the possibility of community spread and significant disruption by the spread of COVID-19. Over the following weeks, local, state and federal mandates have changed the way churches and people are allowed to gather together. The virus poses an obvious health risk and has the


potential to significantly impact the day-to-day operations of Texas Baptist churches, ministry partners, and staff. As a convention of churches, we continue to be committed to sharing Christ and showing love, even in the midst of this challenging situation. The following articles are resources for churches as you minister during these unprecedented days. Read more at txb.org/covid19.


BSM staff and students at the University of Texas Arlington (UTA) are providing free, hot, grab-and-go lunches for the international students still living on the campus. Most American students returned home after the announcement that classes would

“Knock, Drop and Go” is a new ministry that Higher Expectations Church in Humble launched in March to deliver meals on the doorsteps of families in need. Pastor Bryant Lee shared that the church has coordinated with local restaurants in the area to donate a freshly cooked meal for families of 4-6 people on Friday nights. Church members will pick up the meal from the restaurant and deliver it to a family, along with a box of groceries. They knock on the door, drop the food off and go, to minimize contact. In each box also is enclosed a note of encouragement from the church. Many of those whom the church is serving have recently lost jobs in the restaurant, hotel and retail industries and have become food insecure.

As of April 7, staff and volunteers from Under Over Fellowship in Conroe delivered over 6,000 pounds of food in low-income housing. Jerry Vineyard, lead pastor at Under Over Fellowship, explained that many of the people they minister to are either living on disability checks or participate in government work-programs, most of which have been halted as a result of the virus. The church has also expanded their ministry into more rural areas outside the city of Conroe,

be online for the remainder of the semester, but many international students were unable to return home, either because of travel restrictions or financial reasons. Because the UTA BSM has engaged with international students all year, they have a large network connected to their ministry. The BSM asks the students to preregister for lunch the night before so they have adequate supplies the next day when the students pick up their lunches. Meals are available Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and local churches have volunteered their help as the needs continue.

children’s ministry team is focused on making sure the kids are engaged and the parents are not overwhelmed. Stephanie Litzler, the kids’ minister, has sent out lesson videos, increased Facebook groups and utilized Facebook Live to ensure that families have easy access to Bible study content online. Looking ahead, Litzler hopes to put together activity bags and drop them off at their kids’ houses, waving at the kids through doors and windows to avoid any close contact while still making the children in her ministry feel loved. In order to help parents engage their kids in spiritual activities, Litzler has partnered with the church’s youth minister to create a family Bible study video series.

as people in poor, rural communities often have difficulties accessing fresh foods. Whether it be through food delivery or providing a safe place for the homeless, Under Over Fellowship’s main objective is to share the Gospel with as many people as they can. Vineyard explained that providing these essential services gives the church an opening to speak to many people who normally would not be open to Gospel conversations.

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At Shearer Hills Baptist Church in San Antonio, the


Serving up sermons on social all week By Seth Muse, Contributing Writer

In Acts 2, we see a church whose services lasted all week long. “They met every day in the Temple courts,” Acts 2:42 says, and I wonder what our churches would call us if we suggested going to church every single day?

Fanatics? Nuts? Weirdos? But what if you could make the sermon last all week long? Wouldn’t it be great if we could cut it up into small, digestible parts, and send it out all week long to your people? It would be like going to church every day without all the logistical gymnastics it takes to physically show up at the building (even if you could right now).

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Ask questions when you post, like “What does this verse mean to you?” and “What do you not like about this passage?” Basically, if you ask an “I Am Second” question, you’ll get a pretty great discussion going. (What do we learn about God or man in this passage? What do you like or not like about this passage? What needs to change in your life because of this passage?)

Remember to ask a question when you post video clips so that you’re fostering discussion, not just consumerism. What do you want them to do with the clip? You may also want to invest in captions for your video so your followers can watch it with the sound off. Facebook and YouTube both have tools for creating captions on videos you upload natively. Kapwing is also a good free tool to create captions.

Pastor + FB Live + Sermon Recap = Magic*

Sermon Quotes

*Sorry, I mean “illusion.” Going live on Facebook (or Periscope or Instagram, or whatever) and recapping your message from the weekend is a really great way to connect with people at home. Try to stay under 3 minutes if you can, and try to think about what’s going on in their schedule at the time.

I’m going to give you some ideas on how to do this and ask you to schedule some time with your communications volunteer or staff member and work out how you can make it happen together. Here we go!

If you will prepare your notes ahead of time, it really helps make these graphics in time. When you send those notes ahead of time to your communications person, they are able to post graphics in a more timely manner, when the content of those graphics are fresh on the minds of your people and feel more relevant. It’s low-hanging fruit to pull out the quotable messages pastors say on Sunday and turn them into graphics. Reminding people of what was said Sunday helps them put it into practice on Monday. That’s why we have the phrase “Monday see, Monday do.” (That’s the phrase, right?)


Video Clips

The YouVersion app has a really great graphic available to download for almost every Scripture, and they are always updating them. Whatever your passages

The next level of sermon quotes is video clips. If you record your services, you can pull out a 1-minute clip from the sermon to post to social media.

With the communication tools available to us today through social media, email and other digital avenues, we can. And it’s not expensive or terribly difficult, but it does take some intentionality.


are for your the sermon, see if you can grab these graphics, or make your own, and post them throughout the week.

Are they sitting down to dinner? Putting little kids to bed? Are they at work? At lunch? When will they most likely be able to watch and interact with you? This is a great opportunity to throw in the things you didn’t have time for, go a little deeper, or offer stories and illustrations that you didn’t use in your sermon to reinforce your points. It’s also a great opportunity for reminders for application during the week. To read more, visit txb.org/life.

Distance Discipleship: Facilitating virtual group connections By David Adams, Discipleship Team Lead

One idea that’s taking off is moving Sunday School and other discipleship groups to virtual meeting spaces. This can be done at no cost and just takes a little practice with whatever app you use (Zoom, Skype, Google, or others). The “first-time parents” group my wife and I lead met on Sunday, March 15 using Zoom. With 16 adults, 8 babies, 2 three-year-olds and several dogs, we: • had the normal Sunday morning chit-chat over coffee • took a quiz on the apostle John with PowerPoint • shared an outline for prayer during the COVID-19 event • laughed at verbal “input” from babies. (Parents used their mute button during prayer time. Most of them. A few. But it was all good.)

Here are some tips for a good group video conference: 1. Practice. Get comfortable well ahead of time with the app in a practice meeting. • Prepare to help participants find settings for video, sound, chatbox, etc. • If the app you are using allows screen sharing, only incorporate PowerPoint and other graphics after you are comfortable with the format and controls. 2. If you are not tech-savvy, let someone else in your group serve by setting up and running the meeting for you. You can still teach/lead. 3. Be OK with a different “feel” as you lead. • Take time at the beginning to put people at ease with the format. • Physical/visual cues between people are not as obvious as face-to-face. Acknowledge it will be different, but do not let this dampen discussion. • Larger classes should consider keeping everyone on mute except for the person leading. The chat feature can be used for asking questions or making comments.

4. Share the time. • A head of time, assign others to lead parts of the lesson. This works well in an online format. Lengthy lecture by one person typically does not work as well. • Give time to your prayer, fellowship and mission leaders to guide the group in those areas. 5. Personally invite people who have not “been to class” in a while (or ever) to join you online. The new environment may help them reconnect. Remember that God is still at work in your group. The format may be unfamiliar to some, but the connections you make are just as real—and possibly even more important during these weeks of social distancing. Finally, scripture provides this example: Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah. (Acts 5:42, NIV) During some particularly stressful days, the apostles “never stopped” their mission of making disciples. We don’t need to either. Even when government recommendations and good judgment makes meeting in “the temple courts” inadvisable, discipleship can still be vibrant “from house to house.”

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“Social distancing” has to be the phrase of the month! Yet we all really need social and spiritual connection throughout the current COVID-19 event. Many churches are using online tools to maintain vibrant discipleship ministries that provide meaningful connections.


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By Ronald Session, Pastor of Shiloh Church in Garland


As the news about the global pandemic continues to change, we are seeing an increase in restrictions related to crowd sizes. Every church has been affected. How can the Church be effective when they are prohibited from gathering? The faith community has a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate the love of Christ in one of the most trying times in recent history. Let us consider how we might be impactful in this season of fear and hopelessness.

“This is a golden opportunity for the church to meet basic needs to burdened neighbors… at a time when people need to be reassured that God has not forsaken them.”

One of the first things we can do is to maintain a faithful witness within our communities. Church members can follow the mandates and recommendations of our governmental officials without grumbling or being critical. They have set restrictions in place for the welfare of our families and our neighbors. Christians should set the standard for cooperation with our civil authorities. The Apostle Paul reminds us in Romans 13:1-2, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.” Being cooperative in this season will help us authenticate our claim as Christians.

BASIC NEEDS 2.MEET Secondly, churches can lead by serving. Several people in nearly every community still have unmet basic needs. During this time of uncertainty and panic shopping, there are those among us who cannot get the basic necessities to survive the outbreak. In many cases, people are having to do without because of scarcity or their employment has suddenly ended without warning.

This is a golden opportunity for the church to meet basic needs to burdened neighbors. By feeding them and providing groceries, toiletries and other scarcities, the church extends the love of Christ in very meaningful ways at a time when people need to be reassured that God has not forsaken them.



Another thing that our churches can do is lead others to a saving faith in a loving Christ. Because of the social distancing measures, people will have more time to contemplate their lives and will undoubtedly have many questions. Churches who have been trained and prepared for an opportunity to share their faith, now have a captive audience. Having a plan and being intentional may yield fruit for the kingdom. Even this is a part of God’s providence at work, giving the Church a chance to share Christ with people who are not certain about their destiny.

BY EMPOWERING 4.ENCOURAGE Churches can also be the voice of encouragement by providing pertinent information in creative ways. Taking time to add helpful tips, current available resources and creative ideas to help parents manage the task of educating their kids may be the very thing that someone will need to feel empowered during this time. You are already on the internet,

carve out a little time to share helpful information that might alleviate undue stress. It also gives the community a reason to check out your platforms where they may find other things of interest and give you an inroad to share with them in the future.

FAMILIES 5.DISCIPLE Perhaps the most exciting prospect of ministry during this time does not take place in the community but rather in the home. Churches can be strategic when planning while the gathered community becomes the scattered community. Having materials for the entire family to study and engage in will help them place an emphasis on family discipleship. Each head of household can lead their family into focused prayer and Bible study, complete with fun games and activities that encourage total participation. Families can also share this information with others who are new to the area, looking for a faith family to unite with or have no relationship with Christ at all. These are just a few things that we have suggested to get your creative energies flowing. You can find many ways to continue the work of Christ even when you cannot meet. God has given us incredible resources and access in our generation to meet a desperate world with a word of hope.

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Help, hope and healing in the midst of a pandemic By John Hall, TBM Director of Communications

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A disaster unlike any other in our lifetimes requires a response unlike any other.


In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Texas Baptist Men (TBM) has repurposed its equipment and supplies to support and protect medical professionals and first responders on the frontlines of the fight against the disease as well as help churches meet physical needs in the wake of record unemployment. Since 1967, TBM has responded to every major disaster in Texas, most

in the United States and many overseas. It has delivered help, hope and healing in the name of Christ to millions through mass feeding, chainsaw crews, cleaning out homes and sharing the gospel after tornados, hurricanes, windstorms, floods and more. The ministry is well known for its trailers of equipment and work ethic. At first glance, some of those tools may not seem helpful in the battle against COVID-19, but God had other plans, according to Dwain Carter, director of TBM Disaster Relief. Some

of the personal protective equipment that is difficult to find, including masks, are the same ones TBM volunteers use when they clean out mold-filled homes after floods and hurricanes. TBM pulled the masks off of units across the state and cleaned out its warehouse of the N-95 masks. In all, TBM donated 15,000 masks to doctors, nurses, hospitals, police officers and firefighters across the state as well as 2,000 biohazard suits and four decontamination tents.

TBM also had 1,200 pairs of protective glasses and four pallets of plastic protective sheeting, which it donated to Baylor Scott & White Health Faith in Action Initiatives, which distributed them throughout the health system. “This is an all-hands-on-deck situation,” Carter said. “We need to give everything we have. We happened to have masks, plastic sheeting and glasses. We pray these donations protect medical professionals and save lives.” In Central Texas, leaders needed help distributing donated supplies. TBM stepped up to provide nearly 300 boxes that would make the distribution easier. “We are in extraordinary times,” TBM Unit Leader Charles Baker said. “This disaster is so different than anything we’ve responded to. We have resources. Now we have to be creative to respond in ways we’ve never thought about before. We’re actively looking for ways to do that.”

grants to five churches that have seen drastic increases in the number of people who are coming to their food pantries after losing their jobs as a result of the social distancing and shelter at home policies to stop the spread of the virus. TBM also is using its equipment to transport supplies to help meet the demand. Just this week, we helped Bethlehem Baptist Church in Mansfield triple its hunger outreach to meet the growing need in its community. “By working with an amazing congregation like Bethlehem Baptist Church, we are helping God’s people meet the needs of their community,” Jenkins said. “People are hurting right now, and we’re helping churches deliver help, hope and healing in the midst of these uncertain times.” To learn more about TBM, visit tbmtx.org.

In the wake of furloughs and layoffs, thousands of people are lining up at food banks and churches ministries across the state, significantly increasing the demand for food in the midst of the coronavirus crisis.

TBM is stepping up to fill the need. Every person deserves to have a warm meal in their stomach and hope in their hearts, said Rand Jenkins, director of TBM Ministry Advancement. It’s even more crucial during such a time as this. To help make that happen, TBM volunteers are sorting and distributing meals at food banks. They are preparing food boxes for those who most need it. TBM has awarded

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This has created immense challenges for ministries and food banks alike. Food banks are struggling to find volunteers to serve. Ministries are having trouble transporting enough food to their distribution points.



Behold, God is doing a new thing President Michael Evans reflects on how churches can take the opportunity to use this present crisis to our evangelistic advantage.

Read More

Loving your teens well during a time of physical distancing Youth Discipleship Specialist Jane Wilson helps leaders think more deeply about our teenagers’ realities during this time of disruption.

Read More

Coping with COVID-19 Stress Director of Counseling Services Katie Swafford provides resources for coping with stress and points to scripture to relieve anxieties and fears.

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Read More


What will Vacation Bible School look like in 2020? Childhood Discipleship Specialist Diane Lane helps reimagine what Vacation Bible School could look like this summer at your church.

Read More


Even in the hardest times, God is still working through TBM. Celebrate all He has done through your church and the ministry.


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AUGUST, 16, 2020


ARE YOUR SAILS UP? God commands us to be continually filled with the Holy Spirit. In fact, it has been said that the filling of the Holy Spirit is like the wind filling the sail on a boat. God wants to fill you - do you have your sails up?














Find these and other great study guides at baptistwaypress.org

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Reach the Campus Reach the World


Engaging Students to Follow Christ and Transform the World. txbsm.org



txbsm #txbsm


Ongoing BSM work demonstrates that the Gospel cannot be contained By Kalie Lowrie, Associate Director of Communications/News Director

During the 2018-2019 academic school year, 123,664 students were reached with the Gospel through BSM, and 659 students made professions of faith, forever changing their lives. The heart of Texas BSM is to engage Texas college students to follow Christ and transform the world. Over the last five years, Jones has seen intentionality in building an evangelizing, engaging culture on campuses across the state. “We want to map the campus well and find the areas of physical, social and spiritual culture where we can be effective. We don’t want to be a Christian club,” he said. “We want to be engaging the campus and praying for a movement of God that would involve the BSM and other

Christian groups. We want to be a part of what God is doing on the campus. I’m excited as we look ahead. We stand on the shoulders of giants who have blazed a trail, but our best days are ahead of us.” Since the beginning of March, the BSM has looked drastically different as campuses shut down and moved classes online due to the outbreak of COVID-19. But God is still moving. BSM Directors share stories daily with Jones about 24-hour prayer retreats on Zoom, virtual Bible studies, distribution of food to international students and others still living on campuses, long-distance relationship building, and students who came to faith and are now being discipled virtually by other students. “Somehow God is using this [COVID-19]. We are thankful in everything, and in the midst, we are looking for a sense of joy and peace,” Jones said. “I come back to Paul when he was in the midst of suffering, there was this joy and contentment. The Gospel cannot be contained. God is going to be glorified.” The following BSM stories give a glimpse of campus ministry from early Spring 2020, with updates on current ministry during COVID-19 days.

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For 100 years, Texas Baptists have intentionally ministered to students on college campuses through Baptist Student Ministry (BSM). “It started when students who were burdened for their campuses began to pray that God would move and use regular students like them,” said Collegiate Ministry Director Mark Jones. “You saw this fresh wind that blew, and God began to move. Universities started giving places for students to meet. Texas Baptists put people in place to lead these groups. Our history has always been a desire to be an impact where God has placed us.”


An expanding network of collegiate ministry

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By Bonnie Shaw, News Writer


“If we can connect with students now and connect with them and train them to follow Jesus and help them learn the disciplines of discipleship and evangelism, it can change the world,” Clayton Bullion, director of Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) at Tarleton State University said. “When you invest in students and give them space to dream and a vision worth living their life for, which the Gospel is that vision, they’re capable of doing amazing things.”

Bullion has been director at Tarleton BSM for 10 years. When he started, the BSM was in the process of replanting. Bullion and the BSM team decided to focus on strong discipleship and building up student leaders who could minister to their peers. Today, the Tarleton BSM is thriving. Their model of discipleship and leadership has developed strong Christians who are going onto their campus and into the world to share the love and hope of Christ. In response to the blessings the Lord has given them, Bullion and the BSM staff and students are turning their eyes to other college campuses to see how new collegiate ministries can transform lives across the country.

Tarleton established. Former students and staff are also involved in strengthening and supporting an additional six college ministries in Texas, Colorado and Vermont.

Northwest Ministry In the fall of 2020, Tarleton will send two more couples to Oregon in partnership with NCM. One couple, Tyler and Kaylee Martinez, will join another Tarleton couple at the University of Oregon, while the other, Luke and Becca Johnson, will begin a new NCM at Oregon State University.

Above: Clayton Bullion, director of Tarleton BSM, is creating a network of BSM graduates around the world.

One campus reaching many In 2015, Bullion and his wife went on a trip to the Northwest to visit Tarleton students who were involved in a shortterm mission project there. He visited 12 college campuses and saw that there was almost no Gospel presence on any of the campuses. When he returned to Tarleton and realized how many students and resources they had available to them, Bullion felt God call him to use those tools to minister to campuses in the Northwest. So, Tarleton BSM began a partnership with the Northwestern Collegiate Ministries (NCM). The BSM launched a 10-year plan to send 20 Tarleton graduates to the Northwest for full-time collegiate ministry, in addition to continually sending short-term missions. The students and staff that depart from Tarleton BSM to start or develop new collegiate ministries stay connected through the Tarleton Network of Campuses (T:NET), a loose affiliation of the campus ministries that have ties with Tarleton. Since Bullion came to Tarleton, they have started or restarted six college ministries in Texas and the Northwest. There are also two third-generation college ministries, which were started by the ministries

Tyler and Kaylee were intimately involved in the Tarleton BSM while they were students. Both joined as freshmen and eventually became members of the leadership team. For Tyler, the discipleship and development he gained at the BSM were essential in encouraging him to become involved in ministry himself. “The community and the leadership and development we had in the leadership team showed me how to first serve myself … it was really the equipping, the training process of serving alongside other people, that prepared me,” he said. The couple met during a BSM mission trip. Once they were married, they both felt increasingly convicted to serve in the Northwest. So, they went on a vision trip, touring the college campuses there and praying for the Lord’s guidance. One of the campuses they visited was the University of Oregon, where another Tarleton couple, the Harmons, had begun to plant a campus ministry. “We both fell in love with the University of Oregon,” Tyler explained. “God allowed us to be a part of a lot of different things while we were there. We saw the campus and how hungry students are for the Gospel and for truth.”

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Left: The noon lunch on Wednesday provides the BSM with an opportunity to meet students and share a quick Bible lesson with them.


Video Top: Luke and Becca Johnson share about their calling to plant a new BSM in the Northwest. Middle: BSM volunteers pray before serving the noon meal. Bottom Left: Claire Vallester, a BSM student, got involved with BSM through their ministry plant at Hill College Cleburne. Bottom Right: Luke and Becca Johnson are leaving Tarleton to plant a new BSM at Oregon State University.

Luke and Becca Johnson will also embark on a journey to the Northwest, starting a new collegiate ministry at Oregon State University (OSU). OSU has about 30,000 students, but only 1,000 identify as Christians. The university is a historically agricultural college, and the population tends to be more politically conservative than others in the Northwest. For Luke and Becca, being a part of the leadership and ministry of the Tarleton BSM has been instrumental in preparing them for this journey. They plan to implement the ministry models they have seen at Tarleton in their NCM. “A big part of what we’ll be doing there is similar to what we do here. We want to do a few things, one is we want to start a campus organization because at this point there’s not one, and we’ll be discipling students and doing evangelism, and hopefully seeing students multiply and students come to know Christ,” Becca explained. “But a lot of what we’ll be doing at first is groundwork because there’s not an organization there, so right now we are planning so that we’ll be prepared to start strong when we get there in the fall.” Until they move to Oregon to begin their new positions, the Martinezes and Johnsons are serving at the Tarleton BSM as staff and campus missionary interns (CMI) to better prepare themselves.

Top: Tyler and Kaylee Martinez met at Tarleton BSM and are planning to serve at a new BSM in Oregon.

Bottom: Guyler Sims began his discipleship his freshman year. Now he disciples other students as well.

In addition to sending alumni to the Northwest, the Tarleton BSM has also been involved in planting and restarting collegiate ministries in Texas. As of now, Tarleton BSM staff and alumni have helped six Texas campuses grow their own BSM presence. One such campus plant is taking place at Hill College Cleburne, a community college about an hour east of Tarleton.

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Texas Ministry


COVID -19 UPDATE At Tarleton University, virtual ministry has created some unique opportunities for BSM students to share the Gospel. Bullion explained that now, more than ever, college students are open to something to do. Because of this, many BSM small groups have had more people than usual join in their now virtual Bible studies. Some of the students have also had opportunities to include family members in their Bible studies and share the Gospel with them. However, many students from Tarleton are struggling as they experience the loss of their community, schedule and accountability. Bullion asked churches to support college students in their congregations and to pray that God will use these students in mighty ways.

Tarleton sends over members of their staff and leadership twice a week to do various outreach events and foster relationships with students. The ministry has been very successful, and the newly established BSM was even able to send three students to Beach Reach, an annual state-wide BSM mission trip where college students go to the beach to minister to fellow students during Spring Break. Claire Vallaster was one student who got involved with the BSM when she saw Megan Trotter, the founder of Hill College Cleburne’s BSM and associate director of Tarleton BSM, handing out coffee. Vallaster was soon discipled by Trotter and also led a student Bible study. She became even more inspired to get involved in ministry, and has gone on two Go Now Missions trips through the BSM.

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“It really changed the way I viewed my faith. I had been a Christian since I was a kid, but I had never shared my faith with anyone, and I didn’t really know how to live out my faith actively,” she explained. “So through discipleship with Megan and our Bible studies, I learned how important it really is to share the Gospel. And I had known that for a long time, but I never knew how, and they actually taught me how.”


Even when Vallaster transferred to Tarleton, she was grateful for the Hill College Cleburne BSM, which gave her contacts at her new school. She had friends and a strong Christian community before she ever stepped foot on campus. Additional BSMs have been started or replanted at Ranger College Erath, Weatherford College Granbury, Texas Christian University, Tarleton Fort Worth and TCC Trinity Rivers.

The importance of local churches The Hill College Cleburne BSM was established through cooperation between Tarleton BSM and the Southwest Metroplex Baptist Association (SMBA). For a BSM to be successful, it must have the support of the local churches or association, Bullion explained. Tarleton BSM can provide the people and the expertise, but they cannot provide the long-term support needed to keep the BSM running. When Tarleton starts a new BSM, their first step is talking to the campus administration and talking to the local churches or associations. Since the average small, rural town’s community college does not usually have a devoted collegiate ministry, it is essential to have the support of local Baptist organizations. Furthermore, these local entities are familiar with the town and college culture, which is instrumental in creating an effective ministry. For Hill College Cleburne’s BSM, Bullion began talking to Scott Whitson, director of Missions at the association, two years before the BSM ever began. It is important for college students to get plugged in with local churches in addition to the BSM, Bullion added. This allows for multi-generational worship and gives the students an opportunity to be mentored and taught by their elders. It also helps graduating students transition more smoothly from college to adulthood because they already have a strong spiritual community. “We couldn’t do what we do without local churches. Every student that we’ve sent on short-term or long-term missions, every staff member we’ve sent out to start new work, has been in cooperation with our local churches. The local church is the strength behind what we do,” Bullion said.

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spiritual con

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pancakes served



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rides given



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professions of faith



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Reaching Texas’ largest college town By Kalie Lowrie, Associate Director of Communications/News Director

Roughly 300,000 college students are enrolled yearly on 51 campuses across the Houston area. As the largest “college town” in the state, Houston holds tremendous potential for Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) work. Though only 18 of the campuses currently have a BSM presence, Texas Baptists are praying for God to raise up new leaders and churches with a passion to see every campus reached with the Gospel.

Most likely, no one would be surprised to know that food draws students into the BSMs on each campus. Especially when that food is free. Each week, free lunch is offered on campuses, meeting a basic need for students and opening the door for great conversations. At TSU, free lunch is held on Wednesdays in the Sterling Student Life Center, drawing a crowd of 20-40. After lunch is served, student leaders facilitate conversations, lead a 10-minute devotional and provide information about upcoming Bible studies and mission opportunities.

For Jamie Russell, Jr., a student leader in the TSU BSM, the ministry is essential because it provides a community rooted in scripture and truth. “BSM gives students an alternative environment to have fun,” Russell said. “You can have fun and love Christ. Before I was saved, I thought that was impossible.”

Engaging in spiritual conversations Another common element of BSM work is a focus on evangelism. Students are taught how to share the Gospel with their roommates, classmates, teammates and friends. BSM equips students to engage in spiritual conversations as they serve students on campus by handing out free coffee, taking out the trash in the dorms or setting up a table where students share prayer requests. At HCC, two campus missionary interns, Anton and Ryann, spend two hours in a common area each week, offering

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The Houston Area BSM work has a significant impact on the campuses of the University of Houston (UofH), Rice University, Texas Southern University (TSU), Houston Baptist University (HBU), Houston Community College (HCC) and McGovern Medical School at UTHealth. Each BSM is unique in its culture and ministry efforts, yet all are united in their goals to engage college students to follow Christ and transform the world.


COVID -19 UPDATE Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Houston universities and colleges have closed their campuses for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester and switched to online courses. This has not deterred the BSMs from sharing Christ’s love and hope with students. Instead, BSMs have begun hosting online worship and devotionals on Zoom, Facebook and Instagram. Bible studies continue to meet virtually. Many of the BSMs have seen an increase in student participation as students look for community and support during isolation. BSM staff are also ministering to the students who have lost their last days of college and have been robbed of important milestones, such as school traditions and graduation, due to social restrictions. Above all, BSM remains committed to equipping their students to share the Gospel, whether it be online or in their homes.

free pizza to students and building relationships. As students grab a piece of pizza, Anton and Ryann ask if they would be interested in studying the Bible. Two students this semester have been coming for 10-minute devotionals during their lunch break between classes. This work laid a foundation to start a BSM at HCC and could open the door to ministry across the entire HCC system, which includes schools around the greater Houston area. The culture on community college campuses is often different than on four-year university campuses. Community colleges are primarily commuter campuses and often lack on-campus activities or opportunities to build relationships. Students come to campus two or three days a week and often juggle full or part-time jobs, families and other commitments. BSM Director Andy Dennis sees the work at HCC as a new mission field to reach thousands of students with the Gospel.

Discipling in foundational truths

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Discipleship is another primary activity of BSM. For medical students at UTHealth, the demands of preparing for the medical profession are immense. Dennis hosts a Monday lunch where he encourages students with foundational truths from Scripture. Med students join together to talk about challenges they face and point one another to scripture and hope in the Lord.


“The mission’s not over,” said Andy Dennis, Rice University BSM Director. “The challenge for our BSM students is just because you’re not on campus and your context has changed, doesn’t mean your ministry is over. In some ways we’ve seen fruit as they’ve looked around them and seen who they can minister to that they know.”

For the medical students, this Monday lunch is a welcome break from long hours of work and isolation. Most second and third-year students stream class lectures and spend many hours alone studying so that they can be top students.

“Monday is a place where people can have the interaction they long for—a place where there is no competition,” Dennis said. The challenges students face involve high-stakes as they learn how to navigate tough medical scenarios, and the intense environment can manufacture more stress, according to Dennis. For fourth-year medical student Greg Gaskey, a primary means of ministry at school is to be a source of encouragement to his classmates. “We are constantly being evaluated, and often, our grades determine our future,” Gaskey said. “From a Christian perspective, if we don’t get the grade or the evaluation we expected, the way we respond says a lot to our classmates.”

Opening new doors for Bible study UofH is one of the most diverse campuses in the country. In the fall of 2019, more than 46,000 students were enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs through the inner-city campus. The BSM has had a strong presence on the campus for decades. In recent years, the campus community has grown around the BSM building, which has opened the door for greater visibility and outreach. Last semester at UofH, a couple of law professors began praying with other professors and felt burdened to share the Gospel with visiting, international scholars on campus. They contacted UofH BSM Assistant Director Snowflower Dong who was excited to help facilitate a Bible study in Chinese for interested scholars. Many scholars are only on campus for a short time, and the Bible study has opened the door for them to hear life-changing Good News. One scholar last semester became a Christian and was baptized before heading back home to China.

Medical missions on the Amazon The life of a medical student is often dominated by study and work. However, last summer, a small group of Houston-based medical students involved in Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) made time to go on a medical mission trip along the Amazon River in Brazil through Go Now Missions. While there, they provided care and medicine to villagers. The students’ medical expertise made communities more receptive, and they even served in a village that had never allowed foreign missionaries before.

Top: BSM students at Houston Baptist University enjoy fellowship.

Bottom: Texas Southern University’s BSM Director, Jamie Russell, walks with BSM students to their weekly lunch.

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The trip served as a valuable reminder of the reasons the students had chosen to go into medicine. “Medical missions has always been something in the back of my mind,” Sarah Weber, a UT Medical School student, said, “but the trip to the Amazon was my first medical mission experience, and it really solidified that focus.”


Reaching out to diverse groups At HBU, BSM Director Nathan Mahand has experienced many ministry opportunities across the campus, including a new outreach to veterans. Once a month, he hosts a free lunch in conjunction with the Office of International and Veteran Students Services. The gathering provides a place for veterans to network and share life experiences.

Heart change leads to new leader

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Jamie Russell, Jr., grew up in the church, but when he went to college, he quickly fell into a life of alcohol and drug addiction. When he realized how bad things were, he sought treatment. During treatment, he began reading the Bible. One day his heart changed, and he decided to give his life to Christ.


He became involved with the Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) at TSU, where his father serves as the director. Russell now attends the free lunches and men’s Bible study, and he often leads the devotional. He has made friends at the BSM who help him grow in his relationship with God and keep him accountable. Russell has a heart for discipleship and evangelism, and he encourages other students to get involved with BSM so that they can see that a life with the Lord is infinitely better than a life without Him.

“The lunch helps facilitate fellowship with each other,” said Shannon Bedo, director of International and Veterans Students Services at HBU. “They understand what others are going through. We can also provide tips to help with services they might need and a comfortable place for them to come and hang out. If they don’t know where to get help, we walk alongside them.” At Rice University, Dennis has seen the academic challenges, stressors and anxiety that students face on a daily basis. Rice University is known as a leading research university and has a population of just over 4,000 undergraduate students. Students often turn to drugs and alcohol to escape the pressures they feel, and weekend parties draw crowds of students. About once a month, BSM students serve “party pancakes” to engage with students and provide a safe alternative to the escapism. Each fall, during Rice’s welcome week, BSM students engage with classmates through spiritual surveys. Students are asked “What is one question you would like to ask a Christian?” and then BSM students follow up with them later in the week to engage in spiritual conversations.

“There is not much cultural Christianity on this campus,” Dennis shared. “You know where you stand and if you believe in God or not.” He has been encouraged by the openness students have to learn about different faith backgrounds. Approximately 51% of the student body is from outside of the state of Texas, and many are from other countries. The unique cultural and religious backgrounds on campus allow for many conversations about faith. Though each BSM is as unique as the campus it is located on, all BSMs share the same goal: engage college students to follow Christ. Throughout Houston, BSM staff and students are working hard to achieve this goal by reaching the lost and growing mission-minded leaders. “We want BSM to be a place where people who do not know Jesus can begin that journey,” said Shannon Rutherford, UofH BSM Director. “For those who know Jesus, we want them to have a place to build on their giftings so that when they leave here, they will be members in congregations who are ready to lead and ready to share the Gospel in their workplace because we had them do it a million times here. We pray they will be Kingdom-impacters around the world.” The first year of college is an important time in the lives of students. Connect your incoming college freshmen with a BSM on his or her campus. Visit txbsm.org/ connect-to-your-bsm and a BSM staff member will reach out and share about ways to get involved!

Sharing the Word in a heart language When walking around the University of Houston, don’t be surprised to see a group of Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) students pushing a shopping cart around campus. The cart may be filled with Bibles in many different languages. Students often walk around, offering these free Bibles to anyone who wants them. Hannah Murry, a campus missionary intern, says that the Bible cart provides an important opportunity for people to receive a Bible in their own language so that they can fully understand the Gospel without any language barriers. It is also a great way to connect with international students. Hannah has met students from as far away as Madagascar and Vietnam, all of whom are excited to receive a Bible in their own language.

Prayer for new community college ministries As campus missionary interns Anton and Ryann begin a new Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) on Houston Community College’s main campus, they are in need of prayer and support. Here are a few ways you can pray for this new BSM:

• Pray that students will be interested in studying the Bible and participating in the BSM Top: BSM students at the University of Houston pass out free Bibles to students on campus.

Bottom: Campus Ministry Intern Ryann engages with students at Houston Community College.

• Pray that the Thursday free lunch will be an opportunity to engage in conversation with students

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• Pray for campus staff who are willing to support them in the process of establishing a new student organization


Amelia Barton Chaplain U.S. Air Force

A spiritual marker: Celebrating 1,000 chaplaincy endorsements By Meredith Rose, Social Media Specialist

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This February, Texas Baptist Chaplaincy Relations, in partnership with the Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV), reached and exceeded a milestone of 1,000 chaplaincy endorsements.


Over the past 18 years, Texas Baptists have endorsed 1,011 chaplains. More than 600 of these individuals are still actively serving. Texas Baptists endorse in eight distinct categories including military, correctional, biker, public safety, healthcare, marketplace, crisis response and pastoral counseling. In celebration of the ministry’s continued growth, Texas Baptists recognize the calling and vision of two recentlyendorsed chaplains.

Healthcare chaplain provides personalized care

called to healthcare chaplaincy because of the great need he saw there.

Allan Escobar is a newlyendorsed healthcare chaplain at CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler, TX.

“It’s not just patients who need support. Nurses and doctors also need spiritual care. They work so many hours and often don’t get the chance to attend church. Their workplace becomes not even a second but sometimes like a first home to them,” explained Escobar. “When I saw an opportunity to minister to them, to be their pastor, I wanted to seize it.”

Chaplaincy endorsement provides great value to Escobar’s ministry. “It communicates that you are supported by the community of faith,” he said. “When pastors are ordained, it indicates the church supports them ­­— it’s the same with chaplaincy endorsements.” Escobar has a seminary background and is an ordained pastor. He worked in youth, singles, church-planting and missions ministries at multiple churches before training to become a chaplain. He felt

As a chaplain, Escobar provides guidance to patients, families and hospital staff who are hurting both physically and spiritually. “One of my favorite things about being a chaplain is my ability to provide more direct, oneon-one care to people,” he said.

Allan Escobar Chaplain | Tyler, TX

Escobar completed Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Hospital. “Most CPE programs require that you come in with a seminary degree,” he said. “They want that foundational understanding to build on. The next step is learning how to use your theological understanding to truly connect and minister in healthcare situations.” The Chaplaincy Relations Endorsement Council voted in approval of Escobar’s endorsement in mid-February. Supported by the Texas Baptist chaplain community, Escobar plans to continue serving in Tyler while he pursues further chaplaincy certification. “This endorsement affirms that I am where God wants me,” Escobar said. “It creates opportunities for me to continue learning and growing as well as to expand my influence and reach.”

Military reserve chaplain learns from chaplain community Amelia Barton is a recentlyendorsed military reserve chaplain for the U.S. Air Force living in Georgia. She personally attested to the benefits of a Texas Baptist chaplaincy endorsement even while living out of state. “Chaplaincy Relations is a family,” she said. “Whether we are in times of struggle or joy,

“The cohort training was the Texas Baptist community honestly the best I received,” of chaplains wants to live through those moments with us. said Barton. “For 10 weeks, our group met once a week through I have so many friends online video conferencing. who are endorsed by other We learned about ministering organizations, and they’ve in the military from other never spoken to or met with endorsed chaplains and anyone involved in their Chaplaincy Relations staff.” endorsement. This has really helped me appreciate the Texas Barton has also attended two Baptists endorsement model.” Texas Baptists Chaplaincy Training Events to supplement Barton felt called to military her required training. chaplaincy in 2016 after graduating from the University “Continued education is so of North Georgia with a important to military chaplains Master in Clinical Mental because our field is constantly Health Counseling. evolving. If we are not willing to continue molding ourselves, “That summer, during a Fourth chaplains may easily become of July celebration, I remember hearing the audible voice of God ineffective,” she said. “For example, mental health awaretelling me to join the military,” ness and suicide prevention she said. “At first, I was have recently become big terrified and didn’t know where topics in the military. Chaplains to begin. I knew nothing about chaplaincy at the time. I’d never are on the front lines of addressing these issues, but even heard of the word. But I we must be properly trained to could clearly hear God’s voice, confront them.” and I knew I had to obey Him.” Eric Whitmore, associate endorser for Calling and Endorsement with Texas Baptist Chaplaincy Relations, helped educate and counsel Barton during her calling. “I talked to Eric for probably two hours. He explained to me everything there is to know about military chaplaincy,” Barton said. “After that, it was like my life just made sense. I knew this was what I was meant to do.” Barton began training in the Air Force Chaplain Candidate Program, pursuing a seminary degree and mentoring with a military chaplain serving in the Air Guard. She also participated in Texas Baptists’ Chaplain Candidate Cohort.

Barton’s endorsement was approved in mid-February. She is currently working as an Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA), filling in for active-duty chaplains while she continues to learn and grow her ministry skills. “I am thankful to be supported by an organization that is as on fire to minister as I am,” Barton said. To learn more about Texas Baptist Chaplaincy Relations, visit txb.org/chaplaincy.


1,011 chaplains endorsed

600+ over 600 chaplains actively serving

8 distinct categories of chaplaincy endorsement

5th largest endorser of military chaplains in the U.S.

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“When I was a pastor, this was difficult for me sometimes, but chaplaincy has given me many opportunities to personalize my ministry to individuals.”


Ministers Financial Health Grant opens doors for student ministry in Corpus Christi

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By Meredith Rose, Social Media Specialist


In the summer of 2018, Micah Roddy felt “When we moved, Amy struggled to a call to minister in Corpus Christi, TX. find employment, which was the main He and his wife Amy were faithful to that cause of our financial strain,” said Roddy. call when First Baptist Church of Corpus “Normally, we would have been okay Christi (FBCC) offered Roddy a position with just one of us working, but I also as a student pastor. had some student debt from pursuing my master’s degree, and we had one car Relocating his family from the Lubbock payment we were trying to pay off.” area, where he faithfully served in ministry for eight years, Roddy and his wife soon began experiencing some financial pressures.

He recalled the process of reviewing his personal budget with his financial counselor, Aaron Schaub, before being approved for the grant.

“We had some savings and lived off those a bit. We also both worked odd jobs trying to get by. This helped for a while but just wasn’t enough,” said Roddy.

“This was actually encouraging for us because we could clearly see that we were only hurting because of student loans and a car payment. We did not have any other debts, and we weren’t living outside our means,” said Roddy.

During these times of uncertainty, he and his wife remained faithful in prayer, asking God to provide a way for them to make ends meet if this was where He wanted them.

An answer to prayer God quickly delivered answers when Roddy met with FBCC Senior Pastor Brian Hill who told him about the Texas Baptist Center for Financial Health (CFH). Established in 2017, the CFH exists to support ministers through grant funds, low-interest loans and financial literacy resources. Led by Director Tammy Tervooren, the CFH is a part of the Texas Baptist Connections Team and serves as a connection point for pastors to the vast array of resources and ministries offered by the convention. “I was only asking for prayer when I went to visit Pastor Hill,” said Roddy. “Then I found out that there were many options available to me through Texas Baptists. After that meeting, we began the application process for the Ministers Financial Health Grant.” The Ministers Financial Health Grant allows eligible Texas Baptists pastors and church ministers to apply for a matching grant up to $2,500. Because it is a matching grant, Roddy explained that it is important for applicants to have the full support of their church from the outset.

Schaub did not just review the budget but supported Roddy for several months through his financial literacy training. “Aaron is a CPA, but he has a heart for the church and ministers, so he volunteers to help people with their finances,” said Roddy. “I was required to meet with him three times, and Texas Baptists funded these three meetings, but Aaron and I developed a friendship that went beyond this.” According to Roddy, Schaub prayed over him during meetings, helped connect Amy with a few interview opportunities and even did their taxes at the beginning of the new year. “Ministers’ taxes are very confusing. Until Schaub helped us, I had not once received a refund in my 11 years of doing ministry. In fact, I usually owed money. But Schaub helped us get our first refund ever. That was amazing.” Along with support from his financial counselor, Roddy attended a financial literacy course in Houston. This course highlighted the long-term goal of the CFH, which is to produce financial understanding among ministers rather than create dependency.

“One student ministry volunteer from FBCC picked me up at 4 a.m. and drove me to Houston for the course. He sat in the meetings with me and then drove me back later that day,” said Roddy. “Our church family really “One thing I remember about the walked with us through that time. application process is that we had to be really open about our financial situation,” It was wonderful to see God work in all these little ways, reminding us of said Roddy. “This wasn’t challenging His faithfulness, even though it was for me and Amy, because we knew that hard to celebrate at the time.” our main problem was needing to find her a job.”

A change in prayer and ministry Since receiving the Minsters Financial Health Grant and attending financial literacy courses, Roddy and his wife have experienced greater financial stability. “It actually worked out that we received the grant pretty close to when Amy found and started a new job. So blessings really flooded in,” said Roddy. “Because of the grant, we were able to completely pay off our car payment. Now, all we have to deal with is student loans, and we are back on track to pay those off early.” Roddy added that he and his wife also plan to close on their first house soon, which they are excited to open as a place of fellowship for FBCC students and volunteers alike. Reflecting on the change that the Minsters Financial Health Grant had on his ability to do ministry, Roddy said, “Our prayer has changed from ‘God bless us’ to ‘God, help us bless others.’” Roddy said he is excited and optimistic about the future of FBCC student ministry. The CFH eagerly continues to provide aid to Texas Baptists pastors and ministers across the state. “We’ve seen the positive and long-lasting impact financial guidance and financial literacy can have on pastors and ministers personally and on their churches,” said Tervooren. In 2020, the CFH received a $1 million renewal grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to expand the reach of its grant funds, loan options and financial literacy resources. To learn more about Texas Baptist Center for Financial Health, visit txb.org/cfh.

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He explained that it was this combination of debts, along with rent and the expenses of raising a child, that caused them to struggle.


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El COVID-19 cambia los métodos, pero no la necesidad de ministerio


El 25 de febrero, los Centros para el Control y Prevención de Enfermedades de los Estados Unidos (CDC) urgieron a negocios, hospitales, y comunidades a planificar por la posibilidad de la transmisión en la comunidad y una interrupción significativa debido a la propagación del COVID-19. Desde entonces, las órdenes locales, estatales, y federales han cambiado el cómo las iglesias y las personas se congregan. El virus presenta un riesgo

obvio a la salud y tiene el potencial de hacer un impacto significativo en las operaciones diarias de las iglesias Bautistas de Texas, compañeros en el ministerio, y personal ministerial. Como convención de iglesias, seguimos comprometidos a compartir a Cristo y demostrar amor, aun en medio de esta situación tan desafiante. Los artículos que siguen son recursos para las iglesias al ministrar durante estos días sin precedentes. También aparecen en txb.org/covid19.




¡Hola, Bautistas de Texas! Me siento muy orgulloso de nuestro personal de comunicaciones en la Convención por todo el trabajo que están haciendo para proveer una revista de calidad cada varios meses. Sin embargo, esta vez nuestra revista será digital solamente y no la acostumbrada edición impresa. La razón es que, con tanto cambio con el COVID-19, y tan rápido, tenemos que ser flexibles y capaces de añadir la información más reciente. Como es de esperarse, la edición digital es menos costosa. No obstante, estoy feliz de informar que, algunos de los ahorros que tendremos al usar solamente la plataforma digital esta vez, los podremos usar para proveer para algunos de nuestros pastores bi-vocacionales que han perdido sus empleos durante esta crisis. Si la única razón por la cual nuestras iglesias Bautistas de Texas cooperaran para hacer misiones y ministerio en este estado fuera la obra de, en, y a través de nuestro Ministerio de Estudiantes Bautistas, valdría la pena. Este año celebramos el centésimo (100) aniversario del Ministerio de Estudiantes Bautistas (BSM), nuestro ministerio colaborador en recintos universitarios en Texas.

Nuestro director es Mark Jones y tiene un maravilloso personal ministerial en nuestras oficinas centrales y un increíble grupo de misioneros en recintos universitarios por todo este gran estado. He visitado varios de estos ministerios alrededor del estado y me impresiona la pasión por el evangelio, los perdidos, y las necesidades de los estudiantes en el corazón de nuestros directores de BSM en los recintos. Cada día dirigen a su personal ministerial y a los estudiantes a interactuar activamente con las buenas nuevas de Jesucristo en los recintos donde sirven. ¡Por favor, ore por este ministerio! Dos proyectos misioneros más grandes son Beach Reach (Alcance en la playa) y GoNow Missions (Misiones

IrAhora). Leerá acerca de ellos en esta edición. Al visitar South Padre Island durante el Alcance en la playa, honestamente puedo decir que la obra de la Gran Comisión está vigente durante el receso de primavera cada año. Mantengo en mi oficina un póster de los 450-500 estudiantes que sirven como misioneros GoNow este año 2020. Este póster, cada vez que lo miro, me recuerda a orar por esta labor. Le exhorto a respaldar la obra del Ministerio de Estudiantes Bautistas en el recinto cerca de usted. Por favor, ayude con almuerzos semanales. Ore por los directores y, si puede, ofrende generosamente para esta maravillosa labor. El Ministerio de Estudiantes Bautistas es algo particular

de la Convención Bautista General de Texas (BGCT) en que ninguna otra convención estatal tiene tan gran testimonio del evangelio en tantos recintos como la nuestra, y esto es posible solamente a través del Programa Cooperativo. Como siempre, sepa que es un honor servirle con humildad. Y, como siempre, gracias por el sostén que usted provee para nuestros ministerios cooperativos como el Ministerio de Estudiantes Bautistas. Dios le bendiga.


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en la Escuela de Estudios Cristianos de ETBU TÍTULOS OFRECIDOS Bachiller en Ministerio Cristiano

Maestría en Ministerio Cristiano Maestría en Estudios Teológicos Maestría doble en Ministerio Cristiano y Administración de Empresas Maestría doble en Ministerio Cristiano/ Consejería Clínica de Salud Mental

“ETBU me ha preparado para crecer al darme la oportunidad de ser un líder siervo.”

Los programas ofrecen especializaciones y concentraciones en Estudios Bíblicos, Liderazgo Empresarial, Discipulado, Misiones, Guía Espiritual, Teología, Ministerio para Niños, Pastoral, de Adoración, de Jóvenes, y Deportes y Recreación.


—Landin Brown

Ganador del Galardón del Presidente Otoño 2019 y graduado de la Escuela de Estudios Cristianos

Becas 100% para matrícula para estudios graduados disponibles para estudiantes que hayan completado un grado universitario en ETBU desde el 2017 y miembros de una iglesia afiliada con BGCT.


Incluso en los momentos más difíciles, Dios todavía está trabajando a través de TBM. Celebra todo lo que ha hecho a través de tu iglesia y el ministerio.


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AUGUST, 16, 2020


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5 sencillas actividades en que las iglesias pueden involucrarse mientras sus puertas están cerradas


Por Ronald Session, Pastor de la Shiloh Church en Garland

Mientras las noticias sobre la pandemia global continúan cambiando, vemos un aumento en las restricciones con respecto al número de personas en reuniones. Todas las iglesias han sido afectadas. ¿Cómo puede la iglesia ser efectiva cuando se le ha prohibido a sus miembros reunirse? La familia de la fe tiene una gran oportunidad de demostrar el amor de Cristo en uno de los tiempos de más prueba en la historia contemporánea. Consideremos cómo podemos tener un impacto en esta época de temor y desesperanza.

“Esta es una oportunidad dorada para que la iglesia satisfaga necesidades básicas en su comunidad...en tiempos cuando las personas necesitan saber que Dios no los ha abandonado.”

Una de las primeras cosas que podemos hacer es continuar compartiendo nuestra fe en nuestras comunidades. Los miembros de la iglesia pueden seguir los mandatos y recomendaciones de las autoridades sin quejarse ni criticar. Se han establecido restricciones por el bienestar de nuestras familias y vecinos. Los cristianos debemos poner el ejemplo al obedecer a las autoridades. El apóstol Pablo nos recuerda en Romanos 13:1-2 “Sujétense a las autoridades”. La cooperación en esta temporada servirá de testimonio de nuestra fe cristiana.

ATISFAGA 2. SNECESIDADES BÁSICAS Segundo, las iglesias pueden ser siervos líderes. Algunas personas en casi todas las comunidades aún tienen necesidades básicas insatisfechas. Durante este tiempo de incertidumbre y compras impulsivas, existen algunos entre nosotros que no pueden satisfacer sus necesidades básicas para sobrevivir este brote viral. En muchos casos, las personas han tenido que subsistir sin lo necesario por la escasez, o porque han quedado desempleados repentinamente y sin previo aviso. Esta es una oportunidad de oro para que la iglesia provea necesidades básicas a fin de aliviar las necesidades.

Al alimentar y proveer alimentos, artículos de baño y otros artículos que escasean, la iglesia extiende el amor de Cristo en muchas maneras significativas en tiempos en que las personas necesitan la certeza de que Dios no los ha abandonado.



Otra cosa que las iglesias pueden hacer es guiar a otros a entregar sus vidas a Cristo. Debido a las medidas de distanciamiento social, las personas tendrán más tiempo de introspección y sin duda se harán preguntas. Las iglesias que han sido entrenadas y preparadas para una oportunidad de compartir su fe, ahora tienen una audiencia cautiva. Tener un plan y ser intencionales a fin de llevarlo a cabo puede resultar en fruto para el reino. Incluso esto es parte de la providencia de Dios en acción, lo que le da a la iglesia una oportunidad de compartir de Cristo con personas que no tienen una certeza de sus destinos.

EMPODERANDO 4.ANIME Las iglesias pueden ser la voz que anima al proveer información pertinente de manera creativa. Tomar tiempo para dar consejos, informar de recursos disponibles y compartir ideas creativas para ayudar a que los padres lleven a cabo la tarea de educar a sus hijos puede ser lo que las personas necesiten para sentirse empoderados en estos tiempos. Si ya usa usted las redes sociales, tome tiempo para compartir información

útil que pueda aliviar el estrés. Así le da a la comunidad la oportunidad de explorar su plataforma, en donde pueden encontrar información de su interés y así abrir el camino para compartir con ellos en el futuro.

PARA FAMILIAS 5.DISCIPULADO Tal vez el ministerio prospecto más emocionante en estos tiempos no ocurra en la comunidad sino en el hogar. Las iglesias pueden ser estratégicas cuando planean mientras la comunidad congregada se convierte en una comunidad esparcida. Si se tienen materiales para que la familia entera estudie y se involucre, eso puede ayudarlos a enfocarse en el discipulado familiar. Cada cabeza del hogar puede guiar a su familia en oración y el estudio enfocado de la Palabra de Dios, en juegos divertidos y actividades que inviten a la participación de todos. Las familias pueden compartir esta información con otros que son nuevos en el área, con los que están buscando una familia en la fe a la cual unirse o no tienen una relación personal con Cristo. Estas son algunas sugerencias para despertar su imaginación. Usted puede encontrar muchas maneras de continuar la obra de Cristo aun si no puede congregarse. Dios le ha dado a nuestra generación recursos y acceso para satisfacer las necesidades de un mundo desesperado por medio de una palabra de esperanza.

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Supporting ministers through grant funds, low-interest loans, and financial literacy


Thanks to a generous grant from the Lilly Endowment, Texas Baptists are pleased to offer matching grants and low-interest loans to qualifying ministers who complete financial education requirements to help increase their fiscal leadership skills and provide economic stability. Find out more at txb.org/cfh

Center for Financial Health

TU MISIÓN ES IMPORTANTE. NUESTRA MISIÓN ES SERVIRTE. Desde hace casi un siglo, en HighGround Advisors hemos navegado a través de las tormentas en compañía de nuestros clientes. Sin importar los obstáculos, estamos comprometidos a proteger, fortalecer y engrandecer tu mission, ofeciendo servicios integrales de inversión y gestión de activos financieros, planificación de donaciones caritativas y otros servicios especializados para donadores y las organizaciones sin fines de lucro.

214.978.3300 | 800.747.5564 | www.highgroundadvisors.org 55


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Texas Baptists is a fellowship of transformational churches sharing Christ and showing love. For more than 130 years, we have helped churches fulfill the Great Commission and the Great Commandment. Learn more at txb.org


Los Bautistas de Texas son un compañerismo de iglesias transformadoras compartiendo a Cristo y demostrando amor. Durante más de 130 años, hemos ayudado a las iglesias a cumplir la Gran Comisión y el Gran Mandamiento. Conozca más en txb.org

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