Archive for June, 2010

Convencion messengers approve unification agreement

June 29, 2010

In today’s final plenary session, messengers to the Annual Meeting of the Hispanic Baptist Convention of Texas overwhelmingly approved changes to the group’s constitution as well as revising its unification agreement with the Baptist General Convention of Texas. Personally, I didn’t see anyone vote against either measure.

In a surprise, Robbie Rogers from Baylor stopped by and gave me a handful of photos from the day. Here is one of his photos. I’ll be honest, I’m having issues uploading the other photos. I’ve never run into this issue before but will get it resolved as quickly as possible.

TBM activated in preparation for Tropical Storm Alex

June 29, 2010

Texas Baptist Men’s state feeding unit will leave the organization’s headquarters June 29 and head toward South Texas where it will be ready to provide as many as 20,000 meals a day to 22 shelters in the wake of Tropical Storm Alex.

The storm, which is rotating in the Gulf of Mexico, is forecast to make landfall along the Rio Grande Valley and northern Mexico coast on Thursday morning. On Monday morning, the storm sustained 60 mph winds and forecasters say it could strengthen. Officials fear possible flooding from the storm.

“Texas Baptist Men is prepared to respond to tropical storm Alex in any form or shape it may take,” said Gary Smith, TBM’s volunteer disaster relief coordinator.

To support TBM’s ministry, visit www.texasbaptistmen.org or send a check designated “disaster relief” to 5351 Catron, Dallas 75227.

100 years, 100 baptisms

June 28, 2010

The 100th anniversary celebration of the Hispanic Baptist Convention of Texas fittingly began with the baptism of 100 people — one for every year the convention has spread the hope of Christ across the state and around the globe. Messengers packed the sanctuary of Trinity Baptist Church in San Antonio and another 800 youth participated in a service in another building.

The energy last night was high and people’s spirits were even higher. Most importantly, God was present in the room. Led by President Victor Rodriguez, messengers contemplated how God has worked through the convention and how those faith markers are pointing to an even greater future.

In many ways, the future of Texas Baptist work relies on Hispanic Baptist churches. God strategically has placed them in this state to reach its changing population. As leaders noted last night, the convention’s past is important. It’s future is vital.

For those of you looking for the new officers, here they are. I’ll try to get some photos posted later tonight.

First Vice President: Jesse Rincones

Second Vice President: Manuel Rodriguez

Third Vice President: Daniel “Tiny” Dominguez

Secretary: Rafael Munoz

YEC LIVE

June 25, 2010

Starting tonight and going through tomorrow morning the Youth Evangelism Conference is being streamed live online. Visit www.texasbaptists.org.

Tons of food for refugees from border violence

June 24, 2010

RIO GRANDE CITY – What does 48 tons of food look like? To volunteers and families at the Starr County fairgrounds earlier this month, it looked like 4,000 fewer hungry people.

On June 5 and 12, Feeding His Children Ministries International, Harvest Fellowship Ministries and their partners distributed 96,000 pounds of food to people displaced by violence near the Texas-Mexico border.

The event was organized by Phillip Brandon, who founded Feeding His Children Ministries and does child evangelism in Mexico. He coordinated the event with Bob Georgia, founder of Harvest Fellowship Ministries.

The event was in response to a call for help Brandon received a month ago.

“We had a pioneer family from Rio Grande City that called and said, ‘We have so many people that are fleeing from the violence,’” Brandon said. “I said, ‘If you’re going to get food, we’re going to share the gospel with people.’ They said that was fine, so I drove up and started looking for places to have the event.” Brandon recruited the help of local people to secure permission to use the Starr County fairgrounds. At the event, volunteers passed out tickets to families as they arrived. Families filled out their tickets and other volunteers determined how much food to distribute based on the household’s size.

They had a good turnout both weekends, Brandon said.

“We had about 460 families that came on June 5,” he said. “On June 12, there were about 550 families. That converts to over 4,000 people. We sent another 100 families some food into Mexico.”

Brandon asked Raul Hernandez, a longtime friend and member of Yorktown Baptist Church in Corpus Christi, for help at the event. Hernandez and others from the church collected food donations and volunteered their time at the June 5 event.

“We took sugar and cooking oil to supplement a lot of canned goods that were supplied by [Feeding His Children and Harvest Fellowship],” Hernandez said. “We took enough for about 700 families that we were able to provide for.”

Brandon received a semi-truck load of donated yogurt that weighed in at about 36,000 pounds. Wal-Mart donated the transportation that delivered the yogurt to the site. Rick Caywood Ministries Chihuahuan Connection also helped make the food distribution possible by donating transportation services to deliver food to Rio Grande City from FHC’s warehouse space in McAllen.

First Baptist Weslaco served by organizing a worship service at the June 5 event.

“We did the service that included praising, prayer time and the sermon,” said Guillermo Lopez, pastor at First Baptist Weslaco. “My estimation was that we had at least 300 people in the service. At the end of the service when we made the altar call, we estimated that around 70 were saved and gave their lives to Jesus.” On June 12, Pastor Jose Cuevas of Escobares Baptist Church in Escobares delivered a message.

“We had 61 [professions of faith on June 12],” Brandon said. “There were 60 during the event and then a 14-year-old boy that one of the team leaders for my organization led to the Lord afterward.” This event was not the first of its kind for Brandon and his organization, but it was his first to organize in the U.S. He said he often does similar events in Mexico.

“We’re funded by the Lord,” he said. “There’s really no rhyme nor reason to where the funding comes from. Individuals give. Different churches give. The food is donated by different entities. It’s not donated by any one group, but nonprofits and many sources send food.”

To find out how you can support Feeding His Children Ministries International, send an e-mail to Phillip Brandon atfeedinghischildren@yahoo.com.

By Lauren Hollon

Prayer request

June 21, 2010

In a bit, we’re about to go into a meeting that among other things will probably determine the future of this blog. As Kaitlin stated earlier, we’re looking at the way we do some social media actions and in a bit we’re going to further discuss that. I know some of you have become regular readers of this blog. If you’d pray for us as we plan, I know we’d surely appreciate it. We want to serve as best we can.

On an almost completely different note, it seems some comments have been getting stuck in our moderate pile for a bit. I’m not exactly sure why, but I apologize for any delay you may have experienced in seeing your comment posted.

An opportunity to help the terminally-ill in Southern Africa

June 21, 2010

In the African village of Maliwane in Lesotho, a 64-year-old grandmother lay dying of AIDS, her only source of comfort and relief coming from a five-gallon bucket of hygiene and medical supplies shipped from a U.S. church.

The bucket was shipped to Jim and Teresa Flora, partners with Baptist Global Relief, who walked two hours to reach the grandmother’s home and teach them how to use the supplies in side. It’s not much, but it’s what the family has to care and comfort their matriarch.

The Texas Baptists Church2Church Partnerships Office has joined with Baptists Global Response to launch a summer missions opportunity to collect and send these “In-Home Care Kits” for terminally ill persons in Southern Africa. Much like the Buckets of Hope, various health care supplies will be placed in a five-gallon bucket. These supplies will provide a touch of physical and spiritual healing to terminally-ill people in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The kits, which can be put together for $75 or less, are opportunities for churches, Sunday School classes, Vacation Bible Schools, missions groups and people of all ages a way to be a part of a circle of caring and sharing to these terminally-ill people.  Items in these kits will make the caregiver’s task much easier, but more importantly, will ease the suffering of the ones affected by terminal illness.

“These kits are a tool that not only provide physical comfort but also are a way for missionaries to share Christ individually with those dying of HIV/AIDS and other illnesses.” said Marla Bearden, Church2Church Partnerships.  She believes Texas Baptists can send 1,000 In-Home Care Kits to Africa.

Visit www.inhomecarekit.org to find what items go in the kit, how to pack the items and other promotional items including a seven Day prayer guide that provides information that will help increase understanding and compassion for people suffering with HIV/AIDS around the world.  Once your kits are complete please deliver/send them to Texas Baptists at 333 N. Washington Ave., Dallas 75246. Deadline for sending kits is Sept. 1 and they will be distributed by BGR missionaries in winter 2010.  For more information contact Marla Bearden at 1-800-244-9400 or email her at marla.bearden@texasbaptists.org.

Deaf ministry leader passes away at 101

June 17, 2010

Many times the words I write cannot express how God worked through someone’s life. Such is the case with Lillian Beard. The more I’ve learned about her, the more fascinating she is. Below is a short obituary on her that I wrote on the deaf ministry leader. For more information on her, click here.

HOUSTON – She learned to speak without saying a word. And because of it, she spread the Word across the globe.

An orphan, Lillian Beard, commonly called “Miss Lillian,” was “given” and cared for at the age of three months by a couple who could not speak or hear. Her first language was sign language and she used it to start the deaf ministry at First Baptist Church in Houston, lay the groundwork for Woodhaven Baptist Deaf Church in Houston and work instrumentally in bringing people to Christ around the globe, including some who continue serving as missionaries.

She died June 10 at the age of 101.

Considered a pioneer and leader in Texas Baptist deaf ministry, Beard became First Baptist Church’s first deaf interpreter in 1924 at the age of 15, signing for her parents and a few other deaf members. Because her interpretation made the services accessible to deaf individuals, they increasingly came to the church and the congregation launched a Sunday School class and ministry for them.

That ministry eventually became Woodhaven Baptist Deaf Church, which serves the deaf community, families with deaf individuals and their friends. Among a variety of ministries, the congregation reaches out to deaf offenders in prison.

Beard helped start the Southern Baptist and Texas Baptist conferences for the deaf, the latter which receives financial support from the Baptist General Convention of Texas. She spoke at a variety of seminars and was one of the founders of the national registry of interpreters for the deaf.

“She laid a tremendous groundwork for deaf ministry not only in our church but across the Southern Baptist Convention,” said Arthur Craig, pastor of Woodhaven Baptist Deaf Church. “She was an incredible mentor to interpreters. She was an encourager to interpreters and families. She was committed to children hearing the gospel.”

Beard was the primary sign language interpreter for the 1952 Billy Graham evangelistic crusade in Houston. She also went on mission trips, sharing the gospel around the world. As a result of her service, there are deaf Southern Baptist missionaries in a number of areas, including Thailand, South America and Central Europe.

Beard’s funeral is scheduled for June 18 at 10:00 a.m. at Second Baptist Church in Kingwood.

The world of social media

June 14, 2010

During the last few weeks, the Texas Baptists communications department has been talking about ways to better connect with Texas Baptists. Because of the day and age we are in, naturally social media was brought into the conversation. We’ve been using several outlets like Twitter, Facebook, blogs, You Tube and Flickr for a while now, but we realize we could be using these in a better way to help, encourage and connect Texas Baptists.

This is where we need your input. Let us know how we can better serve you through these outlets.

  • How would you like Texas Baptists to connect with you through Facebook and Twitter?
  • What types of videos do you want to see on our You Tube channel?
  • What topics do you want addressed through the Texas Baptists blog?
  • Are there other types of social media that you would like to see us adopt?
  • This is your chance to share your opinion and ideas. We are listening and want to make improvements that will help Texas Baptists be better encouraged, better equipped and better prepared to reach the state with the hope of Christ.

    A little housekeeping

    June 14, 2010

    For several months now, Texas Baptist staff members have shifted over to the firstname.lastname@texasbaptists.org e-mail address formula, but have kept the old bgct.org addresses going as well. I understand this month the bgct.org addresses will be going away. If you need to reach a staff person via e-mail, you can continue to do so using the texasbaptists.org formula.


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