Month: October 2022

Half of pastors say the economy is hurting their church

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Individuals aren’t the only ones facing consequences of inflation and other negative economic factors in the U.S., as many pastors say their churches are being harmed as well.

A Lifeway Research study of U.S. Protestant pastors found 52% say the current economy is having a negative impact on their churches. For 40%, the economic circumstances aren’t having any effect. Fewer than 1 in 10 pastors (7%) say the current economy is a positive factor for their churches.

The economic outlook among pastors has soured more in 2022 than in recent years. Last year, around half of pastors (49%) said the economy was having no impact. Only once in the previous five years, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, were pastors most likely to be pessimistic about the economic impact on their congregations. During this time, pastors had been more likely to say the economy was having no effect. The two years prior to the pandemic were the only two years in the study’s more than 13-year history when pastors were more likely to say the economy was having a positive impact than a negative one.

2022 marks the first time since 2016 that more than half of pastors feel the economy is having a negative impact on their churches and the first time since 2012 that fewer than 10% of pastors see the economy as having a positive effect.

“Outside economic forces are back to being a negative influence for most churches, according to their pastors,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of Lifeway Research. “As temporary assistance from the CARES Act expires and prices and interest rates rise, churches are noticing the impact on their finances.”

Giving remains stable

Despite reporting a negative impact, most pastors say congregational giving is at least staying around the budget and in line with the previous year.

Around 7 in 10 U.S. Protestant pastors say giving at their church so far this year is at or exceeding their budget, including 46% who say giving has been about what was budgeted and 23% who say it’s higher. Close to 3 in 10 (29%) say giving is below their 2022 budget.

Compared to last year, almost 3 in 4 pastors say their offerings so far in 2022 are at or above 2021 levels, with 42% saying it’s the same as last year and 32% say it’s above. For 1 in 4 churches (23%), offerings are below 2021.

“The souring of pastor attitudes towards the economy is more about rising expenses than declining income,” said McConnell. “Declining year-over-year giving is a factor for almost a quarter of churches, but this is a similar rate to what churches have averaged for over a decade.”

When asked to place a percentage on the changes in offering for their congregation, around 3 in 4 say it is the same as 2021 or above. Specifically, 45% say it is the same, 9% say offerings have increased by 1-9%, 15% say it’s up 10-24% and 5% say their offerings in 2022 are up 25% or more compared to 2021. Around 1 in 5 report a decrease in giving, including 4% who say offerings are down 1-9%, 11% who say they have declined 10-24% and 6% who report their offerings being down 25% or more.

Small church struggles

The current economy is not having the same impact on all churches. Some are more likely to report financial struggles. Despite having recovered to pre-pandemic attendance levels more quickly, smaller congregations are among those most likely to say they are facing economic headwinds.

Small church pastors, those with congregations of less than 50 attendees, (61%) are the most likely to say the economy is negatively impacting their churches. These churches are more likely than churches with more than 100 in attendance to say giving is about what they budgeted, but they’re the most likely to say offerings in 2022 are below 2021 levels (31%). Meanwhile, pastors at the largest churches, those with 250 or more, are the most likely to say offerings so far this year are above last year’s levels (63%).

“Churches with attendance of less than 50 have fewer people to cover the expenses of the church,” said McConnell. “When prices rise there are fewer people to spread that cost among.”

Other congregations are also more likely to report economic troubles. Those in the Northeast (62%) are the pastors most likely to say the current economy is having a negative impact on their congregation. As it has been in recent years, African American pastors (36%) are more likely than their white counterparts (22%) to say their offerings this year are below what they were the previous year.

Baptist pastor and wife kidnapped in Ukraine

MARIUPOL, Ukraine (BP)—A Baptist pastor and his wife remain missing after being kidnapped Sept. 21 from their church in Russian-occupied Mariupol, Forum 18 News Service reported Oct. 6.

Armed masked men in Russian military uniforms took Council of Churches Baptists Pastor Leonid Ponomaryov and his wife Tatyana from their home in the Kalmiusky District of northern Mariupol, neighbors told Forum 18. Officials reportedly searched the home for about two and a half hours.

The Russian military also searched and sealed Ponomaryov’s church, identified as Kurchatov Street Baptist Church, and seized religious literature there, Forum 18 said, attributing reports to Mariupol Baptists.

“The neighbors distinctly heard groans and cries” as the Ponomaryovs were taken “in an unknown direction,” Mariupol Baptists told Forum 18. Church members began seeking answers the following day. “But neither then nor on subsequent days could they get any answers,” local Baptists told Forum 18.

Russian officials initially claimed the couple were involved in “extremist activities,” but it is unclear whether they have been charged with any crime. The Ponomaryovs’ children, friends and fellow pastors have been unable to determine the reason for the abduction or the couple’s whereabouts.

The couple’s children issued a statement Oct. 1 thanking the Baptist community for their prayers, as several churches were praying and fasting for the couple’s return.

“For 10 days already we know nothing about them,” Forum 18 quoted the statement. “A group of church members from Mariupol and Rostov went (around) all the agencies and institutions, not only in Mariupol but in the regional center [Donetsk], and were told nothing about our parents anywhere.”

While Russian officials have not responded to Forum 18’s requests for information, reportedly an officer of the Russian Interior Ministry told relatives the couple would be released after the Sept. 27 Russian-controlled referendums to annex Donetsk and three other Russian-occupied regions in Ukraine. The Sept. 27 referendums were illegal under Ukrainian and international law and have not by officially recognized by the U.S. and the international community.

Russia has officially occupied Mariupol since May in the war Russia launched on Ukraine in February. Russia has sealed many churches and confiscated equipment.

But despite the referendum and the forced closure of some Christian churches, other congregations, including at least two Council of Churches Baptist congregations, are still able to hold Sunday worship services.

Forum 18 described the Council of Churches Baptists as unregistered churches in Ukraine that meet in property owned by one or two church members.

This article originally appeared on Baptist Press.

Prestonwood gives $100,000 to SWBTS; Second Houston will match gift

FORT WORTH—Because of the “love and affection” he and his church have for Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Jack Graham, pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, gave a $100,000 gift to the institution, seminary officials announced Monday.

Joined by Southwestern’s interim leadership team of O.S. Hawkins and David S. Dockery, Graham said a matching gift would be given by Second Baptist Church of Houston, he announced on behalf of the church’s pastor, Ed Young.

“We are so encouraged by this latest sign of God’s provision for our seminary during this time of transition and financial challenge,” said Hawkins, senior advisor and ambassador-at-large of the seminary. “I want to thank my dear friend, Jack Graham, and his wonderful congregation for this generous gift, as well as Ed Young and his congregation. We deeply appreciate gifts of all sizes from individuals and churches and other friends in our Southern Baptist family. Together, these gifts will ensure a strong future for our seminary to provide conservative theological education for God-called men and women.”

In a statement, Young said, “I’m delighted that my congregation is able to join my friend Jack Graham and Prestonwood in giving this special gift to Southwestern Seminary. Although I’m not a graduate, Southwestern has been a blessing to our congregation, and I know how important Southwestern is to our state and beyond in providing doctrinally sound theological education. With David Dockery and O.S. Hawkins leading Southwestern, I’m hopeful about the future of the school. I invite other churches to join us in this worthy cause.”

Dockery, interim president, also expressed his gratitude to Prestonwood and Second Baptist Church Houston.

“Southwestern Seminary is grateful for the confidence placed in our institution by these two great churches, the leadership of these pastors, and for their generous support during this time of special need,” he said. “We are working tirelessly to ensure that confidence is well placed. We also ask Southwesterners and other friends to join our faculty, students, and staff in prayer for the seminary with Psalm 90:17 as our theme for this year. We are hopeful about the future of Southwestern Seminary.”

Graham said Prestonwood wanted “to be a part of investing in the future of the seminary and to do something now that is just the beginning of what I believe is going to be an incredible recovery of stability and strength of our seminary going forward.” Graham grew up in Fort Worth with Hawkins as the two were teenagers at Sagamore Hill Baptist Church and mentored by the late Fred Swank.

Graham, Hawkins, and Dockery are all graduates of Southwestern Seminary.

Graham said he was “excited” to have Hawkins and Dockery in the interim leadership roles at Southwestern. “This is stability. This is strength. This is maturity,” he said of the longtime Southern Baptist leaders.

Graham encouraged other “pastors, regardless of the size of the church, to financially come along side Southwestern during these days supporting our seminary with surplus funds with which they may be blessed as they near the year’s end.” He noted he and his wife, Deb, “want to be a part of this personally as well.”

“It’s about building a new generation of young men and women who are going to serve Christ around the world,” he added. “And so, we’re investing in the seminary, but that means we’re investing in young men and women, really, men and women of all ages, who hear the call of God and want to get as prepared as possible to take the message of Jesus to the world.”

SBTC’s Molina wants NHBN to promote unity, stronger connections among Hispanics

NASHVILLE (BP) – Bruno Molina, president of the recently rebranded and revitalized National Hispanic Baptist Network (NHBN), said he wants the group’s new name and logo to promote unity and inclusion among Hispanics in the SBC.

Molina serves as the language and interfaith evangelism associate for the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention and an adjunct professor for both Southwestern and Midwestern seminaries.

After being elected president during the group’s meeting at the 2022 SBC Annual Meeting in Anaheim, one of Molina’s first priorities was creating a new name and logo for the group as a step to better connect Hispanic Baptists.

Formed in 2017 as the Hispanic Baptist Leadership Council, the group was designed to help coordinate efforts of Hispanic churches and various Hispanic entities as well as improve communication between Hispanics and the SBC Executive Committee.

Now in the official process of renaming themselves the NHBN, the group will serve a similar purpose of unifying Hispanic Southern Baptists, while also carrying out the task of fulfilling the Great Commission.

“The reason for these changes is due to the need to emphasize the importance of the purposes of the NHBN which are to connect on the mission, to contribute and share resources and to celebrate what God is doing among Hispanic Baptists,” Molina said.

“The Network also recognizes the need and the opportunity to address certain challenges with the Hispanic community such as single mothers, retired Hispanic pastors and health issues. Addressing these challenges will facilitate the flourishing of the Hispanic community.

“There are more than 64 million Hispanics in the United States, and the majority, 48 million, do not know Christ as their Savior. This is an alarming indication that we live in a time of grave urgency regarding the Gospel. The task of reaching Hispanics without Christ is not an ethnic issue but a Kingdom issue encompassing a particular key ethnicity.”

In addition to the name change, the group’s new logo is also designed to promote inclusion among all different types of Hispanics.

The logo’s image resembles three stylized people in three different colors, all locking arms around an open Bible. Each colors represents a different heritage within Hispanic culture.

The color red is for Indian heritage, the color gold is for European heritage and the color black is for African heritage.

Molina explained those three heritages are the ethnic mixture in most Latin American countries which resulted in modern day Latinos or Hispanics.

“My hope for the network is for unity in both vision and action, expressed to the benefit of our own ethnic community and beyond to the whole body of Christ,” Molina said in an interview with Baptist Press.

“We’re going to from good intentions and simply ‘being here,’ to saying how are we going to concretely live out this vision?”

Luis Lopez has been serving as executive director of Hispanic relations and mobilization at the SBC Executive Committee since April 2022.

He praised the network’s officers for their passion to promote unity, even within the name and logo of the group.

“The new name better reflects the connection with all Hispanic churches and is a way to encourage and partner in ministry,” Lopez said. “As more people get involved, the involvement of Hispanic churches in SBC life will be accelerated.

“I am excited to see the enthusiasm and dedication of the leaders of the National Network in taking the work of cooperation, support and fellowship to the highest level in order to fulfill the Great Commission during these times. God is glorified when our churches are unified in proclaiming the Gospel.”

Lopez has helped Molina and the officers steadily connect with other Hispanic pastors, leaders and churches throughout the SBC to get them more involved with the network.

Some of the practical ways the network is hoping to help Hispanics is through resources shared on its website and hosting monthly Zoom meetings.

The network has also designated several “teams” or sub-networks within the group to focus on mentorship, leadership and mobilization. Examples of the teams include women’s ministry, emerging leaders, state leaders, evangelism, church planting and stewardship.

Lopez said the network’s desire for unity among Hispanics in the SBC will also serve to increase unity and cooperation throughout the whole convention.

“We’re a big family, and obviously in a big family you will connect more easily with those who look more like you,” Lopez said. “So you need to feel like you have that connection, but you also on the other hand want to feel like you are a part of a bigger family. Those two things work well together, and we need to make sure that every member feels a part of the greater body.”

This article originally appeared on Baptist Press.

Greene marks 50 years at Lufkin’s Harmony Hill Baptist Church

LUFKIN—Harmony Hill Baptist Church had 74 members when John Greene became its pastor in 1972. Over the next five decades, the church grew to more than 2,100 members as Greene served the church.

This November, Harmony Hill will commemorate Pastor Greene’s 50th year as pastor of the East Texas congregation.

The most often-cited average pastoral tenure is about four years, with Baptists staying much longer at around 10 years. This number makes pastoral ministries of several decades remarkable. Greene believes a long stay is a crucial part of leadership.

“In the average Baptist church, the deacons are the recognized leaders” he said. “I realized this had come about because pastors were not staying long enough to gain the confidence and trust of the people. Since the deacons were the only consistent leadership, as pastors came and went, the people learned to trust the deacons.”

Greene believes it took 17 years for Harmony Hill to transfer that recognition from the deacons to him as pastor. But that wasn’t the primary reason he stayed, though he had opportunities to move on.

“I believed that was God’s call on my life. I was called to stay. God’s promise was that if I obeyed His plan, He would bless me and prosper the work,” he said.

Greene believes the temptation to move too easily is based on a false premise.

“The idea of a ‘better deal’ someplace else than where you are is an illusion,” he said. “I don’t think the challenges I faced here on The Hill are different from other ministries. Every pastoral assignment will have its crisis events.”

Todd Core has served Harmony Hill as teaching and student pastor for the past seven years. The church has called him to follow Greene as senior pastor. After serving with him, Core notes some advantages he will gain from Greene’s tenure.

“In practical terms, his faithful leadership over these last five decades has created a strong trust among the people to follow the leadership of the church,” he said. “That is quite the head start to have for an incoming pastor. Pastor John has also been instrumental in changing the perception of our church in the community during his time as pastor. This is an incredible gift to me as the next pastor to already have goodwill and a good name in our area.”

Core also noted that Harmony Hill has developed a heart for missions under Greene’s leadership. “Our church has a marvelous history of giving to missions, raising up members who go to the mission field, and providing member care to our missionaries on the field,” he added. “I am grateful to follow a man of God like Pastor John, who has kept the Great Commission at the heart of the church.”

Both men said they had seen God keep His promise to bless Greene for being faithful to the place he was called.

“Being at The Hill has been a blessing to me and my wife in this: the incredible relationships we’ve built and the people we’ve loved as family,” Greene said. “We [also] had the privilege of seeing God move and work in marvelous ways in acquiring land, building a master plan, and then seeing families come to faith in Christ. And now their children are serving in missions and ministries around the world.”

Greene is a graduate of Southern Arkansas University and the Baptist Missionary Association Seminary. He has served on the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention Executive Board and received the W.A. Criswell Lifetime Achievement Award for Pastoral Evangelism from the convention.

John and his wife, Kathryn, have two sons and 12 grandchildren.


Southern Baptist DR busy in Florida; SBTC DR volunteers serve Ian survivors

FORT MYERS, Fla.—Hurricane Ian turned from Tampa toward Fort Myers, slamming a population center that had expected to avoid the worst of the Category 4 storm with its 155-mile-per-hour winds and devastating storm surge. As of Oct. 4, the Florida death toll from the hurricane had climbed to 105, with 55 in Lee County, where Fort Myers is located, according to CNN.

Lee County residents received evacuation orders Tuesday morning, Sept. 27. The hurricane made landfall at Cayo Costa at 3:05 p.m. the following day, CNN reported. Many found it too late to evacuate and thousands chose to ride out the storm in downtown hotels and apartments. They emerged to scenes of unimagined destruction made worse by utility outages and infrastructure damage.

Southern Baptists of Texas Disaster Relief volunteers quickly joined first responders, other Southern and Baptist DR state teams, and additional relief groups to serve the survivors amid the devastating loss of life and property.

SBTC DR teams arrived in Fort Myers Oct. 2-3 to set up a mass feeding kitchen from Lufkin staffed with volunteers from across Texas. The Lufkin unit, stationed at McGregor Baptist Church in Fort Myers, is supporting the feeding efforts of the Texas division of the Salvation Army there. The Baptists cook; the Salvation Army distributes the meals to survivors and first responders.

On Oct. 4, feeding volunteers prepared 5,100 meals in the unit’s first operational day.

Wade Harmon, McGregor missions pastor, was on the fifth floor of the Larsen Health Center in Fort Myers where his wife works as a nurse when the storm rolled in.

“They let family members in while she was working, and so we saw the whole [storm] blow by … the surge coming in, the winds blowing,” Harmon told Baptist Press. “The building is swaying. It’s powerful beyond anything you would think.”

Typical of churches aiding their devastated communities, McGregor Baptist is not only hosting SBDR volunteers on its property, but the church is also accepting and distributing clothing donations and managing a community network meeting the needs of survivors.

SBTC DR volunteers at McGregor Baptist in Fort Myers started mass feeding in partnership with the Texas Salvation Army on Oct. 4. Volunteers prepared more than 5,000 meals during the unit's first operational day. DEBBY NICHOLS PHOTO

A second SBTC DR feeding unit from Pflugerville has also established operations at Riverside Baptist in Fort Myers, assisting the American Red Cross there.

Texas and other state DR volunteers will be supported by shower and laundry units either currently en route to or on-site in Fort Myers. SBDR volunteers from Florida and Arkansas will rotate in as Texas volunteers eventually head home.

SBTC DR chaplains, assessors, communications, and incident management personnel are also arriving in Florida daily, and a quick response kitchen (QRU) is due on Oct. 7 to support volunteers.

“We are asking for two-week deployment commitments at this time, said Scottie Stice, SBTC DR director.

“How long we’ll be there is hard to tell,” Stice said. “Most likely, we will extend our assistance. There’s much to be done,” he added, noting that all units remain on alert status.

Stice asked for prayer for the survivors and volunteers.

To learn more about the response and how to donate, visit To give to a local state SBDR group, visit Support for Hurricane Ian relief can also be given through the SBTC.

This article also contains reporting from Baptist Press.

Nationwide ‘Bring Your Bible to School Day’ set for Thursday

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (BP)—Emerson Collins has seen firsthand the power of Scripture to dispel darkness among youth and teens trying to navigate life in a world that considers truth subjective.

The 20-something Focus on the Family (FOTF) project manager is tasked with promoting FOTF’s national Bring Your Bible to School Day Oct. 6.

“I, having just graduated from college, saw in my high school and my college just so much darkness,” Collins told Baptist Press, “and I’ve lived through it. I’ve walked friends through it.

“There’s a very real presence of darkness in our schools and our campuses, with the difficulty and rigor of our courses. But also just spiritually, truth is being challenged right now in our culture. And so it is more important that students have Jesus Christ and have the Words of Life.

“Without that hope,” he said, “without that light in our lives, it is so easy to become saddened or despair.”

FOTF’s Bring Your Bible to School Day has grown from 8,000 participants in its 2014 inaugural year to more than 590,000 participants enrolled in 50,000 schools in 2021, FOTF said at Collins is tracking even greater participation for this year’s event that encourages students of public, private and home schools to take their Bibles to school and thereby spur interest in the Word.

“We’re on track this year to blow that number out of the water,” Collins said. “We have already surpassed last year’s registrations and sign ups, and so we are expecting well over 600,000 households to participate this year. And I’m hoping personally over 75,000 schools to participate.” Schools are counted after the event.

Tony Evans, founding senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible College in Dallas and founding president of the Urban Alternative; Ray Comfort, founding president of Living Waters evangelistic ministry; Bible teacher Lysa TerKeurst and musical artists Tauren Wells and John Cooper are among well-known promoters.

Psalm 119:105 is this year’s Scripture, encouraging students to “shine God’s light.” Legal guidance, educational and promotional resources for the event are available at, with guidance tailored for students, parents and churches.

Collins, enrolled in a pastoral residency program at Calvary Church in Monument, Colo., saw the power of the Word to transform lives when he led a Navigators Bible student while attending Colorado School of Mines.

“I started a movement among my friends and peers through The Navigators called ‘The Open Carry Your Bible,’ and we started carrying our Bibles everywhere we went, openly,” he said. “And sure enough, people started asking us questions. ‘Hey, what’s that book you’ve got there. That’s a really fancy journal.’ And we had the opportunity to share that it’s actually our Bible and invite them to Bible study, or just talk a little bit about why we carry those books around.

“So without knowing it, I had already fostered the heart of Bring Your Bible to School Day in my own life,” he said. “It was a personal program that I began with my disciples in my Bible study. The response was boldness, first in the hearts of my direct group, but also later on in the ministry, where we saw an incredible revival at the School of Mines, a huge growth in the Christian ministry on campus, as well as just a public boldness to read our Bibles in the public study spaces.”

It’s well within the law to openly carry Bibles at school and to discuss and distribute them outside of class time, FOTF said on the event’s webpage.

Students are encouraged to register online at and to track participation on Facebook and Instagram. The additional Live It Challenge provides daily resources and encouragement to engage in and apply Scripture in personal lives.

Five winners will be selected for $500 Live Your Faith packages including Bibles and Bible related books, devotionals, apologetics resources, and Adventure in Odyssey resources, FOTF said, with prize entry guidelines here.

This article originally appeared on Baptist Press.

Pursuing Presence: SBTC Annual Meeting Highlights 2022

Prayer Meeting among the highlights
at this year’s annual meeting

The Monday evening session of this year’s annual meeting will feature a prayer gathering that leaders are saying will be a powerful opportunity for the churches
of the SBTC to spend time not only talking about this year’s theme, “Pursuing Presence,” but actually calling out to the Lord together. 

The corporate prayer meeting will begin at
7:55 p.m. Monday, capping the day’s activities.
The meeting will include prayer, encouragement,
and a challenge for the churches of the SBTC to
begin a corporate prayer initiative in their local
contexts, SBTC Executive Director Nathan Lorick said.

“It’s going to be an incredible gathering where churches from all across Texas come together to celebrate all that God is doing and to look together
in anticipation of what God wants to do,” Lorick said.

Kaunitz to be nominated for second term as SBTC president 

Caleb Turner, co-pastor of Mesquite Friendship Baptist Church, has announced his intention to nominate Todd Kaunitz to serve a second term as president of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention at this year’s annual meeting in Corpus Christi.

Kaunitz is lead pastor of New Beginnings Baptist Church in Longview. He was first elected to serve as SBTC president on November 9, 2021, at the convention’s annual meeting in Flint. He and his wife, Adrian, have three children.

“I have had the privilege of serving alongside Todd for a number of years and have personally seen how God has worked in and through him in a number of ways,” said Turner, who serves as vice chairman of the SBTC Executive Board. “Our great convention is truly blessed to have faithful and capable leaders like him.”

New Beginnings contributed $103,217 through the Cooperative Program in 2020. The church’s CP giving in 2021 was $112,500. 

The partnership, SBTC Executive Director Nathan Lorick said, will provide financial support and various resources to help Southern Baptists in Nevada strengthen existing churches, plant new churches, reach the lost, and develop leaders.

In July, the SBTC Executive Committee approved funding of up to $150,000 to be disbursed to the Nevada Baptist Convention in three annual installments of up to $50,000 each beginning this year. A fourth installment may also be given with Executive Committee approval.

Meals & Events

American Bank Center, Corpus Christi 
Meal registration is required at


Spanish Session & Reception 
6:00-9:30 p.m.


Interim Pastor Equipping
9:00-3:00 p.m.

En Español Lunch Panel
12:00-2:00 p.m.

Missional Ministries Dinner 
4:45-6:00 p.m.
Come meet your Missional Ministries team and
hear about the gospel work being done in Texas and beyond. Special guest speaker is Bryant Wright, president of SEND Relief for the North American
Mission Board.

Regenesis Dinner/Church Revitalization
4:45-6:00 p.m.
Each church can benefit from a time of spiritual renewal and rebirth. The SBTC has launched a new strategy with the exclusive goal to help jumpstart this Regenesis process in your church. Join the Church Health & Leadership team for a time of encouragement, good food, and to learn more about this exciting opportunity!

Young Pastors Network Late Night
9:00-10:30 p.m.
Dessert reception and conversation with SBC President Bart Barber.


SBTC Disaster Relief Taco Truck 
7:30-8:45 a.m.

Alumni & Friends Seminary Breakfasts
7:30-8:45 a.m.

President’s Lunch
12:00-1:30 p.m.
Guest speaker Bill Elliff is a frequent conference speaker, writer, and consultant to churches drawing from his 50+ years of pastoring and revival ministry. This will be very special time as Bill speaks to the churches of the SBTC on the history of revival and spiritual awakenings, continuing our theme of Pursuing Presence. Attendees will also have an opportunity for Q&A. Complimentary box lunch provided to all attendees.


Resolutions give convention messengers an opportunity to discuss, refine, and express a consensus voice on a current issue. While resolutions are non-binding on convention churches, they do add substance to current conversations in Baptist life and the culture at large. Any member of an SBTC church may submit a resolution to the resolutions committee for consideration. The committee considers these suggestions and prepares a slate of resolutions for messengers to consider at the annual meeting.

 Submitters are encouraged to view previous SBTC resolutions for style and recent content at The 2022 resolutions committee will receive resolutions for consideration from Wednesday September 21, to Wednesday, October 19. All submissions must include the name, church membership, phone number, and email address of the submitter. Email proposed resolutions to Jenna Griffis at

Lopez featured at AM22 Spanish Session

Join other Spanish-speaking congregations on Sunday evening, Nov. 13, at the American Bank Center for a time of worship and fellowship starting at 6:00 p.m. The session will feature guest speaker Luis Lopez. Luis leads the Hispanic relations and mobilization initiative for the Southern Baptist Convention. He has a long history of multiplying and engaging Hispanic congregations among Southern Baptists to reach the lost and advance the kingdom. Special musical guest is Los Hermanos Gonzalez. Refreshments will be served after the session, starting around 8:30 p.m. 

The following day a Hispanic leaders luncheon will explore the benefits of living daily in integrity in our personal, family, church and professional lives. The lunch panelists are Luis Lopez; Camilo Del Valle, pastor of Iglesia Bautista Getsemani in McAllen; Dr. Bruno Molina, SBTC associate in interfaith evangelism and apologetics; and Chuy Avila, lead associate for SBTC Español. The luncheon is 12:00-2:00 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 14, and registration is required. Visit


Omni Corpus Christi
Room Rate: $111
900 North Shoreline Blvd.
Corpus Christi, TX 78401
King or Double (limited availability)
Cut-off: October 24

Holiday Inn Corpus
Downtown Marina
Room Rate: $115
707 N. Shoreline Blvd.
Corpus Christi, TX 78401
King or Double
Cut-off: October 16

Residence Inn by Marriott
Room Rate: $169-$189
309 S. Shoreline Blvd.
Corpus Christi, TX 78401
$169 Studio King
$189 Studio Queen
Cut-off: October 13

Group Rates
Specify SBTC for group rates
when making any hotel reservations.

Room block rates are only guaranteed until
the cut-off date listed. Please contact the

hotels directly for availability and pricing.

Meals & Events

American Bank Center, Corpus Christi 
Meal registration is required at

Childcare is available at

Housing Assistance
Senior pastors with financial need may request hotel cost assistance by visiting

Email or call 817-552-2500.

Hurricane season serves as reminder of CP’s critical role in funding Disaster Relief ministry

NASHVILLE (BP)—As Southern Baptists across the country prepare and mobilize to provide relief to hurricane victims on the East Coast, the importance of the Cooperative Program is seen in action.

As the unified missions offering of Southern Baptists, the Cooperative Program directly supports SBC ministries like seminary education, church planting, international missions and disaster relief, including recent efforts related to Hurricane Ian.

Coy Webb, crisis response director for Send Relief, said CP is essential to their work.

“The Cooperative Program is part of the lifeblood of disaster relief and our work in crisis response through Send Relief,” Webb said.

“We’re not only able to bring practical help in times of disaster, but the hope of Christ to people who are hurting and devastated after crisis events. We recognize that every person’s greatest need is not even food – it’s their lostness and that they need Jesus Christ.

“As we’re giving that cup of cold water in Jesus’ name, we’re also sharing how they might know the hope of Christ that can change their lives eternally.”

Send Relief is a joint effort of the International Mission Board and the North American Mission Board and is equipped to respond to disasters across the U.S. and around the world because of CP support.

At least one decision for Christ is made for every six or seven contacts made by disaster relief workers, Webb said, adding: “That wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for those people in the pews giving to the Cooperative Program.”

Webb said this DR work that is enabled by the Cooperative Program should not be understood only on the national level, but at the state level and personal level as well.

CP supplies funding for DR programs in every state convention, which then in turn train and send our volunteer teams.

Shawn Ames is a regional strategist for the SBC of Virginia and has been serving as the state’s DR coordinator since 2021.

His role is not only to help mobilize DR volunteers in Virginia, but also to work with other state leaders to synchronize relief.

“The coolest thing that I have learned about Disaster Relief is the coordination between the state leaders,” Ames said. “… I think that’s one of the greatest strengths of Southern Baptist Disaster Relief.”

Ames said Cooperative Program funds help provide volunteers with supplies and equipment they use during deployments. Then those provisions make it possible for ordinary Southern Baptists, such as Bob and Lillian Johansen, to be a part of national DR efforts.

Bob and Lillian, both in their early sixties, received their basic DR training at an in-person training event an SBCV church a couple years ago and were re-certified last year using the state’s online video training resource.

While recertifying, the couple invited more than 10 other people from their church to take the training with them so they could accompany them on trips.

About a month after recertifying in September 2021, the couple embarked on a SBCV DR trip to provide flood relief in Hurley, Va., taking some of their fellow church members who had just been trained.

Bob serves as the missions pastor at Maysville Baptist Church in Buckingham, Va.

Since that first DR trip he took to Hurley, he has been on several more in serval locations in Virginia and Kentucky. He has even taken more advanced training through the SBCV to become a blue hat and be able to lead DR trips.

He said getting more involved with DR work simply made sense for them in their stage of life, but they are not the only members of their family to participate.

Three of the couple’s four adult children have also received DR training and have gone on trips with their parents.

“We got involved because we have the time now to go out and focus on ministry,” Bob Johansen said. “We do a lot of family things together so it was just natural for them to come with us. We asked them and they wanted to go and enjoyed it when they went.”

He encourages fellow Southern Baptists to participate in disaster relief, all made possible by Cooperative Program funds.

“I think we have a commandment in the Great Commission and it’s not an option, so it’s important to follow His commands,” Johansen said.

“It’s not hard to go to these trips, and you get so much out of them. When you see that you’re helping somebody that is so distraught, it is just a blessing.”

This article originally appeared on Baptist Press.

Southern Baptists give record-setting $68.9 million to Annie Armstrong Easter Offering in ’22

CHICAGO—Southern Baptists gave a record $68.9 million to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering in 2022, breaking the giving record for a second year in a row. Giving to the offering has exceeded records in five of the last six years.

“This is incredible news for our missionaries,” said NAMB president Kevin Ezell, “and it is an incredible testimony to God’s faithfulness and to the generosity of Southern Baptists.” Ezell made the comments immediately before sharing the offering total with NAMB trustees as they gathered for dinner Monday evening, Oct. 3. NAMB Trustees are holding their regularly scheduled fall meetings Oct. 3-4.

“We have an amazing group of missionaries who are all about taking the gospel to hard-to-reach places in North America,” Ezell said. “I’m grateful for each one of them and the sacrifices they and their families have made to follow God’s calling. These gifts are already making a difference.”

The Annie Offering accounts for half of NAMB’s budget and every dollar of it goes directly to the mission field in the year the money is given. The offering’s total is tallied based on giving during the fiscal year, October 2021 through September 2022.

Southern Baptist giving to the Annie offering set records for three consecutive years in 2017, 2018 and 2019 before pandemic shutdowns occurred in 2020 during the season when churches typically collect the AAEO, which supports NAMB missionaries who plant gospel-proclaiming churches and provide gospel-focused compassion ministry across North America. 2021 saw an enthusiastic comeback with the offering hitting $66.5 million, exceeding the previous top offering by nearly $5 million. Since 2010, giving to the offering has increased 27 percent.

The giving increases have allowed NAMB to expand missionary efforts and increase care for missionaries. In February 2022, NAMB announced that it would provide health care benefits and establish retirement accounts for first-year church planting missionaries through a partnership with Guidestone Financial Services.

“We celebrate this historic milestone knowing it will mean lives are transformed by the gospel to the glory of God,” said Sandy Wisdom-Martin, executive director and treasurer of Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU). WMU staff and volunteers at the national, state and local church level play a key role in promoting Southern Baptist giving to the offering.

“For 134 years, WMU has been passionate about praying for and supporting our North American missionaries. The wonder of God’s plan is that it continues to unfold throughout eternity and He invites us to join Him. As Christian believers, our mission is to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our responsibility lies in choosing how we will become involved in His mission.”

The chair of NAMB’s Board of Trustees, Erin Bounds, called the giving milestone humbling.

“I think about the men and women and even the children who have sacrificed to give to this offering,” said Bounds, a member of North Valley Baptist Church in Odenville, Ala. “They are doing without some things in order to give. That is a humbling truth that guides me and all of our trustees as we do our part to ensure that NAMB’s priority is always to reach the lost and help start evangelistic churches.”

For more information about the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering, visit

This article originally appeared on NAMB’s website.