Month: November 2023

SBTC founding board member remembered as ‘champion, warrior’ for Christ

LUBBOCK—Almeida “Skeet” Workman, a founding Southern Baptists of Texas Convention board member, died Nov. 3. She was 85.

Visitation will be at Southcrest Baptist Church in Lubbock on Wednesday, Nov. 8, at 8:30 a.m. Her funeral will follow at 10 a.m.

Workman was a board member for the convention’s precursor group, the Southern Baptists of Texas, Inc., and then joined the new convention’s executive board in 1998. She also served the Southern Baptist Convention in key roles during and after the denomination’s Conservative Resurgence (1979-1995). She was a member of the SBC denominational calendar committee when that body debated adding a Sanctity of Human Life Sunday to the convention’s list of emphasis Sundays. In what she later described as her most memorable role in the SBC, she cast the deciding vote in favor of the addition. She was later a member of the boards for the Christian Life Commission (now called the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission) and the International Mission Board.

SBTC Executive Director Emeritus Jim Richards served alongside Workman during her time on the Christian Life Commission and from the beginning as she served the SBTC.

“We have lost a champion for salt and light in this world in the passing of Skeet Workman,” Richards said. “She was indefatigable in her stand for the Word of God. Skeet was a voice for the unborn and the model of a prayer warrior. We have few of her courage today. She eschewed the trends of feminism yet was one of the strongest women I have ever known. She heard, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant,’ from Jesus when she entered heaven.”

Skeet and her husband, Don, were married in 1961. They were longtime members of Southcrest Baptist Church in Lubbock and active advocates for pro-family issues in Texas. Skeet was part of the Texas Eagle Forum and formed a Lubbock chapter of Pray America, an effort to mobilize prayer for the nation and its leaders.

Her love for God and country continued through the end of her life. In an article printed in the November 2023 issue of Southern Baptist Texan magazine, Skeet said, “Prayer is more important than [anything], and right now, God is the only one who can save America. I guess we just pray for America. That’s what we do.”

In addition to Don, she is survived by two sons and four grandchildren.

Winning the world for Christ together

What I have discovered in my life, and in the life of most Christians, is that prayer is often relegated to a mere routine, a preparatory exercise before the real action of our day begins. This is why prayer for many is powerless and meaningless. 

What is needed is a paradigm shift—acknowledging prayer as not just preparation for the battles of the day, but as a potent weapon and the key to spiritual victory. There are two important truths that reveal the essential nature of prayer, underscoring its urgent centrality in our individual and collective lives:

The Christian life is a spiritual war.

Paul paints a vivid picture of the spiritual battleground we live on every day. Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual powers, cosmic forces, and the dark entities that lurk in heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:10-12). This isn’t a physical skirmish; it’s a spiritual war. The Scriptures acknowledge the existence of two kingdoms—the kingdom of darkness, ruled by Satan, and the kingdom of Jesus. Though Jesus secured victory through His death and resurrection, the full realization awaits His return. In the interim, the church serves as the vanguard, advancing against the kingdom of darkness.

The stark reality is that we face a tangible enemy, an adversary with a relentless agenda to destroy lives. Satan, the god of this world, strategically plants landmines in our paths, capitalizing on our weaknesses and sin tendencies. The Christian life is a perpetual confrontation with an unseen enemy whose schemes are as ancient as time itself.

"The urgency of prayer lies not in its ritualistic repetition but in its potential to transform lives, break strongholds, and secure victories in the spiritual war."

Prayer is the primary way we fight in this war. 

Paul presents the armor of God as our defense against the enemy, with one offensive weapon—the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Unfortunately, many are unfamiliar with how to wield this powerful weapon. The key lies in prayer—not a superficial knowledge of Scripture, but an active engagement with God’s Word through prayer. This is why Paul immediately instructs us in Ephesians 6:18 to pray “at all times in the Spirit ….” It is through prayer that we wield the sword of the Spirit against the attack of the enemy. 

The urgency of prayer lies not in its ritualistic repetition but in its potential to transform lives, break strongholds, and secure victories in the spiritual war. Stories of healing, reconciliation, deliverance from addiction, forgiveness, and salvation are all products of engaging in the spiritual battle through the formidable weapon of prayer.

R.A. Torrey said, “When the devil sees a man or woman who really believes in prayer … he trembles.” Why does the devil tremble at the sight of genuine prayer? Because prayer calls on the army of God to fight on our behalf. It is an acknowledgment of the invisible war raging in the unseen realm. When we pray, we invoke the power and presence of almighty God, unleashing the heavenly host to fight for us. The victories in this celestial war translate into tangible victories on earth.

As we comprehend the urgency of prayer in the spiritual war, let’s cultivate alertness, vigilance, and a commitment to the discipline of prayer. Let our lives be a testament to the truth that, in His presence, we find not only refuge but also the ultimate weapon against the forces that seek to destroy. Embrace prayer not as a passive routine but as a powerful offensive against the schemes of the enemy.

5 minutes with Jack Graham

Jack Graham is senior pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church, one of the nation’s largest congregations with more than 57,000 members and three locations in North Texas. He is the author of numerous books, and his passionate, biblical teaching is seen and heard worldwide on PowerPoint Ministries. The Bible in a Year with Jack Graham podcast, in partnership with, launched in October 2022 and has now reached more than 30 million downloads. He and his wife, Deb, have three married children and eight grandchildren.

What is something you’ve been able to celebrate at Prestonwood recently?

I truly believe there’s a sense of revival happening at Prestonwood. Our North Campus in Prosper, under the leadership of Connor Bales, has been growing exponentially, so we recently expanded and renovated to keep up with the growing needs. We’ve celebrated our Prestonwood en Español ministry, led by Gilberto Corredera, which is thriving and reaching the Hispanic community throughout North Texas. We’ve celebrated our Prestonwood Pregnancy Center, as we have witnessed nearly 7,000 women who were abortion-minded choose life for their babies since the overturning of Roe v. Wade. We continue to work and pray that abortion will be unthinkable. We celebrated nearly 500 professions of faith among children and students through our summer activities. And we’re expecting more than 1,100 baptisms this church year. To God be the glory!

What’s one lesson you’ve learned to this point of your ministry that you know you’ll never forget?

One of the lessons I learned very early in my ministry was to balance life between the church and home. I always made time for my family. I made sure Deb and I spent time together, and I spent time with our kids, attending whatever events or sports they were participating in while growing up. This is a lesson I try to instill in our ministers and the young pastors and leaders we train through our Prestonwood Network.

What’s one thing you want to see God do specifically at or through Prestonwood in 2024?

In this tumultuous world we live in with its increasingly hostile and secular culture, we want our church family to stand firm as believers of Christ. We want them to be equipped and confident in the solid foundation on which they stand. We are more and more intentional about this through our teaching and discipleship and evangelism training, from our youngest to our oldest members. Our church family has always had a heart for reaching people—locally, nationally, and internationally—with the transforming message of the gospel. Evangelism is more critical than ever for our church and every church.

What are some of the biggest challenges facing the church in 2023?

Too many churches are throwing in the towel when it comes to the culture wars and social issues—especially on the sanctity of life. Too many pastors are compromising their calling in the pulpit, watering down their messages from the infallible Word of God for fear of offending. Number one, people are offended too easily these days; and number two, the Bible is offensive because it speaks truth. Now, more than ever, we must not relent. We must be bold and courageous and stand strong for the Lord. We are to fight the good fight of faith, because if we lose the church, we lose everything.

So much more than a business meeting

I have to admit my cynicism many years ago the first time I heard a church business meeting being referred to as a “ministry celebration.” I remember thinking, “What’s there to celebrate? The pastor presents financial numbers, the church votes, the upcoming calendar is discussed, we go home—end of story.”

I’ve since come to realize the error in such small-picture thinking. I’m not trying to convince you to show up to your next church business meeting wearing football-style eye black and one of those foam “We’re No. 1!” fingers, but what happens at such gatherings is truly worth celebrating. Behind all those financial tables and reports and such is an ongoing story about how God is using your congregation to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ in your community.

Or to put it another way: God has used and is using your church to change the eternities of people all around you. Such statements can become well-worn platitudes that speed into our ears and zoom right past our hearts, but the reality is, there’s no greater impact a human being can have than to redirect the eternity of another.

"God has used and is using your church to change the eternities of people all around you."

This month, the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention will gather for its Annual Meeting. Messengers will witness many of the happenings common to church business meetings: financial numbers will be presented, officers will be elected, ministry updates will be given. But I hope you’ll see this meeting as more than that—it will be an opportunity for us to gather and celebrate how God has used this convention of churches over the past quarter-century. Not only that, we will have an opportunity to celebrate what God can do through this family of churches over the next 25 years so that He may use us in ever greater ways.

I want to encourage you about what God is doing right now. You may not think about it this way, but God is writing Texas history, American history, world history—and kingdom history—every moment of every day. While many of those moments may seem mundane and not worthy of recording for posterity, none are wasted in the hands of our Creator. 

Unbeknownst to the whole wide world, a grandmother living in a Texas Panhandle town you’ve never heard of is telling the guy at the grocery store checkout counter about Jesus. Somewhere in Southeast Texas, a shift worker is leaving the refinery after working an all-night turnaround and leading a men’s breakfast Bible study. When we gather in November, you will have the opportunity to hear stories like these of how God is using our churches to impact the kingdom by connecting in our communities.

And that is worth celebrating. Let’s do that when we gather for our Annual Meeting this month. 

Eye black and foam fingers are optional.