Agency leaders help SBTC mark 10 years

HOUSTON?Seven Southern Baptist Convention leaders joined in the celebration of the SBTC’s 10th anniversary during its annual meeting in Houston, expressing appreciation for the SBTC’s commitment to share with SBC ministries a higher portion of its Cooperative Program funds than it keeps for in-state use.

“We were your first partner in ministry,” declared GuideStone Financial Resources President O.S. Hawkins. Referring to the current economic crisis, he told ministers concerned about retirement funds that the SBC-owned entity manages, “We’re going to get you through this. One of the reasons we launched those MyDestination Funds was to help guide you through,” he said, referring to investments in a diversified mix that changes over time to meet a given investment strategy.

New products such as property and casualty as well as long-term care insurance are

now being offered by GuideStone, Hawkins noted. The Mission Dignity program assists retired ministers, employees or their widows whose regular income is insufficient to live on, he added, praising the example of Sagemont Church in Houston for giving over $1 million to assist with those benefits.

North American Mission Board President Geoff Hammond recalled his visit to Houston’s First Baptist Church eight weeks earlier to witness the feeding of thousands of meals each day to people who had suffered through Hurricane Ike.

“Southern Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers are some of the most dedicated, hardworking people in all the world. They served over 5.5 million meals in those two disasters,” Hammond said, referring also to Hurricane Gustav, which hit several weeks earlier. At least 237 people professed faith in Christ through the ministry of DR volunteers.

Hammond said 5,600 missionaries are mobilized to North America on behalf of Southern Baptists, in addition to 155,000 volunteers serving on long and short-term assignments. Next year NAMB will partner with the SBTC to pilot an evangelistic strategy that engages believers in prayer and witness.

The International Mission Board report came during an evening devoted to the commissioning of the second-largest group of missionaries in Southern Baptist history?half of them with ties to Texas. IMB representatives, including President Jerry Rankin, praised the SBTC’s commitment to missions giving.

Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary President Phil Roberts recalled the contribution of Southern Baptists in Texas who sent volunteers and building materials in 1957 for the facilities still being used. With renovation of campus facilities underway, Roberts said the school’s vitality is due in part “to Southern Baptists of Texas stepping up to the plate when other state conventions decided to draw back in their support of Southern Baptist seminaries.”

In its third year of surpassing the 1,000-students mark, Midwestern has added fully accredited Ph.D. programs in Old and New Testament and opened Midwestern Baptist College, Roberts said. He expressed gratitude for the SBTC’s provision of furnishings in the chapel and a room in the guest housing of Midwestern, Roberts offered a leather-bound copy of Charles Haddon Spurgeon’s “Morning and Evening,” and a bobblehead likeness of Spurgeon in light of Midwestern’s acquisition of Spurgeon’s personal library.

Southwestern Seminary President Paige Patterson expressed gratitude for the partnership with “the most unselfish and generous of all the state conventions.” He pledged Southwestern’s faithfulness to acknowledge Jesus Christ as sovereign king, to preach and teach the Word of God, to unapologetically teach Baptist theology” and “keeping the world on our heart.”

Executive Committee President Morris Chapman reported on the third straight y

Most Read

More state conventions join NAMB in Send Network partnerships

ALPHARETTA, Ga. – The North American Mission Board (NAMB) has, in recent years, developed Send Network agreements with state conventions across North America to enhance partnership and church planting within the SBC. So far, 23 state …

Stay informed on the news that matters most.

Stay connected to quality news affecting the lives of southern baptists in Texas and worldwide. Get Texan news delivered straight to your home and digital device.