EULESS?The Southern Baptists of Texas Convention Executive Board unanimously elected two new ministry associates to the convention staff during a meeting Feb. 6 at the First Baptist Church of Euless, filling positions in evangelism and disaster relief.
The meeting coincided with the SBTC’s Empower Evangelism Conference.
The board elected Jack Harris of Grapevine as senior associate for personal and event evangelism, and Jim Richardson of Atlanta, Ga., as director of disaster relief. Both positions are new. Richardson is the first SBTC ministry associate to work exclusively with disaster relief.
SBTC Evangelism Director Don Cass introduced Harris as a longtime friend, having met him in 1978. He described him as a “soul winner” who practices what he teaches others to do.
Harris told the board about his conversion in the sixth grade in Lubbock and later his call to ministry in 1974 at First Baptist Church of Carrollton after he had begun a career in corporate finance. In 31 years of ministry, he has started and led evangelism programs in every church he has served, he said.
Harris said he and Cass would be assessing the needs of churches in equipping members for personal evangelism.
“It will take some time to get our feet on the ground and get a feel for understanding what the churches need and where they are,” Harris said. He said he has served mostly in larger churches, but he said he is eager to help small-attendance churches make the most of their evangelism resources.
“Without personal evangelism, we will not reach Texas and we will not reach our world,” Cass said.
“The world, the lost, do not attend our worship services,” he added. “We must take the gospel to them.”
The board also elected Jim Richardson as SBTC director of disaster relief?a newly created position. Richardson has held a similar post with the Georgia Baptist Convention.
Previously, disaster relief, chaplaincy and Texas Baptist Builders fell under the auspices of men’s ministries, led by Gibbie McMillan. Late last year McMillan took an assignment within the SBTC to coordinate hurricane recovery and relief. Other duties previously under the men’s ministry umbrella have been reassigned to other SBTC departments.
Texas Baptist Builders will work with the SBTC church ministries team in assessing projects, and through the missions team for construction. Disaster relief will work through the SBTC missions team, the church ministries team will coordinate men’s ministry, and the evangelism team will direct chaplaincy efforts.
Richardson spent 10 years with Georgia Baptists, helping develop the state’s disaster relief operation into one of the largest in the Southern Baptist Convention, he said.