SBTC affiliated partners address Educational and family ministries

Southern Baptists of Texas Convention Executive Board members listen as Criswell College Interim President Lamar E. Cooper, Sr., give his report from the school.

Four affiliated ministries that partner with SBTC reported to the Executive Board on their efforts to provide educational ministries as well as avenues for adoption, foster care and assistance to troubled families.

East Texas Baptist Family Ministries (ETBFM) was organized in 2003, partnering with SBTC to provide children’s homes, maternity homes, ministers’ retirement homes and recreational, educational and retreat events, as well as housing equipment for Disaster Relief, volunteer builders and crusade evangelism.

ETBFM President Gerald Edwards encouraged SBTC-affiliated churches to take advantage of free housing available at the Timpson site for up to 50 volunteers for various work projects. Individuals and churches may contact Edwards at 903-822-3474 or visit www.etbfm.org.

“We do a lot of work out here with a very short stick,” Edwards remarked. “I’m thankful for the way this business is going and what’s happening here,” he said, alluding to a devotional offered to Board members on the priority Jesus gave to being about his father’s business.

Texas Baptist Homes President Eddie Marsh reported that the number of children in the care of TBH ranges from 97 to 120 as they attempt to move them from foster care to finding permanent homes through adoption programs. Of the more than 15,000 children in foster care in the state, 6,077 are legally free and awaiting adoption, Marsh shared.

A new office will be opened in the Mid-Cities area of the Dallas-Fort Worth region to recruit foster families. Families and churches in the area are encouraged to contact TBH at 972-937-1321 or visit www.tbhc.org. At their home office in Waxahachie, TBH also provides maternity care and training for families in crisis.

Both Criswell College in Dallas and Jacksonville (Tx.) College are looking ahead to site visits from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools as part of the process of reaffirming accreditation. Classes begin at Criswell College on Aug. 17 and at Jacksonville College on Aug. 28.

Criswell College celebrates its 40th anniversary in the coming year with five major events planned. Interim president Lamar E. Cooper, Sr. told of an expository preaching conference Oct. 5-6 to launch the emphasis, followed by the Criswell Lectures Jan. 19-21, a missions conference in March featuring alumni serving around the world, an anniversary dinner during the annual meeting of the SBC and a reunion in the fall of 2010 to reinstitute the School of the Prophets.

Cooper said students continued to join with SBTC in sharing the gospel, participating in annual SBC and SBTC pre-convention evangelistic outreach efforts, as well as student workshops in music and student ministry.

First Baptist Church of Dallas has accepted the terms of separation from the school, Cooper reported, with the process to be finalized early next year. SBTC Executive Director Jim Richards serves on the transition team that will assist in the process of independence. More information on the school is available by calling 800-899-0012 or online at criswell.edu.

Jacksonville College President Edwin Crank spoke of the school’s mission to train students who are called to preach as well as educating future laymen who can give wise counsel as church leaders.

Founded by Baptists in 1899, the school’s charter was amended in 1923 to allow the Baptist Missionary Association of Texas to become the owner. In 2002 the college affiliated with the SBCT and the two entities formend a partnership as part of the Hispanic “Education Superhighway” Agreement to provide accredited higher education of Hispanics. Manuel Giron completed the 24 hours required for the basic certificate in that program last May.

“I encourage you as somebody on the outside looking in, don’t let the Cooperative Program slip away from you,” Crank told board members. “It is a good method for giving.” For more information call 903-586-2518 or visit jacksonville-college.edu.

Tom Campbell directs facilitating ministries for the SBTC, including fraternally-related partnerships with Houston Baptist University and Baptist Credit Union, and ministry partnerships with Korean Baptist Fellowship of Texas, Nehemiah’s Vision, Texas Baptist Men and Texas Life Connections. Contact Campbell at tcampbell@sbtexas.com or call 877-953-SBTC.

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