Honoring the past, embracing the future

It’s good to be home. In fact, when I drove my vehicle back across the Texas state line in March, I felt a sense of excitement, gratefulness, and anticipation for all that God will do. 

I am extremely honored to serve the churches of the SBTC. As I think about the task that lies ahead, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for those who have led us up to this point. From the very beginning, men like Ronnie Yarber, T.C. Melton, Casey Perry and countless others have poured their lives into furthering the kingdom through the ministry of the SBTC. However, there is one man who deserves to be honored with the highest accolades: Jim Richards. 

Jim Richards has been a faithful leader of the SBTC for 23 years. His leadership is unparalleled; his integrity is impeccable and his love for the SBTC and its ministries is inspiring. All of these things are commendable and observable. 

However, the Jim Richards I know and have had the opportunity to serve under and now alongside, is much more than the things the public sees. First, he is faithful to the Lord in his walk. I have on occasion had the opportunity to stay in his home. Early in the morning, you would find him in his study, reading the Word of God and praying for the people and churches of the SBTC. This was not on some large stage, but in the shadows; there, you find faithfulness. 

Second, he is a family man. I have been challenged and encouraged as I have seen Jim Richards love his wife and kids. He is gentle and loving and makes me want to be a better husband and father. Third, he is a mentor and friend. There have been many times when he would send an unsolicited text or email letting me know he is praying for me. All of these things, though not public, are what makes Jim Richards who he is. I have had few men make the impact on my life as he has done. So, we say to Dr. Richards, thank you for your leadership and for giving your life to the SBTC. We are better because of you. 

Anytime there is transition, we honor the past but must embrace the future. If the Lord allows and tarries his coming, there will be much time in the days ahead to discuss the future. In a world that is ever changing, we must always be adapting to better serve our churches while holding fast to biblical truths and our core values. Victories and challenges are sure to arise. However, one thing will always ring true: the SBTC is here to reach Texas and impact the world!

Executive Director
Nathan Lorick
Southern Baptists of Texas Convention
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