Editor’s note: This continues a series on the founders of the SBTC.
HOUSTON When the inaugural meeting of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention occurred in November 1998 at Woodforest Baptist Church in Houston, John Brady was there.
He had to be. Brady was the pastor of Woodforest, the church he led for almost five decades from its beginnings in 1960 as a mission of Woodridge Baptist.
Like other SBTC founders, Brady had become involved in the growing Southern Baptist conservative movement in Texas in the years prior to the landmark 1998 meeting at his church.
“I was part of a group of pastors wanting to get back to the Bible, back to basic fundamentals, standing on the real Word of God, the inerrancy of Scripture,” Brady told the TEXAN in a recent interview.
Brady grew up in Hearne in Central Texas, where he was saved at First Baptist Church of Hearne. As a young man about to head to Baylor University, he felt the call to preach.
Following his freshman year at Baylor and newly married, Brady became the pastor of Five Points Baptist Church outside Hearne.
In 1957, he was called to Cottage Grove Baptist in Houston and in 1960 began helping organize Woodforest, becoming its first pastor in 1961.
“That was a hundred years ago,” Brady said with a chuckle.
Among his contributions to Southern Baptist life, Brady also served as a trustee of the North American Mission Board and on its personnel committee. He served for many years on the board of directors of the Baptist Mission Centers of Houston and on various committees of the Union Baptist Association.
He was also a member of the SBTC’s first board of directors and executive board.
Of the SBTC currently, Brady said, “I’m thrilled. It’s a miracle of God, built around our loyalty to the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.”
Expressing his admiration of SBTC Executive Director Jim Richards, Brady added of the convention, “And the best is yet to come. Amen.”
Brady and Yvonne, his wife of 66 years, still live in Houston.
Fellowship of the Nations, a church pastored by Brady’s son, meets in the former Woodforest facilities. The Woodforest and Fellowship congregations merged in 2008 and Brady became minister of missions and congregational care.
Until health problems over the past year prevented him from continuing, Brady taught a large Bible class at Fellowship of the Nations. He still attends services and does intercessory prayer counseling by phone.
“At 85, I’m doing well. Still vertical, still praising,” Brady said with a laugh. “The Lord has been good to us.”
This article also contains reporting from the Houston Chronicle.