25 years of answered prayer with Bob Pearle

In November, the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention will mark 25 years of answered prayer at its annual meeting at Cross City Church in Euless. Each month until then, the Texan will feature a brief conversation with past SBTC presidents about how they have seen God answer their prayers for the convention over the past quarter century and how they are praying God will bless the convention moving forward. This month, we feature past SBTC President Bob Pearle (2007-2009).

What were some of your earliest prayers for the SBTC?

My earliest prayers for the SBTC were for it to survive and thrive. We needed wisdom and good leadership because we were being greatly attacked. It was important that people would see that we were not radical. It was essential that the SBTC got a hearing from churches who wondered what we were about. 

How have you seen God answer some of your prayers regarding the convention?

God answered those prayers in the early years by sending us Jim Richards (the convention’s first executive director and current executive director emeritus) and Joe Davis (SBTC chief financial officer and senior strategist). They guided the SBTC wisely and well. Jim Richards was a wise leader—the man for the job. He was a strong conservative but not a radical. God gave us a leader who was able to listen to others without compromise. He was controlled by the Spirit. 

“My prayer today is very similar to what I prayed at the beginning. We need to hold to biblical principles and follow strong leadership.”

During your service as president, how were you praying for our convention?

I served as president of the SBTC in her 10th and 11th years. We had a great 10-year celebration in Houston. Those are fond memories and those present rejoiced in the goodness of God. God answered the prayers for the SBTC because we grew faster and were stronger than our critics predicted. We grew rapidly during the first 10 years because people saw that we were grassroots Southern Baptists. God gave us favor with some of the larger churches, and that gave us credibility with some other churches.

What is your prayer for the next 25 years of the SBTC?

My prayer for the next 25 years of the SBTC is to retain our founding vision and principles. Historically, as conventions get older, they have a tendency to stray from those principles. Thankfully, we have Nathan Lorick leading us to stay on course. My prayer today is very similar to what I prayed at the beginning. We need to hold to biblical principles and follow strong leadership. The younger generation doesn’t see the denomination in the same way as the founders. Nathan has the ability to relate to them and fill in those things that they might not understand. He’s an ambassador for the convention. He’s got common sense and is fluent in different ways of reaching people that are not as familiar to previous generations. That’s what is needed.

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