Affiliated ministries report to board

SBTC Executive Board members on Aug. 7 heard reports from affiliated ministries, including Texas Baptist Home for Children (TBHC) in Waxahachie, Jacksonville College in Jacksonville, East Texas Baptist Family Ministry (ETBFM) in Timpson and Criswell College in Dallas, with each expressing gratitude for funding made possible by the Cooperative Program (CP) gifts of SBTC churches.

Of the 20 children adopted this year through TBHC, President Eddie Marsh said three of the 10 adoptive families are from SBTC churches, with additional churches involved in foster care of many of the 126 children in TBHC’s care.

Reflecting on a recent camp experience for the children, Marsh said revival spread through one cottage with five people making professions of faith over two weeks.

“The greatest words I ever heard at Texas Baptist Home were ‘I got saved today,’” he said, recalling comments from children. “You are a part of every victory,” he told the board members, who represent churches across Texas.

Jacksonville College President Mike Smith reminded the board that the school is the second-oldest junior college west of the Mississippi, having been founded in 1899. In praying for a movement of God represented by the new motto “challenging minds and changing lives,” Smith said he is encouraged by a new discipleship program for students and dorms filled at capacity due to growth in enrollment.

Telling the story of a homeless teenager the school helped last year who has since become a Christian and is gainfully employed with money to pay his own tuition this year, Smith said God reminded him that amid all the construction and institutional advancement, “it’s still about transforming lives.”

ETBFM President Gerald Edwards called the completion of 15 buildings and $5 million in assets a miracle made possible by “giving through the churches.” Drought continues to cause physical damage to the property with prayer requested for rain. Wild hogs have also become a nuisance on some areas of the property, he said.

“We haven’t touched the hem of the garment,” Edwards said in describing progress of retirement homes, maternity care and a prayer chapel, anticipating construction of a 10,000- square-foot building to care for up to 25 young girls. Edwards said five children have been born in the past year to girls receiving maternity care and four children have been placed in foster care. The money is there to begin construction, and the needs are great, he added.

Criswell College President Jerry Johnson said no college in the last 40 years has provided more leaders for Southern Baptists than the Dallas-based school. The college partners with SBTC in providing evangelistic block parties, Worship University and the Engage student-led revival ministry.

“For some of these students the first revival they’ve been in is the one [where] they are preaching,” Johnson said. Long-range plans call for an expanded selection of academic majors and more traditional campus housing options.

Related to the school’s involvement with the IMB’s Embrace endeavor to engage unreached peoples, Criswell is offering Arabic this fall. There is also a new major in church planting and revitalization.

Also, Johnson said California pastor Rick Warren would deliver the Founders’ Day address on Oct. 4. This year’s Criswell Theological Lectures on Oct. 12 will cover the span of views on biblical eschatology.

Southern Baptists of Texas Foundation Executive Director Johnathan Gray reported on a new level of investment screening to consider which causes companes support to ensure “we are honoring God and fulfilling our biblical responsibility with that.” Gray noted that church construction loans continue to be offered in partnership with the Baptist Foundation of Oklahoma.

Tammi Ledbetter & Jerry Pierce
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