Executive Board approves new Student and Spiritual Formations associates, Houston catalyst

SBTC Executive Board
SBTC Associate Executive Director Tony Wolfe (right) prays for new convention staff members (standing, from left) Phil Todd, Rick Lewis and Brandon Bales, during the Executive Board meeting on Wednesday. Board chairman Mark Hogan is also seen, seated at bottom left.

FLINT—The Southern Baptists of Texas Convention Executive Board on Wednesday hired a trio of staff members they believe will lead key ministry departments into the future.

The board met at Flint Baptist Church the morning after the conclusion of the 2021 SBTC Annual Meeting.

Brandon Bales will be joining the convention as its new Student Associate. He previously served Associate Pastor to Teens at Northeast Houston Baptist Church in Humble, a position he had held since 2012. Under his leadership, the student ministry there grew from 35 students to 120. He has also led 75 students on international mission trips and seen 70 others make professions of faith while leading that ministry.

Phil Todd will be joining the convention as Spiritual Formation Ministries Associate in the Church Health and Leadership Department. Todd has served as Executive Pastor at PaulAnn Church in San Angelo since 2003. He also has experience pastoring youth and leading small groups. At SBTC, he will be asked to serve pastors and churches by providing leadership in areas of spiritual formation including discipleship, small groups, Sunday School, and ministries for men, women, children, and senior adults.

Rick Lewis was called for the purpose of serving as Houston Regional Catalyst working in the SBTC Church Health and Leadership department. A native of Fort Worth, Lewis has spent the past six-and-a-half years in an associate role at Storyline Church in Arvada, Colo. He has also served as the founding executive director of Apostello Mission Network, a non-profit that networked and connected churches to God’s global mission, and as a senior pastor in Ken Caryl Church (Littleton, Colo.), Riverside Baptist Church (Denver, Colo.), Emmanuel Baptist Church (Sterling, Colo.), and Faith Baptist Church (Hugo, Colo.). As a regional church catalyst, Lewis will help promote convention conferences, workshops and training events and provide consultation for local church leadership.

TBHC approved for grant

The Executive Board also voted Wednesday to approve a grant of $80,000 to Texas Baptist Home for Children.

The grant was given for the purpose of “developing, promoting, and implementing the remodeling of its campus” in Waxahachie. The Executive Board’s Administrative Committee made the recommendation, and funds will be disbursed from its reserves.

In a letter shared with board members, TBHC President Jason Curry said continual growth and changes over time necessitate a remodeling of its campus. To do so, an architect would need to be hired to establish a plan of action for the remodel, create visual aids to share with donors and help determine the best ways to repurpose already-existing space.

“We are honored to partner with you for the sake of the Gospel, to bring attention to our children’s needs and make more people aware that they can make a difference,” Curry wrote.

Until 2021, TBHC had received a percentage of the SBTC in-state Cooperative Program receipts. Beginning in 2021, the home began receiving an estimated $90,000 each year, funded from 7.5 percent of the State Missions Offering. SBTC has funded a total of $1.25 million to TBHC ministry since 2005.

New officers and board members

New convention officers elected during the annual meeting are Todd Kaunitz, president (New Beginnings Baptist Church, Longview); Richard Lewis, vice president (Unity Baptist Church, Copperas Cove); and Moises Molina, secretary (Iglesia Bautista Jerico, Brownsville).

New board members introduced at Wednesday’s meeting are: Miles Arnold (member, FBC Prosper); C.W. Faulkner (pastor, FBC Wolfforth); James Jordan (associate pastor, Northeast Houston Baptist Church, Humble); Drew Rogers (associate pastor, Cedar Pointe Baptist Church, Cedar Park); Dusty Smith (pastor, Waddill Street Baptist Church, McKinney); Anthony Svajda (pastor, Harvey Baptist Church, Stephenville).

The Texan also covered the board’s affirmation of Julio Arriola being named director of the Send Network SBTC partnership. That coverage can be found here.


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