Lone Star Scoop • July 2022

Pastors Boswell, Lino join SBTC as consultants

GRAPEVINE Matt Boswell, pastor of The Trails Church in Celina, and Nathan Lino, pastor of First Baptist Church of Forney, have joined the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention as consultants.

Boswell will serve as a worship consultant in the Church Health & Leadership department. His duties will include establishing and developing a young worship pastor’s network where leaders will not only meet with one another on occasion, but be encouraged, resourced, and coached in their respective churches and ministries. He is the founding pastor of The Trails Church, has been involved in church planting and pastoral ministry since 1998, and is an author and hymnwriter.

Lino will serve as a ministry consultant in the Missional Ministries department. Among his duties, Lino will host periodical Zoom meetings to assist pastors in a variety of ministry areas; provide evangelism support and training for pastors; and help pastors learn how to lead corporate prayer meetings as requested. He will also stand ready to assist pastors and churches implement a global missions strategy. Lino, the founding pastor of Northeast Houston Baptist Church, recently answered a call to serve as senior pastor at FBC Forney.

Kaunitz offers update on Sexual Abuse Task Force

LONGVIEW—SBTC President Todd Kaunitz said its Sexual Abuse Task Force that has been asked to review the convention’s sexual abuse practices and policies has entered a season of evaluation as it moves closer to possibly bringing recommendations for changes to annual meeting messengers in November.

The update from Kaunitz, pastor of New Beginnings Baptist Church, was provided via a video released on SBTC social media accounts on June 8. In the video, he says the seven-member task force has completed the first phase of its work wherein it evaluated current SBTC sexual abuse policies and procedures and those of other, similar organizations. The second phase is an evaluation of those findings, and the final phase will include the drafting of possible changes to convention policies. Those proposed changes will then go to the SBTC Executive Board, and finally, church messengers, for consideration.

The 2022 SBTC annual meeting is scheduled for Nov. 14-15 in Corpus Christi. 

“I encourage you to continue to pray for us as we examine all of these areas,” Kaunitz says in the video. “It is so important that we as a state convention are doing everything we can to not only protect people from sexual abuse, but also have a proper response when those unfortunate cases occur. … We’re so excited to be a part of a convention that takes these things seriously.”

SBTC chaplains, ministers respond to Uvalde school shooting
UVALDE—Pastors, chaplains, and Southern Baptists of Texas Convention Disaster Relief volunteers were among those who responded to the May 24 shooting that claimed the lives of 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School.  Veteran Quick Response Unit (QRU) feeding volunteers set up a mobile food truck and served meals to first responders from federal, state, and local government agencies. SBTC DR chaplains made themselves available at the QRU site to talk and pray with visitors as needed. “This is where we need to be,” SBTC QRU volunteer Ronnie Roark said, noting that they had been feeding 85-100 at each meal. His wife, Connie, added, “A meal and a prayer. That’s what we bring.”
East Texas pastor honored for 7 decades of ministry
HUGHES SPRINGS—Charles Russell, pastor of Turkey Creek Baptist Church, was recently honored for 77 years of ministry during a meeting of the Enon Baptist Association, which covers deep Northeast Texas. Russell has pastored at Turkey Creek for 22 years. Among the honors, Russell was given a plaque expressing gratitude for his ministry by Roy Ford, the Northeast Texas field representative for the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention. “I love my people,” said Russell, 93. “It’s a small, rural church, a very loving people. I enjoy the fellowship of working with a local church.” With the exception of a pastorate in Bonham, Russell’s ministry has been in Northeast Texas. He also has served as director of missions for three counties around Jacksonville.
Special Needs Sunday scheduled for July 10
Special Needs Sunday, which is observed by Southern Baptists of Texas Convention churches the second Sunday of each July, will be July 10 this year.  This yearly event reminds followers of Jesus of their calling to make the gospel accessible to all people. It also provides an opportunity to celebrate those in the church who can often feel forgotten or neglected and educate church members about ways they can make accommodations for those who need them as an outreach to special needs families who are longing for a church home.  For more information, contact Sandra Peoples at specialneeds@sbtexas.com.
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