M3 WKND includes decisions for Christ, prayer for friends
EULESS —This year’s M3 WKND, held Jan. 13-14 at Cross City Church in Euless, provided many great visuals to remind students and their leaders that they are not alone—maybe none more poignant than a moment during the conference when 350 students got on their hands and knees to pray for lost friends and family members.
By the end of the event, 13 who attended made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ; another 22 answered a call to ministry.
“[Gen Z teenagers and the upcoming Gen Alpha teenagers] aren’t drawn to big events based on a personality anymore,” said Brandon Bales, student ministry associate for the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention. “Instead, they are drawn to the hope of deeper and wider relationships. At M3 WKND, we want to connect students to each other and remind them they aren’t alone in sharing the gospel deep and wide in this world.”
Bales said M3 WKND is a microcosm of M3 Camps, which are held in multiple locations in Texas and New Mexico during the summer.
God’s Not Done With You scheduled for April 1 release
The book will offer “nine amazing stories of faith that give us hope for our own challenging setbacks,” including biblical accounts of the lives of Joseph, Esther, and David. Through their stories, Meador writes about the “extraordinary changes of heart” experienced by those historical figures and “how God works in all things for the good of those who love Him,” according to a preview listed on Amazon, where the book is available for pre-order.
Meador has served as a lead pastor for four decades and has served as senior pastor at Cross City Church in Euless since 2006. His own story is one that is borne out of adversity, as he suffered a severe illness as a child that left him with irreversible hearing loss.
SBTC DR teams deploy to Central Texas after ice storm
AUSTIN The winter storm that pummeled a wide swath of the Lone Star State during the final days of January and the beginning of February prompted Southern Baptists of Texas Convention Disaster Relief to quickly deploy recovery teams to affected regions.
In the Austin area, First Baptist Church of Pflugerville suffered minor damage from falling tree limbs weighed down by ice. Church members began clearing debris by Feb. 2, said SBTC DR task force member Mike Northen, a retired FBC Pflugerville pastor.
“As things have thawed out, the situation is getting bigger,” said Scottie Stice, SBTC DR director, noting that reports of damage had come from Dripping Springs, Austin, Georgetown, and Pflugerville. “We are starting to hear reports of needs in Tyler and Athens [in East Texas] too,” he said. “The ice has done considerable damage to power lines and trees.”
Chaplains and assessors will deploy to affected areas once teams receive addresses of homes with damage. Other ministry areas will respond as the deployment expands, Stice said.
Mcmeans honored for 30 years of service
Jim Richards (left), Southern Baptists of Texas Convention executive director emeritus, presents a plaque honoring Ken McMeans for his 30 years of service to College Baptist Church in Big Spring. Richards made the presentation to McMeans on Jan. 29.
Tayne honored for 35 years of service to MacArthur Blvd.
IRVING Karen Tayne, who serves as family minister for preschoolers at MacArthur Blvd. Baptist Church, was honored in early February by the church for 35 years of faithful service to its members.
Tayne has served in a variety of roles during her three-plus decades at the church. Those roles have included service as MacArthur’s children’s director, Mother’s Day Out director, and as generational ministry director. In her current role, her ministry focus spans from expectant parents to families with preschoolers.
Tayne has been a frequent speaker at Southern Baptists of Texas Convention events, including its annual Equip Conference, as well as being asked to make presentations at Southern Baptist Convention events that include breakout topics ranging from preschoolers to parenting.
She and her husband, Rob, have three adult children and three grandchildren.
Messenger pre-registration for SBC Annual Meeting opens
NEW ORLEANS Those wanting to pre-register as messengers and/or register for childcare at the upcoming SBC Annual Meeting can now do so at sbcannualmeeting.net.
Both became available on Feb. 1 in anticipation of the gathering slated for June 11-14 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. The theme is Serving the Lord, Serving Others. The annual meeting returns to New Orleans for the first time since 2012. At that gathering, Fred Luter, Jr. was elected to become the first African American president in SBC history.
As he walked through an airport, current SBC President Bart Barber—pastor of First Baptist Church in Farmersville—took the opportunity to urge Southern Baptists to pre-register in a video he posted to Twitter.
“Get to your computer and sign up for those childcare spaces and get your church-approved messenger credentials all lined up so we can gather in New Orleans and celebrate what God is doing in the Southern Baptist Convention,” he said.
Whitten joins NAMB, will direct leadership ministry
MIAMI Ken Whitten, recently retired pastor of Idlewild Baptist Church in Tampa, Fla., will become national director of pastoral leadership at the North American Mission Board (NAMB) beginning in March. NAMB President Kevin Ezell shared the news at NAMB’s Board of Trustees meeting in Miami on Feb. 7.
Whitten aspires to be a connector, a counselor, and a comforter for ministry leaders no matter what stage or season of ministry they find themselves in, with the goal of boosting both them and their churches toward a place of health and vitality. One way he aims to connect pastors will be through prayer, to connect them to other pastors, and introduce them to resources and ideas.
“Ken Whitten is a lifelong friend and brother,” said Jack Graham, pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano. “His loving devotion to Christ, impeccable character, commitment to evangelism and church health and growth, strong pastoral gifts, and relational skills will be a huge blessing to pastors and church leaders.”