Lone Star Scoop • November 2023

Reach Texas giving in 2022-23 sets record

GRAPEVINE With the 2023-2024 Reach Texas State Missions Offering in full swing, the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention is celebrating the generosity of its churches during last year’s campaign. SBTC churches gave $1,673,560 to Reach Texas—the most ever collected in a single year for the offering. The offering period covers September 2022 to August 2023. It marked the second time in three years a record Reach Texas offering was collected. The second-highest offering came during the 2020-2021 campaign, when $1,527,969 was given by SBTC churches. SBTC Executive Director Nathan Lorick said giving to Reach Texas is critical for the advancement of missions and evangelism strategies across the state and expressed gratitude for yet another year of sacrificial giving on the part of convention churches. “I am so grateful for the generosity of SBTC churches and their common desire to reach Texas and impact the world together,” Lorick said. Reach Texas funds a variety of gospel-fueled efforts, including church planting, disaster relief, missions mobilization, and the annual Empower Conference, which emphasizes evangelism.   The 2023-2024 statewide challenge goal is $1.6 million. For more information or to give, visit sbtexas.com/reachtexas. —Texan staff
Melton, a ‘great woman of God,’ passes away at age 90

ABILENE Mary Frances Teaff Melton died Wednesday morning, Sept. 20, in Abilene. She was 90 years old.

A Texas native, she married her husband of 72 years, T.C. Melton, in 1951. Mary Frances was a graduate of Hardin Simmons University and taught in public schools for 20 years.

The Meltons served churches in West Texas for decades as pastor and wife. Later, they became an encouragement to pastors in that part of the state and great supporters of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention as T.C. became a consultant for the convention.

Said SBTC Executive Director Nathan Lorick: “The Meltons have been such a blessing to the SBTC. Mary Frances served the Lord faithfully with such a sweet spirit. Our hearts and prayers are with T.C. and the Melton family as they grieve the loss of a great woman of God.”

SBTC Executive Director Emeritus Jim Richards, Lorick’s predecessor, knew the Meltons well.

“Mary Frances Melton was a supportive pastor’s wife and vital ministry partner for over 70 years,” Richards said. “It is impossible to tally, this side of heaven, the ways God blessed His people through her. I’m praying for my friend T.C. as we all await the day when we’ll see her again.”

— Texan staff

SBTC DR responds to Florida after Hurricane Idalia

PERRY, Fla.  Though national media attention regarding Hurricane Idalia has ceased, recovery from the disaster continues. The category 4 storm slammed into Florida’s Big Bend region on Aug. 30. Southern Baptists of Texas Disaster Relief teams answered the state’s call for assistance in late September and remained working in Taylor County in early October.

An SBTC DR chainsaw team under the direction of Monte Furrh of Bonham arrived in the Perry area first. Six volunteers worked 10-hour days for a week and completed seven time-consuming chainsaw jobs. That task included removing large limbs—known as widow-makers due to their dangerous potential to harm people if left in place—from damaged trees or helping homeowners with downed trees. Furrh’s team was relieved by another North Texas team directed by Jesse Hauptrief of Anna on Oct. 1. 

Florida homeowner Randy Newman posted his thanks for the SBTC DR team’s help on Facebook. “Them showing up to our house was a godsend,” Newman wrote. “They worked all day cutting trees, most of them ‘widow-makers.’ They started the day with a prayer for safety, our community, and for me and [my wife] personally. I can’t explain the true compassion they have for all of us involved in the storm.”

— Jane Rodgers

Prestonwood’s Corredera featured in ‘I am Second’ video

PLANO  Gilberto Corredera, pastor of Prestonwood en Español, was recently featured in the popular Christian testimony video series, “I Am Second.”

In the video, Corredera shares about his life journey. He accepted Christ as a teen in his native Cuba, where he also experienced his call to ministry. He eventually brought his family to America to seek a better life, but before long, found himself out of ministry and washing dishes to make a living. He says his “pride was broken” during that time, but he goes on to share how God eventually opened doors for him to minister once again. 

Now the pastor of one of Prestonwood’s fastest-growing ministries, Prestonwood en Español hosts three services and ministers to people in 19 nations. It is also featured on a weekly television program on Telemundo Dallas that is broadcast to thousands of people.

“I never really imagined God was going to take me out of a broken family from a small town … to bring me to a great nation and to a great church to share my faith and be a bearer of a message of hope to the nations,” Corredera says in the video. “It is what God can do by His grace.”

— Texan staff  

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