Paramount Amarillo sees marks of vitality

God is moving in the student ministry as well as the college and young adult ministry at Paramount Baptist Church in Amarillo. During the summer, about 25 junior high and high school students came to faith in Christ and were baptized. Photo Submitted

AMARILLOParamount Baptist Church in Amarillo has given more than $1 million through its world missions offering in the past five years; God is moving among young adults and a Hispanic ministry is thriving—all these circumstances prompt pastor Andrew Hebert to say the church is moving forward.

“Like a lot of other churches, our attendance is not what it was prior to the pandemic. We’re certainly down in our attendance, but I think that we are as healthy as we have been since I’ve been the pastor,” Hebert, pastor since 2016, told the TEXAN.

“We’ve seen God do some really neat things in terms of bringing people to faith in Christ, people being discipled and leading their friends to Christ. I think God has done some pruning, and we’re seeing … fruit.”

Seventy-five percent of Paramount’s world missions offering goes to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for international missions, and 25 percent goes to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American missions. 

In addition to giving, the church has a partnership in the Middle East and has sent teams multiple times a year for the past five years, except during the time interrupted by COVID. Paramount also has worked with the North American Mission Board to plant a church in Denver most recently. 

A neighborhood church with an international reach

Paramount began as a plant of First Baptist Church in Amarillo in 1958 when neighborhood churches were the norm, and the Paramount neighborhood was drawing young families. The founding pastor was Chester O’Brien, who went on to serve as executive director of the Baptist Convention of New Mexico. Hebert is only the fourth pastor, demonstrating the church’s long-tenured leadership.

Before COVID, as many as 300 students a year were learning English at all levels through ESL classes at Paramount Baptist Church in Amarillo, and more than 30 languages were represented. Photo Submitted

Through the years, “looking to the least of these, people who are kind of on the margins or maybe forgotten by a lot of people,” has been part of Paramount’s DNA, Hebert said. The church started a deaf church about 20 years ago when it noticed a growing need.

Before COVID, as many as 300 students a year were learning English at all levels through Paramount’s English as a Second Language classes. That number has fallen to around 100, but Hebert expects it to rebound.

“We have one of the largest per capita refugee populations in the state of Texas in Amarillo, and it’s a great way to reach people from all kinds of nations,” the pastor said. “Often times we’ll have 30-plus different languages represented in our ESL ministry.”

Another compassion ministry at Paramount is disaster relief, and the church sends out a team that includes other churches in the Texas Panhandle almost monthly, Hebert said. Nearly 30 people came to faith in Christ through the group’s recent efforts in Louisiana with SBTC Disaster Relief.

A unique ministry at Paramount is Doxa, the largest dance studio in the Panhandle, which was drawing well over 500 students for ballet pre-pandemic. The wife of Paramount’s worship pastor has a professional dance background and a heart for worshiping God through dance. Each Christmas and each spring, “several thousand people” see a biblical story—such as the life of Daniel or Joseph—portrayed and “also hear a very clear gospel presentation,” Hebert said.

Amarillo’s sole Hispanic Baptist ministry

Paramount has now what Hebert called “the only Hispanic Baptist work in Amarillo.”

“There were a couple of other Hispanic Baptist churches that closed during the pandemic, so now if you speak Spanish and you want to go to a Baptist church, Paramount en Espanol is your only option,” he said.

"There were a couple of other Hispanic Baptist churches that closed during the pandemic, so now if you speak Spanish and you want to go to a Baptist church, Paramount en Espanol is your only option."

Andrew Hebert, pastor of Paramount BC in Amarillo Tweet

Sixty to 70 Hispanics attend the Spanish language service, which meets at the same time as the English service at Paramount. The church has a Hispanic student ministry and a fulltime pastor of Hispanic ministries.

“With the immigration trends being what they are in the state of Texas, our state is becoming a majority Hispanic state, and that’s going to be a trend that increases,” Hebert said, “so we want to make sure that we’re doing everything we can to reach our neighbors for Jesus.”

Of students and CP

God is doing something special with Paramount’s student ministry as well as the college and young adult ministry, Hebert said. During the summer, about 25 junior high and high school students came to faith in Christ and were baptized.

“We’re not doing what I would call anything fancy in terms of our ministry. It’s not a show. There’s not lights and fog machines and stuff like that,” he said. “We preach the Bible. We stress things like evangelism and discipleship and missions and prayer, and God is just moving among young people.”

Cooperative Program giving is a priority at Paramount because it’s “the best thing going,” Hebert said, adding that it’s “one of the reasons that I am enthusiastic to be a Southern Baptist.

“The Cooperative Program is really a wise way of leveraging our resources so that whether you’re a large church or a small church you can be part of some really significant things in terms of getting the gospel to the ends of the earth,” Hebert said.

TEXAN Correspondent
Erin Roach
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