SBTC celebrates 10th anniversary at annual meeting in Houston, raises SBC causes to 55 percent

HOUSTON ? Hosted by Houston’s First Baptist Church, the annual meeting of Southern Baptists of Texas Convention returned, Nov. 10-11, to the city where the convention was launched.

“In 1998, conservative Southern Baptists living in Texas saw the need for a new state convention that would work in cooperation with and not in competition with the Southern Baptist Convention,” recalled SBTC President Bob Pearle, pastor of Birchman Baptist Church in Fort Worth.

“They saw the need for a convention that subscribed to the inerrant, infallible Scripture without caveat ? heavy on missions and light on bureaucracy,” he added.

The 1,033 registered messengers and 546 guests celebrating the convention’s growth from 120 to 2,079 affiliated churches credited God’s provision in funding budgets that increased from $903,500 in 1999 to $20,935,548 in 2008. Messengers approved a budget of $24,548,566 for 2009 ? an increase of nearly 14 percent.

“We come today to celebrate our heritage with praise to God after a decade of sovereign blessings and divine direction,” Pearle said. “We celebrate God’s goodness to us knowing we stand today not because of human ingenuity but because of the multitudinous blessings of almighty God on our convention.”

Pearle recognized members of the 1998 search committee that “God led to an individual who has done an excellent job in formulating and bringing together this convention to its dynamic state today,” said Pearle, alluding to SBTC Executive Director Jim Richards.

Richards and his wife, June, were honored with a globe for their decade of service, “since Jim has the world on his heart,” Pearle said.

Richards declared in his report, “SBTC does not equivocate or vacillate.We stand firmly on the foundation of a confessional fellowship. Our vision remains unchanged.”

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