attended my first Southern Baptist Convention meeting in 1980 and served on the denominational calendar committee. Even though I attended the next 20 SBC meetings and served on [what is now the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission] and then the International Mission Board in later years, that was my most memorable time in the convention.
The big issue that year had to do with whether the convention would adopt a sanctity of human life Sunday on our calendar. We had never done that before, and I was surprised to find that some of our denominational leaders were opposed to it. It was my pleasure to cast the deciding vote to recommend that pro-life commemoration be added to the calendar. Convention messengers approved it in 1980.
My husband, Don, and I were also involved in the early days of starting a new, more conservative, convention in Texas. The Southern Baptists of Texas, Inc. was the predecessor to the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, and I was on the board for that. In fact, I had accumulated a mailing list for my work with various causes and we used that list to help build a newspaper list for the conservative Texas group. I also edited the Plumbline [the newspaper for the Southern Baptists of Texas, Inc.] for a while. When the new convention launched in 1998, I was one of those who became part of the new executive board.
I’ve been very involved in issues and public policy over the years. Don has been, as well. I’ve walked neighborhoods in support of candidates and policies. Don has lobbied in Austin to support facilities for young people who get in trouble. But none of those have turned out to be the most important thing we’ve done.
For years, Don and I have been involved in Pray America. Our group meets at our church, and we’ve had as many as 48 come to pray. We’ve had people from 11 churches involved and sometimes we have strangers come, sometimes candidates for local office come—they are starving for prayer. I’m sure not all of them are Christians so I always give them a Four Spiritual Laws tract. We just think America’s got some real problems. I was reading recently the things that Israel and Judah did when they rejected God. And the list in the prophets is exactly what we’re seeing in America. I don’t think if God judged Israel He’s going to just let us get away with the same things. We’re praying right now that God will tell us who to vote for the president. And He has a way of really showing us. We’ve seen so many miracles in this prayer group. God loves it.
Our pastor was driving with his brother from fishing late one night when someone shot at them. The bullet went right between them through the truck. He [David Wilson, pastor of Southcrest Baptist Church, Lubbock] came to our meeting and he just was so pleased. He said, “I believe y’all’s prayers saved our lives.”
Prayer is more important than [anything], and right now, God is the only one who can save America. I guess we just pray for America. That’s what we do.
I thought after my knee surgery that I might retire. And then a whole bunch of people showed up for our weekly prayer meeting and I knew I couldn’t retire. God doesn’t want it to end yet. So I’ve never told Him I was going to retire. Don and I are just going to keep on keeping on.
I guess that’s my story: Never give up! God has a time schedule, and I have seen enough miracles through this prayer group and the SBC that when it comes to God, He can do anything. And when we ask Him in faith, He may answer at a different time and in a different way, but I’ve seen Him answer many prayers. I just love seeing how prayer is the most important thing we can do. Nothing compares to it. We just ought to be thankful God gave it to us.