The Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT) met last week for its annual meeting. The theme for the meeting was “Texas, Our Texas”. When I first heard this theme I couldn’t help but think, here we go again, building up Texas. Well we did build up Texas and all its diversity. The Monday night gathering celebrated the mission work being done in Texas and beyond. The question, “Texas, which Texas?” was asked at this gathering. Were we talking about the 5,600 churches that are member congregations of the BGCT or the 135 Western Heritage churches or the numerous Hispanic congregations or the institutions that are part of the BGCT? Perhaps we were talking about the Texas where there are two of the 20 poorest counties in the entire United States or where one million people live who don’t know where they will get their next meal or the 11.3 million peope who claim to have no church affiliation. We were talking about all of these.
Texas HOPE 2010 was introduced by executive director, Randal Everett. This is a three-fold emphasis that calls on baptists to pray for the needs and salvation of Texans, care about their needs and put that care into action by demonstrating and sharing God’s love.
There were 1,891 registered messengers and 713 visitors in attendance. We met old friends, made new friends, explored the resource fair, heard preachers preach, elected officers, conducted other business and celebrated missions. The CBF booth was a busy place for people to meet and talk. There was great chocolate, too! Thanks, Amy!
I thought the meeting was uneventful. There were very few motions made and no one rushing to the microphones to speak either to introduce new business or speak to a motion during the business sessions. Officers were elected. They were David Lowrie, president; Carolyn Strickland, 1st vice president; Bobby Broyles, 2nd vice president. In other business, the New Visioning Committee made a motion to change the name of the Baptist General Convention of Texas to Texas Baptist Convention. This motion was referred to the Executive Board for further consideration.
Which Texas? Was it west Texas, east Texas, the hill country, the valley, or the metroplex? Was it rural churches, urban churches, Hispanic churches, western heritage churches, ethnic churches, church starts, churches with intentional interims? Well, it’s all of these and more. As I sat in the meetings and heard the reports and watched the videos, I began to realize the theme was appropriate for this meeting. It’s going to take all of us to meet the needs and share the love of Christ to all in Texas and the world.