GALVESTON — On Monday, Nov. 15, at the 2021 Texas Baptists Annual Meeting, a group of over 200 missions-minded individuals gathered to celebrate the work being done through the ministries of the Center for Missional Engagement and give glory to God for the fruit.
Dustin Payne, church starter for Texas Baptists in the Houston area, opened the dinner with ministry updates. In 2021, the Center for Missional Engagement, in partnership with churches across the state, served a total of 583,086 people in some capacity. Through this ministry, the Center saw 7,769 professions of faith across its ministries and recorded more than 1,300 baptisms.
Many church plants also began over the past year, with 22 traditional churches, 16 house churches, 53 Missionary Adoption Program partner churches and nine River Ministry churches planted. Additionally, partnership with churches and pastors in the Pacific Northwest remained strong and over 3,000 pastors in the state of Texas and beyond received training through the Center.
“It’s been a rough year, but the church is still working,” Payne said. “The spirit of God cares for you and your church, and there’s so much to celebrate.”
Executive Director David Hardage was present and spoke encouragement to the group, emphasizing the diversity of the Texas Baptists family and their unity in Christ.
Ed Stetzer, executive director of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College, brought a message from Matthew 24:14, reminding participants that the gospel is for people all across the globe.
“All different kinds of people around the world need to hear the gospel, and God has called Texas Baptists to be a significant part of spreading the gospel around the world,” said Stetzer.
“The Center for Missional Engagement engages the nations right here in Texas.”
Payne shared about the ministry BOUNCE Student Disaster Recovery and Student Church Planting has been doing, particularly in the Galveston/Houston area. He introduced John Eckeberger, director of 4B Disaster Response Network, who shared about the great work BOUNCE students have engaged in in the area, particularly in response to Hurricane Harvey.
Eckeberger presented a plaque to David Scott, director of BOUNCE, in appreciation for the over 200 BOUNCE students who have come to work in 19 locations in South Texas since BOUNCE’s inception in 2014.
Those in attendance at the banquet also packed 500 hygiene kits to send to the Texas-Mexico border. These kits will be distributed by Texas Baptist River Ministry and Mexico Missions to refugee families in need of assistance.
Texas Baptists is a movement of God’s people to share Christ and show love by strengthening churches and ministers, engaging culture and connecting the nations to Jesus.
The ministry of the convention is made possible by giving through the Texas Baptists Cooperative Program, Mary Hill Davis Offering® for Texas Missions, Texas Baptists Worldwide and Texas Baptist Missions Foundation. Thank you for your faithful and generous support.
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