GARLAND–Julio Guarneri began his time of service as executive director of Texas Baptists with an all-staff luncheon hosted by the First Baptist Church in Garland, TX, on Thursday, Nov. 30.
Craig Christina, associate executive director, introduced Guarneri. “It takes a special person…it takes a person of conviction to say this is who we are, and this is what God’s calling us to be and do.”
“You have a humble spirit. You are full of grace and love and compassion, but you also are clear about who you are, and we love that about you,” Christina said.
Guarneri, addressing convention staff for the first time as executive director, expressed gratitude on behalf of him and his wife, Monica.
“We are just honored and elated at the opportunity to serve the Lord in this way,” he said. “We have felt your love…you have expressed your support for me in this new role and I really am grateful for that.”
Reflecting on the luncheon program led by First Baptist Garland’s minister of music and worship, Mark Hill, and music and worship associate, Clay Mobley, Guarneri pointed to the significance of the gospel message.
“In the midst of the laughter and food we are reminded it’s all about Jesus, right? It’s about knowing Jesus, it’s about worshiping Jesus and it’s about proclaiming him. That’s what we’re about. I am excited to be a part of this team,” he said.
Guarneri, who has spoken previously of his Texas Baptists roots, shared with ministry staff that he considers himself a product of Texas Baptists. He responded to the call to ministry at Congreso, was discipled and shaped by the Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) in Corpus Christi, was a recipient of Mary Hill Davis scholarship funds, studied at Dallas Baptist University, and was encouraged, inspired and mentored by various BGCT staff throughout his ministry.
“It’s been so exciting to watch you. All of you are doing just incredible things for the kingdom of God. I am honored to pray with you, to dream with you and then to work together for the sake of the kingdom, for the sake of the king,” said Guarneri.
Christina thanked staff for their support as he served as acting executive director beginning Jan. 1 until Guarneri’s start, calling the opportunity “one of the great joys” in his life.
Christina called on Oza Jones, director of African American Ministry, and David Miranda, director of Ministers Development and Missional Network, to pray over Guarneri and his wife as staff gathered around the couple.
Guarneri is scheduled to meet with Lubbock-area pastors at a luncheon on Dec. 15, with other similar gatherings to follow.
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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