On March 15, the CDC recommended gatherings of 50 people or more be canceled or postponed for a span of eight weeks. In light of this recommendation, and in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, all Texas Baptist events scheduled to take place from March 15 through Apr. 15 have been postponed. Events beyond this 30-day window will be evaluated by leadership on a rolling basis. Churches and ministry partners are encouraged to heed gathering restrictions implemented by local governments and continue to follow state and federal guidelines as well.
In addition, Texas Baptist offices have been closed for the week of March 16. This closure will also be evaluated by leadership on a rolling basis for the foreseeable future. Ministry staff will continue to work remotely and can be reached through their Texas Baptist office and mobile phones and email addresses. Click here to view contact information. Staff may also be reached via the convention’s toll-free number at (888) 244-9400. Visits to physical offices are discouraged at this time since staff will be working remotely. Staff have also been asked to refrain from travel through Apr. 15.
In addition to ensuring staff safety and directing rapidly changing ministry operations, Convention staff continue to seek ways to support churches during this time. Texas Baptists Preschool and Children’s Ministry joined with BaptistWay Press to make one month of Bible study resources for parents and teachers available at no cost. Resources for children can be accessed here. Resources for pre-schoolers can be accessed here. Churches are encouraged to emphasize faithful giving during the midst of the pandemic to support a faithful response. This resource is available for churches in need of support for online giving.
Though events are being postponed, ministry opportunities abound. TBM, the disaster relief arm of Texas Baptists, is expected to announce a large scale deployment with numerous training and volunteer opportunities soon. Last week, 70 students on Spring Break in South Padre Island gave their lives to Christ through the ministry of Beach Reach. While the second week of Beach Reach was canceled this year, churches are invited to join in a prayer movement for God to work in the lives of students on the island this week. Here is a guide for ways to pray for Beach Reach.
Further updates will continue to be posted to the COVID-19 Response page.