GALVESTON– On Sunday, Nov. 14, Texas Baptists en Español began this year’s annual meeting by hosting a rally at First Baptist Church in Galveston. The rally included a number of prominent speakers and pastors representing Hispanic churches throughout the state. The overall message and feeling was one of community. As Texas Baptists en Español celebrated its one-year anniversary, attendees were joyous to gather in person and share in fellowship with one another.
The emphasis of the rally was on the Great Commission and Great Commandment and how to not only preach the gospel, but also live it in a manner that is pleasing towards the Lord.
After enjoying a meal and introductions, the group joined in a special time of worship and adoration.
Following this time of worship, Dallas Baptist University presented the Dr. Gary Cook's Servant Leadership Award to Arvin Benjamin Chavez, pastor of the Iglesia Bautista Monte Sinai in Midland. Chavez was profoundly moved upon receiving this award and took the opportunity to thank the Lord for His faithfulness, as well as his parents, siblings and wife.
Julio Guarneri, first vice president of Texas Baptist, shared a message, focusing on the Great Commission, found in Matthew 28:18-20, and the Great Commandment, found in Mark 12:30-31. He began by acknowledging the different hardships brought about by Covid-19 and all the spiritual and physical needs the pandemic highlighted.
In the midst of this great need, Guarneri encouraged the congregation in their purpose as followers of Christ based on John 15:10.
“Today, we remember that our calling as Christians is to know the love of God – in all its abundance. When we know His love, we’ll want to do all He has called us to. To love God is to obey Him, and in order to obey Him, we must know His immense love for us,” shared Guarneri.
Guarneri continued his message by reminding the congregation that the Great Commission and Great Commandment must go together.
Guarneri highlighted Peter’s story following Jesus’ resurrection. Peter had denied Christ three times and broken the close communion he had with Jesus due to his disbelief. In spite of this, Jesus restores Peter’s position as a fisher of men and commands him to care and love His flock.
“As we get out of this pandemic, most of us are tired and filled with uncertainty, however I am reminded and find courage in Peter’s story and how Christ redeemed Him. In the same way, if we seek the Lord and spend time in His word, He will equip us to share His love,” said Guarneri.
The rally concluded with a prayer and blessing by Rolando Guzman, President of the National Baptist Convention of Mexico, who also echoed Guarneri’s speech by expressing the great need for evangelism amongst the people of Mexico.