Texas Baptists Convene On Baylor Campus For Annual Meeting
Clifford S. Cheney IV / Baylor Photography
by Judy Long
Dr. Charles Wade, executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, addressed the BGCT's opening assembly Nov. 11 in the Ferrell Center at Baylor University. An international flavor permeated Wade's address as he focused on the cooperation of Texas Baptist churches in mission work, both within the state and worldwide.
Dr. Paul Stripling, executive director of the Waco Baptist Association, opened the meeting in prayer, and Baylor University President Robert B. Sloan Jr. welcomed the delegates to Waco and the campus. Sloan spoke briefly of Baylor's goal to become a tier-one university while remaining true to its traditional aim of educating young Christians while instilling in them a sense of life calling.
After Wade conducted opening business and recognized first-time ministers and members of the military, a Korean children's choir in traditional dress sang in Korean and English.
Wade spoke to the convention's messengers on "Our Partnership in the Gospel," in which he praised the local Baptists associations he has worked with during his three years as executive director of the BGCT. He challenged Baptists to meet the needs of new Texas residents and those with exceptional needs.
Since Texas Baptists give more than one billion dollars to mission efforts in Texas and around the world, Wade introduced the idea of a world missions network, which the BGCT Executive Board's Missions Review and Initiatives committee approved during the meeting.
Wade said the world missions network is being established to help Texas Baptists connect with ministries worldwide. He encouraged every Texas Baptist church to sponsor a mission trip in the next five years and "have ongoing mission ministries in their own communities, as well as long-term involvement in some mission point or points in their Samaria and unto the uttermost parts of the world."
The two-day meeting of Texas Baptists concludes Nov. 12 in Waco. As a host site of the convention's main sessions, Baylor welcomed alumni and friends at a hospitality tent set up outside the Ferrell Center and to a dessert reception Monday night following the conclusion of convention business.
Less than two miles away, the Waco Convention Center hosted additional BGCT sessions. Messengers also visited more than 100 booths representing Baptist agencies, organizations, ministries and schools, colleges and universities, including Baylor and George W. Truett Theological Seminary.