Reyes Elected Convention President; Baylor Regents Appointed

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Nov. 9, 2004

By John Hall, Newswriter for the BGCT

SAN ANTONIO - Albert Reyes, president of Baptist University of the Americas and husband of Baylor Regent Belinda Reyes, was named the first non-Anglo president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas Nov. 8.

Messengers elected Reyes, who served as first vice president of the convention last year, by acclamation. He is the second consecutive institution president to be named convention president, following Buckner Baptist Benevolences President Ken Hall.

Charles Johnson, pastor of Trinity Baptist Church who nominated Reyes, said the university president's unique perspective is a perfect fit for a convention facing an increasingly Hispanic state.

Texas seems destined to become a primarily Hispanic state in the coming decades, Johnson said. The convention is at a "historic crossroads" where churches must minister among a multitude of cultures. Reyes can help congregations do that.

"No one is more uniquely equipped to lead us into this new era of mission and ministry," he said.

Reyes inherits a convention in the middle of a massive reorganization effort. It is primed to overhaul its governance system, spread its executive board staff across the state and implement a new vision, pending approval by annual meeting messengers this afternoon. Officials also are trying to more strongly include non-Anglos and younger generations in leadership positions.

Prior to becoming Baptist University of the Americas president, Reyes was the founding pastor of Pueblo Nuevo Community Church in El Paso. He has been chairman of the Hispanic Outreach Task Force of the White House Initiative for Hispanic Academic Excellence.

Reyes is a board member of the Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs and Texas Baptists Committed. He was a trustee of Valley Baptist Academy.

He earned master's and doctoral degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and is working on another doctorate from Andrews University. He holds a bachelor's degree from Angelo State University. His wife, Belinda, earned a bachelor of science degree in speech-language pathology magna cum laude from Baylor in 1981.

The Reyes have three sons - Joshua, David and Thomas.

The BGCT also elected Duane Brooks, pastor of Tallowood Baptist Church in Houston, to serve on the Baylor Board of Regents. Wes Bailey of Waco and Randy Ferguson of Austin were re-elected to another three-year term on the board. Their new terms begin June 1, 2005.

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