At this year’s annual meeting we welcomed into our association Line Camp Cowboy Church, a new congregation planted by First Baptist, Liberty. Just one year old, Line Camp is already approaching 100 in attendance and has baptized several new believers. They have property and are making plans to construct their first unit — an arena.
That congregation’s success shows what can happen when we are faithful to follow the New Testament practice of planting new churches. Through Line Camp’s ministry, we have seen long-time church members re-energized, inactive Christians drawn back into fellowship, and lost men and women ushered into the Kingdom.
We need every church we have. Each is unique and valuable and necessary. Our churches exist because God desires them to exist.
I hope each of our churches will reach for Jesus as many people as possible. But I also hope that each of our churches will prayerfully consider planting a new church in order to reach the rest.
We will gladly share a one-day Church Planting 101 Seminar with your church if you are interested in learning more.
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Some TRBA highlights since last annual meeting:
• We conducted our first (Nov. 14, 2015) and second (Aug. 27, 2016) Men Alive Outdoor Expo events at the TVE Fairgrounds. Attendance grew from 188 the first year to 442 this year. There were 14 commitments to Christ after Jay Lowder, evangelist, shared the Gospel.
• We participated in our second Mission Lone Star, sharing our three-minute testimonies under a tent at the Nov. 5-7 Lone Star Motorcycle Rally in Galveston. Of the 1,031 who stopped at the tent, 269 were saved.
• Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Dallas, spoke at our Jan. 24 Evangelism Rally as we set a record TRBA event attendance of 463.
• Through the year we also had other special guests: Augie Boto, Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, Christmas Fellowship; Hollas and Nelda Hoffman, oil field chaplains, A Heart for Missions Banquet; Jimmy Draper, president emeritus of LifeWay, Pastor and Wives Banquet; Mark Kroos playing his two-neck guitar, April Executive Board; Robert Burkhardt, comedian, Volunteer Banquet.
• We entered into a five-year partnership covenant with Emmanuel Baptist Church in Rochester, Minn., and sent our first team to help them with a summer outreach event.
• Our food pantry was switched from an “on demand” system to a twice-a-month schedule. The set time and dedicated volunteers enable us to more effectively minister to the physical and spiritual needs of people.
• More than 30 men and women received yellow cap certification through Texas Baptist Men disaster relief training at Old River Baptist.
• David Adams and John Litzler from Texas Baptists trained churches how to respond to cultural changes related to same sex marriage.
• BGCT gave our association an Evangelistic Block Party Trailer which is already in high demand by our churches.
• More than 35 local restaurants and businesses partnered with TRBA to provide a Sept. 9 appreciation breakfast to first responders.
• We are nearing the end of our second year-long Pastor Essentials Class and expect to graduate 15 men in December (up from eight last year).
Looking forward to another year,