Southern Baptists of Texas Celebrate 20th Anniversary

The 20th anniversary of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention drew more than 1,300 Southern Baptists, including 1,027 messengers, to the SBTC’s annual meeting.

The theme for the milestone anniversary, “Entrusted: A Gospel Legacy for the Coming Generations,” came from 2 Timothy 2:2 and opened each session as pastors and denominational leaders preached from 2 Timothy 2-4.

SBC President J.D. Greear closed out the Nov. 12-13 meeting with a sermon Tuesday night. Second Baptist Church of Houston hosted the gathering at its North Campus in the Houston suburb of Kingwood.

The newest of the Southern Baptist state conventions, the SBTC was constituted on Nov. 10, 1998, during a meeting at Woodforest Baptist Church in Houston. Current SBTC leader Jim Richards is the convention’s founding executive director.

During a post-session reception Monday night, Richards recognized those who helped create the convention as well as current and former board members, presidents, committee members and employees, recalling the challenges that accompanied starting a convention from the ground up.

Rocky Weatherford, board chairman from 1999-2001, recalled a conversation he had with Richards the day Richards became executive director.

“I can remember telling you that day that if God called you to this, you needed to forget all the disagreement and just go on and go forward. Follow where God leads,” Weatherford said. “And you answered and you did that and you’ve done that for the last 20 years. I’m really grateful for what you’ve done. I know that God called you there and God used you for His glory. And like Paul Harvey says, The rest is history.”

“One hundred and twenty churches had constituted a convention with no real assets,” Richards noted. “There were internal struggles in the first couple of years, but by God’s grace we pressed on. Good and godly men and women paid the price to follow the guiding principle of being loyal to the inerrant Word of God.”

Richards continued, “Should Jesus not return until 20 years from now, my prayer is that He will find a group of churches known as the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention faithfully working together to exalt His name.” He voiced thanks to the convention “for the privilege you have allowed me to serve you these two decades.”

The next day, messengers approved a resolution that praised God for blessing and growing the “confessional fellowship of churches” from 120 churches in 1998 to more than 2,700 churches today and recognized Richards for his 20 years as SBTC executive director.

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Source: Baptist Press