We had a wonderful program courtesy of Free Will Baptist International Missions
By Marcus Brewer (State Office Coordinator)
The 103rd Annual Session of the Texas State Association of Free Will Baptists met June 7-9 at the Collin Creek Church in Plano. The schedule was full of events including worship services, seminars and workshops, fellowship, and business. This year’s theme was “Go Global”, and we were privileged to have representatives from Free Will Baptist International Missions to join us for this meeting and fill much of our program.
Sam McVay and Jerry Gibbs led a workshop for pastors and workers on Wednesday afternoon, to help us consider the needs of missionaries who are visiting our churches to raise support and what we can do to help maximize those visits.
Wednesday evening marked the formal beginning of the meeting and, after great music by the Collin Creek praise team and their Patch Club youth group, David Outlaw delivered a tremendous message on the Biblical basis for missions. In that message, the estimated 115 people in attendance heard David describe missions events throughout the Bible starting with Abraham in Genesis 12 and ending in Revelation, narrating a consistent Biblical theme from the beginning to the end of the Book.
Thursday morning provided an opportunity for attendees to learn more about what FWB IM is doing around the world and learn more about the needs, concerns, and accomplishments of our missionaries in their various fields of service. Among the topics of discussion, we learned about programs such as ETEAM and CMP, and we learned about what items make up a typical missionary’s monthly budget. Sam McVay, Jerry Gibbs, Jaimie Lancaster, David Outlaw, Dennis Teague, and Lazaro Riesgo took turns sharing prepared information, answering questions, and sharing their experiences with those present.
Thursday afternoon was our traditional opening business session, where we heard Marcus Brewer deliver the Moderator’s Message about trends in the Texas population and how God is bringing the world’s mission field to us, if we will take advantage of the opportunities that the Holy Spirit leads us to. We also heard reports and updates from our national and denominational ministries to learn of new activities and events across the country.
Thursday night’s worship service was again opened with music by the Collin Creek praise team before turning it over to the IM team to take us on a virtual tour of the world. Sam McVay, Jaimie and Tammy Lancaster, Dennis and Carol Teague, and Lazaro Riesgo shared facts about each country or field where Free Will Baptists have missionaries, as well as details of some of our missionaries and the people that they minister to. It was a great opportunity to easily see where our missionaries serve and learn how to pray for them and support them.
Friday morning was the closing business session, where we heard reports from our state boards and committees, elected officers for 2018, and took care of remaining business. In that session, the body voted to approve a $34,100 budget for the State Office for 2018, voted to give $4,000 to International Missions to offset their travel expenses and show appreciation for their service, and accepted the invitation of the Pine Prairie Church in Huntsville to host the 2018 Annual Meeting.
Finally, we are looking for your feedback on the scheduling and programming of the State Meeting, and we are always on the lookout for potential hosts of future annual meetings. At the State Meeting this year we distributed a printed survey to ask people about their preferences on scheduling, timing, and program content of the meeting. If you were unable to complete one of those surveys in person, we would like to invite you to complete it electronically. You can complete the survey one of two ways: either by requesting and returning the survey’s Word file, or by going to our SurveyMonkey page and answering the questions there. Both surveys ask the same questions, so just complete the survey once per person. All responses will be treated as anonymous, unless you wish your name to be attached to your answers. Whether you attend the State Meeting every year or you have never attended (or anywhere in between), we would like to get your feedback on what would make our meeting more enjoyable and more effective. Please help us by going to our online survey, or if you prefer, we can send you a copy of the Word file and you can fill out the survey form and return it by e-mail.
If you have any questions or discussion about these or any other item, please contact the state office at firstname.lastname@example.org. Many thanks to the good folks at Collin Creek for hosting this year’s meeting, and we’ll see you in Huntsville next year!