Unification to integration: a brief history of the Hispanic Baptist Convention of Texas: my first experience with the Hispanic Baptist Convention of Texas (HBCT) was as a Royal Ambassador staffer working with Noe Vella, director of Royal Ambassadors at Primera Iglesia Bautista in Corpus Christi, Texas.
In the summer of 1976, Vella, under the leadership of our pastor Rudy Sanchez, led the Royal Ambassadors in planning a day camp for the children of messengers to the annual meeting of the HBCT HBCT Hispanic Baptist Convention of Texas
HBCT Heavy Brigade Combat Team (US Army)
HBCT Historically Black College Tour
HBCT Home-Based Care Team
HBCT Hepatitis B Core Total
HBCT Hyundai Busan Container Terminal . Since then I have experienced the HBCT as a member of Primera Iglesia Bautista of Arlington, Texas Arlington is a city in Tarrant County, Texas (USA) within the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan area. According to a U.S Census Bureau release, as of July 1, 2006 Arlington has an estimated population of 367,197. (a mission of First Baptist Church First Baptist Church may refer to many churches: Canada
The City of Dallas (pronounced [ˈdæl.əs] or [ˈdæl. . Over the past twenty-eight years during my involvement with the HBCT, the convention has focused primarily on first-generation Hispanic Baptists but has also opened itself to bilingual and bicultural bi·cul·tur·al
Of or relating to two distinct cultures in one nation or geographic region: bicultural education.
bi·cul or acculturated Hispanics during various periods of its history.
During the years I held membership at First Baptist Church of Euless, Pueblo Nuevo Pueblo Nuevo (Spanish: "New Town") is a toponym shared by several places:
MBCT Medium Brigade Combat Team (formerly Interim Brigade Combat Team; US Army) ) and the Baptist General Convention of Texas The Baptist General Convention of Texas is the oldest surviving Baptist convention in the state of Texas. Background
There were Baptists among the first Anglo-American settlers of Texas, but under Spain (and later Mexico), non-Catholic religious worship was prohibited. (BGCT BGCT Baptist General Convention of Texas ). This brief article will explore the history of the MBCT prior to unification, the establishment of the unification agreement, and the future relationship between MBCT and BGCT in light of my own spiritual pilgrimage and ministry.
Pre-Unification Developments: Mexican Baptist Convention of Texas
The MBCT traces its origin to 1910, the year of formal organization of Mexican Baptist work in Texas. (1) During that year, Francisco I. Madero, a member of one of the leading families in northern Mexico, fled to San Antonio, Texas “San Antonio” redirects here. For other uses, see San Antonio (disambiguation).
San Antonio is the second most populous city in Texas, the third most populous metropolitan area in Texas, and is the seventh most populous city in the United States. As of the 2006 U.S. . (2) There, he developed a plan that led to the Mexican Revolution Mexican Revolution
(1910–20) Lengthy struggle that began with the overthrow of Porfirio Díaz, whose elitist and oligarchic policies had caused widespread dissatisfaction. known as Mexico's civil war. During this war to overthrow the oppressive dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz, as many as one million Mexicans met their death or fled the country, streaming into the Lone Star Lone Star (or Lonestar) may refer to:
The first Mexican Baptist church in Texas was organized in 1886 in Laredo. (4) Josue Grijalva, however, dated the founding of Primera Iglesia Bautista Mexicana de Laredo in 1883. (5) There in Laredo, John O. Westrup laid the foundation for Baptist work in Mexico and for the First Mexican Baptist Church of Laredo. Westrup's significant contributions to the early stages of the development of Mexican Baptist work in Texas merit attention.
Westrup was born in London, England, in 1840 and arrived in Veracruz, Mexico with his parents, John and Catalina Andres Westrup, and their seven children on May 3, 1852. John Westrup, Sr., was a mechanical engineer and specialized in the construction of flour mills. He was hired by Vicente Diaz Gollano to construct a flour mill on one of his estates in San Miguel de Allende San Miguel de Allende is the seat of the municipality of Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico, a historic town founded in 1542 that has become an attractive tourist destination for wealthy Mexico City residents and has a large American and Canadian expatriate community comprised primarily . Westrup planned to return to England upon completing his contract but was unable to do so. (6)
As early as 1837, a plea for missionaries was sent from Washington, Texas, for missionaries to come and work in Texas. (7) Requests were also being made for missionary help from Mexico. In 1862, Thomas Martin Westrup, brother of the younger John Westrup, invited James Hickey James Hickey and Jim Hickey may refer to:
See also: Bible of New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of and was working in Matamoros, Mexico. (8) As soon as Hickey arrived in Monterrey, he began selling Bibles and evangelizing while traveling through several states in northern Mexico. In 1864, Hickey organized the First Mexican Baptist Church of Monterrey, Mexico. (9) This church is considered to be the first evangelical church Evangelical Church: see Evangelical United Brethren Church. organized in Mexico and in all of Central and South America South America, fourth largest continent (1991 est. pop. 299,150,000), c.6,880,000 sq mi (17,819,000 sq km), the southern of the two continents of the Western Hemisphere. . (10)
Texas Baptists also demonstrated an interest in doing missionary work Noun 1. missionary work - the organized work of a religious missionary
work - activity directed toward making or doing something; "she checked several points needing further work"
da'wah, dawah - missionary work for Islam in Latin America Latin America, the Spanish-speaking, Portuguese-speaking, and French-speaking countries (except Canada) of North America, South America, Central America, and the West Indies. and sent William Buck and Anne Luther Bagby as their first missionaries to Brazil in 1881. (11) By 1880, John Westrup had been named a missionary by the Southern Baptist Noun 1. Southern Baptist - a member of the Southern Baptist Convention
Southern Baptist Convention - an association of Southern Baptists
Baptist - follower of Baptistic doctrines Convention's Foreign Mission Board. He worked alongside his brother Thomas, who served as a pastor in Mexico. In that same year, John Westrup began Baptist work in Laredo, Texas. Dining one of his trips to Coahuila, Mexico, he and his companion were assaulted and murdered. (12)
Over the next twenty-four years, the Years, The
the seven decades of Eleanor Pargiter’s life. [Br. Lit.: Benét, 1109]
See : Time Mexican Baptist work in Texas continued to develop. Over two-dozen congregations were planted when twenty-four churches sent thirty-six messengers to organize the MBCT in San Antonio, Texas, in 1910. (13) That same year, Francisco I. Madero was in San Antonio drafting his plan to begin the Mexican Revolution.
At the very onset of Mexican Baptist history in Texas, Mexicans who came to faith in the newly established Texas Republic became members of both Mexican Baptist congregations and Anglo Baptist congregations in Texas. The First Baptist Church of San Antonio, organized on January 20, 1861, welcomed into its membership as a founding member Mrs. William G. Cook (Angela Maria de Jesus Maria de Jesus dos Santos (born September 10, 1893) is a Portuguese supercentenarian, and, as of August 13, 2007, the second-oldest person in the world. She has been the oldest verified living person in Portugal since the death of fellow 114-year-old Maria do Couto Maia-Lopes on Navarro), the daughter of the famous Alamo Alamo
Eighteenth-century mission in San Antonio, Texas, site of a historic siege of a small group of Texans by a Mexican army (1836) during the Texas war for independence from Mexico. hero Jose Antonio Navarro. (14)
The development of Mexican Baptist work in Texas began to grow with churches bearing the name Primera Iglesia Bautista Mexicana (First Mexican Baptist Church) established in San Antonio (1888), El Paso (1892), Beeville (1900), Corpus Christi Corpus Christi, in Christianity
Corpus Christi [Lat.,=body of Christ], feast of the Western Church, observed on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday (or on the following Sunday). (1911), and Dallas (1918). (15) Some of the central figures who guided the formation of the MBCT included missionaries such as Thomas Westrup and C. D. Daniel. (16) In the 1940s, the MBCT began to grow and establish its own ministries and institutions. During that decade, Mexican Baptists in Texas established four institutions to support the work of their churches. The first was the Bible Institute of Bastrop, established by Paul C. Bell in 1940. Bell also served as pastor of the Primera Iglesia Bautista Mexicana in Bastrop. The Mexican Baptist Children's Home children's home n → centro de acogida para niños
children's home n → foyer m d'accueil (pour enfants)
children's home n (currently known as Baptist Child and Family Services Child and family services are nonprofit organizations designed to better the well being of individuals who come from unfortunate situations, environmental or biological. ) was established by Perry F. Webb in San Antonio, Texas. The Valley Baptist Academy (currently known as the Valley Baptist Missions Education Center) was established by Paul J. Siebenmann in 1946 to instruct Mexican and Texan youth through secondary education. The Mexican Baptist Bible Institute (currently known as Baptist University of the Americas) was established by Siebenmann in 1947 in San Antonio to train ministers. (17) By 1950, the MBCT had grown and matured due to excellent leadership and its provision of vital ministries for Mexicans and Tejanos in Texas.
During this same period, Texas Baptists were also at work. They formed numerous Baptist congregations, organized the Union Baptist Association in 1840, established the Texas Baptist Education Society and the Texas Baptist Mission Society in 1841, founded Baylor University Baylor University, mainly at Waco, Tex.; coeducational; chartered and opened 1845 by Baptists (see Baylor, Robert E. B.) at Independence, moved 1886 and absorbed Waco Univ. (chartered 1861). The library has a noted Robert Browning collection. in 1845, and formed the Baptist State Convention in 1848, the same year that the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe established Texas as part of the United States of America UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. The name of this country. The United States, now thirty-one in number, are Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, . In 1886, Texas Baptists formed the Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT). (18) In addition to Baylor University, several other colleges relating to relating to relate prep → concernant
relating to relate prep → bezüglich +gen, mit Bezug auf +acc the Baptist General Convention of Texas were opened: Howard Payne College in 1890, Simmons University in 1891 (later renamed Hardin-Simmons University Hardin-Simmons University (or HSU) is a private Baptist university located in Abilene, Texas. Founded in 1891 as The Abilene Baptist University, HSU has since grown. ), North Texas Baptist College in 1891, Northwest Baptist College in 1893, and Decatur Baptist College in 1897 (later named Dallas Baptist University Dallas Baptist University (DBU), formerly known as Dallas Baptist College, is a Christian liberal arts university located in Dallas, Texas, USA. History
DBU began as Decatur Baptist College in Decatur, Texas, in 1898. ). (19) The BGCT began to grow and prosper in every measurable way. By 1915, it included 3,623 churches with over 352,409 resident members and annual gifts of $2,021,676. (20)
The work of Texas Baptists preceded the Mexican Baptist work in Texas by approximately fifty years. By the late 1950s, the BGCT had developed a complex network of congregations, associations, educational institutions, human welfare institutions, and a strong state convention in a position to incorporate Mexican Baptist work in Texas.
During the early development of Mexican Baptist congregations and institutions in Texas in the 1930s and 1940s, my family came to faith in Jesus Christ Jesus Christ: see Jesus.
40 days after Resurrection, ascended into heaven. [N.T.: Acts 1:1–11]
See : Ascension
kind to the poor, forgiving to the sinful. [N.T. through the work of missionaries and Baptist churches. A home missionary by the name of Edward R Gonzalez preached the gospel to my paternal grandparents grandparents npl → abuelos mpl
grandparents grand npl → grands-parents mpl
grandparents grand npl , Jose Maria Reyes and Francisca Rodriguez Reyes, and their nine children who worked as migrant-farm workers in West Texas on a ranch near Snyder. My grandparents eventually settled in Corpus Christi, and my father, Agustin Reyes, professed his faith in Christ and was baptized bap·tize
v. bap·tized, bap·tiz·ing, bap·tiz·es
1. To admit into Christianity by means of baptism.
a. To cleanse or purify.
b. To initiate.
3. into the membership of Primera Iglesia Bautista Mexicana of Corpus Christi.
My father's pastor and discipler was Ignacio E. Gonzalez, one of the most outstanding Mexican Baptist statesmen of the MBCT. Gonzalez served as president of the MBCT in 1959. As a life-long learner, he attended Texas State University (previously known as Southwest Texas State University) and graduated with his friend and classmate, Lyndon B. Johnson, who would become president of the United States The head of the Executive Branch, one of the three branches of the federal government.
The U.S. Constitution sets relatively strict requirements about who may serve as president and for how long. . Gonzalez attended Baylor University and later graduated from seminary. (21)
My wife of twenty-three years, Belinda Alvarado Reyes, is a native of Beeville, Texas Beeville is a city in Bee County, Texas, United States. The population was 13,129 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Bee CountyGR6. History and culture . She was a member of Primera Iglesia Bautista Mexicana of Beeville, where her great-uncle, Elias B. Perez, was pastor from 1920 to 1938 and then again from 1941 to 1942. (22) In the 1880s, Belinda's great-grandparents, Antonio and Ramona Mireles Perez, were members of a Mexican Baptist congregation in Skidmore, Texas Skidmore is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in Bee County, Texas, United States. The population was 1,013 at the 2000 census. Geography
Skidmore is located at (28.255244, -97. , just outside of Beeville. Her great-grandfather pastored that congregation. Belinda's grandmother, Raquel Perez Olivares, was a member of Primera Iglesia Bautista in Beeville for fifty-five years of the church's existence, and she and her husband Rafael Olivares were lifetime donors to Primera's ministry. Belinda's parents, Baldemar Juarez Alvarado, pastor of Iglesia Bautista La Esperanza For the municipality in Colombia, see .
La Esperanza (the name is Spanish for "the hope") is a town in northern Ecuador, in the Imbabura Province. It lies at the northern foot of the Mount Imbabura volcano. La Esperanza is the best base-town for climbing Imbabura volcano. of George West, Texas George West is a city in Live Oak County, Texas, United States. The population was 2,524 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Live Oak CountyGR6. , and his wife Ella Olivares Alvarado, were also members of Primera Iglesia Bautista Mexicana of Beeville and founding members of New Life Baptist Church of Beeville. (23) Our children, Joshua, David, and Thomas, are fifth-generation Texas Baptists of Mexican descent who represent the fruits of those who labored in Mexican Baptist work at the dawning of the twentieth century. Our family has a Baptist heritage because those who came before us were faithful to share the message of hope and peace with our grandparents and our great-grandparents.
In 1960, leaders of the MBCT launched a three-year Golden Anniversary celebration commemorating fifty years of Mexican Baptist work in Texas. The emerging question out of these years of reflection and celebration was, "Where do we go from here?"(24) The answer to that strategic question would change the course of Mexican Baptist history in Texas.
Unification Agreement: A Generation of Change
After forty-eight years of effective ministry, the possibility of unifying the MBCT with the BGCT was presented to Mexican convention by the BGCT in 1958, the year I was born. A study committee was established by Ignacio E. Gonzalez, MBCT president, and assigned the task of examining this new idea of unification. The committee called "The Committee of Understanding" reported to the MBCT at its annum meeting in 1959. The committee of seven included Carlos Paredes This article is about the musician. For the footballer, see Carlos Humberto Paredes.
Carlos Paredes, ComSE, pron. IPA: ['kaɾluʃ pɐ'ɾedɨʃ] , president, Mario Grimaldo, Carlos Hernandez Rios, Benjamin Diaz, Santiago Garcia, Jr., Silvero Linares, and Ignacio E. Gonzalez. The agreement called for MBCT to be added as a department of the BGCT on par with the Sunday School Sunday school, institution for instruction in religion and morals, usually conducted in churches as part of the church organization but sometimes maintained by other religious or philanthropic bodies.
In England during the 18th cent. and Training Union Departments.
The MBCT would continue to have its own program in accordance with the BGCT calendar and purpose and elect its own officers including a president who would serve as a member of the BGCT Executive Board. El Bautista Mexicano would continue to function as the state newspaper for Mexican Baptists. Leadership for Mexican work would be provided by the BGCT, all offerings and gifts collected by the MBCT-related churches would be added to the BGCT treasury, and all expenses of the MBCT would be disbursed by the BGCT treasury. (25) The Committee of Understanding recommended a three-year trial period. Carlos Paredes served as the president of the Committee of Seven, as the strategic architect of the Unification Agreement, and as president of the MBCT during the initial three-year trial period of agreement from 1960 to 1963. T. A. Patterson, executive director of BGCT at that time, and Ignacio E. Gonzalez, president of the MBCT, had a common goal of unity for the two Baptist bodies. In November 1960, the messengers to the annual BGCT meeting in Lubbock approved the Unification Agreement.
Gonzalez worked hard to ensure that letters informing all the Mexican Baptist congregations concerning the proposal were in the hands of messengers with ample time to study the proposed agreement. In 1960, messengers to the MBCT's annum meeting approved the agreement by a vote of 70 to 17. The agreement was enacted in 1964. In 1963, under the leadership of Carols Paredes, messengers at the annum meeting, which was held in Lubbock, heartily adopted the Unification Agreement, with 1,000 Mexican Baptists standing in favor and only 10 standing against. This vote ushered in a new era for Texas Baptists. (26)
W. H. Colson, former director of missions for the Corpus Christi Baptist Association, credited Gonzalez, then pastor of Primera Iglesia Bautista of Corpus Christi, as the Baptist leader who led the way for these two Baptist bodies to come together. Colson noted that the biggest problems that arose during the unification process unification process unification n → Einigungsprozess m included a lack of understanding of Mexican and Anglo cultures, an inability to communicate between Mexican and American Baptist American Baptist may refer to:
The MBCT continued to function as an integral part of the BGCT for over twenty years TWENTY YEARS. The lapse of twenty years raises a presumption of certain facts, and after such a time, the party against whom the presumption has been raised, will be required to prove a negative to establish his rights.
2. , and the MBCT celebrated twenty years of "Unificacion" at its annum meeting in 1984 in El Paso, Texas, with the theme: "Celebration of Unification." During this annum meeting, the president, Rudy Hernandez Rudy Hernandez or Rudy Hernández can mean:
In 2003, the Unification Agreement between the HBCT and the BGCT marked its fortieth anniversary. Talk of a celebration of the agreement was absent from the 2003 and 2004 annual meetings of the HBCT and the BGCT. Fruits related to the Unification Agreement include the addition of BGCT Executive Board staff led by Jimmy Garcia, III, to serve Hispanic congregations through Stewardship, Sunday School, Church Training, Evangelism, Church Planting Church planting is a process by which new churches are established. This is usually accomplished with help from a denomination, a church planting center, a local church or churches, a network, an association, and/or other church planting resources. , and the Office of Hispanic Work. Today, Hispanic Executive Board staff members also are assigned to non-ethnic roles, including Frank Palos who leads cultural diversity initiatives, Patty Villareal who, until November 2004, served in Community Ministries, David Guel who serves as South Texas Regional Director for the BGCT Church Starting Center, and Lorenzo Pena who is Section Leader for BGCT Associational Missions and Administration.
If the goal of unification was the integral involvement and integration of Hispanic Baptists into the full expression of Texas Baptist life, several indicators demonstrate the agreement's intent and effectiveness. Hispanic ministry leaders can be found throughout Texas Baptist life in both churches and institutions. In congregational life, Ellis Orozco serves as the senior pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in McAllen, Texas; Joshua Guajardo served as pastor of First Baptist Church, Urbandale, Texas, and minister of missions at Tallowood Baptist Church, Houston, Texas “Houston” redirects here. For other uses, see Houston (disambiguation).
Houston (pronounced /'hjuːstən/) is the largest city in the state of Texas and the ; and Mario Ramos Mario Martin Ramos (born October 19, 1977) is a Major League Baseball player.
Ramos was born in Aurora, Illinois. He went to Pflugerville High School in Pflugerville, Texas, where he also resides today. He was a 5'11", 180-pound pitcher. served as pastor of First Baptist Church, Donna, associate pastor of First Baptist Church of Laredo, Seacroft Baptist Church in San Antonio, and Harlandale Baptist Church of San Antonio. Agustin Reyes serves as associate pastor of Hampton Place Baptist Church and as Ethnic Evangelism Consultant for the BGCT. Numerous Hispanics serve as staff ministers in Anglo churches, and several Hispanic ministers serve as Baptist Student Ministry directors throughout Texas, including Abe Jaquez, Samuel Olmos, and David Chan. Omar Pachecano was the first Hispanic to serve as director of missions for the El Paso Baptist Association and the first Hispanic minister of missions to serve in an Anglo Baptist congregation. Josue Valerio serves as director of missions of the El Paso Baptist Association.
Hispanic ministry leaders serving institutions include Felipe Garza, vice president for Child and Family Services at Buckner Baptist Benevolences; Rene Maciel, assistant dean at George W. Truett Theological Seminary The History of George W. Truett Theological Seminary On July 24, 1990, the Baylor University Board of Trustees officially reserved with the Secretary of State of Texas the name “George W. , Waco, Texas For the Branch Davidian siege in Waco, Texas, see .
For other uses of "Waco", see Waco (disambiguation).
Waco (pronounced: /ˈweɪkoʊ/) is the county seat of McLennan County, Texas. ; and Robert Morales, development officer at South Texas Children's Home, Beeville, Texas, among others. Hispanic congregations number near 1,200 of the 5,700 congregations related to the BGCT, accounting for 21 percent of Texas Baptist congregations.
Hispanics are also becoming members of predominantly Anglo Baptist congregations, and the BGCT is helping to start one hundred new Hispanic congregations annually. In recent years, Hispanics have been invited to serve in key volunteer denominational roles. Rudy Sanchez was the first Hispanic to serve as the chairman of the BGCT Executive Board, Mateo Rendon was the first Hispanic elected to serve as chair of the administrative committee of the BGCT Executive Board, and I am now serving as the first Hispanic president of the BGCT. Sanchez and Rendon served as pastors of Primera Iglesia Bautista Mexicana of Corpus Christi, the church in which I answered my call to vocational ministry in 1974 under Sanchez's pastoral leadership.
The Future of the HBCT and the BGCT
Phillip Jenkins, in his book The Next Christendom, predicted that the center of gravity for global Christianity will move south. He asserted that Latin America, Africa, and Asia will become the centers for Christianity by the year 2050. Jenkins predicted that by that year only one in five global Christians will be non-Latino white. Demographic trends have changed rapidly in Texas and in the United States during the past few years and will continue to change. In 2003, Hispanics became the largest minority in the nation, and by 2010, every other Texan will be a Hispanic. New immigrants from all corners of the globe continue to find their way to our borders each year. To meet the spiritual needs of our changing communities, Texas Baptists will need to continue growing predominantly Spanish-speaking congregations, bilingual/bicultural congregations, English-speaking Hispanic-led congregations, and Anglo churches that intentionally make room for Hispanics. HBCT churches serve the needs of those who prefer to worship and function in Spanish, but these churches also have the potential to reach out to bilingual and bicultural Hispanic congregations as well as English-speaking Hispanic congregations. The future of HBCT and BGCT is quite promising. Integration is a noble and practical goal. Through the continuation of the Unification Agreement, Hispanics along the continuum of acculturation acculturation, culture changes resulting from contact among various societies over time. Contact may have distinct results, such as the borrowing of certain traits by one culture from another, or the relative fusion of separate cultures. will find a place at the table in Spanish-speaking congregations, bilingual/bicultural congregations, multi-cultural congregations, and predominantly Anglo congregations in Texas.
Forty years after the adoption of the Unification Agreement, the question asked by our spiritual forebears still remains: Where do we go from here? Rather than allowing the future to emerge on its own, we have the ability to plan proactively and think strategically in order to remain faithful to the heritage left by our forebears and to maximize the potential of our Baptist vision into the next century. Talk of the HBCT splitting from the BGCT periodically finds its way into conversations during annum meetings, but a split was not the intent of those who dreamed of the potential of unification. As I pause to think about the future of the HBCT and the BGCT, many questions come to mind that will require our attention and best thinking.
What should be the continued role of the HBCT for the next forty years of unification? Should the HBCT continue to primarily serve first-generation Spanish-speaking Baptists? Should the HBCT open itself to connect with bilingual/bicultural and English-preference Hispanics as well? Anglo congregations all over Texas are seeing the need to add Hispanic ministers to their church staffs in order to reach the growing population of Hispanics in their communities. What do predominantly Anglo congregations need to do in order to prepare for this kind of change? What can the HBCT congregations do to bless and support Anglo churches that seek to reach Hispanics with the gospel?
How will the BGCT staff organize itself to respond effectively to the growing number of Hispanic congregations who need contextually appropriate resources today? How will the BGCT increase cultural diversity at all levels of its organization? How can the BGCT position itself to provide solutions to Anglo, African, Hispanic, and Asian congregations as they attempt to reach out to communities that are increasingly becoming Hispanic? What plan does the BGCT have to develop Hispanic ministry leadership in Texas beyond the investment that the convention is making in the Baptist University of the Americas? What are the opportunities for collaboration between the HBCT and BGCT so that needs may be met? What are the roles of the twenty-three institutions related to the BGCT and HBCT in preparing for the kind of future that Jenkins describes? How will our nine Texas Baptist universities prepare to meet the needs of the Hispanic community in Texas in the spirit of the Unification Agreement? Baptist University of the Americas, with 89 percent of its student body comprised of Hispanic students, is working hard to build bridges for Hispanics, African-Americans, Asians, and Anglos called to ministry in a predominantly Hispanic context. Texas Baptist liberal arts universities currently enroll a growing number of Hispanic students ranging from 4 percent to 15 percent of those schools' student bodies.
At this time, no Hispanic serves in an executive level position in any of our Texas Baptist liberal arts universities. What are our plans to place Hispanic Baptists in executive-level positions so that they may have a voice in decisions affecting the future of those schools? What are our plans to educate, mentor, and hire Hispanic executive leadership and Hispanic faculty for our educational institutions so that they can influence and teach the next generation of Texas Baptist students? What is our plan to address the growing Hispanic high school dropout (1) On magnetic media, a bit that has lost its strength due to a surface defect or recording malfunction. If the bit is in an audio or video file, it might be detected by the error correction circuitry and either corrected or not, but if not, it is often not noticed by the human rate in Texas, currently numbering between 40 and 50 percent? Many of these dropouts are members of Texas Baptist churches related both to the HBCT and BGCT. What kind of influence would Texas Baptists have in Texas if they committed to a zero-tolerance posture for Baptist high school dropouts?
What kind of role will Hispanics play in the development of human welfare institutions related to the BGCT and HBCT? Felipe Garza currently serves as vice president for Buckner Baptist Benevolences. What is our plan to develop the Hispanic leadership needed at all levels in our Baptist hospitals, child-care institutions, retirement homes, and human welfare agencies?
Missiologists have agreed that the missionary force that will win Muslims to Christ in the twenty-first century will come from the Hispanic community. Since Hispanics share a common language, culture, and history with the Arab world, a natural connection for sharing the gospel is in place. Hispanics in Texas are connected to the Arab world through histories that trace through Mexico, Spain, and North Africa. Approximately 21,000 Spanish words have Arabic roots. What is our missiological strategy for the 1,200 congregations related to the HBCT and BGCT? What is our plan to prepare these congregations and orient them to the opportunities for global mission in Texas and around the world? The BGCT, with its growing number of Hispanic congregations, has the opportunity to build a network of relationships in Texas and throughout Mexico and Latin America. What is our plan to enter into this exciting future together?
Hispanic Baptists related to HBCT and BGCT are at the edge of one of the most exciting eras in Texas Baptist history. Hispanic Baptists must bring their best stewardship and the best of their talents, abilities, and gifts to the table. Hispanic Baptists can no longer see themselves as merely a mission field that needs attention, but rather as a great missionary force for the people coming from the ends of the earth to Texas. Anglo, African-American, Hispanic, and Asian Texas Baptists have inherited one of the most culturally diverse and challenging mission fields in our history. How will we walk into this history together? We already know that we can do more together as Texas Baptists than we can do apart. But how will we negotiate our new future? Who will negotiate our new future? We first need to learn how to talk about salient issues that will impact the future of our beloved denomination. We need to address issues of power, control, resources, culture, relationship, and partnership in light of our great opportunity in redemptive history. We need to bring together the best of our missionary heritage and legacy of Christian ethics to bear on an opportunity to impact the here and now as well as the yet to be.
Our children and our grandchildren will lead our churches, institutions, and denominational agencies with a firm foundation of unity provided by the Unification Agreement, Baptist distinctives, and a legacy of Christian ethics, social justice, evangelistic fervor, and a passion for missions. Our Texas Baptist future is dynamic and bright. Our culturally diverse Texas Baptist family will be a powerful force for the kingdom of God. Together, we will demonstrate that the Father has indeed sent his Son. It is our future and our destiny in redemptive history.
(1.) Benjamin Diaz, Compendio de Historia de la Convencion Bautista Mexicana de Texas (San Antonio, TX: Casa Evangelica de Publicaciones, 1960), 12.
(2.) Carmina Danini, "Mexican Revolutionary Francisco I. Madero to be Honored at UTSA UTSA University of Texas at San Antonio
UTSA Uniform and Textile Services Association
UTSA Uniform Trade Secrets Act of 1985
UTSA Usb Twin Serial Adapter ," Conexion/San Antonio Express News, 18 November 2004, 10.
(3.) Elaine Ayala, "Viva la Revolucion Conexion/San Antonio Express News, 18 November 2004, 10.
(4.) Diaz, Compendio de Historia de la Convencion Bautista Mexicana de Texas, 12.
(5.) Josue Grijalva, A History of Mexican Baptists in Texas: 1881-1981 (Dallas, TX: Office of Language Missions, Baptist General Convention of Texas, 1982), 13.
(6.) Irene de los Santos De Los Santos is a common surname in the Spanish language meaning of the saints.
(7.) Grijalva, A History of Mexican Baptists in Texas, 11.
(8.) Westrup, Seeds in the Footpath, 14.
(9.) Grijalva, A History of Mexican Baptists in Texas, 12.
(10.) Westrup, Seeds in the Footpath, 10.
(11.) Harry Leon McBeth, Totes Baptists: A Sesquicentennial ses·qui·cen·ten·ni·al
Of or relating to a period of 150 years.
A 150th anniversary or its celebration.
Noun 1. History (Dallas, TX: Baptistway Press, 1998), 79.
(12.) Grijalva, A History of Mexican Baptists in Texas, 12.
(13.) Josue Grijalva, Dos Milenios de Historia Bautista (San Antonio, TX: Muguia Printers, 2000), 54
(14.) Ibid., 53.
(15.) Ibid., 54.
(16.) Grijalva, A History of Mexican Baptists in Texas, 16.
(17.) Grijalva, Dos Milenios de Historia Bautista, 63-65.
(18.) McBeth, Texas Baptists, 43.
(19.) Ibid., 100.
(20.) Ibid., 124.
(21.) "Mexican Baptists in Texas: Oral Memoirs of W. H. Colson, Guadalupe de Castro, and Agustin Dominguez," 1997 (Baptist University of the AmCricas Learning Resources Center, Oral History Program).
(22.) Grijalva, Dos Milenios de Historia Bautista, 54.
(23.) Elia Olivares Alvarado, granddaughter of Baptist pioneer Reverend Antonio Perez, interview by author, 19 November 2004.
(24.) Grijalva, Dos Milenios de Historia Bautista, 72.
(25.) Grijalva, A History of Mexican Baptists in Texas, 113.
(26.) Ibid., 120-21.
(27.) "Mexican Baptists in Texas," 6.
(28.) Grijalva, Dos Milenios de Historia Bautista, 82.
Albert Reyes is president of the Baptist University of the Americas, San Antonio, Texas. He also serves as president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas.