[SLIDESHOW=42707,42708,42709,42710,42711,42712]HOUSTON, Texas (BP) — When pastor John Morgan planted Sagemont Church on June 1, 1966, he never imagined the explosive growth and worldwide impact the church would have.
But, over the past 50 years, the church on the southeast side of Houston has grown from 16 to more than 20,000 members and regularly sends hundreds of members each year to share the Gospel on short-term international mission trips as well as through mission work in Houston.
Reflecting on the congregational and personal milestones, Morgan told the church, “Today is the first day of the rest of our lives. On bended knees, we need to take ‘our hats off to the past and our coats off to the future.’ Just keep looking to Jesus as the author and finisher of our faith. This is certainly not the peak … just a spot to stop on the mountain and look to see what the Lord has done, then keep on until His return.”
The congregation celebrated the church’s 50th anniversary and Morgan’s 50th anniversary as pastor June 5 with special worship services in the morning and an outdoor celebration that evening, where 50 people were baptized. The evening festivities also featured carnival games, food trucks, live music from current and past worship leaders and church members, and a fireworks show.
During the morning services, the church announced a $650,000 gift to Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary to establish the John Morgan/Sagemont Church classroom in the Fort Worth campus’s new Mathena Hall, which will house classrooms and offices for the Roy Fish School of Evangelism and Missions and the College at Southwestern.
Morgan and his wife Bethel were also presented with several gifts, including large potted plant arrangements for their home and ranch, a new Mule vehicle for the ranch, and a check from the members of Sagemont.
Sagemont has seen more than 18,000 professions of faith in 50 years, averaging more than one person for each day of the church’s existence.
One of the hallmark moments of in the church’s history was the decision in 1975 for the church to become debt-free. Since then, the church has built multiple buildings on its 55-acre campus without borrowing any money. The latest construction was a $32 million worship center and adult education building that opened in 2012. As a result of being debt-free, the church has been able to give more than $44 million to worldwide mission work over the years.