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SBC DIGEST: Georgia Baptist health foundation awards $8.8M; Committee affirms BGCT-Baylor relationship

Georgia Baptist Health Care Ministry Foundation grants $8.8M to medically underserved

By Christian Index Staff

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. – The Georgia Baptist Health Care Ministry Foundation has awarded more than $8.8 million in grants to 97 clinics and other nonprofit organizations that provide care to the state’s most underserved residents.

Karen Pace, second from right, receives a grant on behalf of Camp Pinnacle Medical Missions. Also pictured are Larry Wynn, Craig Dale and W. Thomas Hammond Jr. (Photo/Chad Freeman)

“These grants exist to demonstrate the love of Jesus, ensuring that all Georgians have access to life-giving quality hands-on health care,” said Larry Wynn, the foundation’s executive director. “For more than 100 years, the Georgia Baptist Health Care System has offered a ministry of healing to those in need.”

The grants totaled $8,846,868.

Wynn, along with foundation Chairman Craig Dale and state Mission Board Executive Director W. Thomas Hammond Jr., awarded the grants Feb. 16 at a luncheon at North Metro Baptist Church in Lawrenceville.

Wynn said Jesus demonstrated the importance of taking care of people’s physical needs during His public ministry, and the grant recipients are following His example.

“We continue this work by offering a better quality of life to the people of Georgia through needed health care ministries, and to help research and develop new health care services that make a positive impact in their lives,” he said.

The foundation, since its creation in 2005, has awarded nearly $66 million in grants for hands-on, nonprofit healthcare in Georgia.

“Grant recipients report that the lives impacted in Georgia during that time to be more than 4.5 million, involving the work of more than 150,000 volunteers in clinics and other nonprofits,” Wynn said.

The Christian ministries also report that 21,000 of the people who have received care have made salvation decisions.

“From Athens to Valdosta, from Columbus to Palmetto, neighborhood-level health care services can continue to be delivered throughout our state,” Wynn said. “Our awardees have demonstrated their commitment to the people they serve, and we are thrilled to partner with them.”

For the full story, including a list of all recipients, go here.

Committee affirms BGCT-Baylor relationship

By Ken Camp/Baptist Standard

DALLAS (BP) – The Baptist General Convention of Texas Executive Board heard a committee report affirming Texas Baptists’ relationship with Baylor University and a prayer challenge from the BGCT president.

Jeff Williams, pastor of First Baptist Church in Denton and chair of the BGCT institutional relations committee, told the board his committee unanimously voted to affirm the existing relationship agreement with Baylor for the next 10 years.

The terms of the agreement call for its review every 10 years. The last time the agreement was approved was Nov. 4, 2011. Its regularly scheduled review was delayed due to the COVID pandemic.

Since there were no changes in the agreement, no board action was required.

Baylor has related to the BGCT by had a special agreement for more than three decades. However, Baylor’s relationship to Texas Baptists dates back to its founding in 1845.

“For 178 years, Baylor and Texas Baptists have served side by side to shine a light on God’s kingdom across Texas, the United States and worldwide,” said Baylor President Linda A. Livingstone.

“We remain firmly rooted in our shared history, and Baylor remains committed to maintaining our historic, mutually beneficial relationship with the BGCT and Baptists in Texas. We look forward to continuing our special relationship over the next decade and beyond.”

“The BGCT is optimistic about continuing this mutually beneficial special relationship agreement with Baylor University for another ten years as together we prepare Christian leaders for service in and through Texas Baptists’ churches,” said BGCT Associate Executive Director Craig Christina.

“This relationship enables the BGCT to offer a positive, Christ-centered influence on the issues confronting Baylor’s campus, will strengthen the presence of Baptist Student Ministry on Baylor’s campus, and will ensure our continued partnership with the George W. Truett Theological Seminary.”

At the Feb. 21 Executive Board meeting in Dallas, BGCT President Julio Guarneri, lead pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in McAllen, called on board members to encourage their churches to participate in seven weeks of prayer.

Specifically, he is urging Texas Baptists to pray “your kingdom come”—as Jesus did in the model prayer—beginning the day after Easter and continuing until Pentecost, April 10 to May 28.

“Pentecost did not come without prayer,” Guarneri said, pointing to Acts 2. “It’s not that we can pray down revival, but we can put ourselves in a posture to receive revival when God sends it.”

The specific objective is to “engage Texas Baptists in a concerted prayer effort for God’s kingdom to come in the work of our churches, institutions, associations and churches.”

He offered a guided week-by-week prayer focus that can be downloaded here.

In a routine business session, the BGCT Executive Board approved a recommendation from its finance committee to allocate $425,000 in available funds from the JK Wadley Endowment Fund, with $150,000 dedicated to Baptist Student Ministry campus missionary interns, $150,000 to BSM building maintenance, $50,000 for a cross-cultural mobilizer, $50,000 for western heritage ministry and $25,000 for MinistrySafe child protection.

The board also approved a committee recommendation to elect Allison Howell from First Baptist Church in Nederland to fill a vacancy on the Executive Board.

At the recommendation of the committee on nominations for boards of affiliated ministries, the Executive Board elected:

  • Belinda Reyes from Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas, Sam Medina from One Accord Fellowship Church in Lubbock and W.H. “Bill” Brian from First Baptist Church in Amarillo to the board of trustees at Baptist University of the Américas.
  • Tyler Cooper from Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas to the Baylor University board of regents.
  • Drue Pounds from First Baptist Church in Grapevine and Daniel Stahl from Vista Community Church of Bell County in Temple to the board of trustees at Hardin-Simmons University.
  • Rodrick Robinson from First McKinney Baptist Church in McKinney to the Baylor Health Care System board of trustees.

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