David R. Currie
A Rancher's Rumblings
August 15, 2007


Next Friday (August 24), we will hold a TBC membership meeting in Dallas at the Radisson Mockingbird from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. I hope that many of you will attend. From the response to date, it appears that we will have a good-sized crowd, which pleases our Board and me. To sign up, please email carolscott@txbc.org.

On that Friday morning, we will hear from the president of every Texas Baptist university or a member of his staff. They will tell us about the actions they are taking to promote and preserve Baptist principles and distinctives, and the historic Baptist identity. In my most recent column, I told you what Baylor and Howard Payne have meant to my family. I am sure that many of you could, in turn, write glowing stories about what Dallas Baptist, Houston Baptist, or other Texas Baptist universities have meant to your family. I am so pleased that these Texas Baptist leaders are coming to speak to us and that they recognize the importance of the work that TBC does to keep their institutions free.

TBC owes its birth, in great part, to Dr. Herbert Reynolds, who recognized, early on, the dire threat that the Fundamentalists posed to Baylor University. In hindsight, we can now clearly see the dreadful impact of Fundamentalism on the six SBC seminaries. There are still some wonderful students and professors at those seminaries, but the emphasis has clearly shifted away from freedom and grace, which are at the heart of the Gospel. I am so grateful that Texas Baptists responded by establishing Logsdon and Truett Seminaries at Hardin-Simmons and Baylor. This was visionary on the part of Texas Baptists.


Dr. Ken Hall, president of Buckner International, now serves on our TBC Board, and I appreciate his willingness to play the role that Dr. Reynolds played in representing our important BGCT‑related institutions in TBC’s plans and activities.

I am currently serving on the committee that nominates the members of the boards of our BGCT institutions. This is the only BGCT committee—other than the Board of Howard Payne—on which I have served during the past 20 years. Next week, I will tell you a little about my experience on this committee.

This past spring, I worked with the BGCT’s Baptist Community Services and Baptist Retirement Community in Amarillo and San Angelo, respectively, as they chose new board members. While there, I toured their retirement facilities and got a first-hand look at their ministries. As always, I was amazed at the breadth and depth of the ministries in which Texas Baptists are involved. People who are healthy enough to do so can live in these retirement centers as they would live in an apartment—with little to no supervision. However, the wonderful staffs of these centers can also care for those who suffer from debilitating diseases, such as Alzheimer’s. The facilities—and especially the staffs—are that versatile. The staffs are well-equipped, with the training, experience, and professionalism needed to care for the residents—and they do all of this with love and tenderness.

Texas Baptists give significant Cooperative Program dollars to support a remarkable number of ministries, including universities, seminaries, retirement centers, child care facilities, and hospitals.


While we’re celebrating our institutions, let’s make special mention of San Marcos Baptist Academy, which is commemorating its 100th anniversary this year. Yes, Texas Baptists contribute significantly to these institutions, yet our contribution is only a small part of the overall budget of these institutions. Nevertheless, they recognize the commitment of Texas Baptists to their ministries, and they proudly partner with—and represent—Texas Baptists across our state.

To those who would question whether the BGCT is still relevant to our churches, I would ask this: If the BGCT is educating people across our state, and caring for people from birth to death, how can that not be important to our churches? We have something very special in the Baptist General Convention of Texas. We are a convention free of Fundamentalist control, and we always stand ready to cooperate with everyone who will work with us to spread the Gospel.

The most dangerous threat that we face today is the same one that caused us to lose the Southern Baptist Convention 20 years ago: the failure of churches to understand and acknowledge the reality of Fundamentalism, thus making them tempting targets for those who seek to lead them away from the BGCT.

This threat endangers all of our institutions and ministries. We must diligently work together to teach Texas Baptists about our historic Baptist principles, distinctives, and heritage. We must keep telling them the stories of the wonderful ministries that we support. I am excited about TBC continuing to lead in telling the Baptist story, especially the Texas Baptist story, and I urge every one of you to join with us in this important—and historic—effort.