David R. Currie
A Rancher's Rumblings
August 28, 2007


The TBC Membership Meeting was a wonderful experience. I was very pleased with the crowd of around 180 people who attended on a Friday in August, after receiving only a month’s notice.

It was obvious that people really enjoyed the fellowship, just getting together again like we used to do during our annual Convocation. It was great to see old friends, as well as many young pastors whom I had not met before.

Marv Knox made an outstanding speech, which we will publish in our newsletter, outlining some great ideas for TBC to pursue in the future. I greatly appreciate the time that Marv obviously put into preparing his remarks. He is a great friend and tremendous asset to all Texas Baptists.

Eight of our Texas Baptist university presidents attended and spoke; in fact, the only one who did not attend was unable to do so because his daughter was getting married last weekend. It was very special for us to have these university presidents in attendance and to hear them update us on what they are doing to teach Baptist history and principles on their campuses. They made impressive presentations that reflected the high‑quality people they are. Seeing them there together made me tremble a little in thankfulness for the freedom that we have as Texas Baptists.

TBC’s primary motivation for working to protect our state convention from a Fundamentalist takeover was to protect our Texas Baptist universities. We know that quality education depends on academic freedom and that academic freedom cannot co-exist with religious Fundamentalism.

I do not think that most Texas Baptists realize just how special these universities are—how much they do to contribute to the Kingdom of God, as well as to the state of Texas. I hope that we can, in the future, help them to tell their story over and over.

In truth, saving Texas from Fundamentalism was a joint effort between TBC and these universities. Let me explain.


We appealed to Texas Baptists to reject Fundamentalism and remain traditional Baptists. We stressed the importance of holding fast to our historic Baptist principles and practices. Our Texas Baptist universities gave us an audience for our message. Baptist laypersons, educated in our universities, understood the message that we were preaching and responded to it. The greatest danger today is any change in convention leadership that would harm the freedom of our universities. Convention leaders will, over time, come and go. But it is imperative that convention leadership—regardless of the names of the leaders—continue to support Baptist freedom and academic freedom in our Texas Baptist universities.

Thus, we keep teaching and preaching Baptist principles and religious freedom. Some think that our message is anti-SBC. It is not. It is anti-Fundamentalism and pro-Baptist.

For our convention, the institutions and ministries that relate to it, and the churches that support it and benefit from its ministries, we pray that they will remain Baptist to the core. If this is our prayer to God, so is it our calling from God.

So we diligently teach and preach about our Baptist principles and heritage, and the importance of practicing and defending religious freedom for all. In truth, this effort must never stop. There will always be persons trying to take away that freedom in the name of God. History has taught us that lesson well. We understand the never-ending challenge before us. Please join with us.

I am so grateful that Texas Baptists have these nine wonderful universities partnering with our convention and our churches in being the presence of God in Texas and, through their ministries, around the world.