David R. Currie
A Rancher's Rumblings
July 31, 2007

I’ve been encouraged to find that people are getting excited about coming to our membership meeting in Dallas on August 24. One thing that makes this meeting so special is that all nine BGCT-related universities will be represented, most of them by their presidents. Because Texas Baptists took a stand against Fundamentalist control, these universities shine as beacons of academic and religious freedom. Their role in educating our young people is critical to the future of Texas Baptists, and we are honored to partner with them.

But I also have a personal affection and appreciation for Texas Baptist universities because of the role that they have played in the development of my own sons. So I want to take a moment to share a little personal testimony to illustrate the investment that these institutions make in the lives of people—an investment that can’t be measured in dollars and cents.

I have two sons—Lance, 28; and Chad, 26. As most of you parents will understand, they are different from each other in many ways, but both of them are great guys, very special.

Lance loves politics, loves to read, and enjoys wrestling with difficult issues. In high school, he was a state champion debater, was chosen Best Actor in district, and took regional honors in theater. He also played defensive end in football; with more heart than ability, he became a fine player.

After receiving outstanding scores on his college entrance exams, he received appeals from numerous colleges, but he applied only to Baylor, where he excelled. After working as an actor for a year, he went to the BGCT Christian Life Commission, where he worked with Phil Strickland for 2 years. Now preparing for his 3rd year of law school, he already has a job offer in hand. Finally, Lance is passionate about being a real Baptist.


Chad, on the other hand, was a talented athlete but struggled academically. After spending a difficult year at Baylor and another one at Texas Tech, he transferred to Howard Payne for his junior year. Chad turned it around at Howard Payne, where classes were more likely to number 20 than 300. He once told me, “Dad, they call on me in class all the time.”

Some kids, like Lance, excel at a big school like Baylor. Others, like Chad, do better at a smaller school like Howard Payne. Texas Baptist universities come in different sizes, and each has its own strengths—just like our young people.

This summer, at age 26, Chad accepted a job as outside linebackers coach for the varsity team at a 4A school in the Metroplex. Howard Payne deserves much of the credit for the confidence that Chad has today—confidence in himself and his faith.

So I want to thank Baylor and Howard Payne for what they did for my family. It is typical of the investment that Texas Baptist universities make in young people who come to them from all over the world—a solid education that will serve them well wherever they go. But, more than that, it is an investment of care and concern for their individual needs. Finally, it is an investment that is backed by a foundation of Christian faith and authentic Baptist principles.

Friends, this is just one area in which the Baptist General Convention of Texas is very special. Let’s protect it, preserve it, and work to advance its mission to meet the needs of each generation. There is nothing else like it.