David R. Currie
A Rancher's Rumblings
June 26, 2007

Saturday was a great day. I spent it working goats . . . okay, I mostly watched while Chad and Brandon—Charlie McLaughlin’s son-in-law—drenched the goats. Drenching is what we call it when we squirt medicine into their mouths to kill stomach worms. The person doing the drenching wears a backpack that contains the medicine. The problem with goats is that they jump a lot ( Brandon took a hard horn shot right above his eye) and pile on top of each other. When we first got goats and tried to drench them for the first time, four of them tried to jump the fence and wound up breaking their legs, so we quit after one pen. We learned to line the chute with plywood so they couldn’t jump out. We also learned to put no more than about 40 in the chute (it would hold 80) because, by the time you worked your way through them, several would suffocate and die as they piled on top of each other.

Anyway, after we finished drenching the goats, I spent the rest of the day (I quit at 9:15 p.m.) riding my (new to me, but used) Bobcat-like small bulldozer to clear a fence line of old brush and mostly rotten wire to build a new fence (hopefully good enough to actually keep goats from getting out, which is hard to do). I love doing that. It is hard work, jerks and bounces you around, and scratches your arms up horribly when the tree or brush that you are trying to remove sticks inside the cab and gets you. But you can also relax, forget everything else, and think at the same time.

Many people have said to me, “Currie, you’ll never be able to retire, you love being in the middle of Baptist life too much.” Folks, while it is true that I love being in the middle of Baptist life, don’t think that I won’t be able to retire when I decide it’s time. In retirement, I will have about 3,000 acres to ride over and clean brush in, and I am actually looking forward to doing it. I have a great appreciation for solitude, as long as there is activity involved in it.

Anyway, I found myself thinking about Baptist events that will take place over the next few weeks, and the many positive things about Texas Baptists. I hate to miss the Hispanic Baptist Convention this week. That is a wonderful group of people who are vital to the future of Texas Baptists, but it is always hard to combine that convention and CBF (which starts this Thursday) in the same week. I hope they forgive me for not being there. I think that we have over 1,200 Hispanic churches and missions that relate to the BGCT. No other state convention can make such a statement.


With our state rapidly becoming a majority-Hispanic state, no group is more important to God’s Kingdom than these tremendous churches. The Baptist University of the Americas (formerly Hispanic Baptist Seminary) in San Antonio is poised to become one of the most influential institutions in Baptist life. I am so thrilled that René Maciel is their new president. He will build on the tremendous progress made by Albert Reyes.

On Wednesday, I fly to Washington, D.C., to be a part of the CBF General Assembly. I have never missed a meeting of CBF since it was formed and do not plan to miss one as long as health permits me to be there. CBF is a tremendous traditional Baptist family of faith and mission and ministry. In light of what happened in the SBC, it is still amazing to me that there is still even one Texas Baptist-related church that does not give to CBF. I just do not understand it. It is crazy to me that so many Texas Baptists still give so much to the SBC when they could be supporting—and be a part of—a cooperating organization . . . a family, if you will . . . of real Baptists. It just makes no sense to me.

This week, I will see friends I haven’t seen in a year, hear some great preaching, and be able to celebrate being a real Baptist. I look forward to it each year.

Then, in mid-July, I will attend the African-American Pastors Fellowship. I love this meeting every year and feel very at home with this part of the Texas Baptist family. I will miss seeing Ron Edwards, their president, who recently died. He was a wonderful man, a true Texas Baptist leader, and my friend.

Texas Baptists are unique in having over 700 African-American churches that relate to the BGCT. Most of the old SBC-related state conventions have very, very few African-American churches that participate with them. We are truly a diverse convention.

And we are very inclusive, too. I just said that I do not understand Texas Baptist money still going to the SBC like it does. But you know what? In Texas, we still respect that, even if many of us don’t understand it.


In Missouri, if you relate to both the SBC and CBF, they will kick you out of the state convention, which is controlled by Fundamentalists. In most states, a church cannot give to CBF through the state convention. Most state conventions are controlled by Fundamentalists and won’t allow their churches and people to give to CBF through them . . . in other words, they don’t respect the rights of Baptist churches and individuals to exercise their freedom as Baptists.

But we do not do things that way in Texas. We allow each church to give as it chooses. We include, on our BGCT committees, persons who strongly support CBF and the SBC. We are inclusive.

It doesn’t have to be this way. In other words, this inclusiveness didn’t just happen . . . it resulted from conscious decisions made by Texas Baptist leaders.

Let me give you some facts. In the heat of the battle to prevent the Fundamentalists from taking control of Texas, I counted messengers church by church. Every year—and I promise that this is true—there were enough messengers from the churches that supported CBF to elect the president of the BGCT even if all of the messengers from all of the other churches voted against the TBC-endorsed candidate. Every year!

Thus, we had the votes to act like other states and be exclusionary. If we had wanted to do so, we could have stopped allowing people and churches to give to the SBC through the state convention. After all, we had the votes. We could have been mean and punitive if we had chosen to do so. We could have repaid, in “eye for an eye” fashion, those who had wronged us. But we never did that. In fact, to be honest, we never even discussed it much. Why? Because real Baptists do not act that way.

I do think that everyone reading this needs to realize how fortunate we are to be Texas Baptists . . . to be a part of a convention that respects freedom. It is not that way anymore hardly anywhere else.

I look forward to seeing many of you in person over the next few weeks, and I thank you for helping the BGCT to remain an inclusive, caring, loving convention.