Friday, February 16, 2018

Buildling Relationships One Person at a Time

Kay and Sammy Richardson
Guest blog by Kay Richardson

In December, a young man came into the Food Pantry. He had lost his job. He has a wife and two small children. We prayed for God to open the doors for a job and we gave him food for his family. My heart went out to him.

A couple of weeks ago, that same young man came back to the Food Pantry for his monthly meeting. He still had not gotten a job. When I asked, “Why?” Tears ran down his cheek and he told me he did not know why. He asked if we could help him out with clothes and shoes. He needed a pair of work shoes or boots. We rarely get men’s shoes…especially those that are in good shape! I asked him what size he needed and he said he needed a size 13; the same size my husband wears! I told him I would see what I could find and he should come back the following week.

The next week, my friend came walking into the Thrift Store and I was able to give him 2 pairs of shoes…one hardly worn and another that had been broken in pretty well, but still in good shape! He was very appreciative.

When he left the building, I stood there thinking of the lessons my Sunday morning Bible study class has been studying on Acts. Each lesson encouraging us to take the gospel to the people. We have had many discussions on how we need to build relationships with those with whom we want to share Jesus .

That very same young man joined us this past Wednesday night for our Free Community Dinner! Who know what God will do next!

I am grateful God has allowed me to volunteer in our Thrift Store and Food Pantry giving me a place to build relationships. It is my prayer that I will be Jesus to everyone who walks through that door and that I will get to share the love of Jesus with as many people as I can.

Here’s how you can be a part of this ministry!

We need new or slightly used men’s shoes. Tennis shoes, dress shoes, work shoes, boots…whatever you have! There are probably some shoes in your closet that you haven’t worn in ages and really aren’t going to wear again! Bring them by the church office or the Thrift Store! You will be a blessing to someone and you will be a part of building a relationship that could change a life for eternity!

Friday, January 05, 2018

Baptist Temple Year in Review: 2017

Vacation Bible School was, once again, the high point of a year filled with God's blessings. All 5 #BTCampus churches (Baptist Temple Church, Community Bible Church Highland Park, Mision Bautista Betel, Family Deaf Church and Sunny Slope Baptist Church.) worked together to give us 96 workers and a total enrollment of 269. A sixth church, Iglesia del Dios Altisimo, brought a van filled with African refugee children that, along with a student mission team from Baptist University of the Americas, brought a total of 14 different nations to our campus that week.


Worship this year included some special events including a Blessing of the Bikes (led by #BTCampus Immanuel Motorcycle Ministry), a Blessing of the Teachers, a multi-church Youth Rally, the Hanging of the Green and a Christmas Cantata. The house was packed on Easter as BT and CBC shared the 11 o'clock hour in a combined service. On Memorial Day Weekend all the campus churches joined in worship. Delvin Atchison, director of the Texas Baptist Great Commission Team, brought the message.

In the Fall, Ferrell Foster, from the Christian Life Commission, brought the message as we celebrated our community ministries. A tour of the Brunnemann Building and snacks followed. The Brunnemann is home for our thrift store, food pantry and community garden and is open 3 days a week. Over 3500 people visited in 2017.

Our food pantry is only part of our hunger ministries. Our free weekly dinners and occasional large food distributions enabled us to feed 1649 households (6181 people) and serve 11,022 meals. We distributed 85,912 lbs of food in 2017.

The latest addition to our hunger fighting efforts is our community garden. It serves as an outdoor lab to teach gardening to people of all ages while providing fresh produce to our pantry clients. This was made possible by grants from the Baptist Health Foundation and Texas Baptists.

Community outreach events included three annual events: Fall Festival, Christmas Party and Back to School Fair. The Fair put 800 people on our campus (including volunteers). We handed out 350 backpacks, 300 lunches, $2500 in vouchers for clothes and 14,000 lbs of groceries.

Our fellowship grew closer and larger this year with 25 new members. Our young people went on a variety of field trips and three different camp experiences. Our adults shared 17 meals together including the monthly Young in Heart luncheon. We ordained 8 deacons and licensed three people to the gospel ministry.

Adding to the #BTCampus fellowship are San Antonio Against Slavery (advocating against human trafficking), who meet monthly on Thursday nights, and Free By the Truth (working with ex-offenders), who worship Sundays at 2PM.

Seven mission teams stayed on the #BTCampus in 2017 performing ministry throughout the city and recording 93 professions of faith. Other local ministries and individuals have joined with us to build up our ministry in physical and spiritual ways.

This tremendous volume of ministry takes a toll on our campus. We are continually repairing and upgrading. This year our parking lot was made safer by re-striping and improved lighting, the chairs in fellowship hall were replaced and the Fritz Building got a new roof. As I write this blog, there are a number of projects in progress.

In 2017, the #BTCampus hosted 6 churches, 2 schools, 3 conferences, 9 ministries and 6 Basketball Clubs. Thirteen different churches and non-profit agencies have contributed finances, materiel and/or labor to help us in our mission to minister to the physical and spiritual needs of our community.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

A week in the life of the Baptist Temple Campus

The #BTCampus is a busy place all week. The week begins on Sunday morning at 9 AM with prayer but by this time the custodian has already unlocked doors, turned on lights and prepared the church for for worship. A hostess has made coffee and set up the hospitality table.

There is Bible study for all ages from 9:30 – 10:30, followed by four worship services, at 11, in American Sign Language (Family Deaf Church), Spanish (Iglesia Bautista Betel) and two in English (Baptist Temple Church and Sunny Slope BaptistChurch). At 1 PM CBC, Highland Park meets for worship and Free by theTruth at 2 PM.

Mondays start early as parents begin to drop their little ones at the BT Early Learning Center at 6 AM. By the time our resident charter school starts (Jubilee Highland Park), we have 400 kids on campus. There is ceramics in Fritz Hall, Zumba in the chapel, and basketball (every night) in the gym. Girl Scouts meet in the evening. Our doors close at 9 PM.

On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays our thrift-store and client-choice food food pantry are open from 9 am to 1 pm. Tuesday evening we host Bible Study Fellowship for women (English, Spanish and ASL). A free community meal is served on Wednesday evenings followed by Bible study and worship for all ages. Zumba repeats on Thursday evenings. San Antonio Against Slavery, also meets on Thursday.

Saturday is our quiet day. Only the gym is active in the morning but there are periodic events such as the Fall festival, food distribution, back to school bash and work days. 

An urban church can be the center of community life, ministering to both the physical and spiritual needs of its members and neighbors. Studies by Partners for Sacred Places discovered that more than 80% of the people served by a thriving church are not church members.

If your church closed its doors, would the community miss it?