Many new people became a part of the Baptist Temple family in 2014, including Associate Pastor Dan Trevino. Dan's years of experience as a social worker and pastor had an immediate impact. His work with unaccompanied minors crossing the border received media attention and helped to reinforce the image of Baptist Temple as a church on the front line of caring. The story was covered by CBN, Baptist Standard, KENS5, and San Antonio Express-News
Renovation was the dominant activity at BT as we tackled deferred maintenance, remodeled some spaces and fixed things that broke. The biggest job was the roof (actually roofs). It took longer than planned but cost less than we had anticipated.
The chapel was the most visible job. Brighter lights, fresh paint and new carpet have created a cheerful multi-purpose space. Crosspoint sent large teams of volunteers on two occasions to paint the chapel, other do-it-yourself projects saved us thousands. Soon there will be new seats and sound system.
Other work included upgraded lighting in the gym and sanctuary and completion of the Brunnemann Building rehab.
The rehab of the Brunnemann facilitated the launch of our client choice food pantry. The program is mentoring-based and designed to help people become more self-sufficient. Other hunger fighting ministries include our free Agape meals on Wednesday nights and the summer feeding program which fed 180 children each day. In 2014, we received nearly $5000 in grants for our hunger fighting ministries from the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering, San Antonio Baptist Association Hunger Walk, and the Texas Baptist Missions Foundation. Additionally, the Fellowship of San Antonio, HIS Bridgebuilders, New Frontiers Charter School and Wendy's have provided clothes, food, paper products and toiletries.
Our children’s ministry enjoyed field trips to Magik Theater, the Rodeo, Morgan's Wonderland and Camp Zephyr. Vacation Bible School attracted a larger number of unsaved children than usual, resulting in 40 professions of faith.
BT youth were among the first groups to experience the inaugural year of BOUNCE mission camp. This BGCT program is a complete missions package that combines summer camp and disaster relief. One youth called it the best camp ever.
There were some memorable worship moments as well including the children's musical “Truth Works,” the Christmas cantata “Mary Did You Know?” and a special “Hanging of the Green” worship experience. Special guests included recording artist Eve Miller and the youth choir from FBC Kingfisher, Oklahoma. Guest preachers included author Tomi Grover, Mark Newton, Baylor's Director for Church Engagement, and Josue Valerio, BGCT's Director of Mission Mobilization.
The most important event of the year was the formation of the church council that meet for the first time on January 4. The church council puts the BT ministry leaders in the same place at the same time to plan ministry and coordinate efforts towards our goal of soul-winning.
Last year was a turning point. It takes ten years for an organization to turn around and we are halfway there. Lessons of the past five years were implemented in 2014 as a foundation for future growth. Some of our endeavors fell flat but a few showed spectacular results.
I expect that 2015 will be a year of tremendous growth. Seeds that we have planted will soon start bearing fruit.
Three key areas for 2015:
- Our worship planning team is tasked with creating several worship experiences throughout the year that will attract our casual attenders and make first time attenders want to return.
- We will be hosting the Texas Deaf Church Conference and the Bi-vocational/Small Church Conference. Two other conferences are in the negotiation process.
- This summer we will offer an urban missions experience, Our partners include the Baptist General Convention of Texas and a growing number of local churches and ministries
I can see God's hand guiding us. He opens doors to new relationships and closes others that would not have worked in the interest of building His Kingdom. He has provided us with resources and friends as He builds His church.