Monday, May 28, 2018

Deacon Spotlight: Melissa Baxter

Guest Blog by Robert Newman

Melissa Baxter was born in New Jersey and moved to San Antonio in 1965, which now calls home. She is the second oldest of six children, raised by a single mother only a block from Baptist Temple Church. She is the third of five generations in her family to be members of Baptist Temple. 

As a child and in her youth, Melissa was involved in many ministries at Baptist Temple. She accepted Christ as her Savior as a teenager at Alto Frio Baptist Encampment youth camp, and began serving at Baptist Temple as a youth in the bus ministry. Along with adults, she went out on Saturdays to visit the families who were picked up in Baptist Temple’s bus. She was also active in GA’s where she learned to love God’s word and to share God’s love with others. Her passion for music came from being a part of the very active youth choir at Baptist Temple. 

After high school, Melissa was told by her mother that she had three choices: get a job, get a college scholarship, or go into the military. With no job skills and no response to her applications for scholarships, her only choice was to join the army. It was there that she met the love of her life, Billy. They married and celebrated 38 years together until his death in 2013. 

From her childhood, Melissa dreamed of traveling, but that had to wait. It wasn't until her youngest was in high school that she was started on the path to international travel. She and her family hosted 13 exchange students over the years, some for just a few weeks, but most for 10 or 11 months. She made many lifelong friends who have opened their hearts and homes to her on several trips to Europe. The students she hosted and gotten to know over the years have made a lasting impression on, and have forever changed, the way that the Baxter family looks at the world. 

Melissa has three grown sons, Billy, Brandon and Brad, all of whom grew up in Baptist Temple. She has five grandchildren. Two of them, Landen and Sydney, often accompany her on Sundays. 

Melissa and Billy were coaches of the youth volleyball teams and played on adult softball and volleyball teams. Melissa has taught Sunday school, from the nursery level through adult, and loves to serve wherever there is a need. Her ministry extends to her work environment as well. She leads a Bible study each week for her coworkers.  

Having served a year-long internship, Melissa was ordained as a Deacon on May 27. She is an exemplary servant of Jesus Christ, encouraging the sorrowful, visiting the sick, recruiting and developing leaders, serving wherever needed and supporting all the ministries of Baptist Temple. 

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