When news reached me in Paris, France that Jeff Johnson, Bryon Stephenson, and Kathy Hillman had been elected officers for the Baptist General Convention of Texas I was thrilled. I cannot imagine three people who better represent the best of who Texas Baptists are and will become in the years ahead.
Jeff Johnson has paid his dues and will do an amazing job bolding leading the convention into the future. If you study his resume you see he has experience at every level of Baptist life from BSM director, professor, executive board director, and pastor. During his days in Del Rio Jeff amazed me with his passion to engage the culture and to reach agressively across the river into Mexico often at personal peril and cost. Even thought Jeff is an “Aggie” he has a good head on his shoulders. He reads widely, thinks deeply, listens and learns, but most importantly he puts his passion and ideas into action. I can see Jeff being a huge asset to David Hardage during the days ahead.
Bryon is an amazing leader and his church has one of the best choirs in Texas. It must be mandatory for him to bring them to San Antonio. I had the honor of being in his church and I witness his amazing blend of humble bold leadership among his people. He is the real deal. Recently I spent time with him in New Orleans at the SBC Convention. He is a quick learner, and is passionate about advancing the cause of Christ as a Texas Baptist. He will push Jeff to be at his best and will help us keep our eye on the ball.
Kathy Hillman has deep roots in Texas Baptist life. I had the honor of serving under her leadership when she chaired the Committee on Convention Business (COCB). Kathy loves the BGCT. She represents what is best about the heritage and history of the WMU. Kathy will speak up and has the courage to lead. She has deep convictions. This summer I discovered that Kathy and her family have deep roots in the pioneer spirit of Texas Baptist as we met under the stars at the Paisano Cowboy Camp in far West Texas to sing the old Cowboy songs of years gone by.
Even though as Marv Knox noted it was a “quiet” convention in Corpus Christi, don’t for one minute think that quiet means nothing of significance happened. Texas Baptists chose three leaders ready and willing to help us embrace our future with courage and boldness.