Glenn Ward, Director of Missions
HAVE YOU NOTICED THE GROWING POPULATION OF OUR AREA?
In case you haven’t noticed, Hood and Somervell Counties are growing! If you have been on highways 377, 144 and 67 lately, you surely felt the increased traffic congestion! Even shopping in the grocery stores, Wal-Mart and other retailers, standing in line to check out, or shuffling in and out of crowded aisles may have created some frustrations. When I stop to think of what such issues were like when we first moved here in March of 1974, it’s rather mind-boggling! What does it all mean—especially for our churches in the Paluxy Baptist Association?
First, let me give you some statistics from two demographic sources. The estimated population at this time (July, 2017) is 65,634—that is an increase since the 2000 US census of almost 18,000! During that time, we’ve seen an increase of 37% while the US growth rate has been 15.5%. It is projected that our two counties will grow by another 5,000 in the next five years. While there is a 55.5% who generally hold to basic historic Christian values, there is still a large percentage who need to be reached with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Another element of this growth is the Hispanic growth. The 2017 estimates show that 8,571 are Hispanics with a projected growth to reach 10,502 in the next five years. Of our 29 churches in Paluxy Baptist Association, only 3 are for Spanish-speaking worshippers. Therefore, let me share with you briefly about a projected partnership with two other Associations (Southwest Metroplex and Ellis). The Directors of Missions have met with state convention representatives about adding a person to serve as Hispanic Church Catalyst who would work with our three Associations to help locate pockets of Hispanic residents and assist in starting new congregations to reach them for Christ.
The Associational Council will be meeting on August 10 to discuss how we can cooperate with this effort as well as planning for the new year and the Annual Associational meeting. Please pray for us and for ways we can be more effective in reaching the growing population and expand the Lord’s Kingdom! If you have suggestions or input, please contact me with your thoughts. May the Lord bless you all and all our churches for His glory!
I am so glad to be your DOM,