January is almost over! Can you believe it? Feels like we just started. Some really awesome things have happened since our last weekly update. Last Thursday evening I talked with a member in our church who feels like God is sending him and his family out from our church to join a church plant in New Caney, Texas.
If you’re unfamiliar about the church plant I’m talking about, you can find out more information here. You can also register for the mission trip to this plant by going here. Travis Boyd will be leading that trip February 23-26 and then moving down to New Caney the following month.
If you can spare a few minutes, I’d love to tell you the backstory. It’s really interesting to see how God was at work behind the scenes.
Travis and Lacey joined our church last year. When I first went to visit them they mentioned a clear calling on their life to be part of planting a church. Travis had actually just declined an offer to be part of a different church plant because he didn’t feel like God had yet released him from Abilene. Because of that, Travis and his family eventually joined Broadview.
One of the reasons God drew the Boyds to our church was because of the 2020 Vision to plant or revitalize five churches in North America. At the time, I don’t think that they imagined being “sent” by our church to assist in one of those plants but God is able to see the big picture when we aren’t.
Over this past year Travis and Lacey have been ministering in our church several different way. Lacey taught a Wednesday night ladies small group (in Annex B) and Travis served as a personal discipleship coach and volunteer in the youth ministry. At the beginning of this year, Travis approached me to ask if there was something he could do that would help train him for eventually planting a church someday.
What was so interesting about that meeting is that I had just finished meeting with a church planter named John Powell. John is a personal friend of mine because of a group that Kevin Ueckert set up several years ago to connect like-minded pastors in the area with one another. Kevin was previously the pastor of South Side Baptist Church here in Abilene but has since transitioned to become the Lead Pastor at FBC Georgetown.
Several guys in that original group were currently or are now currently planting and revitalizing churches throughout the state of Texas. Jason Gray is the founding pastor of Redeemer, a church plant here in Abilene, Texas. Coleman Philley transitioned from FBC Merkel to help revitalize FBC Katy. Ben Wilson transitioned from Second Baptist Church, Abilene to become the lead pastor of a church plant in Liberty Hill. John Powell transitioned from FBC Hamlin to apprentice with Nathan Lino (president of the SBTC and pastor of North East Houston Baptist Church) and now serves as the lead pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church, the church plant with whom we are partnering in New Caney.
One of the craziest parts of the story is that Travis and his family were originally going to go with Ben to help the plant in Liberty Hill but instead joined Broadview because of the Lord’s leadership to stay in Abilene. Since then, the church plant in Liberty Hill that Ben pastored has now become the Liberty Hill campus for FBC, Georgetown (pastored by Kevin Ueckert, the creator of the original group.)
Ben and Kevin are now getting to do ministry together and the Lord has done some amazing things. Coleman has hit the ground running in Katy, Texas and I’m excited to see what happens. Redeemer Abilene continues to grow and has reached capacity in it’s current facility. Broadview has already sent two families to be part of a revitalization project here in Abilene and is poised to send another family to work with a church plant pastored by John Powell! (By the way, the sponsor church of the plant, NEHBC, is led by Nathan Lino who is also close friends with Kevin Ueckert.)
Isn’t it crazy how the Lord weaves providential relationships together over long periods of time so that he can leverage those relationships for the sake of his kingdom later on down the road? The families that we sent to help with the revitalization effort at Elmcrest are serving along side of Jerry Vincent who used to be MY pastor at FBC Roby! You just never know what the Lord may do in and through the new people that you meet. I say all that so you’ll have the background to my conversation with Travis earlier this year.
During that conversation, Travis talked about his heart for church planting and his desire to do something at Broadview that would help prepare him for that future. Since I had (literally) just talked with John Powell about his church plant and the possibility of us sending a team down there, I felt led by the Lord to encourage Travis to take the lead on the project. I figured I could ask Pastor Vernon for forgiveness later. Hahaha!
I gave Travis a rough outline of what was involved in planning a mission trip and then connected him with John Powell (the pastor of the church plant). I knew Travis didn’t know John but I knew John and John knew Ben and Ben knew Travis and it seemed like a connection the Lord might use. Travis agreed to the responsibilities and he and Lacey went to New Caney two weekends ago to make preparations for our upcoming mission trip.
It was during that time that the Lord called Travis and Lacey to become part of the core plant team for Emmanuel Baptist Church, New Caney. He will help them specifically in the area of evangelism and community outreach. It was clear after speaking with them upon their return to Abilene, that God was calling them out. My conviction is, especially in light of our 2020 Vision, that is the Lord is calling them TO GO to Immanuel, then he’s calling us TO SEND them from Broadview.
Will you join me in committing to pray for these things? Pray for Immanuel Baptist Church, the church that will be planted in New Caney (launching Palm Sunday 2017.) Pray for Travis and his family. Pray that Travis will be able to get a job that accommodates his service to Immanuel. Pray that they will be able to raise enough funds to move their life from Abilene to New Caney. Pray for the ministry they’re wanting to accomplish through Immanuel. Pray for the transition that his children will have to make. Pray that the Gospel will multiply greatly in that area and through that church.
If you want to support Travis financially you can also do that. We’ve set up an account especially for this ministry. It would be similar to sponsoring someone on a mission trip. If giving with a check/cash just designate it for the “New Caney Project.” You can reply back to this email if you’d like more information.
In our next weekly update I’ll tell you all about our teams recent trip to India! Please let me know if there is a special way I can pray for you.