Ministries & Resources
Priority One – Strengthening Churches
The Unity Baptist Association offers a wide variety of training. The following are some of our training highlights. We also offer customized training specifically for each church requesting it.
For credit Bible classes are offered through Angelina College at our BSM building. These classes meet on Monday and Wednesday mornings and are taught by Dr. Wayne Barth. Classes can also be audited for no charge.
We offer certified SBC Seminary Extension classes almost every each semester. These classes cover basic Bible and ministry courses. Dr. Bob Elliott (281-415-3911) is the primary teacher. Call him to learn the schedule.
The East Texas Christian Leaders Conference
Every year on the last Saturday in August we have our largest training event. This event focuses on training all church leaders including Sunday School workers. Each participant can choose four of about eighty different seminar topics. We also include seminars in Spanish. A well-known speaker delivers a keynote address. This year Dr. David Dykes, pastor of Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler, will be our keynote speaker. See the events page for more information.
Every January we offer special training for pastors and churches on how to prepare tax returns, tax laws, and other responsibilities churches have to the Internal Revenue Service. Daniel Whitehurst (903-984-0509) leads this training session.
Churches can also call Mr. Jim Myers (936-676-8564) for training and assistance in financial and other church administration issues.
The association has a small library available and also has video projectors available for check out at no charge. Becky Crager, church librarian at Harmony Hill (632-1350 or email@example.com) also has training sessions for church librarians on a regular basis.
When a pastor leaves, churches experience important transitions. The UBA offers special help to churches during this time. Some churches may choose an intentional interim or transitional pastor. Every church should utilize the pastor search committee training offered by the association. We also maintain a resume file of potential pastors and other staff.
Church Development and Renewal
A brand new ministry we offer through our Church Strengthening Team is the 2nd Wind Church Ministry. This ministry is designed to help churches run the race that God sets before them with renewed passion and plans (Hebrews 12:1,2). The first part of this race involves the church seeking God's direction, identifying key issues and setting specific goals that can be achieved within six months. For more information, contact Gene Hazell at 936-676-5229.
SBC Denominational Support
The Southern Baptist Convention offer many resources and missions opportunities. Because the association is closest to the churches, we communicate important information about the denomination to our churches. Churches also call us to find the right channels of information for state and national entities. Though we cooperate with them, the association is an autonomous organization and does not forward funds to any other SBC entity.
The state of Texas has passed new laws in the past few years that have made it important for churches to be incorporated. The UBA helps churches prepare their Certificate of Formation, Constitution and by-Laws. The only cost is a $25 filing fee for the state of Texas.
Churches can request association assistance in dealing with conflict situations in their church.
Deacon Training and Ordination
Deacon training is offered annually at the East Texas Christian Leaders Conference, and is periodically offered when requested. The association helps churches with deacon ordination materials and services.
Senior Adult Ministry
Senior Adult Ministry (S.A.M.): This ministry is led by Karl Shank, a member at Central Baptist Church in Livingston. His phone number is 936-328-1571. This ministry is designed to provide fellowship and outreach opportunities to adults, age 50 +. Events are scheduled the second Monday of every other month. See the Events Page for a list of events. Every church is encouraged to elect a representative to serve on the S.A.M. Council to plan events.
Evangelism Block Party Trailer
The Evangelism Block Party Trailer is a tool which makes it easier for churches to attract a crowd of people for an event. It has been used at churches, in store parking lots, fire departments and recreational facilities. It is available to our churches to use at their outreach events. Fred Smith is the Evangelism Director of the association and provides training on how to use the trailer. A representative from a church must take the training in order for the church to use the trailer. To reserve the trailer you must call Cynthia at Calvary Baptist Church at 936-634-6674. To request training you must call Fred Smith at 936-676-6624.
Periodically the association assists or sponsors outreach events. Call Fred Smith if your church needs help with outreach.
When a church has a need, a prayer request, or an event they would like to publicize, the UBA can communicate it to other churches. Every week an email is sent with news and resources. To get email, call and ask to be added to the list.
The association also prepares a yearly book of reports with reports of the association ministries and statistical data received from the churches via the Annual Church Profiles (ACP). This book of reports is distributed to all the churches.
Pineywoods Baptist Encampment
The association elects trustees which provide the oversight for Pineywoods Baptist Encampment near Corrigan. The 2012 trustees are Randal Whitt (936-327-5614), Reida Davis (936-632-5225), Don Wilkey (036-646-6601), and alternate trustee Keith Nash (936-634-6691).
Free demographic and psychographic reports are available to any church requesting it. These reports can be customized for the area specified by the church. This information is also invaluable for helping start new churches.
Fellowship and Mutual Encouragement
The association provides multiple opportunities every year for mutual fellowship, prayer, encouragement for both pastors and churches. One highlight for 2012 will be the Week of Prayer for Association Missions, April 18 – May t. On April 29 all churches are encouraged to join together for a combined worship and prayer service at either Forest Branch Baptist Church in Livingston or Denman Avenue Baptist church in Lufkin. See the events page for more details.
Priority Two – Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) at Angelina College (www.angelinacollegebsm.org)
The Baptist Student Center at Angelina College is a ministry that focuses on reaching and discipling students for Christ. A building is provided where the students can spend time fellowshipping, relaxing, playing games, using free internet for research, and receiving encouragement and guidance from the BSM Director in a safe and fun environment. Matthew Timmons currently serves as our director. He can be reached at 936-699-3040.
The BSM provides mission trips (fundraising events are done to raise monies for these trips), helping local ministries (Buckner Family Place, Pregnancy Help Center, Houston Outreach), free Tuesday lunches (300 students fed weekly). Also provided are evangelism training, prayer walks, dorm outreach, Bible studies (men, women, and Spanish), prayer groups, weekly worship times, FOCUS (a college weekend retreat to grow believers), ABIDE (a college prayer weekend), and men/women small groups.
Priority Three – Missions
The association supports mission churches, provides resources for mission pastors and churches, raises the awareness and helps mobilize local churches for new work. The association provides missions education, identifies areas and unreached people groups where new churches are needed and works with and trains missions committees, as well as identifying potential new church planters. Along with state convention staff, the association conducts quarterly review meetings with the mission church pastors.
At the January 30, 2012 Executive Board Meeting the first small, but important step was taken on a potentially long journey. The step taken was to form a team to mobilize our churches to adopt an unreached people group(s). This team will develop our strategies and plans. For the past 84 years, our association has focused on reaching groups of people in East Texas. This new direction comes in response to the request of a local pastor, the International Mission Board’s encouragement for associations and churches to adopt groups around the world that need the gospel, and the Great Commission (Matthew 28: 18-20). If you have an interest in personally participating on this team, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be praying for this ministry!
Vicky Duncan (936-897-8247) serves as our Mission Service Corps representative. Individuals who wish to volunteer 20 or more hours per week in some type of mission opportunity in North America can contact Vicky.
Priority Four – Disaster Relief
The association assists churches and individuals to respond to disasters. The association’s Disaster Relief Feeding Unit has a capacity to feed 15,000 meals per day. In the past four years the unit has prepared over 850,000 meals for victims of hurricanes, tornadoes and wildfires in Texas and Alabama. Jeff Robinson (936-632-3292) serves as coordinator of the feeding unit.
Core Values (adopted October 20, 2003)
We value Active Fellowship! We consciously choose to join our hearts, imaginations, and our resources to accomplish the shared challenge of reaching our area for Christ. As an active fellowship we value working together to accomplish our mission. (Acts 11:22-30; Ecc. 4:9-12; Amos 3:3)
We value Serving Churches! We believe that the local church is God’s primary redemptive influence and instrument in the world today. The focus of all of our cooperative efforts is to start and strengthen local churches. (2 Cor. 11:28; Acts 16:5)
We value Biblical Revelation! We joyfully submit ourselves to God as he has revealed Himself through the Bible. The Bible serves as our only source of authority for all matters of faith and practice, both individually and cooperatively. (Heb. 4:12; 2 Tim. 3:16)
We value Missions! We focus our individual and cooperative efforts on faithfully carrying out the Great Commission of making disciples beginning with the Angelina and Polk County areas. (Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 1:8)
We value Accountability! We believe that financial resources are a gift from God’s abundance through the faithful giving of His people, and that we manage these resources with both spiritual stewardship and public integrity. All employees and supported ministries are held accountable for their work. We value local churches being supportive and responsible to one another. (2 Cor. 8:1-24, Acts 11:29)
We value Quality! We believe that the quality of God’s character and handiwork should be reflected in the high standards of our cooperative work together. (Romans 12:1-2; 1 Cor. 3:10-14)