Peña, Ballou to be nominated in El Paso
___By Marv Knox
___EL PASO--An associational director of missions and a veteran church staff member will be nominated for vice presidential positions when the Baptist General Convention of Texas holds its annual meeting in El Paso Nov. 8-9.
___Lorenzo Peña, director of missions for El Paso Baptist Association, will be nominated
for first vice president by Levi Price, pastor of First Baptist Church in El Paso.
___Bill Ballou, minister with adults and senior adults at First Baptist Church in Abilene, will be nominated for second vice president by Winfred Moore, distinguished professor of religion at Baylor University.
___Peña, 48, is a strong, innovative leader who represents important Texas Baptist constituencies, said Price.
___"I'm thrilled to nominate an outstanding Hispanic Texas Baptist leader, and Lorenzo fills that role," Price said, noting Peña would represent both Hispanics and associational directors of missions well as a convention officer.
___"He's the only Hispanic director of missions in the state, and I feel really positive about that," Price added.
___One of Peña's important innovations is the Border Leadership Institute, which provides training for ministry on the Mexico-Texas border, he said.
___"Lorenzo is very cross-cultural," Price stressed. "He knows how to deal equally well with the Hispanic culture and the Anglo culture."
___Peña noted service as a convention officer would enable him to repay a longstanding debt.
___"Texas Baptists have done a lot for me," he said, pointing to Texas Baptist innovations that allowed him opportunities for ministry dating back to 1975. "Almost every place I've been, somehow--either through the Mary Hill Davis Offering (for Texas missions) or other allocations--Texas Baptists have made possible my ministry."
___"I believe this (vice presidency) is one way of being able to serve and as a way of acknowledging what Texas Baptists have done all my life--giving back to them what they have given to me. That's my main interest," Peña said.
___The position also would give him an opportunity to support Baptist ministry on the Mexico-Texas border, he said.
___"I'm an advocate for the border. I live on the border. I'm a director of missions on the border," he said. "There are needs of border churches and associations that need to be addressed. As much as I can bring attention to that, I want to do so. ...
___Peña has been director of missions for the El Paso association since 1993. Previously, he was associate director of the association and associate pastor of Vista del Sol Baptist Church in El Paso. He was minister of missions at Hispana Baptist Church in El Paso, minister of religious education at Primera Iglesia Bautista in San Angelo, associate education director for Tarrant Baptist Association in Fort Worth, and minister of education at the Austin church. He also was a schoolteacher.
___He is a graduate of Angelo State University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
___He is a member of the BGCT integrity and order of business committees, and he has been first vice president and second vice president of the Mexican Baptist Convention (now Hispanic Baptist Convention) of Texas. He also has been a trustee of Mexican Baptist Bible Institute (now Hispanic Baptist Theological School) and chairman of the Concho Valley Baptist Association ministers' conference.
___Ballou, 60, is a strong Texas Baptist and an excellent representative of the hundreds of
___women and men who serve on _the staffs of Texas Baptist churches, said Moore, who announced plans to nominate Ballou.
___"Bill is a great Christian gentleman and a servant of the churches," Moore said.
___"This is an opportunity not only for us to elect a good man, but for us to say to all who have been on our church staffs, 'We really do appreciate you.'"
___Ballou and Moore served First Baptist Church in Amarillo together, when Moore was pastor and Ballou was minister of education.
___Ballou said he has been blessed by his participation in the BGCT through the years.
___"I've worked with some pastors along the line who have encouraged me to be a part of Baptist life, and I'm grateful for that," he said.
___"I have a real passion for the BGCT to have the ability, the wherewithal, the leadership to do what needs to be done in the state of Texas," he added. "We have such a great mission field in this state."
___If elected, Ballou will try to represent the other church staff members in the state, he reported. "I hope this would be an encouragement to them to be more involved in the state."
___In addition to serving on the staffs of the Abilene and Amarillo churches, Ballou has been minister of education at Travis Avenue Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Richmond Plaza Baptist Church in Bellaire and churches in Florida and Mississippi.
___He also has been pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Rosenberg and director of church relations in Texas for Smyth & Helwys Publishing.
___He is a graduate of Baylor University and Southwestern Seminary.
___He has been vice president of the Southern Baptist Religious Education Association and a member of the Baylor Council of University Development and the Texas Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Steering Committee.
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