Missions Foundation honors Arango, Hudgens, LaNoue
___By Ferrell Foster
___Texas Baptist Communications
___The Texas Baptist Missions Foundation will honor three missions leaders for outstanding service when the Baptist General Convention of Texas holds its annual session in Corpus Christi Oct. 30-31.
___The foundation's board of advisers has selected John LaNoue to receive the Pioneer Award for Service in Missions; Otto Arango, the Innovator Award for Creativity in Missions; and E.W. "Bud" Hudgens, the Adventurer Award for Leadership in Missions.
___The three will be honored in the Tuesday evening session of the convention, said Bill Arnold, president of the Missions Foundation.
___LaNoue developed an outdoor recreation/education program and helped start Texas Baptist Men's disaster relief efforts. According to Foundation materials, both concepts have been "adopted as tools for mission outreach by the Southern Baptist Convention and are now duplicated in every state."
___In 1967, LaNoue built the first of 17 mobile medical clinics to be used in the Rio Grande River Ministry. He then built the first disaster relief unit in 1971. He helped recruit and train the first teams of Baptist Men to use the equipment, and they responded to disasters in Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Mexico, as well as in the United States. He designed the first airborne disaster units and led teams to Russia, Kenya and North Korea.
___LaNoue also was instrumental in a developing the recreation/education program called "church camping." In his tenure with the Southern Baptist Sunday School Board, 1973-81, he wrote 13 "how to" books on church camping.
___In 1979, LaNoue helped start Centrifuge, a series of summer youth camps that attracted more than 40,000 teenagers last year.
___LaNoue was state youth coordinator and associate in the BGCT's church services division from 1969 to 1973 and then worked for Texas Baptist Men 1981-2000 as director of Royal Ambassadors and High School Baptist Young Men and then as director of Baptist Men and special projects.
___Arango, pastor of Iglesia Bautista Getsemini in McAllen, has helped Texas almost double the number of Hispanic church starts this year compared to last year by creating a pastor-training program, Foundation materials explain. "No one person has done more to encourage and give leadership to Hispanic Baptist churches in Texas."
___About three years ago, David Guel, the BGCT's South Texas regional consultant, challenged Arango to consider beginning new churches. Arango "understood that if we were ever to provide pastors for exponential church planting, we would need to multiply the number of church planters, as well," he said.
___Arango devised an eight-month course, which he taught, providing the basics in Bible survey knowledge, Christian living, basic doctrine, pastoral leadership and other subjects. The course is designed to be taught to laymen and emphasizes the need for new churches.
___For the past two years, Arango has shared the program with other pastors in Texas. In that time, 98 church starting institutes have been launched and about 2,600 people are enrolled. In the past year, 183 Hispanic churches have been started through this work.
___Iglesia Bautista De La Comunidad in Hidalgo has followed Arango's lead. He challenged Pastor Arron De La Torre to start new churches. This past year, Comunidad, which is less than three years old, sponsored 37 congregations.
___During a long career with Dow Chemical, Hudgens prayed he could remain healthy and have sufficient resources to retire and be able to pay his own way in ministry. Since retiring 13 years ago, he has given "outstanding leadership, clear vision, inspired planning and unusual dedication as a Mission Service Corps volunteer," Foundation materials explain.
___Hudgens is a member of Tallowood Baptist Church in Houston and active in Union Baptist Association. He has worked with the association as a consultant in Sunday School and for churches in transition and as director of Urban Allies.
___In 1990, Hudgens became director of missions ministries at Tallowood while continuing to work with Union Association. He led in formation of an urban alliance with other churches in order to revitalize West End Baptist Church. By the end of 1992, this alliance had ministered and witnessed to more than 800 people weekly and about 40,000 annually. Ministries were started in five apartments and 12 nursing homes and retirement centers.
___Also under his direction, 32 Tallowood members now serve as Mission Service Corps volunteers.
___In 1998, Tallowood members participated in 12 mission trips outside the United States.
___Tallowood's mission programs reach out to more than 2,000 people weekly through 22 ministries. Eighteen of the 25 adult Sunday School departments have mission programs.
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