FOCUS January 2017

Bowie Baptist Association

What is a disciple, anyway?

In Matthew 28:19, Jesus gives His church the Great Commission, with the single command “make disciples.” There are certainly other things Christians are called to do. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind…” and “Love your neighbor as yourself,” top the list. But make no mistake, when the church fails to make disciples, the church fails in the mission of Christ.

But this raises a question. What is a disciple, anyway? Answering this question is crucial, for how you define a disciple shapes ministry in your church. Expectation determines effort. When traveling, your destination determines your route. In the same way, the change you expect in people’s lives as they grow in Christ will determine what you teach and how you teach it. Ministries, calendars, budgets and facilities are all driven by how a church interprets its call to make disciples.

So, what is a disciple? Scripture gives us several identifying characteristics.

First, disciples are followers (Lk 9:23). Specifically, they follow Jesus. They have turned from one way of life to another. Repenting of sin and self, disciples are committed to following Jesus as Lord of their lives.

Second, disciples are learners (Mt. 28:20). As they follow Jesus, they receive God’s word into their lives, allowing it to shape their beliefs and actions.

Third, disciples are connected (Jn 17:11). I can find no place in scripture where a disciple thrived on his own. Jesus called the twelve. Paul served with partners. When he was imprisoned, his mind was often on those whose company he longed for.

Fourth, disciples are actors (Jn 14:15). No, not as in the theater. They act on what they know. When they learn something from God’s word, they obey. So their faith directs their actions, producing lives of godly conduct and faithful service.

We could add to this list, and even define these points differently. The point is this: a disciple is more than a church attender or a professing Christian. Discipleship is a lifestyle of following Jesus in the company of fellow disciples, learning God’s word and ways, seeking to obey Him so that the disciple becomes a faithful witness through whom others are drawn to lives of discipleship too.

As we begin 2017, my prayer is that the congregations of the Bowie Baptist Association would fulfill our calling as disciplemakers and that our partnership would prove itself as a vital resource to this end.

May God bless and keep you. Happy New Year!

Bro. Jim

BBA New Office Location

The BBA office is now located at FBC Nash, 500 East New Boston Road, Nash, TX. We are grateful to Highland Park and Bro. Kevin Myers for housing us the past 3 1/2 years, and to FBC Nash for providing our new space. Stop by and say hello.

Mailing address will remain the same. (PO Box 7740, Texarkana, TX 75505)

Phone #: 903-831-0194

Fax#: 903-831-0193

As always, you may reach us by email, or find information about events on our website,

Bi-State School of Ministry - CLD Class Schedule

Registration will be Monday, January 9, 2017, at First Baptist Church, Wake Village in the Fellowship Hall.

Introduction to Christian Counseling

Taught by Brad Watson

Class begins January 15th & will meet every Monday night from 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm at:

First Baptist Church

820 Wake Avenue

Wake Village, TX

Introduction to Christian Theology

Taught by Dr. John Webb

Class begins January 17th & will meet every Tuesday night from 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm at:

First Baptist Church

820 Wake Avenue

Wake Village, TX

Cost: $165, payable at Registration

For information, please call the BBA Office or the Ministry Training Director, Paul Burkhalter, at 903-826-4489.

Administrative Committee Meeting

The next Administrative Committee Meeting will be January 10th, 10:00 AM, at the BBA Office. Meetings are open to participation from interested persons within the association.

Executive Board Meeting

The next Executive Board Meeting will be January 17th, 12:00 PM at Myrtle Springs.

Please RSVP with Valerie at the BBA Office by January 12 by calling 903-792-0641 or email

2017 BBA Children's Camp

Cost: $140 (BBA & Lakeview Cooperating Churches)

$145 (All other congregations)

For info or to receive registration pack, please call Valerie at 903-792-0641 or visit the BBA webpage at

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Please remember to complete the Annual Church Profile. Thank you to all the churches who have already completed the ACP!

If you need assistance, or have any questions, please do not hesitate to call Valerie at the BBA Office, 903-792-0641 or email her at

Youth Ministry Search

Highland Park Baptist Church, Texarkana, is seeking a couple to serve as bi-vocational youth ministry leaders. If you believe God is calling you to youth ministry or you know someone who may be a candidate, please contact HPBC at (903) 792-6996.

Nursery Worker Needed

Redwater FBC is seeking a full time nursery worker. For more information, you may call the church at 903-671-2142 or email the Children's Ministry Coordinator, Joanna Thornhill, at

2017 Executive Board Meeting Locations

January 17, 2017

12 Noon

Myrtle Springs Baptist Church

April 18, 2017

6:00 PM

Plentiful Harvest Church

July 25, 2017

12 Noon

BBA Office

September 19, 2017

6:00 PM

Eylau Hills Baptist Church

Churches Seeking Staff

Please continue to pray for the numerous churches in the Association that are seeking staff members.


  • Siloam
  • Malta
  • Victory City

Youth Leader:

  • Korean Mission
  • Flower Acres (call 903-824-8412),
  • Highland Park Baptist Church (call 903-792-6996)

For more information, you may contact the respective congregations with the information provided, or contact the BBA Office.


1 New Year’s Day

10 Administrative Team Meeting

BBA Office, 10 AM

16 Martin Luther King Day

17 Executive Board Meeting

Myrtle Springs - Noon


14 Administrative Team Meeting

BBA Office, 10 AM

20 President’s Day

January Friendship Center

  • Calvary
  • Eylau Hills
  • Flower Acres
  • Hooks FBC
  • Nash FBC
  • Oaklawn
  • Bowie County Cowboy
  • Wake Village FBC
  • Midway FBC

These churches have been asked by the Friendship Center to get involved in the food drive for this month. The Center needs all kinds of canned goods, flour, corn meal, dried beans, macaroni and cheese, powdered milk, baby foods and formulas, and diapers. Any effort made for the Friendship Center will be appreciated. Some churches have chosen to include the Friendship Center in their annual budget and send a monthly check for support.

Runnin’ WJ Ranch needs financial support, volunteers, and supplies as well.

Associational Staff

Dr. Jim Turnbo

Associational Missionary

Valerie Mills

Ministry Assistant

Paul Burkhalter

Ministry Training Director

Joshua McDonald

Baptist Student Ministry Director

Fraternal Organizations

Sam Clem

Runnin’ WJ Ranch

Edna Walker

Hospitality Director

Bryan Bixler

Friendship Center Director