Make sure you are following all our Facebook pages!

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Richard Ray – Director of Missions Weekly Update


This past week, I was blessed to take part in the Discipleship Training Planning Meeting with David Adams of Texas Baptist, served the BSM, Board Meeting of Heart of Texas Baptist Encampment, attended my granddaughters veterans day Program, spent some time at the Tri-Rivers Retreat Center, provided resources to the Hispanic Church Fellowship and I attended the Texas Baptist Annual Meeting in Galveston. On Sunday, I was honored to share Northside Baptist Church in Texas City at The Texas Baptist Bivocational/Small Church Pastor and Family Association appreciation dinner.

This week, I was blessed to visit with Jaime Lopez - Tri-Rivers Hispanic Director as we look forward to building a stronger brotherhood of churches in 2021. The Saturday fellowship with the Hispanic pastors and spouse was a blessing. Thank you Pastor Francisco Reza for hosting.

With Thanksgiving Day right around the corner, I want to thank each of you for your prayers and support of Tri-Rivers Baptist Area and the mission to building a stronger "Brotherhood of Churches" so that every church is resourced and impowered to spreading the message of Salvation. It is a joy to serve each of you.

We are excited about the "Tri-Rivers Christmas Trio" as we travel around the Tri-Rivers Baptist Area performing for Area Churches that do not have a Christmas program in their church. We have already scheduled several churches, so if your church would like for us to come and share with your church please contact me at 432-202-1526 or

We are seeking Local Church Missionaries to serve in our area Churches. If you feel led to serve in this area of need, view this newsletter and please contact your Area Office at or 254-865-1299.

View the latest Classified Ad in this newsletter as we have churches in need of your talents.

I want to thank everyone who continues to give toward the Pay-Off of the Tri-Rivers Retreat Center. Your contributions are making a difference.

Please take time to view your Tri-Rivers Baptist Area Newsletter to remain connected to ministry needs and resources. If you have a ministry need or request, please do not hesitate to call your Area Office as we are here to serve you.

Until next week, “All the Believers were together and had everything in common.” Acts 2:44

“We are a Brotherhood of Churches”

Rev Richard Ray

Director of Missions


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If your church has scheduled a Revival please email us the following information to 


Name of Church 

Dates of Revival Services

Evangelist Name 

Worship Leaders Name


We are promoting all Revival Dates in the Newsletter an on the Tri-Rivers Baptist Area Website

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Ministry Assistant Report – Talon Keeney

This past week we prepared Angel Tree Cards for 102 children. These children live within 100 miles of Tri-Rivers Baptist Area. Angel Tree Ministry is such a powerful way to bless children of incarcerated parents and to share the true "reason for the season". This past Sunday, I attended Northside Baptist Texas City and just returned from the BGCT Annual Meeting in Galveston. I got to meet new people and make more connections with ministers from around the state. I had a wonderful time leading worship at the Texas Baptist Bivocational/Small Church Ministers and Spouse Association Appreciation Dinner. Thank you Chris Ortego and Richard Ray for the opportunity.

I am available to assist any of our area churches who need a guest worship leader or musician. I am excited to be a part of the "Tri-Rivers Christmas Trio" who will once again be performing for Area Churches that do not have a Christmas program in their church. We have already scheduled several churches, so if your church would like for us to come please contact DOM Richard Ray at 432-202-1526 or

We are seeking Local Church Missionaries to serve in our area Churches. If you feel led to serve in this area of need, view this newsletter and please contact your Area Office at or 254-865-1299.

We are still seeking Musicians and Worship Leaders to serve in our area Churches on Sunday. If you feel led to serve in this area of need, please contact your Area Office at or 254-865-1299.

I am here to serve you in all your ministry needs and it is my joy to do so. I look forward to meeting you as my wife Josalyne and I travel the Tri-Rivers Baptist Area visiting and worshiping with you on Sunday's.

"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world." John 16:33

Talon Keeney

Ministry Assistant


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[Email us HERE]

Hear from your Tri-Rivers Baptist Area

Director of Missions - Richard Ray

Pastor of FBC Hamilton - Drew Dabbs

on the

Thriving in Ministry Podcast

on Daily Pastor with Founders

Pastor Dace & Jacque Clifton - FBC Hico

(Click on the Photo below to hear the Podcast)

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Register HERE

Moving Forward Leadership Conference

for Sunday School/Discipleship Leaders in the

Tri-Rivers Baptist Area

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Hosted by: First Baptist Church, Lampasas



12:00 p.m. - Lunch (provided by FBC Lampasas)

12:45 p.m. - Plenary Session

1:15 p.m. - Move to Breakouts

1:20 p.m. - Breakout Sessions (leaders allow for a break)

  • Preschool Leaders 
  • Elementary Leaders
  • Youth Leaders
  • Adult Leaders/Directors
  • Pastors

3:00 p.m. - Dismiss


Breakout Sessions

  • Plenary (possible a panel of our team) - Encouragement, trends/urgency, new metrics
  • Preschool - (Jennifer Howington will enlist) - appropriate for both Sunday School leaders and weekday preschool teachers
  • Children Jennifer Howington, Childhood Ministry Specialist - include segment on including special needs
  • Adults - David Adams, Director and Adult Specialist - organizing for discipling/community/mission, engaging people in Bible study, moving to a mindset of discipleship in Sunday School, metrics, co-teachers
  • Pastors - (pending, David will enlist) - equipping for disciple-making personally as well as leading church, metrics, reaching young families in rural churches

Become a

Local Church Missionary

Serving Churches within the

Tri-Rivers Baptist Area

Serve Short Term or Long Term

Assisting a Church in reaching their Community for Jesus Christ

To Learn More & To Complete Application


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The Care for Refugees Workshop Report

By Talon Keeney, Tri-Rivers Ministry Assistant &

Rev Miles Miears, Tri-Rivers Ministry Encourager

This workshop was a great and eye-opening experience. We got to hear from Send Relief and World Relief on what their jobs and calling look like day to day. We went through statistical evidence showing what this growing refugee crisis looks like and what we can do to help with incoming Afghan families.

We looked to the Bible for guidance of what God says we should do and how we should treat the orphan, the widower, and the foreigner. We learned that welcoming refugees should not be something we fear but encourage and welcome as it is our duty as followers of Christ to do so. We are supposed to love our neighbor without caveats.

There are an estimated 26.5 million refugees worldwide and the number is rising. 57% of evangelical Christians find the arrival of immigrants or refugees a threat. 96% of economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal believe the net economic impact of illegal immigration is positive.

Refugees admitted through the U.S. Refugees Admissions program already are subject to the most thorough vetting of any category of visitor or immigrant to the US. Since the Refugee Act of 1980, (0) zero Americans have lost their life in a terrorist attack perpetrated by a refugee. 44% of Fortune 500 Companies were founded or co-founded by a refugee or other immigrant or their children. Statistics show that legal and undocumented immigrants cause less crime than US-born citizens.

75% of immigrants in the US are lawfully present. Afghanistan is the only nation in the world where less than 5% of the population personally knows a Christian. Among people of non-Christian religious traditions in North America- most of them refugees, asylees or other immigrants- 60% say they do not personally know a Christian.

A Christian Response to Refugees and Immigration: (P.L.E.A.S.E.)



E.mpowering Churches Abroad


S.erving Locally


World Relief North Texas empowers the church to care for the vulnerable through providing vital services, building just and welcoming communities, and bringing people together.

Your Tri-Rivers Baptist Area will continue Gathering Information from World Relief - North Texas on the potential of this Area Receiving Afghan Refugees and how we as a Church can assist in this Ministry.  

Here is how you can help Now:


Donations! I have attached a couple of lists of items that we need. The more donations for apartment setups that we can get for families, the more cash we can give them for rent and food. Donation drop offs can be coordinated through Lorrie Demers - 


Walmart Gift Cards! We will need to buy everything on the Material Needs list that is not donated for every family that is arriving. We want to be able to use gift cards to directly help each family. Again, this allows their money to last longer for rent and food.


Volunteers! Folks can go to the North Texas website and fill out the online application. We need volunteers to help our caseworkers as case aids, family friends, apartment set-ups, airport pick-ups, donation pick-ups, Good Neighbor Teams, ESL tutors and teachers, conversation partners, and more!


GIVE!  People and churches can support our efforts by donating through our website. We have recently been informed that many Afghans will be arriving under the status of "Parolee". What this means is that while they are no longer in eminent danger, they are not eligible to receive any benefits/funding from the US government. We estimate that it will cost $15k to meet the needs of a family of 4 for their first 90 days here in the US. Every gift given is truly a blessing and will provide vital services for newly arriving families. 


Pray! Pray for the Afghan families as they come that they would be surrounded by churches and volunteers that would build just and welcoming communities. Pray for World Relief North Texas and our volunteers as we provide vital services for the new families with low staff and lots of families coming each week. Pray as World Relief North Texas engages the church and volunteers in bringing people together. 


Warehouse Space! World Relief North Texas has warehouse space, but it is far from the apartment complex where most of our clients are being placed, it is not adequate for our needs as our number increase. If you have or know of space for storage, we want to know!

Thanks again, Richard! 

Grateful to be connected with you and looking forward to seeing how God might lead us to partner. 




Strategic Partnership Director - World Relief

516.425.7947 |

To Learn more about World Relief Go HERE

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Disaster Relief Orientation

This is where TBM Disaster Relief training begins. All TBM Disaster Relief volunteers must complete this training as well as a background check in order to serve. This class provides the fundamentals for serving in the wake of disasters. 

Specialty Trainings: All participants must have first taken the orientation class.

Food Handling Training

A warm meal warms the soul after a disaster. You can provide that critical meal through TBM feeding teams.

Fire and Flood Recovery Training

Fires and floods can ruin everything a person owns in a few short hours. Learn how you can deliver help, hope and healing after these disasters. 

Box Unit Training

When people lose everything in a disaster, they will begin the painful process of trying to salvage their items. Through TBM box ministry, you can walk alongside them in that process. 

Shower/Laundry Training

After a disaster, a hot shower and clean laundry are an immense blessing. You can provide that through TBM shower/laundry teams. 

Rebuild Training

This course empowers you to rebuild homes after disasters.


Churches that Support Texas Baptist Convention (BGCT) the Annual Church Profile

To Learn More Go to:

Annual Church Profile | Texas Baptists

If you need Assistance in Completing the ACP, 

please Contact your Director of Missions Richard Ray

To Download ACP Booklets go to

Tri Rivers Baptist Area - Gatesville Texas (


For Those Churches that Support the Southern

 Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC) 

The 2020-2021 Annual Church Profile is Due 

no later than February 28, 2022.

To Learn More Go Here:  

Annual Church Profile (ACP) - Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (

If you Need Assistance in Completing the ACP Contact your Director of Missions Richard Ray

Tri-Rivers Baptist Area is seeking a Volunteer to add a propane gas line (approximately 8 feet) to our outside laundry unit at the Tri-Rivers Retreat Center. If interested please contact your Director of Missions Richard Ray at 432-202-1526.

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To view the list of Bible Studies Available at your Area Office, go to our website or click Here

Tri-Rivers Baptist Area is partnering with Restoration Advocates, Inc. as we continue to minister to victims of Domestic Violence. 

Restoration Advocates exists to provide the care and support necessary for women, and their dependent children, who are victims of domestic violence and other dangers that place them at risk of life or physical harm and/or deprive them of their overall safety and sense of well-being. Our mission is for every woman in an unsafe home to have the confidence, as well as the resources, to independently support herself and her children.  


To that end, we have established a safe haven called Restoration Place, where survivors of family violence can live in safety as they restore their lives to health and happiness. Restoration Place provides emergency housing for women and children in crisis and we also offer transitional housing for a period of up to two years if that is needed for the family to be fully independent and self-supporting. Learn More HERE 



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 Newsletter, Summer 2021                            July 19, 2021


      Usually in the newsletter I focus on the activities at Restoration Place. Providing safe shelter for women in unsafe homes is important, but that is not all we do. 


             We work with other agencies in the area to fight against domestic abuse and to promote healthy relationships. We give presentations to civic groups of all kinds to help the community gain knowledge about the problem of abuse, the need for help in our area, and the resources we provide.


             Last year I responded to a request on Facebook from a woman who needed furniture. I found that she had fled an abuser and had been living with her parents. She rented a place of her own but had no furnishings. My husband and I met her at the RA storage building which contains donations we have not needed at the shelter and loaded our pickup and her car with furniture and kitchen supplies and took everything to her new home.


             When we get all from a woman in need of help, we pay for a motel for one or two nights as we listen to her story, discuss her options, and tell her about Restoration Place. Sometimes during that time, the abuser promises to make changes and a woman will decide to go back to her home to try to reconcile. We determine to never judge and are clear that we will support her in every way we can. This service has been valuable. As one woman put it, "This cooling off period has been a God send for me. I can't thank you guys enough for coming thru for me. It means the world when you feel like you have nobody. Thank you for all you are doing! I truly cannot express that enough." She headed back home with the assurance that we are available if she needs us again.


             We have phone calls from women who are not ready to leave an abusive situation but want to get information and we are happy to help out in that way. Some have questions about the process and resources that are available to them. Many have questions about their legal rights. We are careful to not advise beyond our knowledge or ability, but we can give the women basic information such as the fact that their children will not be taken from them if they leave, or that they will not lose everything if they walk out. A few months ago, I had a call from a woman who said, "I know I need to leave my husband, but I don't know how." We discussed her options and I helped her devise a plan. She was working but did not have control of finances. With permission from her husband, she began to put aside cash to save "for a family vacation," which she kept in a safe place. She applied for and was hired at a new job without her husband's knowledge. She hired a lawyer. She rented a house and and was able to take her children and, with some help moved into her new home. 


             The hardest question to hear is, "Will God forgive me if I divorce my husband?" My answer comes quickly and without reservation, "God forgives you for everything. BUT leaving your abusive husband is not something that requires forgiveness." The understanding of these women is that God declared marriage to be permanent and commanded his people to not divorce except in cases of adultery. People sometimes quote a verse in the Bible, Malachi 2:16, "God hates divorce." But that is not the entire verse. This is what God says in that verse. "I hate divorce. I hate the person who covers himself with violence...Be careful not to be unfaithful." God is speaking very specifically to men who were unfaithful to their wives, then sent them away by divorce. His purpose in speaking about divorce was to protect women who were being abandoned without any means of support. God does not want any of his daughters to live in violence, under threat, being controlled and demeaned. Does God value marriage? Yes, absolutely. God does not value marriage more than women, more than children. God desires that every woman be valued and cherished. Restoration Advocates agrees that women are of great value and should live in freedom and safety and that is why we are here. Thank you for partnering with us in that mission.


             Since we opened Restoration Place last year, we have provided shelter for thirteen women and eleven children. Thank you for your support. Your donations have made possible everything we do.


Jeannette Maxwell

Executive Director

Donate through Paypal, Venmo, or Zelle to Restoration Advocates

or mail a check to P.O. Box 961, Stephenville TX, 76401

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Tri-Rivers Baptist Area Churches

Seeking Pastors & Staff

View Church Profile and Submit Resume


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First Baptist Church of Evant, Texas

is seeking a

Worship Pastor

Youth Pastor

Please Submit Resumes or Questions to 

Pastor Dane Barron

 First Baptist Church of Hico, Texas

is seeking a

Worship Pastor

Please Submit Resumes or Questions to

First Baptist Church of Gatesville, TX

is seeking a

Worship Leader

Please Submit Resume or Questions to

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First Baptist Church in Gatesville, Texas

is seeking either a part-time or full-time Youth Pastor who feels a calling to minister to teenagers of all ages and is able to reach them where they are in life. Individuals interested in this position must have strong communication skills, possess the ability to build and develop strong relationships with both the students and their parents, be able to plan and implement a comprehensive and quality ministry, as well as have an ongoing personal commitment to maintain a vital and growing walk with the Lord through Bible study, prayer and meditation. 

Please send resumes to 

Attention Personnel Committee

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 Live Oak Baptist Church in Gatesville is seeking a part-time

Children's Ministry Director. 

           If you believe that God is calling you to apply for this Ministry Position please contact the Church at or 

Chairperson Faye Nichols at

You can also call the church at (254) 865-5681 for a complete job description. 

Tri-Rivers Baptist Area is also posting this Ministry Position HERE


First Baptist Church Kempner is in need of a piano player. 

For more information contact Don Casper

(512) 932-3195 

Cross Bearer Baptist Church is in need of a piano player. For more information contact Bro. Fisher


Oakalla Baptist Church is looking for a pianist for their Sunday Services.

They are willing to pay a honorarium.

If you are interested please contact Bro. Clay Cole: or (254) 681-7397


Church youth director with experience needed (salaried position - $800 a month) to lead children on Wednesday nights. Will need to recruit children. Person hired must become a member of our church, attend Sunday morning services, and be willing to teach Sunday School. 

If interested, call Community Baptist Church, Dublin, for an application 254-445-4479.

Background check required. 

For questions, e-mail Pastor Judy or call 254-979-1944

Church Registration for On-Site Active Shooter Response Class 


Tri-Rivers Baptist Area will offer free Certified On-Site Active Shooter Response Class. Bob Ray III is Texas DPS Certified in Active Shooter Response. He is available through your Tri-Rivers Area Office to educate your church safety/security team and congregation. There is no cost to your church.


Register your church for the Active Shooter Response Class opportunity by calling your Area Office or register on-line at our website:


 (254) 865-1299 

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Selden Baptist Church has a 1960s Hammond Organ available. 

It has a single locking base and full keyboard. 

Contact Milton at 254-386-7966

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Tri-Rivers Ministry Fund Supporting Churches

The following churches support the Tri-Rivers Baptist Area Strategic Plan for 2021

(Strategic Ministries, Free Student Summer Retreats, Domestic Violence Emergency Safehouse/Hotline, Etc.)

Carlton Baptist Church | Clairette Baptist Church

Coryell Community Church | Cottonwood Baptist Church

Cross Bearers Baptist Church | Cross Community Baptist Church

Eagle Springs Baptist Church | Eastwood Baptist Church

Edna Hill Baptist Church | Fairy Baptist Church

FBC Copperas Cove | FBC Evant

FBC Hamilton | FBC Kempner

FBC Lampasas | FBC Lometa

St. John Baptist Church | Littleville Baptist Church

Live Oak Baptist Church | Morgan Mill Baptist Church

Northside Baptist Church | Pleasant Valley Baptist Church

PIB Catedral de Alabanza | Primera Iglesia Bautista

Providence Baptist Church | Purmela Baptist Church

Purves Baptist Church | Robertson Ave. Baptist Church

Selden Baptist Church | Sweet Home Baptist Church

Trinity Baptist Church | True Vine Fellowship

Turnersville Baptist Church | Valley Grove Baptist Church

If your church would like to participate contact your director of missions, Richard Ray:


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Tri-Rivers Retreat Fund Supporting Churches

The following churches support the Tri-Rivers Retreat Center for 2021

Clear Creek Baptist Church | Cottonwood Baptist Church

Cross Bearers Baptist Church | Eastwood Baptist Church

Fairy Baptist Church | FBC Evant

FBC Gatesville | FBC Kempner

Jonesboro Baptist Church | Northside Baptist Church

Pidcoke Baptist Church | Primera Iglesia Bautista

Providence Baptist Church | Purmela Baptist Church

School Creek Baptist Church | Trinity Baptist Church

White Hall Baptist Church

If your church would like to participate contact your director of missions, Richard Ray:


Office Hours:

Monday      9:30am-3:30pm

Tuesday     9:30am-3:30pm

Wednesday  9:30am-3:30pm

Thursday     9:30am-3:30pm


Tri-Rivers Baptist Area

502 E. Main Street, Gatesville, TX | 254.865.1299