Celebrate with us the many ways that God is at work among our churches, our communities, and throughout the world.

2014

As Volunteers Sow the Seeds

Sometimes it's those unexpected moments that really count. Margie Randall, Missionary to the City serving refugees in apartments in southwest Houston, shared what a difference volunteers made as they gathered to transport apartment residents to and from a Christmas event at Second Baptist. One volunteer shared that, during the ride,  "I. asked me to play a song in my car called "I believe." He said it's his favorite and he sang along in my backseat. The verse of the song is basically a profession of faith stating what Christians believe. Then he and R. were talking about Adam and Eve and how sin entered the world because of then and how Jesus had to come and die for us." To volunteer with Margie at the St. Cloud Apartments, email her here.   | posted 12/19/2014

As Inmates Begin New Life in Christ

UBA rejoices at the report that 11 men were baptized at the conclusion of the November Freedom Weekend conducted at the Carol Vance Unit while 50 new applicants plan to start the House Church Training Program there in January.| posted 12/12/2014

 

 As New Believers Grow in Christ

Pastor Charles Anderson of Conqueror's Fellowship shared recently how he had taught on the story of the Good Samaritan.  Soon after the teaching concluded, the members of the church, some of the men, ex-offenders,  got together and cooked a hot meal and served it to the homeless people under a nearby bridge.  New believers modeling Christ. Read the full story here in the words of one of the participating members.   |   posted 12/12/2014 

Continued Spiritual Impact in Area Prisons

Pray for Prison MinistryRickie Bradshaw reports, "The Organic Church Planters training at the Carol Vance Unit, Jester Three Unit and The Terrell Unit are experiencing a move of God that is nothing short of Spiritual Awakening among the unit populations. The wardens who supervise these units are fully supportive and are participating in the in the training events. Pray that the Lord will continue to lead us in partnering with Him as this movement continues to spread and that He will send forth workers into His harvest. "   |   posted 10/06/2014 

Through New Church Plants

UBA celebrates the start of several new churches in covenant with UBA:  Anointed House of Prayer with Pastor Herbert Norman; Conquerors Family Church with pastor Charles Anderson; Iglesia Cristiana Cypress with pastor Santiago Perez-Diaz; Revive Church with pastor Eduardo Escobar; Sovereign Grace Baptist Church with pastor Ulysses R. McKneely II; and Kashmere Gardens Fellowship Church with pastor Dave Dozier. |   posted 08/19/2014

Through Margie's Ministry with Refugees

Margie Randall, Missionary to the City, celebrates a recent Saturday where 19 children from nations including Ethiopia, Eritrea, Mexico, Bhutan/Nepal, and the Congo, left their games and peacefully gathered to listen to Bible stories at the apartment ministry.  While there have been ethnic tensions sometimes before, on this day none of the children refused to be in the room with children of another nationality/cultural group.  "Jesus does bring peace," says Margie.   |   posted 07/21/2014 

As Churches Go Forth Into the World

UBA celebrates the missional commitment of Iglesia Bautista Del Redentor as pastor Moises Flores leads them to continue their partnership in Senegal, West Africa.  Pray for the mission team leaving in June and for the current follower of Christ in Senegal.  Pray that the team will have opportunity the share the good news of new life in Christ and that those who hear will have open and receptive hearts.  | posted 06/01/2014

With Iglesia Cristiana Bethel

Church PlantingUBA celebrates the start of Iglesia Cristiana Bethel (organized 02/16/2014) with pastor Santiago Perez-Diaz.  Iglesia Cristiana Bethel has entered covenant affiliation with UBA in partnership with Iglesia Bautista Horeb whose pastor is Campo Londoño.  Pray for Pastor Perez-Diaz and Iglesia Cristiana Bethel as they begin this ministry of reaching out to the community.

With Sovereign Grace Baptist Church

Church PlantingUBA celebrates the start of Sovereign Grace Baptist Church (organized 08/16/2013) with pastor Ulysses R. McKneely II.  Sovereign Grace has entered covenant affiliation with UBA in partnership with Rose of Sharon Baptist Church whose pastor is Elmo Johnson.  Pray for Pastor McKneely and Sovereign Grace as they begin this ministry of reaching out to the community.

As Baptisms Bear Witness to New Life in Christ

New Church Plant BaptismsCelebrate with our UBA new & developing church plants as they share with us their baptisms and professions of faith:  Life Houston Community Church pastor Josh Arnett celebrates 4 baptisms and 1 profession of faith; Hip Hop Hope pastor Bobby Herring celebrates the baptism of young believers braving cold water with pastor Guy Caskey.  (You Tube Video); Streetlife Louisiana pastor Terry Venable celebrates the baptisms of 11 new believers; Iglesia Westchase Church Katy pastor Nathan Estrada celebrates the baptisms of 3 new believers.   |   posted 05/21/2014

Through Margie's Faithfulness

Margie's Refugee MinistryMargie serves as voluntary Missionary to the City focusing on two apartment complexes in southwest Houston.  This month, she reports that four new followers of Jesus were baptized following a telling of the resurrection story on Easter.  Pray for these four new followers and also for the 8 elderly Hindu women who have asked Margie for Bibles.  God's word does not return void.  To read more stories from Margie, click here.  Consider taking your church mission team to serve with her.  Email Margie.  | posted 04/26/2

At the Cup of Nations Soccer Tournament in Houston

Cup of Nations Soccer TournamentBorn in the heart of UBA pastor Sergei Khripunov, the Cup of Nations Soccer Tournament began four years ago for the purpose of developing positive friendships and relationships across cultures.  Churches are planted, ministries are developed, friendships are formed, and the diversity of God's creation is embraced as over 800 people came together to support community national teams participating in Houston's 5th Cup of Nations Soccer Tournament.  Read the Houston Chronicle article here.  |  posted 04/23/2014

Through Multiplying Cell Groups

Hispanic Cell GroupsUBA celebrates the growing number of Hispanic congregations who have implemented cell groups as evangelism & ministry opportunities in their congregations.  Pray for the newly formed team of leaders from 5 congregations who have implemented the cell/celebration model and will be encouraging and mentoring others.   Read the story of one cell group here in English o en español. |   posted 04/22/2014

Across Cultures in Church Planting

Church PlantingUBA celebrates the unity of the Body of Christ as a Spanish-speaking Korean church planter starts a new church in Houston desiring to share the Good News in a congregation of both Korean and Spanish-speaking people.  Pray for Pastor Shin Won Seok, a Korean pastor, who planted a church in Bogota Columbia, arriving there with only $500 in resources.  He and his wife now reside in Houston and have gathered a group of primarily Spanish-speaking people who will worship in Spanish and Korean.   |   posted 04/10/2014

In the Carol Vance Unit, Sugarland

Prison MinistryUBA celebrates the transforming power of God as 107 inmates signed in (March 21-23) for the Organic Church Freedom Weekend and Lock-in led by Rickie Bradshaw, Pastor Johnnie Gentry of Free Indeed Church, and a number of volunteers who taught, worshiped and prayed with the men throughout the weekend.  On Sunday, families were allowed to worship with the inmates.  |  posted 03/25/2014

In Second Generation Leadership

In the Wynne Unit School for Church Planters, second generation leadership is emerging.  Parris Patrick, UBA Pastor and a member of the leadership team of trainers for the Wynne Unit School for Church Planters, reports that one of the inmates in the group last year brought 2 new men to the group for the Monday night group meeting (Feb 10).  He had trained and prepared the men who then led the group.   "Each one covered 2 chapters [of the current teaching material] and were well prepared and excited for the opportunity to facilitate," reports Parris.  15 men were present in the group.  Pray the God continues to transform lives and multiply disciples through this ministry. | posted 03/17/2014

Developing Disciples

Rickie Bradshaw reports that in February, training began for the ex-offenders at the IFI Re-entry Center with a lay leader from Houston's First Baptist Church.  The Re-Entry Center has an 8 bed facility that will be occupied by former inmates from the Carol Vance and Wynne Units who have been trained in the principles of organic leadership and multiplication.  These men will be paroled to the re-entry center for 6 months to continue building on their commitment to start Organic House Church across the Great Houston Area.  Pray for J.M. from Houston's First who will lead the group and for the men who will no doubt face many struggles and temptations in their journey to remain faithful to God's calling.  Pray that each of these 8 men will be able to start and sustain a small group/organic church. | posted 03/17/2014 

Multiplying Leaders

You've read the stories of the weekly leadership development sessions with inmates in the Wynne Unit in Huntsville, TX.  During this second year, the fruit begins to be even more evident.  Jerry Phillips, Missions Pastor of Covenant Church, celebrates this account of God at work.  When the scheduled leader was unexpectedly not available for the group meeting in the  Trustee Camp that evening, Jerry improvised by dividing the men into three groups, giving each a counseling scenario to work on, and leaving them to it.  As he returned later in the session to each of the groups in the School for Church Planters, he was moved to hear well-thought-out, appropriate, biblical recommendations and solutions being offered by each group.  We are celebrating God at Work.  | posted 03/10/2014

In the Next Generation

Among the UBA staff, we are increasingly aware of how God is at work in the lives of young leaders and pastors who have committed to ministry in difficult places.  In a recent conversation with a young pastor, we learned that he had grown up in the church, pursued his education, and now had returned to the church to serve as pastor, desiring to invest his life in the community.  Josh Ellis, Senior Church Consultant, is connected with 6 or 8 young leaders in a variety of ministries around the city. There are the 5 or 6 young pastors continue to regularly travel to Huntsville on a monthly basis to share in the discipleship of the men in the School for Church Planters in the Wynne Unit.  We are celebrating God at Work.   | posted 02/25/2014 

Through Apartment Ministries

One of UBA's Missionaries to the City works tirelessly among the refugees of a certain apartment complex. Many of the residents are Hindu, some Muslim, others of no faith background at all.  Our missionary (totally volunteer, often spending money out of her own pocket) heads up Back-To-School Backpack Drives, sits for hours in the doctor's office with an apartment resident fearful to go on her own, prays with wives who are lonely and have no jobs, distributes clothing both new and used to those who need it, freely gives hugs, often tells Bible stories, and generally reflects the love of Christ in as many ways as possible.  Recently, she tells us, the owner of her apartment complex, who happens to be a Pakistani-Muslim, came to her and said, "I want you to start a new ministry in the apartments I have bought.  I want all Muslims to become followers of Jesus."  We are celebrating God at Work.      | posted 02/25/2014

Among Hispanics

Less than 20 years ago, the impact of UBA among our Hispanic congregations and communities was negligible.  In 1997, when we began entering attendance in an electronic data base, only 80 of the 1,242 attendance entries was linked to a UBA Hispanic congregation - only 6%. In 2013, 16 years later, that number has risen to 43%.  It is not uncommon to learn of Hispanic congregations digging wells in Mexico, teaching leadership courses in Latin America, sponsoring a new church, or going on mission to Senegal, West Africa.  Three tracks of Líderes Transformadores have developed:  Líderes Transformadores for pastors, Líderes Mujeres for the wives of pastors, and Líderes Congregacionales for members.  Most recently, 68 leaders completed module 4 of OIKOS, a model for developing cell/celebration churches.  We are celebrating God at Work.    | posted 02/25/2014

In Our Prisons

 God at work in our prisons.Many of you read Derick's story (not his real name) in our UBA Prayer Guide for the city last year.  You read how he was a violent offender, a gang leader, and called himself 'a monster.' You read how he had met Jerry Phillips, Minister of Missions at Covenant Fellowship Church, and then had later been further discipled through the Organic Church ministry led by Sally Hinzie, Rickie Bradshaw, and a group of UBA pastors. (You can review that story here.)  

 The celebration of God at Work continues.  Derick has since been released to Dallas.  He got work as a server in a restaurant. Before long, he had worked his way up to head waitstaff.  As head waitstaff, Derick was entitled to a % of the tips that the other waitstaff received.  Derick told them that he didn't wan't their money -- he wanted some of their time.  For those who agreed, Derick started a Bible study and is now discipling them with the Organic Church principles that he learned in prison.  We are celebrating God at Work.  Pray for Derick and others who have been and are soon to be released from prison.  As ex-offenders, their lives will not be easy, and they face many temptations and struggles.  Lift them in prayer as the strive to continue to live a life pleasing to God.   |posted 02/25/2014

2013 

Through Youth Camps

For a week in July (2013), 54 campers from the UBA Mission Centers of Houston's ministry to inner city kids participated in the 2013 Souled Out Camp.  (Photos)  Campfires, swimming, challenge courses, and time with missionaries and volunteers provided a time for fun and spiritual growth.  Pray that the seeds of truth & love take root in the lives of these young people.  Thanks to 19 missionaries, 9 staff and 12 volunteers who made this possible.    | posted 08/01/2013