On September 26, 2021, the Texas Baptist Missions Foundation (TBMF) will host the Founder’s Banquet at Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas. This event celebrates the leadership of Bill Arnold, who began the work that became TBMF in 1984 and served as president of the Missions Foundation until his retirement in 2020. Rita Griffith, who served as Administrative Assistant for TBMF from 2000 through 2020, will also be honored for her innumerable contributions to the Foundation. The banquet will be a time of fellowship and reflection on all that God has done through Arnold, Griffith and so many others working with TBMF.
“The Founder’s Banquet honoring Bill Arnold and Rita Griffith for their decades of service will be a powerful testimony to God’s goodness and grace,” stated Jerry Carlisle, president of TBMF since 2020. “As Daniel Boorstin, the former Librarian of Congress, wisely said, ‘Trying to plan for the future without a sense of the past is like trying to plant cut flowers.’ With gratitude for all that has gone before, the Missions Foundation continues to move into the future God intends for Texas Baptists.”
TBMF was initially developed as an outgrowth of Mission Texas, a project with the goal of starting 2,000 new churches between 1985 and 1990 in order to keep pace with the rapid growth and increasing diversity in Texas. The fundraising efforts toward a goal of $30 million over and above the Cooperative Program budget were conducted by lay leaders, such as chair Fred Roach, and included Arnold, then BGCT Youth Consultant, as staff coordinator. The Mission Texas project was completed ahead of schedule, and the fundraising goals were surpassed. Following the path of that achievement, the Texas Baptist Missions Foundation was created with Bill Arnold as its first president. Rita Griffith’s administrative support for the final two decades of Bill’s tenure was vital to the ministry’s success.
Since its inception, TBMF has connected generous donors with opportunities to support disaster relief, new church starts, Baptist Student Ministry, and mission efforts throughout Texas and beyond. The Foundation actively promotes current gifts and also works with families and individuals to plan their giving legacies. In 2020, the Missions Foundation assisted 4,677 donors in making 24,862 gifts totalling $7,160,701. The TBMF staff is available to assist churches seeking to grow in generosity and faithful stewardship.
The Founder’s Banquet will take place on September 26, 2021, at 6:00 p.m. in the Great Hall of Park Cities Baptist Church. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 per person or $200 for a table of eight. The evening will conclude with an opportunity to personally congratulate Arnold and Griffith. Reservations can be made here or by calling (214) 828-5343.
If the banquet must be canceled due to COVID-19, we will notify all registrants by Monday, September 13, and provide a full refund.