They say everything’s bigger in Texas. Well, that’s certainly the case when it comes to Dallas-Fort Worth—a large landscape of cities that have inched so close together it’s hard to tell where one ends and another begins. In fact, it’s been noted that the twelve counties that comprise the DFW Metroplex are larger than the states of Rhode Island and Connecticut combined.
What were small farm towns just a few decades ago are now booming suburbs. DFW is one of the hottest housing markets in the country; it’s a location destination for many companies; it’s now home for thousands of Californians who were attracted to the area by jobs and lower cost of living; and the population has soared to 7.2 million.
With a burgeoning number of transplants, Crossover 2018, the evangelistic event to be held June 8–10 prior to the SBC annual meeting, is an amazing opportunity for Southern Baptists to make a lasting impact. Although DFW is often referred to as the “Buckle of the Bible Belt”—with myriad churches, including some of the most dynamic in the country—there are many people who have never heard the Gospel.
For Crossover, the North American Mission Board is partnering with Harvest America 2018 and more than 350 local churches for an evangelistic event on June 10 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
Greg Laurie, senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, which began cooperating with the Southern Baptist Convention last year, has led crusades for nearly three decades.
Harvest America 2016, also held at AT&T Stadium, was deemed the largest one-day, live evangelistic event in American history. More than eighty-two thousand people packed the home of the Dallas Cowboys, but including remote site attendees and webcast viewers, the number of participants climbed to more than 357,000. Most importantly, 25,557 professions of faith were reported!
While preaching at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano recently, Laurie called Harvest America 2016 “one of the greatest moments of our history.” He asked for prayer—that churches would come together to invite those who do not yet know Jesus to attend the one-day crusade. And he joked that he is coming to Texas to evangelize Californians.
Certainly, the many transplanted Californians have already learned a great deal about Texas. Here’s a crash course—DFW is incredibly diverse. Consider that you can go from the artistic atmosphere of the Bishop Arts District in North Oak Cliff to the cool vibe of Deep Ellum in urban Dallas to the rustic feel of the Stockyards in Fort Worth to The Star in Frisco, the world headquarters of the Dallas Cowboys and bustling entertainment district.
First, decide what you want to do. If you find temperatures in the upper eighties to be uncomfortable, you may want to stay indoors. Fortunately, there are plenty of options.
One of the most popular tourist sites is the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, with captivating exhibits chronicling the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. It is a somber but important historical experience.
Make sure to visit the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum for a look at the life and presidency of the forty-third leader of our country, including a stirring reflection dedicated to the events of 9/11.
Also in Big D, head to the Arts District to visit the Dallas Museum of Art, the Trammell and Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art, and the Nasher Sculpture Center.
If you have children, the Dallas Zoo is a wonderful option. Established in 1888, it was the first zoo in the southwest and today boasts as the largest zoological experience in Texas. The Dallas World Aquarium is a must-see with the sights and sounds of a rainforest and vibrant aquariums. And they will love the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, not only for the gigantic dinosaur display but for the interactive learning exhibits.
Heading west to Fort Worth, visit the Kimbell Art Museum, considered one of the finest small museums in the world. Within minutes you can go from Monet and Picasso at the Kimbell to cowboys and cattle drives at the Stockyards Museum.
Which brings us to the outdoors. The Stockyards are a great place to start! There’s nothing more authentic (as a tourist) than stepping into the Old West, purchasing a pair of boots, and experiencing a cattle drive. From there you can head to Sundance Square for a bite to eat, or Joe T. Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant. You can also take in the beauty of Fort Worth Botanic Garden. And your children will love the Fort Worth Zoo, ranked among the top in the country. On your way back to Dallas, you can spend a few hours at Six Flags Over Texas, a place your kids won’t want to miss!
If you enjoy the national pastime, take in a Texas Rangers baseball game at Globe Life Park in Arlington. You can also catch the up-and-coming Rangers—the Frisco RoughRiders (AA). The games are always entertaining and the park is fun for the kids.
The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is beautiful, with much to offer even the youngest of visitors. And award-winning Klyde Warren Park is considered one of the best urban parks in the country—a five-acre park built over a freeway in the heart of Dallas. There’s plenty for the kids to do and a variety of food trucks.
Speaking of food, don’t leave without experiencing a taste of Texas—from Tex-Mex to BBQ. But, DFW has so much more to offer the taste buds. Just look around, you’ll find everything from gourmet doughnuts to fine dining!
If that’s not enough for you, Chip and Joanna Gaines’s Magnolia Market in Waco is a mere ninety miles south on Interstate 35!
Of course, DFW is also home to two of our SBC entities—GuideStone Financial Resources in Dallas and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth.
So come join us this summer and experience all the Dallas-Fort Worth area has to offer. Come see the sights, participate in Crossover, and celebrate with your Southern Baptist family how God is working in and through our Convention. Most importantly, come to share the love of Jesus with people in DFW who need to know Him.
Sunday, June 10—SBC Leadership Preaching in Dallas Area
|Jason Allen, president, Midwestern Seminary||First Baptist Church Mansfield
1800 E Broad St
Mansfield, TX 6063
|Kevin Ezell, president, North American Mission Board||North Richland Hills
6955 Boulevard 26
North Richland Hills, TX 76180
|8:00a, 9:30a, 11:00a|
|Steve Gaines, SBC president; senior pastor, Bellevue Baptist Church||Birchman Baptist Church
9100 N. Normandale Street
Fort Worth, TX 76116
|J. D. Greear, pastor, The Summit Church||Prestonwood Baptist Church
6801 W. Park Blvd
Plano, TX 75093
|O. S. Hawkins, president, GuideStone Financial Resources||First Baptist Dallas
1707 San Jacinto
Dallas, TX 75201
|Ken Hemphill, founding director, Center for Church Planting & Revitalization, North Greenville University||Mesquite Friendship Baptist Church
680 E. US Hwy 80
Mesquite, TX 75149
|Russell Moore, president, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission||The Village Church
2101 Justin Road
Flower Mound, TX 75028
|9:00a, 11:15a, 3:00p, 5:15p|
|David Platt, president, International Mission Board||First Baptist Church, Euless
1000 W Airport Fwy
Euless, TX 76039
|Walter Strickland, SBC first vice president||First Baptist Church Farmersville
124 South Washington Street
Farmersville, TX 75442
Information communicated to the Executive Committee as of June 9, 2018.
Berta Delgado is editor in the Communications Ministry at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas.