Texas City’s First Baptist Church will celebrate the 13th pastoral anniversary of its leader, the Rev. A.L. Bell at 10:15 a.m. July 21 at 2120 36th St. N. with guests, the Rev. Mose Jones and his Bethlehem Baptist Church of Houston.

“Pastor Bell is a man after Gods own heart,” offered his fellow First staffer, the Rev. Darryl Turner.

Deacon Harvey Martin added, “He is a committed and passionate leader. These qualities are necessary to lead God’s people and his church. Pastor Bell has been called to shepherd First Baptist Church to fulfill the Great Commission. People are more willing to follow when they know how much you care. That said, I’m willing to partner with and follow Pastor Bell as he demonstrates his committed and passionate love for Christ and His church.”

For details, call 409-945-7700.

The Rev. Dr. John D. Morgan is something of a local legend in church circles. A half-century or so ago, he founded a 15-member fellowship in Pasadena that has grown to become the mega-church with the enormous cross on the beltway, Sagemont Church. It currently has over 20,000 folks on its roles.

Morgan will address the Friendswood Prayer Breakfast at 7:10 a.m. on July 20 at the First Baptist Church, 111 E. Heritage Drive.

“My topic will be on the importance of character in the life of a leader,” Morgan, now 78, said. “No matter who you are or what you background is, it’s important to do what is right.”

There’s a suggested donation of $5 to cover the breakfast cost.

For details, call 713-408-4785.

This may be the first offering we’ve run that combines swimming, picnicking and a concert into one event.

Dickinson’s Christian Renewal Center will host just such a free concert party from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on July 20 at 1515 Hughes Road.

“We have three bands performing praise and worship music, swimming in our pool, and families are invited to bring a picnic to enjoy,” said Kim Brown, the center’s director. “For over 50 years we have been serving the community and we thought that this would be a great way to celebrate.”

For details, call 281-337-1312.

Update: A single-elimination classic hymn tournament is underway at The Hymn Society online. Favorites include Holy, Holy, Holy; Be Thou My Vision, Amazing Grace and O, For a Thousand Tongues.

There’s a contemporary bracket as well. It contains: In Christ Alone, How Great is Our God, Canticle of the Turning and others.

Details on Facebook and at thehymnsociety.org.

More? The number of faith-centered folks may not be growing in the industrial West, but Pew Research suggests that faith is very important in the countries which are themselves growing fastest.

In Africa, 85 percent of Nigerians say religion is very important in their lives, as do 93 percent of Tanzanians, 91 percent of Zambians and 87 percent of the residents of Mozambique.

The U.S. figure for comparison is 53 percent.

Events for Faith Focus should be submitted at least two weeks in advance. Rick Cousins can be reached at rick.cousins@galvnews.com.

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