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ETBU hosts Congreso Experience for Hispanic students in East Texas

February 19, 2024

East Texas Baptist University hosted a Congreso Experience on Saturday, February 17 in partnership with Texas Baptists (BGCT).

The Congreso Experience on ETBU’s campus came with opportunities for local Hispanic youth to meet current ETBU students, tour the campus, and engage with each other through thought-provoking discussion, worship, and community service.

“ETBU is honored to collaborate with Congreso and Texas Baptists in organizing the Congreso Experience each spring on our campus,” ETBU Vice President for Enrollment Jeremy Johnston said. “It’s a joy to see so many students eager to grow in their walk with Christ and begin to unpack the calling He has on their lives.”

Small group workshops were led by ETBU staff and Congreso staff, featuring topics such as Succeeding in High School and College, Finding your Path in Higher Education, The Great Commission Goes to College, Three Big Questions, Making Memories: College Edition, and Pastoral Track.

In addition, the Congreso Experience emphasized the value of serving and sharing the Christian faith through community mission projects. During the event, students were able to assemble hygiene kits in Keys Gym to be used by Texas Baptists’ River Ministry, a mission effort that has been working for more than 50 years to reach the 2.7 million people along the Texas-Mexico border. The ministry’s priorities are evangelism, training church leaders, meeting physical needs, and facilitating partnerships with local churches and Texas Baptists churches around the state.

Ricky Ruiz, Minister of Mobberly En Español for Mobberly Baptist Church, gave the charge during the worship rally that closed the day.

“Our job is to humble ourselves in surrender,” Ruiz said. “His job is to carry us under His hand and exalt us in the proper time. You can’t cast your worries on Him if you don’t humbly seek Him as the only one who can carry your anxieties. Trust His plan; trust His promise.”

Congreso Experiences are all-day free events consisting of workshops, group activities, and an afternoon worship rally designed to encourage Hispanic students in their education and spiritual walk. The events give opportunities for local students to dive deeper into God's calling in their lives and focuses on the importance of higher education.

Texas Baptists is a fellowship of diverse churches, institutions, and organizations working together to continue Jesus’ ministry of sharing the Gospel and meeting human needs. Each year, Texas Baptists host Congreso, a three-day conference specifically designed for Hispanic youth. Hosted by affiliated organizations, Congreso Experiences are one-day events held regionally.

“The Congreso Experiences provide students with a glimpse into the main Congreso event, and all experiences take place on a Baptist University campus,” Congreso Coordinator for Texas Baptists David Gonzalez said. “This allows for campus and student life exposure and gives the university the ability to promote the different programs and amenities provided. This gives students a first hand look into the college experience, and the opportunity to analyze their own spiritual and academic life.”