You never know how God might connect the dots in your life. Just ask Dr. David Daniels, the Senior Pastor of Fort Worth’s Pantego Bible Church.
“I came to Christ as a senior at Lamar High School through the testimony of two good friends – one who attended Pantego Bible Church,” Daniels recalled. “I didn’t know what a Pantego was or what a Bible church was! I went away to college and to seminary. I served in several churches. About nine years ago, I got a call from Pantego Bible Church to come back to the area as pastor. It’s really neat to see the full circle of my faith journey – coming back to a church where it all began.”
Under Daniel’s leadership, Pantego has focused on mission – locally and around the world.
“What we realized is that the purpose of God throughout all of time has been the transformation of people’s lives so they might be used by God to really change the world,” said Daniels. “That’s our heartbeat.”
That heartbeat has revolutionized many lives – including that of James. James, who began attending Pantego about five years ago with his wife, Juana, struggled with alcoholism.
“James was broken,” said Roger Sappington, Lead Pastor of Community and Mission. “One of our members loved on James and pointed him toward the grace of Christ. James came to see that Christ had come to make him whole. Through that, James overcame his alcoholism. He began loving his wife and his daughter in new ways.
“James and Juana began to serve through Pantego,” Sappington continued. “They went on a short-term mission trip to China, where they visited an orphanage filled with children who were physically impaired. That pricked their hearts and they adopted a son from that orphanage. That’s a picture of God’s grace through our church.”
Like many churches, Pantego is in the midst of a debt retirement program. What is unique about Pantego is how it plans to use the funds that will be available when the debt is paid off.
“We’re committing that next year to giving away a million dollars,” said Executive Pastor Keith Smith. “We’re calling it ‘This Changes Everything!’ The focus is not on Pantego – it’s about taking the gospel around the block and around the world. Our people are leaning forward because they get to be part of sacrificially making sure the gospel is taken further than we’ve ever taken it before.”
Easter is fast approaching – a time when, as Dr. Daniels well knows, many people will come to Pantego who need to hear about the hope found only in Jesus Christ.
“I’m going to focus this year on what was missed at Easter,” said Daniels. “When you look at the story in the Bible, you find that along the way, there were so many people who missed things – the message of Jesus, the intention of Jesus and the hope of Jesus. We’re going to focus on not missing that Jesus Christ has been raised from the dead and we have hope in Him because of Easter morning.”
That gets back to Pantego’s heartbeat.
“We want God to be made famous through everything we do,” said Dr. Daniels. “We believe that God is best seen through the life transformation of His people. We desire to make God known by making disciples who are changed by God to change the world.”