Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | August 29, 2013

Kingsland’s Roots

In 1976, Alex Haley published “Roots, The Saga of an American Family.” Haley’s novel tells the story of his family’s journey to America, starting with an ancestor named Kunta Kinte who came to Maryland aboard a slave ship in 1767. “Roots” resonated with millions of Americans and made us curious about our own history.

There is a continuing interest these days in learning about our roots. Online services like make it easier than ever before to make discoveries about those who came before us. Knowing something about our roots is important because it gives context to our existence and reminds us that we are here because of those who came before us.

Churches also have roots. Many years ago, the people of Baptist Temple in Houston had a vision to plant a new church to reach Houston’s westward expanding population. As a result, they started Tallowood. After a few years, Tallowood planted a church called Kingsland to reach the people living even farther west of their campus.

Cover Photo

John Crowe (River Bend), Matt Powell (Crossings), Paul Cockrell (Bethel)

Thirteen years ago, Kingsland planted River Bend to reach folks living in the Fulshear area. Kingsland also helped start Crossings Community Church. And one year ago, we launched a third daughter church called Bethel. In addition to that, our missions ministry has financially supported several other new church plants.

Perhaps the most encouraging part of this story is how each of the churches we have helped to start or supported also have a vision to plant churches. I was so encouraged when the people of Bethel set aside their very first offering to start a church-planting fund. The story started decades ago by the people of Baptist Temple continues.


Houston Church Planting Network meeting at Kingsland.

Yesterday, the Houston Church Planting Network met at Kingsland. This network is a cooperative initiative that is committed to planting new churches that are focused on taking the gospel into every corner of the greater Houston area. Church planting pastors and pastors of church-planting churches met for lunch at Kingsland and to spend time in prayer for our city.

Planting churches is a strategic component of reaching Houston for Christ. Every week, 2,300 new people move into the greater Houston area. And, more than one-million people who call Houston home were born outside of the United States, represent more than 300 people groups, and speak more than 200 languages. The nations have come to Houston.


Bruce Wesley, Senior Pastor of Clear Creek Community Church.

In order to reach the six-million people who live in the greater Houston area, we need more churches. Pastor Bruce Wesley of Clear Creek Community Church, one of the largest churches in our city, reminded us yesterday that “we need an infestation of churches that will reach and love their way into every sector of our community.” We need church-planting churches.

HCPN Group Photo

Grateful for these church planters and their efforts to reach Houston for Christ.

I’m glad that Kingsland has embraced our mission statement that states, in part, “As a church that participates in the Great Commission we will continue to birth daughter churches as quickly as the Lord provides the people and resources.” And I’m glad that we also give support to other new church starts. A couple of pastors in attendance yesterday made it a point to express their gratitude for Kingsland’s support.

In September, the next issue of our Go Beyond newsletter will be in the mail. This newsletter will feature updates from Pastor John Crowe of River Bend, Pastor Matt Powell of the Crossings, and Pastor Paul Cockrell of Bethel. I know you will be encouraged by their reports and to know that the story started by the folks of Baptist Temple continues. We have great roots and are leaving a great legacy.


  1. I love that this is part of Kingsland’s legacy and hope it continues! I look forward to reading the newsletter about River Bend, the Crossings and Bethel — Kingsland’s grandchildren, Tallowood’s great-grandchildren and Baptist Temple’s great-great grandchildren. How cool is that?

    • It is a cool legacy and certainly one worth celebrating.

  2. A perfect example of building on a firm foundation! Wonderful, Omar!

  3. Thanks for the reminder of where we came from. One of the main reasons we love Kingsland is because of the mission to plant new churches.

    • I have often thought about what Katy might look like had Tallowood not had the vision to plant a church in this community. And I am grateful for all those who were faithful to attend and to serve through all of the early and hard years of Kingsland’s history. We are here today because of their faithfulness and determination to represent God’s interests in our community.

  4. I am so thankful for those with a vision to plant churches and for those who step out in faith to build these churches. Generations of my family have come to Christ because of church planting. I love Kingsland’s vision to continue to do this. I am thankful that we don’t feel the need for multiple campuses and that we have a honored a vision for Kingdom growth, not Kingsland growth.

    • With the nations coming to the greater Houston area, we do indeed need to plant many new churches that can reach and love their way into the various people groups living among us. I visited with Tim Douglas at the HCPN meeting. We gave support to Tim when he planted Creekside Community Church a few years ago. Tim’s vision was to intentionally focus on reaching the nations among us and to be a multi-ethnic, cross-cultural church. Creekside is doing and becoming just that. So thankful for Tim and Creekside and that we came alongside to offer support during the church’s early days. They are helping to grow the kingdom.

  5. Can’t wait for Bethel to be a part of a new church plant!

    • Amen, Paul. Thanks for leading Bethel to continue the story.

  6. Omar, I love history – and that we are continuing the multiplication legacy Baptist Temple began so many years ago. Grateful to be a member of KBC and invest in daughter churches and the granddaughter churches to come. Thank you for reminding us of our roots!


    • It’s a beautiful story, Sandy. I’m so glad that we get to be a part of it.

  7. Omar, very well written…. I pray that God’s vision of church multiplication through KBC continues to grow in awesome ways in the days to come. I (we at CCC) are so grateful for that vision and the support that followed that vision.

    • Thanks, Matt. And thanks also for sharing an update on what’s happening at Crossings Community in our upcoming newsletter. We appreciate your faithfulness and determination to help reach our community for Christ. I know our readers will be encouraged by what they read.

  8. I am so thankful to be a part of a church that does not believe in asking people to just “come & hear” but rather sends people to “go and serve”. Thank you to our incredible pastors who shepherd us well.

    • It’s really great to see our folks burning off the Bible calories they consume by loving the people of our community, the least of these and the oppressed, and those among the nations who have yet to hear the good news.

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