Pastor finds grace in the desert

Big Bend Church Pastor Brent New

The well-known saying, “Out with the old, in with the new,” fits pastor Brent New as he is set to lead Big Bend Church in Terlingua.

New and wife Tana come to South Brewster County from Edna, a small town in the Coastal Plains near Victoria. Brent, a fourth-generation farmer and rancher, brings with him not only thorough knowledge of the Word of God, but also the values that come with generations of ranching and farming families.

New has been preaching the Gospel all over Texas for 30 years, has been ordained in the Southern Baptist Convention for 28 years, and an evangelist for the past seven years. The couple have been married for 40 years, and have three grown sons, one of them deceased, and five grandchildren. They all reside in Jackson County near Victoria.

New’s maternal side of the family was involved in the oil business, having owned and operated several wells in Texas for production drilling. New’s paternal side was all ranchers and farmers. Brent eventually became an oilfield consultant, and even ended up in the conflict-ridden Middle East where he did ministry work.  

“Those Arab countries are a lot different,” said New. “You can’t really get your Bible out like here in the States. Our work was underground, basically.”

At the time there were tensions and conflicts with Lebanon and Syria, so New made sure to increase security personnel who kept watch on him 24/7 while he ministered. After all these experiences, in September New and Tana heard the call to head west to the Big Bend, a calling they enthusiastically accepted.

There are plans underway to initiate different ministry and outreach programs, as well as getting to know the community more closely. Tana, a nurse who has extensive youth and Sunday school teaching experience, is interested in starting a children’s relief organization, Operation Christmas Child, as well as a benevolence ministry to cater to families in need.

The coronavirus has hampered many planned activities, as there are limits on what can and cannot be done, but Tana is hopeful things will pick back up, such as vacation bible school and other programs. She enjoys the scenery and the tranquility in this part of the state, and she and New recently enjoyed visiting Big Bend National Park. They are also getting to know Alpine better.

“How can God not be here, how can he do this?” Tana reflected. “We live where there are mountains all around us. We fell in love with this place!” 

Said New, “The people are great. It’s been a warm community, people who love the Gospel. We do what we can to enhance the message of the Lord and proclaim the Gospel. Though we are Baptist, our church is open to all faiths and denominations, and we welcome all who want to worship with us.”

Big Bend Church, located off U.S. Highway 118 south at Bee Mountain in Terlingua, has regular Sunday worship service at 11 a.m., with Sunday school at 10 a.m., and Wednesday night Bible study at 5 p.m.

The church is also in the process of launching a new website, where information and live sermons will be featured. 

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