Longview Baptist Temple accomplished a significant milestone in 2000 when the church celebrated her 40th anniversary. January, the church’s traditional stewardship month, started off with a bang when Texas Baptist College received a $1,000,000 check from Christian businessman, Dr. Russell Anderson. As a result, a new three story dormitory, Mary Gray Hall, was constructed for the college.
Additional property was purchased on Cotton Street that would serve multiple purposes. Not only did this new property accommodate a new parking area for the entire fleet of LBT buses, but also included a large bus barn for bus maintenance, and new classroom facilities for Longview Baptist Academy, LBT’s Christian school for bus riders.
Longview Baptist Temple’s focus into the 21st century continued to be the fulfilling of the Great Commission. By late 2004, the 1,000,000th soul had been led to Christ.
The end of the decade brought a new, historic change for the Longview Baptist Temple. In November of 2008, Dr. Bob Gray Sr. met with the chairman of the deacon board, Steve Dickerson, and explained that the Lord had been leading him to make a decision that would strengthen the future of the Longview Baptist Temple. Dr. Gray Sr. explained that he would retire as pastor and nominate his son, Dr. Bob Gray II, as the new pastor. In a special meeting, the deacons were presented with the decision to nominate Dr. Bob Gray II as the new pastor, and the vote passed unanimously.
The decision was then voted on by the members on Wednesday, December 17, 2008, and the vote passed by 96%. After a brief transition period, Dr. Bob Gray II was officially installed as pastor on March 1, 2009. That Sunday morning, in a tribute to his father’s thirty-three years of faithful service, Dr. Bob Gray II preached a thank-you message that upheld a rightful hero to the members of the church and to churches around the world. On that Sunday evening, Dr. Bob Gray Sr. called his son to fill his chair as he preached a sermon entitled, “Everything Rises and Falls on Followship.” At the close of the service, Dr. Bob Gray II assumed his new role as the pastor of the Longview Baptist Temple.
As a church, the Longview Baptist Temple has a legacy of reaching the lost for Christ. Under new leadership, and with fervency of heart, the pastor and the members continue together in the same direction of winning lost souls to Christ and helping other Christians to live the victorious Christian life.