By Will Hall, Baptist Message executive editor
ALEXANDRIA, La. (LBM) – Matt Endris, pastor of the Fairview Alpha Baptist Church near Coushatta, will be nominated for the office of first vice president with the Louisiana Baptist Convention during the 2023 annual meeting of church messengers.
Philip Caples, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Coushatta, contacted the Baptist Message, Oct. 23, to share that he was “excited” to make the nomination because Endris “loves Jesus, loves and leads his family to follow Jesus, and leads his church to embrace the community, state and world for the purpose of reaching the lost for Jesus.”
The yearly gathering of Louisiana Baptists is scheduled to be held in the facilities of the Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, Nov. 14.
STATEMENT OF SUPPORT
Caples said he has known Endris for 10 years and has been impressed with his faithfulness and service as a Baptist leader.
“Matt has served as moderator of the Red River Association for two years and with numerous committees of the association as well,” Caples said. “He has served with the Louisiana Baptist Convention Executive Board for two terms, and he now serves as a board member with Gateway Seminary on behalf of the Southern Baptist Convention.”
“Matt is a strong supporter of the Cooperative Program which is evident through his church,” Caples added. “He is personally active in mission projects and mission trips and leads his congregation to engage in them as well.”
BY THE NUMBERS
The database of the Annual Church Profile shows that the Fairview congregation has consistently supported cooperative missions and ministries generously, giving more than 10 percent of undesignated receipts through the Cooperative Program for each of the last five years.
In 2023, those gifts amounted to $104,461, or 10.31 percent, of $1,022,809 in undesignated receipts. The congregation also supported the Red River Association and District Eight Baptist Convention with a combined $72,640. Additionally, they contributed to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, $35,119, Annie Armstrong Easter Offering, $12,128, and Georgia Barnette – Louisiana Missions Offering, $9,907.
FABC averaged 193 in Sunday worship service and baptized 10 new believers with 13 other additions in 2023.
Endris, 48, told the Baptist Message that he was “humbled and honored” by Caples’s announcement.
“I have been a Louisiana Baptist for my entire life,” he said. “My earliest memories of church life were at the age of four years old at the First Baptist Church of Donaldsonville.
“I gave my life to Christ as a young boy while with the Trinity Heights Baptist Church in Shreveport, and I was involved with the Westside Baptist Church in Natchitoches as a college student,” he continued. “Since finishing seminary, I have pastored two wonderful churches: Atlanta Baptist Church and Fairview Baptist Church [both in Louisiana].”
Additionally, Endris said he was active in the Northwestern State University Baptist Student Union, even serving as president (1996-1997), and noted that he met his wife while serving as a summer BSU missionary in Louisiana and that he was called to the ministry that same summer.
“I am thankful for how Louisiana Baptists have poured themselves into my life and ministry and I look forward to possibly serving the churches of the Louisiana Baptist Convention as first vice president,” he explained. “My desire is to work with the Convention president to aid him in leading our churches to expand Christ’s Kingdom in and through Louisiana Baptist churches.”
Endris completed his Bachelor of Science in Psychology with NSU in 1997. Additionally, he earned the Master of Biblical Languages from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (2001) and the Doctor of Ministry from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (2017).
He served five years as pastor of Atlanta Baptist Church (2001-2006) and his pastorate with Fairview began in 2006.
In terms of associational and denominational service, he has served as:
— a member of a disaster relief chainsaw crew;
— moderator, Red River Association (2008-9, 2021-22);
— president, District Eight Baptist Convention (2013-14);
— a member, LBC Executive Board (2003-2006, 2009-2015) and chairman of the nominating committee (2015); and
— a member, Southern Baptist Convention Committee on Committees (2012).
In 2021, he began a term as an SBC trustee with Gateway Seminary, formerly the Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, and continues to serve in that capacity.
Regarding the overseas trips and projects mentioned by Caples, Endris shared that he has served with mission teams in Brazil and helped start the Cornerstone Baptist Theological Seminary in Merida, Mexico, and is serving on the seminary’s advisory board.
“Our congregation supports church plants in Marksville (Red River Church), and Arnaudville (New Life Community Church),” Endris added.
Endris and his wife, Jana, have two children, Claire, 21, who is an NSU senior, and Levi, 19, a sophomore with East Texas Baptist University.
Caples said Endris would be exceptional in helping to promote the cooperative work of Louisiana Baptists in the state and beyond, citing “his love for Jesus and his zeal to see the mission of Christ advanced across Louisiana and around the world.
“I believe that Dr. Endris has been raised up for such a time as this to serve Louisiana Baptists through his leadership in this capacity,” Caples said. “Please pray and consider casting your vote for Matt Endris as the next first vice president of our Convention.”