In terms of population growth, economic strength and diversity, South Texas is among the most strategic missional corridors in the United States.
Home to more than seven million people today, South Texas encompasses three of the fastest growing and largest metropolitan areas in the United States: Austin, the cities of the Rio Grande Valley (RGV), and San Antonio. The Austin - San Antonio corridor is forecast to become America's next mega-metro area and to have a population of more than 5.7 million by the year 2030. By way of comparison, the population of South Texas is similar to the population of the state of Tennessee or Arizona.
This region contains some of the most dynamic, tech-savvy, and diverse economies in the entire country. Referring to these growing and merging economies, Forbes Magazine recently declared, "there is no regional economy that has more momentum than the one that straddles the seventy four miles between San Antonio and Austin" (Kotkin, J. "America's Next Great Metropolis is Taking Shape in Texas." www.forbes.com). Along the Texas Gulf Coast, the Port of Corpus Christi is the fifth largest port in the United States and the leading export port for U.S. crude oil, making Corpus Christi a major gateway for international commerce. Further south, lay the border cities of the Rio Grande Valley, along which almost 60% of Texas's total international trade occurs. Taken together, the South Texas region constitutes one of the largest trade corridors in the United States.
The diversity of these cities is also of strategic importance and is indicative of how Hispanic culture is spreading throughout the United States. Latest estimates predict that by the year 2050, one in three Americans will be Hispanic. What is coming to the rest of the nation, however, is a present reality in South Texas and provides a strategic opportunity for the PCA. If we are to reach the rising generation amidst our region's changing demography, there is no better, more proven strategy than church planting.