Around the State

Around the State: TBM ice storm cleanup

In photo above, Hardin-Simmons University President Lanny Hall joined many friends and colleagues to greet Texas Baptist philanthropist Virginia Connally during her 101st birthday celebration, Dec. 4 in Abilene.

Texas Baptist Men disaster relief volunteers responded to needs across North Texas after a devastating ice storm paralyzed the region. tbm chainsawcrew400Texas Baptist Men chainsaw crews help elderly residents by cutting and removing fallen tree limbs that resulted from ice storms in North Texas.Chainsaw crews received more than 100 work requests from the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Volunteer chainsaw teams from Collin and Denton Baptist associations and from the Rockwall area went to work in the days immediately after the ice storm, and a team from Kerrville was scheduled to start work around Dec. 14. TBM volunteer chaplains also worked with the crews to offer spiritual counsel and comfort, and TBM provided a generator for a warming station at First Baptist Church in Farmersville. Teams are scheduled to work until Dec. 20.

Bob Buford received Dallas Baptist University’s 2013 Russell H. Perry Free Enterprise Award. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott was the keynote speaker. The award honors leaders whose lives are testimonies of achievement in free enterprise and service to the community. Over the past 25 years, the awards dinner has raised more than $4 million in scholarship funds for almost 1,800 DBU students.

George Gaston received the Baptist Health Foundation of San Antonio’s Spirit of Health Award. The award honors individuals whose leadership and service have improved the health of their community. A longtime pastor, he was the regional vice president of mission and ministry at Baptist Health System 10 years. He retired in August.

Howard Payne University honored Leonard Underwood, a member of the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy board of directors, for attending his 50th board meeting. HPU President Bill Ellis presented him the Douglas MacArthur Freedom Medal, given by the academy to individuals who promote Judeo-Christian values, western heritage and the free enterprise system.

The East Texas Baptist University debate team won the second-place sweepstakes trophy at the Mississippi College Deep South Debate Tournament. Dakota Hiltzman of Gladewater was the top-ranked speaker in the varsity division.


Paul Johnson as minister of business administration at Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas, Dec. 31. He served the church eight years. He previously served churches in Iowa in a similar capacity, and he is a former president of the National Association of Church Business Administration.

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