Around the State: ETBU bass fishing team ministers in Brazil

East Texas Baptist University Vice President for Athletics Ryan Erwin and Amazon Outreach Executive Director Steve Trammell assist Brazilian villagers in the dedication of a water well. (ETBU Photo)

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Zach Ervin, East Texas Baptist University graduate assistant, leads worship at a church in Brazil. Every evening, the ETBU mission team attended and participated in community worship services. (ETBU Photo)

The East Texas Baptist University Bass Fishing team served recently in Brazil as part of the Tiger Athletic Mission Experience program. ETBU partnered with Amazon Outreach, an organization that works directly with Brazilian missionaries to spread the gospel to the people in the Amazon River region. The team ministered in nine villages, helping with medical and dental clinics, leading Vacation Bible Schools and distributing eyeglasses. In Santa Maria, the team transported equipment and built a water well, as well as assisting with a construction project. Cameron Burger is head coach of the ETBU bass fishing team.

Christian author, preacher and former missionary to Africa in Jamaica Cokiesha Bailey Robinson will be the first female guest preacher in the annual E.K. Bailey Memorial Preaching Event of Baylor University’s Truett Theological Seminary. Robinson, who will preach Jan. 29 and 30, also is the daughter of the late E.K. Bailey, founder of Concord Missionary Baptist Church in Dallas, for whom the series is named. The 13th annual event—which is free and open to the public—will include an 11 a.m. sermon Tuesday, Jan. 30, in Truett’s Paul W. Powell Chapel. A worship service also will be held at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 29, in the chapel. For more information on the event, contact (254) 710-6874 or or

The Baptist General Convention of Texas named Daniel DeLeon as Texas Baptists’ area representative for the region stretching from Del Rio to Brownsville. DeLeon, pastor of Primera Iglesia Bautista in Santa Rosa and personnel director at Rio Grande Bible Institute in Edinburg, is immediate past moderator of Rio Grande Baptist Association. DeLeon, who is fluent in both English and Spanish, holds degrees from the Universidad Autonama de Tamaulipas in Reynosa, Mexico, and Rio Grande Bible Institute.

Houston Baptist University named M. Todd Bates dean of its School of Christian Thought. Bates, an ordained Southern Baptist minister, previously was a professor of philosophy and apologetics for California Baptist University.

John Calaway was named executive director of Mission Waco/Mission World. Calaway, 33, will lead day-to-day operations of the Christian community development ministry. A former mission leader at Austin Christian Fellowship, Calaway earned his undergraduate degree from Hardin-Simmons University and his master of divinity degree from Baylor University’s Truett Theological Seminary. Jimmy Dorrell, 68, who founded Mission Waco 25 years ago, will continue as its president.

The East Texas Baptist University Great Commission Center sponsored a Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service Jan. 15 that involved 36 students and staff who volunteered at Living Alternatives Pregnancy Center, Soda Lake Baptist Association, Marshall’s Boys and Girls Club or Dayspring Therapeutic Equestrian Ranch. In addition, Tiger Cheer, Tiger Pom and the Tiger Band participated in Marshall’s MLK Day Parade. ETBU President Blair Blackburn served as moderator for a panel discussion at the Marshall chapter of the NAACP 34th Annual MLK Celebration Banquet.


40th for Richard Segars as minister of education and administration at First Baptist Church in Graham.

60th for Ruth Penny as pianist at Pearl Baptist Church in Pearl.


Jerry Blake as minister of music and media from First Baptist Church in Graham after 24 years at that congregation and 50 years in music ministry.

Richard Penny as minister of music at Pearl Baptist Church in Pearl after 46 years service there.

Editor’s Note:  This Around the State column was edited after it originally was posted Jan. 24 to include one additional time-sensitive item.

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