Around the State: ETBU receives grant for Neighborhood Renewal Initiative

Through the Neighborhood Renewal Initiative, East Texas Baptist University’s construction management program students restore homes throughout Marshall. Over the past two years, ETBU has completed multiple construction projects and will continue the ongoing effort to transform the community with the support of Texas Baptist Missions Foundation and other donors. (ETBU Photo)

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Cameron Burger (left), director of the East Texas Baptist University construction management program, and ETBU President Blair Blackburn (2nd from left) receive a donation from the Texas Baptist Missions Foundation for the university’s Neighborhood Renewal Initiative. Making the presentation from the Texas Baptist Missions Foundation are Vice President Jerry Carlisle (2nd from right) and President Bill Arnold (right). (ETBU Photo)

East Texas Baptist University received $20,000 from the Texas Baptist Missions Foundation for its Neighborhood Renewal Initiative. It marks the largest one-time grant from the foundation to ETBU. Last year, the foundation gave $10,000 to the program, enabling the ETBU Construction Department to purchase supplies to restore dilapidated homes of low-income families in Marshall. Richard and Christina Anderson also donated $9,500 to ETBU, making it possible for the Neighborhood Renewal Initiative to acquire a cargo trailer to secure and haul construction tools and equipment.

Elijah Brown, general secretary of the Baptist World Alliance, spoke at Dallas Baptist University. (DBU Photo / Ryan Crisman)

Elijah Brown, general secretary of the Baptist World Alliance, spoke at Dallas Baptist University, calling for greater engagement by universities and individuals regarding issues affecting the global church—particularly religious persecution. Brown—the first Texas Baptist to serve as BWA general secretary—addressed students in a chapel sermon and faculty and staff at a luncheon. Before he went to the BWA, Brown was executive vice president of the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative, a Christian human rights organization.

Houston Baptist University professors will lead “HBU Apologetics Day: Imagination, Reason, and Revelation” from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 24 at Woodlands Church in The Woodlands. Main speakers will be Craig Evans from the theology department, Michael Ward from the apologetics department and Jerry Walls from the philosophy department. Breakout session speakers are Kristen Davis, Jeremiah Johnston, Tyler McNabb, Holly Ordway, Philip Tallon, Melissa Travis and Mary Jo Sharp, all from HBU. Lee Strobel of the apologetics department, author of The Case for Christ, will conclude the conference at a 6 p.m. service. Cost is $15 for students, $35 for other individuals and $45 for couples. To register, click here.

Howard Payne University named Celeste Church as the university’s accreditation liaison to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Church additionally serves HPU as dean of institutional research and effectiveness and professor of music. She assumes the role of accreditation liaison following the retirement of Robert Bicknell, who served in that position beginning in 2000. Church joined HPU’s faculty in 2004. She holds a master’s degree in church music from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a doctorate from Texas Tech University. recognized East Texas Baptist University as the eighth ranked RN program in Texas out of 114 programs evaluated. ETBU nurses consistently have achieved 100 percent passing rates on the National Council Licensure Examination, and 100 percent of the East Texas Baptist Nursing School graduates within the last three years have received job offers upon degree completion.


15th for Greg Taylor as pastor at First Baptist Church in Beeville.


Joanna Sowards to the gospel ministry at University Baptist Church in Waco.


Becky Brown from Westbury Baptist Church in Houston where she served 37 years as executive administrator. She is a former president of Texas Baptist Ministry Assistants and held other leadership posts in the organization, as well as other positions of denominational service.

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