Around the State: TBM continues to serve Gulf Coast; ETBU students pray during See You at the Pole

Darrel Runyon, a Baptist disaster relief volunteer from Glendale, Ariz., washes dishes at the field kitchen set up in the parking lot of University Baptist Church of Clear Lake in Houston. (Photo / Ken Camp)

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Texas Baptist Men volunteers continue to serve in 11 sites along the Texas Gulf Coast, providing disaster relief in partnership with Baptist volunteers from more than two dozen other states. Through Oct. 3, they contributed more than 216,000 volunteer hours and made more than 17,000 personal contacts. So far, they have prepared more than 1.3 million meals, delivered more than 47,000 boxes for survivors to use to store their belongings, provided access to nearly 19,000 showers and washed more than 11,000 loads of laundry. Volunteers provided care for more than 900 children in shelters, completed mold mitigation in about 750 water-damaged homes and completed more than 550 chainsaw jobs. They have presented the gospel more than 1,000 times, distributed more than 4,400 Bibles and recorded 195 professions of faith. To contribute financially to TBM disaster relief, click here or send a check designated “disaster relief” to Texas Baptist Men, 5351 Catron, Dallas 75227.

East Texas Baptist University students pray during this year’s See You at the Pole event in the quad. The Tiger Baptist Student Ministry team helped lead their fellow students in prayer and worship. (ETBU Photo)

East Texas Baptist University gathered around the campus flagpole Sept. 27 for the global student-led day of prayer, See You at the Pole. ETBU students interceded for their school, friends, family, churches, communities and country. Corporate prayer through special events like See You at the Pole, prayer conferences, prayer groups and weekly chapel services are an integral part of campus life at ETBU, and private prayer rooms are available in the Ornelas Spiritual Life Center for individual prayer, organizers noted. Prayer requests can be submitted to the school’s intercessory prayer ministry at or by calling (903) 923-2184.

Cody Hodges, motivational speaker and former Texas Tech football player, will join Matt Deggs, head baseball coach at Sam Houston State University, and Pastor Kalith Brown for the “Let’s Do It” Men’s Conference Oct. 14 at First Baptist Church in Denver City. The event will feature teaching sessions and music designed to inspire and challenge men to live their faith out in their everyday lives. For more information, contact Brad Irons at or call (806) 592-3130. Admission is free.

The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor will celebrate the Central Texas special-needs community Oct. 14. The university invites athletes with Downs Syndrome and their families to join a tailgate party at noon, prior to the 1 p.m. football game between the UMHB Crusaders and the Howard Payne University Yellowjackets. Participants who register before Oct. 9 will be granted free admission to the game, receive a commemorative football and be allowed on the playing field at halftime. Other members of the special-needs community and their families also will be given free admission at the gate when they use the keyword “Touchdowns.”

Baylor University received a $2 million gift from Sherri W. and Robert “Bobby” L. Patton Jr. of Fort Worth that will enhance the legal writing and pro bono programs in the Baylor Law School. Established in honor and in memory of Sherri Wallace Patton’s father, the Charles E. Wallace Endowed Fund for Legal Writing will support programming in Baylor Law School’s Legal Writing Center. The Sherri W. and Robert L. Patton Jr. Endowed Fund for Pro Bono Clinics and Programs will provide overall support for pro bono clinics and initiatives at Baylor Law School. In addition, the Pattons’ gift will provide scholarship funding for law students. In appreciation of the family’s gift, the courtyard entrance of Baylor Law School’s Sheila and Walter Umphrey Law Center will be designated the Charles E. Wallace Courtyard. After earning a bachelor of business administration from Baylor in 1955, Wallace graduated from Baylor Law School in 1960 and went on to a legal career as a partner in the Waco law firm Wallace and Smith, which later became Wallace, Fisher and Neville. During his studies at Baylor, he served on the editorial board of the Baylor Law Review.

Laura Benoit

Howard Payne University named Laura Benoit director of alumni relations. Benoit joined the university’s staff in October 2014 as assistant director of alumni relations and was promoted in 2016 to associate director. Prior to arriving at HPU, Benoit was director of parent relations for Cazenovia College in Cazenovia, N.Y. She and her husband, Joseph, have two adult children, Amanda and Aaron.

Volunteers still are needed for two 15-member construction teams as part of the 2017 Women’s Build, a ministry of Woman’s Missionary Union of Texas. Women age 18 and older are welcome to participate either with Team One on Oct. 22-27 or Team Two on Oct. 26-31 to build a home in Peñitas, west of McAllen. Cost is $300 per person, which includes housing and meals during the project. Participants are responsible for their own travel to and from Peñitas. For more information, contact Pam Poole at (214) 828-5153 or e-mail

Mike Dsane, lead pastor at King’s Harbor Church in Torrance, Calif., was keynote speaker at the annual Engage missions conference at Dallas Baptist University. Chris Holloway, director of global missions at DBU, and student Sheldon Norred led the event, and Holloway facilitated a panel discussion on racial reconciliation. Nicole Faulkenberry, a DBU alumna who recently spent seven months serving in Germany, led a workshop on “Culture Shock in Missions” and a session on church planting. Author, speaker and missionary David Garrison and Bob Garrett, director of the Master of Arts in Global Leadership program at DBU, led a session on reaching Muslims with the gospel. The conference also included a missions fair and a service day in partnership with First Baptist Church in Irving.

Rene Maciel, community life pastor at First Woodway Baptist Church in Waco, leads the ETBU chapel service as the keynote speaker of the Calling Conference. (ETBU Photo)

René Maciel, community pastor at First Woodway Baptist Church in Waco and former president of Baptist University of the Américas, was keynote speaker at the third annual Calling Conference at East Texas Baptist University. “Vocational ministry is an incredible responsibility that will bless you, but more than that, will bless so many,” said Maciel, past president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. “You are God’s hands and feet, serving the body of Christ.” The conference included opportunities for students to explore various ideas related to vocational calling, and worship focused on the general call to salvation. Breakout session leaders and panelists included David Ray, founder of Doopost Songs; Diane Lane, BGCT children’s ministry specialist; Carlos Montoya, minister to students and young adults at South Oaks Baptist Church in Arlington; and Ron Harmon, representative with the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board.

The nomination period for alumni-elected regents at Baylor University opened Oct. 2 and continues through Nov. 30. Nominees will be accepted for two alumni-elected regent seats. Six candidates will be selected from the nominees, and the two candidates with the largest number of alumni votes will be selected as alumni-elected regents. Nominees must be graduates of Baylor University who are committed Christians and active church members. For a complete list of procedures, qualifications, election rules and schedule, click here.


20th for Monte Byrd as pastor of Mill Creek Baptist Church in Bellville.



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