More than 300 volunteers from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor took part in the fall Reaching Out initiative, a student-led event that involves participants in service to nonprofit organizations throughout Central Texas. Volunteers worked at 21 locations, including churches and nonprofits that cater to youth, senior adults and members of the special-needs community.
Wayland Baptist University San Antonio is responding to the mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, lending volunteer assistance. Ben Craver, assistant executive director of Wayland’s San Antonio campus, contacted Mark Collins, former associate pastor of the Sutherland Springs church. Collins, who has been on the scene in Sutherland to help with recovery efforts, not only requested prayer for affected families, but also mentioned meals. “We are mustering a group to make various food items that can be frozen,” said Jim Antenen, executive director of WBU San Antonio. “We will then collect them and take them down there next week.” Wayland San Antonio will remain in contact with the church to meet long-term needs, as well, Antenen added. The university also planned to include church safety as a topic for discussion at its already scheduled conference for new pastors.
Howard Payne University students, faculty and staff helped support disaster relief and recovery efforts along the Texas Gulf Coast in varied ways. The HPU baseball team partnered with a Brownwood hardware store to collect 1,000 cases of water, cleaning supplies, hygiene items, tools and pet food, and they delivered the donated goods to First Baptist Church in Port Lavaca. While they were in Port Lavaca, 41 HPU baseball players, five coaches, the athletic director and alumni/development director clocked more than 1,000 volunteer hours, helping with tree and brush removal, fence and roof repairs, and general cleanup efforts. HPU’s music department raised about $3,000 for Texas Baptist Men disaster relief and recovery at a benefit concert, “The Sounds of Restoration,” that featured many of the university’s musical ensembles. HPU’s School of Education coordinated a “Comfort for Kids” drive, collecting 50 stuffed animals and 30 small blankets for children in the Beaumont area whose families lost all of their belongings.
East Texas Baptist University is supplementing funds from the Baptist General Convention to make full-tuition scholarships available to qualified graduate students in the ETBU School of Christian Studies. Students who have earned a bachelor’s degree from ETBU, are called to full-time Christian ministry and are members of BGCT-affiliated churches are eligible for a full-tuition scholarship to pursue a Master of Arts in Religion or Master of Arts in Christian Ministry degree. To receive the scholarship, a student must apply to the ministry guidance office at ETBU, presenting a testimony of calling to ministry in the pastorate, other church staff, missions or chaplaincy. For more information about graduate degree programs in the ETBU School of Christian Studies, click here.
Nick Pitts, executive director the Institute for Global Engagement at Dallas Baptist University, addressed the plight of persecuted Christians globally when he delivered the T.B. Maston Lecture at DBU. “There are men and woman around the world hurting who need an ally,” Pitts said. “In this moment, they need someone to not give up on them like how God did not give up on you.” Founded in 1985, the Maston Lecture Series—named in memory of a pioneering Baptist professor of Christian ethics—provides opportunities for Baptist schools to host leading Christian thinkers as they address various ethical issues from a Christ-centered perspective.
Fifty years ago, Robert Gilbert and Barbara Ann Walker became the first African-Americans to graduate from Baylor University. The Baylor Black Alumni Network will mark that milepost and other significant “firsts” among African-American Baylor alumni at a gala scholarship dinner at 6 p.m., Nov. 17, in the Barfield Drawing Room of the Bill Daniel Student Center on the Baylor campus. Joseph Parker, pastor of David Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Austin, will be recognized as the first African-American graduate of Baylor Truett Theological Seminary. The organizational also will recognize the first black athlete at Baylor, the first black Baylor Law School graduate and various other trailblazers. The event will benefit an endowed scholarship named for Vivienne Malone-Mayes, Baylor’s first black professor. The Baylor Black Alumni Network has presented more than $40,000 in scholarships since the organization established the scholarship in 2000. Tickets are available by calling (866) 281-9444 or online here.
Houston Baptist University marked the 98th birthday of Stewart Morris, a founding father of the institution, by naming the university president’s home in his honor. A gift from the Joella and Stewart Moss Foundation will make possible upkeep of the residence, now known as Morris House.
Howard Payne University’s Social Work Advisory Board recently presented its Spirit of Social Work Award to Anna Moulder Cloud of Brownwood. The award is presented annually to an individual whose career reflects an outstanding contribution to the social work profession or to the field of human services in general. Cloud, who earned an undergraduate degree in social work from Abilene Christian University and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Texas at Arlington, worked 14 years as a caseworker with the Texas Youth Commission—now Texas Juvenile Justice Department—at the Ron Jackson State Juvenile Correctional Complex. She has served as a field instructor with the HPU social work program.
East Texas Baptist University recognized two students for their service to the campus and community. Seniors Austin Damron, a religion major from Lake Jackson, and Harleigh Parrish, a speech communication major from Huntington, received the Bob and Gayle Riley Servant Leadership Award during a chapel service focused on servant leadership. ETBU presents the award annually to two upperclassmen who exemplify characteristics of a Christian servant leader. Peers, faculty and staff nominate students in recognition of their commitment to Christ’s model of servanthood. The Rileys presented Damron and Parrish each a replica of the “Divine Servant” statue, created by Max Greiner, displayed outside of the university’s Ornelas Spiritual Life Center.