Volunteer builders from Paluxy Baptist Association recently renovated the conference room at the offices of Southwest Metroplex Baptist Association. Glenn Ward, director of missions for Paluxy Baptist Association, talked with Scott Whitson, director of Southwest Metroplex Baptist Association, when they were attending a Latham Springs Baptist Encampment board meeting. Ward told Whitson the volunteer builders from his association had helped three small-membership churches renovate and upgrade their buildings. Whitson mentioned his associational office’s conference room needed work, and the volunteer builders from the neighboring association responded. They removed a popcorn ceiling, installed new LED lighting, installed electrical outlets and computer ports in the conference room table, removed an old wall-mounted television and installed a new flat-screen TV, as well as hanging drywall and painting. “It gives us such joy and blessing doing something to help others,” Ward said.
Hill Country Baptist Association presented a $100,000 check to Alto Frio Baptist Encampment. The camp continued to operate this year at reduced capacity due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and that resulted in significant loss in anticipated revenue. “When our finance committee began working our associational budget for 2021, the top issue we discussed and the question asked was, ‘What can do we do to help Alto Frio?” said Robert Wheat, associational director of missions. Several years ago, the association received money from the sale of church property, and those funds were placed in an investment account. After praying about the matter, the finance committee agreed to liquidate the account and donate $100,000 to Alto Frio, designating the gift for “life transformation in Christ.” Rusty Brandon is executive director at Alto Frio.
Howard Payne University will host a Micah 6:8 Conference sponsored by the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission on Oct. 26-27. In-person attendance will be limited to HPU students, faculty and staff, as well as residents of the Brownwood area. Social distancing and masks will be required, and attendees will be screened. Other registrants can view the event via a livestream link. The conference will explore how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected social justice issues, including access to health care, heightened food insecurity, as well as examining ways critical needs can be met. Speakers include Katie Frugé, director of hunger and care ministries for the CLC; Chaplain Mark Grace, chief of mission and ministry for Baylor Scott & White; Kathryn Freeman, a writer and advocate; Jeremy Everett, founder and executive director of the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty; and Michael A. Evans Jr., CLC director of public policy. The conference is offered at no cost to participants, but advance registration is required. Click here to register or to find additional conference information.
Gordon T. Smith, president of Ambrose University and Seminary in Calgary, Canada, is the keynote speaker for the B.H. Carroll Theological Institute’s Frank and Pauline Patterson Fall Colloquy. All of the sessions Nov. 9-10 will be conducted via Zoom videoconferencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Smith is the author of 16 books on the Holy Spirit, ministerial leadership, and Christian spirituality in a secular age, including the soon-to-be-released Come Holy Spirit Come: The Spirit in Creation, the Church and the Christian. “The Times, They Are A-Changin’” is the colloquy theme. In the first session, Smith will address the secular age and the problems and opportunities presented to Christians. The second session will feature a presentation on sustaining the scholarly vocation in changing times. The third session will address the Christian’s necessary hopefulness in a time of change. Also at the fall colloquy, Margie Clayton, the latest Ph.D. graduate of B.H. Carroll Theological Institute, will present her doctoral dissertation. There is no cost for online participants. To register, click here.
Baylor University announced a $30 million gift commitment from Dan and Jenni Hord of Midland. Through the Hord Scholarship Challenge, they are encouraging the collective Baylor Family to match their giving to the university by supporting merit-based scholarships to help deserving students bridge the gap between merit- and need-based financial aid and unmet financial need. Currently, more than 90 percent of Baylor undergraduate students receive some form of financial aid, whether from scholarship support, federal loans or private grants. Gifts to scholarships through such initiatives as the Hord Scholarship Challenge will empower the university to attract and retain students who have received merit awards from Baylor based on their success through high school rankings and standardized testing, yet still have unmet and inhibiting financial need.
J.W. “Jack” MacGorman, long-time professor of New Testament at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, is donating his personal library to the seminary. The donation includes thousands of titles from MacGorman’s time as a student and faculty member, as well as many titles from his father, also a minister. Additionally, MacGorman is donating many of his files, notes and records from classes and sermons dating back to the 1940s. MacGorman, who will celebrate his 100th birthday in December, devoted his career to the teaching and training of students. “Dr. MacGorman is an incredible treasure of Gospel faithfulness who gave more than five decades in service to Southwestern Seminary,” President Adam W. Greenway said. “That he would now honor this institution with his library, papers and other valuable items is even more evidence still of the blessing he has been to the seminary.”
East Texas Baptist University received a $20,000 donation from the Rotary Club of Marshall to apply toward the renovation of the 8th floor of the historic Marshall Grand in downtown Marshall. ETBU has begun renovating the 8th floor into the Grand Hall, an open ballroom-type facility that can accommodate up to 280 guests in banquet-style seating or 400 theater-style seats. After Marshall Grand was given to the university in 2013, ETBU raised more $4 million to renovate the historic building with significant contributions from the Andersen Foundation, Moody Foundation, Meadows Foundation, and J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation. The School of Nursing Campaign also garnered support from foundations across the state, including the Rosa May Griffin Foundation, the T. J. and LaVerne Plunkett Foundation, and the Wece and Martha Johnson Foundation. While donor support provided the means to complete the academic spaces, three floors of the Marshall Grand remain unfinished, as the university continues to raise funds and make decisions on how to utilize the additional spaces.
Oza Jones Jr. has been named director of African American ministries for the Baptist General Convention of Texas. Jones served most recently as African American evangelism and church revitalization specialist on Texas Baptists’ Great Commission Team. He previously served churches in Grand Prairie and Arlington.
The Baptist History & Heritage Society honored church historian Karen Bullock of the B.H. Carroll Theological Institute with a Festschrift for her contributions to research and teaching in Baptist studies and for her service to Baptist causes globally. A Festschrift, German for “celebration writing,” has been a tradition in scholarly circles more than 120 years. Members of the academic community are invited to provide an article in an area of interest to the honoree. The articles then are compiled in a single issue of a scholarly journal. The Spring 2020 issue of Baptist History & Heritage features articles written by Bullock’s former students, colleagues and friends. Prior to joining the B. H. Carroll Theological Institute, Bullock taught at Dallas Baptist University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. She has served as chair of the heritage, identity and religious freedom commissions of the Baptist World Alliance.
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Howard Payne University recently hosted alumni, students, personnel, board members and friends at the HPU Fall Family Reunion on Saturday, Oct. 10. The reunion featured Cobbler on the Campus and music from Taylor Castleberry, a 2013 HPU graduate. The festivities also included inter-squad scrimmages hosted by HPU’s softball and baseball teams. The HPU Spring Family Reunion is scheduled Feb. 20, 2021. The spring event will feature a tailgate celebration with music by Austin Upchurch and his band prior to the HPU football game against McMurry University at Gordon Wood Stadium.