Dallas Baptist University recently opened its Baptist History and Heritage Center and named Allison Hopgood as founding director. The center—which will be a research center providing archives, books and other information about Baptist history—was made possible through a significant endowment gift from an anonymous donor, as well as the donations of individuals, Baptist archives and the Texas Baptist Heritage Center. “We are thrilled to see the opening of the center and its mission to celebrate the work that God has done through faithful men and women of the Baptist faith,” DBU President Adam C. Wright said. “For many years, DBU has championed the Baptist expression of faith, and we look forward to more and more ways that we can help people honor our past as we continue to serve God in the years ahead.” Special thematic exhibits are being planned with special addresses provided by guest lecturers. “Our mission and goal for the center is to provide people with information that will inspire and encourage them to learn more about the beliefs and heritage that make Baptists a diverse and unique part of the worldwide family of Christians,” said Hopgood, a Baylor University graduate and former schoolteacher in Lancaster. She is a member of the Commission on Baptist Heritage and Identity of the Baptist World Alliance and of the Baptist History and Heritage Society. Her father, William M. Pinson Jr., was executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas and has served as volunteer director of the Texas Baptist Heritage Center. Her mother, Bobbie Pinson, served on the DBU board of trustees.
Baylor University has established a partnership with Africa New Life Ministries to address systemic poverty through research and sustained engagement in the Republic of Rwanda. The Baylor Africa New Life Initiative will focus on two general areas of partnership: conducting applied, interdisciplinary research that promotes human flourishing for vulnerable women, children and families in Rwanda; and creating transformational experiences for Baylor students, faculty and others that develops character and contributes to spiritual formation. Baylor and Africa New Life Ministries have been in conversation several months to explore how their community connections, resources and areas of expertise could be combined to create innovative solutions to systemic poverty and community building throughout Rwanda, with specific focus in public health and nutrition, education, community development and faith formation. The initiative will build on Africa New Life Ministries’ existing programs in educational sponsorship, as well as public health programs, community development and initiatives to share the gospel in Rwanda through church planting and theological training for pastors. “We are grateful for the opportunity to enter into a partnership with Africa New Life Ministries—a partnership that will connect our faculty and students with service-learning opportunities and new relationships that will foster rich growth in our research enterprise as we work with this respected and dedicated organization,” said Baylor President Linda Livingstone. “As a Christian institution, we are excited to partner with an organization whose focus and mission has been to amplify the gospel, while meeting communities’ needs in practical, transformational ways.”
Christian hip-hop artist Excelsius, also known as Malcolm Marshall, challenged University of Mary Hardin-Baylor students to follow Jesus’ command to “go and make disciples.” Marshall, a campus pastor for First Baptist Church in Houston and lead chaplain for the Houston Rockets, spoke in a Feb. 3 chapel service at UMHB. Christians fulfill the Great Commission in a variety of ways, he insisted. “For me, discipling people is running my mouth and rapping over beats,” Marshall said. “For you, maybe you’re intellectual, maybe you’re athletic, maybe you cook/ Whatever you do, God wants to use (your talents) to accomplish his mission.” He urged students to engage with classmates, neighbors, family and friends specifically with disciple-making in mind. “When you’re serving in the community, make disciples. Whatever you do, do it for the glory of God, and go make disciples,” he said. “Be willing to invest in someone who does not know what you know. This is an ongoing aspect of what it means to love Jesus.”
The Beaumont Foundation of America donated $54,150 to Buckner Children and Family Services to purchase new clothing for Texas children in foster care served by Buckner. The gift represents half of the foundation’s pledged $108,300 donation for the year. “The Beaumont Foundation’s annual donation is a hopeful start to the new year,” said Samela Macon, Buckner vice president of domestic operations and support services. “Providing new clothes to these children and witnessing the joy it brings them is priceless. We are very thankful for the Beaumont Foundation’s support over the past 13 years.” Since 2007, the Beaumont Foundation has contributed more than $1.6 million towards helping Buckner provide clothing for children living in foster care in Beaumont and throughout Texas.