Around the State: Buckner and Wayland launch collaboration

Albert Reyes (left), president and CEO of Buckner International, and Bobby Hall, president of Wayland Baptist University, sign a memorandum of understanding regarding a collaborative venture designed to provide volunteer and mission opportunities and other learning experiences for Wayland's students.

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Buckner International and Wayland Baptist University launched a collaboration to provide volunteer and missions opportunities, humanitarian aid drives and enhanced experiential learning opportunities for Wayland’s students. “This collaboration with Wayland Baptist University provides Buckner with an opportunity to strengthen students understanding of mission, leadership and social work through practical experience,” said Albert Reyes, president and CEO of Buckner International. “The new opportunities will support WBU’s ongoing commitment to creating a transformative environment of faith and innovative learning.” Volunteer opportunities with Buckner will include international and domestic missions, shoe drives and other forms of aid. Wayland will create credit and non-credit opportunities for students to intern and train at Buckner ministry locations for experiential learning in Texas and internationally. “Wayland Baptist University is pleased to enter into agreement with Buckner International, whose mission to transform and restore lives parallels Wayland’s mission of service to God and humankind,” said Wayland President Bobby Hall. “Our students will benefit from new mission and experiential opportunities with Buckner while they are in school, as well as from employment opportunities after they graduate. We look forward to growing our relationship with Buckner International in the years to come.”

Tony Miranda

Tony Miranda, pastor of First Baptist Church in Robstown, will serve Convención Bautista Hispana de Texas as director of Abundant Churches, a new initiative funded by a nearly $1 million grant from the Lilly Endowment Foundation. Miranda, president of Convención, was campus pastor and director of the graduate program at Stark College and Seminary. He holds degrees from Universidad Autónoma de La Laguna in Mexico, Baptist University of the Américas and Baylor University’s Truett Theological Seminary. The Abundant Churches initiative is designed to help Hispanic Baptist congregations in the ministry challenges they face—varied immigrant generations, diverse language usage and rapidly changing cultural needs. Over five years, up to 50 congregations will have the opportunity to participate in a congregational learning experience that will explore challenges, solutions, resources and practices to help them fulfill their ministries. The congregations will create individualized plans and have the opportunity to receive financial resources of up to $9,000 to implement their plans.

Tempress Asagbe

Dallas Baptist University awarded degrees to 401 graduates during four winter commencement services held in Pilgrim Chapel on Dec. 17 and 18—the first in-person DBU commencements in 2020. To follow appropriate safety precautions, participants were seated in a manner to provide for social distancing, and all attendees were required to pass a health screening test and wear face masks. Four graduates presented each of the commencement addresses: Tempress Asagba, Doctor of Education degree in educational leadership, who is dean of students, chief diversity officer and chair of DBU’s Community Advocates for Racial Equality committee; Jonathan Fechner, Master of Arts degree in intercultural studies, who is executive director of BridgeBuilders, a nonprofit organization that serves South Dallas; Daniel Salters, Master of Business Administration degree, who is assistant to DBU Chancellor Gary Cook and a former professional baseball player in the Cleveland Indians system; and Chase Durham, Master of Arts degree in discipleship, who is student pastor at Cottonwood Creek Church in Allen.



CORRECTION: Dr. Tempress Asagba’s name was misspelled and has been corrected.


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