Around the State: Construction and renovation slated at HPU

Howard Payne University’s Newbury Family Welcome Center will be located on Old Main Park, prominently situated next to Mims Auditorium and near the intersection of Austin Avenue and Center Avenue.

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The historic Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom building at Howard Payne University is the focus of an extensive renovation project.

Howard Payne University announced the construction of the Newbury Family Welcome Center and renovations to the Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom building. A groundbreaking ceremony for the welcome center will be held March 31. The building is scheduled to be completed by August 2021. The Newbury Family Welcome Center, named for the family of HPU Chancellor Don Newbury, president of the school from 1985 to 1997, will serve as an inviting entry point to campus and will be the first new construction project at HPU since 2001. It will house the offices of admission and alumni relations. The Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom building is the home of HPU’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy. The Academy of Freedom is a major historical and cultural landmark for Brown County, consisting of the former main building of Daniel Baker College, dating back to 1890, while also housing a collection of General MacArthur’s personal artifacts and other historical exhibits. The renovation project will focus on the building’s main hall and wings, built in the 1960s.

Two former members of the U.S. Congress—Rep. Alan Steelman, a Republican who served from 1973 to 1976; and Rep. Chet Edwards, a Democrat who served from 1991 to 2010—will be joined by Rory Ryan, a Baylor Law School professor, and Stephen Sloan, a Baylor University history professor, for a panel discussion and question-and-answer session on “Investigating Impeachment: Context, Congress and the Constitution.” The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 6, on the fifth floor of the Cashion Academic Center on the Baylor campus. A reception will follow. Steelman was a freshman Congressman in 1973, when President Richard Nixon was embroiled in the Watergate scandal and ultimately resigned prior to being impeached. Edwards was a leading House Democrat in 1998, when President Bill Clinton became the second U.S. president to be impeached. These former members of Congress will reflect on their experiences with impeachment proceedings as context for understanding the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

Houston Baptist University’s Gideon Institute of Christian Psychology and Counseling will cohost an adolescent suicide prevention event Feb. 29 with Houston’s First Baptist Church at the church’s 7401 Katy Freeway campus. Matthew Stanford, director of The Hope and Healing Center, and Eric L. Johnson, director of HBU’s Gideon Institute will discuss “Secret Pain: Understanding Adolescent Suicide.” A “brunch and learn” session for clinicians will be held from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. in the church’s fellowship center. A parents’ seminar will be held at 10 a.m. in the chapel, followed by a question-and-answer panel discussion with Stanford, Johnson and Adam Mason, minister of counseling services at the church. For more information or to register, click here.

TBM volunteer Rachel Schieck received the Distinguished Service Award from the North American Mission Board.

Texas Baptist Men volunteer Rachel Schieck received the Distinguished Service Award from the Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Mission Board. She was recognized at a roundtable gathering of Southern Baptist disaster relief leaders in Louisville, Ky. on Jan. 29. On a national scale, Shieck works with forms to make sure disaster relief teams have what they need while on the field. In Texas, she schedules and arranges TBM disaster relief training events in the Panhandle, as well as working behind the scenes with team coordination, training and tracking statewide. She and her husband Russell also have served on the field in the wake of many disasters in Texas and beyond. “TBM wouldn’t be who we are without Rachel,” said Dwain Carter, TBM disaster relief director. “We wouldn’t be able to deliver help, hope and healing as effectively as we do without her. Day in and day out, she works tirelessly to help hurting people and share the good news of Christ. She is an inspiration and encouragement to all.”

Andy Pettitte, a five-time World Series champion with the New York Yankees and a three-time All-Star, and Reagan Ratcliff, assistant director of athletics for media relations at Dallas Baptist University, discussed some of the milestones of Pettitte’s Major League Baseball career and how his faith in Jesus Christ has served as the foundation in his life. (DBU Photo)

Andy Pettitte, a five-time World Series champion with the New York Yankees and a three-time All-Star, was the keynote speaker at the 28th annual Patriot baseball banquet at Dallas Baptist University. In addition to talking about milestones in his Major League Baseball career, Pettitte discussed how his faith in Jesus Christ has shaped his life. During the banquet, the 2019 DBU Baseball team was recognized for winning the Missouri Valley Conference regular-season title and advancing to their sixth consecutive NCAA Regional. Dan Heefner is head coach of the DBU Patriots baseball team.

A Feb. 1 dinner launched a year of celebrations at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor marking the 175th anniversary of the signing of the school’s charter by the Republic of Texas. At the event, Mayor Marion Grayson declared Feb. 1, 2020, as University of Mary Hardin-Baylor Day in Belton, Rep. Hugh Shine read a proclamation from the Texas State House of Representatives commemorating the university’s milestone anniversary, and Sen. Dawn Buckingham sent a proclamation from the Texas Senate and a flag that flew over the state capitol.

B.H. Carroll Theological Institute President Gene Wilkes reached the summit of Mount Rainier. Later this month, he and Scott Whitson, executive director of Southwest Metroplex Baptist Association in Cleburne, hope to climb Mount Kilimanjaro to raise support for global Baptist theological education, particularly in Tanzania. (Photo courtesy of B.H. Carroll Theological Institute)

Two members of a nine-person team who hope to climb Mount Kilimanjaro later this month want to raise support for global Baptist theological education, particularly in Tanzania. Gene Wilkes, president of the B.H. Carroll Theological Institute, said he and Scott Whitson, executive director of Southwest Metroplex Baptist Association in Cleburne, want to “draw attention to the need to support our brothers and sisters in Baptist theological education in Tanzania and the need to support the work of B.H. Carroll globally.” They hope to reach the mountain’s 19,300-foot summit and raise $19,300 if they find enough individuals who will sponsor them at $1 per foot. “In the grander scheme of things, with Baptists supporting the effort, we believe we can raise that much. If we have someone who wants to sponsor us at a penny a foot, that would raise $193. If 10 cents a foot, $1,930,” Wilkes said. “I believe together we can make this small investment in the future of theological education in an area where our dollars go a very long way. Even the smallest gift from a child, $1.93, will be put to use to further the kingdom with the new school and student scholarships.” The first $5,000 raised will fund theological education in Tanzania. Additional contributions will support B.H. Carroll scholarships. Both Wilkes and Whitson are funding their own travel and expenses, and 100 percent of the funds raised will go to designated projects. They will spend an additional week in Tanzania leading a pastor’s conference in Kayanga and consulting with local church leaders who plan to start a Baptist Bible College in the country that would serve as a training ground for pastors. For more information, click here.

Baylor University named Paula Hurd and her late husband Mark as recipients of the Founders Medal. Established in 1969, the Founders Medal is reserved for men and women whose service and contributions have been unusually significant to the life and future of Baylor. Mark Hurd was the chief executive officer of Oracle Corporation. He began his service on the Baylor board of regents in 2014. He was elected vice chair of the board in 2017 and was serving in that role at the time of his death last October. In November 2018, the Hurds gave a lead gift to launch the public phase of Give Light, a $1.1 billion comprehensive philanthropic campaign for the future of Baylor and for which the Hurds served as campaign co-chairs. Their gift, one of the largest in Baylor history, will create a new entry point to the university, the Mark and Paula Hurd Center. Throughout the years, the Hurds also invested significantly in the growth of the Baylor tennis program.

Volunteers at First Baptist Church in Holland wrap Christmas presents for delivery to families in need as part of the Kids Helping Kids initiative.

First Baptist Church in Holland worked with other local volunteers to provide 75 pairs of shoes, along with food, toys and clothes at Christmas to 27 families in need who have children in the Holland Independent School District. Students from First Baptist Church in Holland launched the Kids Helping Kids initiative in 2005. In the past 14 years, it grew to include donations from the Holland Volunteer Fire Department, First United Methodist Church and the local Chamber of Commerce, among others. Shoes are purchased with donations and funds raised through luncheons, dessert auctions and the sale of calendars. To meet other needs, individuals “adopt” families by selecting tags from a Christmas tree during the community Thanksgiving lunch held at the elementary school. Volunteers wrap and deliver the presents in mid-December. Frank Teat is interim pastor at First Baptist Church in Holland.

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First Baptist Church in Plano will hold a 2 p.m. groundbreaking service Feb. 23 at its new 10.4-acre property at 3665 W. President George Bush Turnpike. The church sold its property on East 15th St. in downtown Plano last October and is leasing back that property while it builds a new facility. Construction tentatively is scheduled to begin in March. The church plans to move into its new facility in late summer 2021. Craig Curry is pastor.


130th for First Baptist Church in Galveston. Larry Womack is interim pastor.

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