Emily Smith, assistant professor of epidemiology at Baylor University and research scholar at the Duke Global Health Institute, delivered the 70th annual Willson Lectures at Wayland Baptist University. Smith, a Wayland graduate, spoke on “Global Missions Through Research: The Intersection of Faith, Epidemiology, Economics and Policy.” Her research focuses on Somaliland, the fourth poorest nation in the world with an average income of $350 per year for a family, and it shows the reciprocal relationship between poverty and poor surgical care for children. She plans to take the research to donors and the United Nations to ask for significant funding to help bring proper care to poverty-stricken areas. In chapel, Smith described how God opened doors of opportunity for her when she focused less on “hustling” to achieve success and more on seeking the kingdom of God. The Willson Lectures is an annual series on topics related to applied Christianity and Christian home and family, established by the James M. and Mavis Willson family of Floydada.
Convención Bautista Hispana de Texas (the Hispanic Baptist Convention of Texas) received a $70,000 grant from the Texas Counts Pooled Fund for two initiatives—“¡Juntos Contamos!” and “¡Las Colonias Cuentan!”—designed to help Hispanic churches be an effective force to ensure the Hispanic community is counted in the 2020 U.S. Census. Convención will send a mailout to 1,160 Hispanic Baptist churches with information about the census, challenging them to schedule a Juntos Contamos Sunday. Convención also will provide $200 grants to churches and $750 grants to regional compañerismos to assist in their “get out the count” efforts. Carlos Alsina will direct Juntos Contamos, and Melba Zapata will direct Los Colonias Cuentan. Convención will collaborate with Hearts4Kids Ministries along the Texas/Mexico border for census efforts in unincorporated colonias.
Shelley F. Conroy will step down as dean of Baylor University’s Louise Herrington School of Nursing after eight years, effective June 30. Baylor Provost Nancy Brickhouse has appointed Linda Plank, associate dean for academic affairs, as interim dean beginning July 1 while the university conducts a national search for its next nursing school dean.
30 years for Ed Seay as pastor of First Baptist Church in Magnolia. The church will recognize Ed and Cindy Seay and celebrate their anniversary at 10 a.m. on March 22 during a special worship service at the Magnolia Event Center, 11659 FM 1488 near Magnolia Parkway Elementary School in Magnolia. Childcare for children birth through second grade will be provided at the event center. No activities are scheduled at the church’s main campus that morning.