Around the State: ETBU athletes pack presents; Michael Evans lectures at UMHB

East Texas Baptist University sports teams enjoy wrapping shoeboxes for Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child initiative. (ETBU Photo)

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The East Texas Baptist University Tiger athletic department packed 230 boxes for Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child with donations from more than 500 student athletes. (ETBU Photo)

East Texas Baptist University student athletes participated in the school’s  third annual Operation Christmas Child Wrapping Party for the Samaritan’s Purse National Collection Week. All of ETBU’s 16 NCAA Division III and five club sports participated by contributing toys and wrapping each box. “The ETBU student athletes contributed over 230 shoeboxes that are full of gifts and will enable children all over the world to hear the story of Christ and the true meaning of Christmas,” said Ryan Erwin, vice president for athletics at ETBU.

Michael Evans

Michael Evans, president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas and pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Mansfield, delivered a Nov. 13 lecture on race relations in Baptist life during a Christian Studies Forum at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. “Race Matters: Where Are We Now, And Where Do We Go From Here?” traced the history of African-American Baptist churches and conventions from the days of slavery to the present. Evans noted the BGCT has more African-Americans on staff and in positions of leadership today than at any time in its history. He called for church leaders to approach diversity with a goal of allowing all parties to start on even ground with equal stakes. “What I’m talking to you about is being a generation that can look beyond my melanin and see giftedness,” Evans said. “If you can see me as a person who God has poured giftedness into, if you can see what God is doing with your fellow students, then the very diversity that you’ve prayed about and hoped for will come to pass.

Dennis Myers

Baylor University installed Dennis R. Myers as the inaugural holder of the Danny and Lenn Prince Chair in Social Work within its Diana R. Garland School of Social Work. Myers is the chair of the school’s Gerontology Initiative. As holder of the Prince Chair, he will conduct research and develop evidence-based practice models, educational programs and practical resources to strengthen the care environment of residential facilities and enrich the lives of residents.

Brandon Skaggs, vice president for student life at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, presents the Gary and Diane Heavin Servant Leadership Award to Sydney Stolz (left) and Allison Stevens (right). (UMHB Photo)

The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor recognized seniors Sydney Stolz of College Station and Allison Stevens of Weatherford as recipients of the Gary and Diane Heavin Servant Leadership Award. The award is presented in recognition of extraordinary time and energy students have devoted to ministry and community service during their time at UMHB. It includes a $1,000 cash award for each student, a portion of which can be donated to an organization of the student’s choice. Stoltz, a communications major who played on the women’s volleyball team three years, served as director of the Psalm 139 event at UMHB, a day designed to help women grow in their faith and foster community with others. She gave a portion of her cash award to Young Life, a teen outreach ministry. Stevens, a nursing major who has been active in Baptist Student Ministries, has been a leader in Heart for the Nations, a community of students that meets regularly to pray, study the Bible and support the spread of Christianity throughout the world. She has engaged in missions in Uganda, the Arabian Peninsula and France. Stevens gave a portion of her cash award to Agape Impact Ministries, an organization that works with abandoned, abused and orphaned children in the Philippines.

Carolyn Porterfield

“Woven Together in Unity” is the theme of a Women’s World Day of Prayer brunch Nov. 29 in the Piper Great Hall of Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University. Carolyn Porterfield, former Missionary Journeyman to Japan and retiring missional lifestyle leader for Woman’s Missionary Union of Texas, is the featured speaker. Cheryl Segura Gochis, vice president of human resources at Baylor, will lead a Bible study and devotional. Lexi English from Greater Bosqueville Baptist Church will provide the Scripture focus. The event will begin with a light complimentary brunch at 9:30 a.m., followed by a program and prayer at 10 a.m. Reservations are requested. Contact Kathy Hillman at or (254) 749-5347. The event is sponsored by WMU/Women’s Ministries of Waco Regional Baptist Association in cooperation with Truett Seminary and the Keston Center for Religion, Politics and Society at Baylor.


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