Around the State: HBU receives $5 million gift; ETBU cheer team visits kindergarten class

Terri Cassels’ class at Cain Elementary poses with ETBU’s Spirit Team in their classroom. The Spirit Team joined forces to give these students a “real-life” connection to ETBU, the college they have been learning about, as part of the “No Excuses Program” on the elementary school campus. (ETBU Photo)

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Pinky Pampell 250Pinky PampellHouston Baptist University received a $5 million gift from Pinky Pampell of Houston to expand its online academic programs, which will be named the Pinky Pampell Online Division. HBU plans to duplicate its 1,007 residential courses as online courses across 10 years. Previously, Pampell funded the construction of the Pampell Family Chapel at Houston Christian High School, a music conservatory in Dallas, Pinky’s Place at Star of Hope Mission in Houston, and The Point youth building and wedding chapel at Tallowood Baptist Church in Houston.

Thankyou 300Whitehouse Kindergarten Teacher Terri Cassels and her student express their gratitude to ETBU’s Toby the Tiger for visiting their class to inspire students to pursue college. ETBU’s Spirit Team visited Cain Elementary on Oct. 28 in support of the “No Excuses Program.”East Texas Baptist University’s Tiger Pom and Tiger Cheer teams traveled to Cain Elementary School in Whitehouse Oct. 28 to participate in the school’s “No Excuses Program” celebration. As part of the program, each class adopts, represents and learns about a college or university throughout the year. The kindergarten class taught by Terri Cassel selected their teacher’s alma mater.

The Texas Association of Teacher Educators named Carolyn Owens, professor emeritus at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, the 2016 recipient of the Ted Booker Memorial Award, in recognition of 40 years at UMHB preparing teachers for service and her dedication to improving educator preparation programs statewide. The association established the Booker Award in 1972 to recognize outstanding contributions in the field of teacher education.



At its Nov. 7 annual meeting, Abilene Callahan Baptist Association recognized South Side Baptist Church in Abilene as Church of the Year. Scott Kemp, an elder of the congregation, accepted the award for the church. The association recognized as pastors of the year Toby Henson of First Baptist Church in Clyde and Vernon Ferguson of Broadview West Baptist Church in Abilene. Cindy Fox from Pioneer Drive Baptist Church in Abilene was named staff member of the year, and Shirley Stewart from  Broadview Baptist Church was named layperson of year. Elizabeth Hackman from Calvary Baptist Church in Abilene received the Jim Griggs Memorial Award as social ministries volunteer of the year.

Texas Baptist Men long-term disaster recovery has scheduled a 2017 Super Bowl of Caring home repair weekend Jan. 29 through Feb. 6. Spring break long-term disaster recovery mission trips are slated March 8-11 in Brazoria, March 12-16 in Southeast Texas and March 13-17 in Jennings, La. Volunteers must be at least 12 years old. Cost is $175 per worker, which includes insurance, a background check, food, lodging and a T-shirt. For more information, contact Marla Bearden at (214) 537-7358 or Gerald Davis at (214) 924-6401 or click here. To register a volunteer group, click here.

Students from Howard Payne University spent their fall break in Houston learning about three of the city’s marginalized populations and assisting with outreach programs to those groups. Led by Baptist Student Ministry Director Keith Platte, the group connected with the Church at UH (University of Houston) to learn about the needs of refugees, human-trafficking victims and the city’s homeless population, as well as finding out how churches are assisting them. Participants spent time with the children of Bhutanese and Burmese refugees, cleaned donated shoes for the Lord of the Streets homeless ministry and served breakfast to its clients, visited with representatives of the Elijah Rising ministry to trafficked women and toured the Museum of Modern-Day Slavery. Accompanying Platte and Campus Missionary Zac Sterling were Jaclyn Bonner, senior from Lytle; Karli Conrad, junior from Katy; Taylor Davis, freshman from Alvin; ZE, sophomore from Natalia; Sarah Fernandez, sophomore from Goliad; Lauren Gravell, freshman from Fredericksburg; Dillon Hughes, senior from Plano; Jessica Meeks, sophomore from Bridgeport; and Bailey Patton, freshman from Grand Prairie.



A dinner theater benefitting Heart of Texas Baptist Camp is scheduled at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 6 in the Hammons Auditorium at 8025 N FM 2125 in Brownwood. It features “The Christmas Night Show with Conny Jarson,” written and directed by Nick Ewen, assistant director of theater at Howard Payne University. The camp requests a $20 donation per adult, but any amount will be accepted. All proceeds go toward camp development and improvements. Seating is limited to the first 300 registrants. To register, click here or call (325)784-5821.

Howard Payne University’s Student Speaker Bureau speech and debate team recently competed in the Bayou City Swing tournament at San Jacinto College North in Houston. Braxton Clark, senior from Southlake, won Top Parliamentary Debate Speaker and second place in International Public Debate Association-style debate. Clark and teammate Tyler Olin, sophomore from Howe, were quarterfinalists in National Parliamentary Debate Association competition. Four students—Morgan Ashmore, senior from Weatherford; Christopher Freeland, sophomore from Bangs; Reagan Grisham, junior from Arlington; and Andrea Balderas, junior from Lytle—participated in the Southern Colorado Debate Challenge in Colorado Springs, Colo., in preparation for international competition in Oxford, England, later in November.


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