Around the State: Pathways to Ministry receives grant; ETBU begins hockey program

Blair Blackburn (right), president of East Texas Baptist University, presents an ice hockey jacket to Shreveport Mudbugs General Manager Scott “Muskey" Muscutt.” ETBU and the hockey team announced an agreement that will be bring club collegiate hockey to the university in October. (Photo / ETBU)

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The Pathways to Ministry program at Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas will receive $1 million over the next four years from the John and Eula Mae Baugh Foundation in Houston. The church will use the grants to offset annual operating costs for Pathways, which includes pastoral residency and other programs for ministers in training. In turn, Wilshire will redirect an equivalent amount of budget funds to build up its Pathways Endowment.

ISAAC—the Immigration Service and Aid Center, a ministry associated with Texas Baptists’ Christian Life Commission—will offer a 40-hour summer institute on basic immigration law June 13-17 at Woodland Baptist Church in San Antonio. The training is designed for individuals who wish to apply for accreditation with the Board of Immigration Appeals, which allows nonattorney staff of nonprofit and religious organizations to offer legal services to immigrants. Experienced immigration attorneys and accredited representatives will teach the sessions, providing a comprehensive survey of immigration law and procedures. Registration cost is $545 before April 15 and $600 after that date. In addition, participants will purchase a required textbook for a discounted $215 plus shipping. For more information, contact Jesus Romero at or (210) 326-3273 or click here.

Christian apologists Mike Licona, associate professor of theology at Houston Baptist University, and author Mark Mittleberg will join Scott Willingham, apologetics specialist with the Baptist General Convention of Texas, on the program for the (un)Apologetics Conference April 7-8 at First Baptist Church in El Paso. To register, click here.

Hunter Sims 130Hunter SimsHoward Payne University named Hunter Sims athletic director. Sims, head football coach at HPU, will serve a dual role as coach and athletic director beginning in fall 2016. Sims was named head football coach at the end of the fall 2015 semester. He additionally served three years as an assistant at HPU before being promoted to offensive coordinator and assistant head coach in 2012.

etbu sanders 130Tommy SandersEast Texas Baptist University appointed Tommy Sanders provost and vice president for academic affairs. He also will serve on faculty as professor of leadership and religion. Sanders, who joined ETBU in June 2013 after seven years at Dallas Baptist University, has been vice president for academic and graduate programs. He served previously on staff at Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas, Hyde Park Baptist Church in Austin, First Baptist Church in Waco, First Baptist Church in Hewitt and Calvary Baptist Church in Waco, in the areas of preschool, children, youth and families ministry. Sanders succeeds Interim Provost Lawrence Ressler, who will remain at ETBU until May 31, serving as special assistant to the president.   

Puente Sommers 200Rebecca Puente and Isaac SommersTwo Howard Payne University students—Rebecca Puente, a senior from Waskom, and Isaac Sommers, a junior from Boerne—received year-end awards from the Texas Undergraduate Moot Court Association. Sommers placed second and Puente placed ninth as overall speakers for the year. Both students participated in the 2015-16 American Collegiate Moot Court Association National Tournament at California State University, where they placed third in brief-writing competition. Moot court offers undergraduate students the opportunity to learn interpretation of the law, analytical debate, jurisprudence and case precedents through Supreme Court simulation.

Hughes Counce 300Rache Hughes and TJ Counce Two other HPU students—TJ Counce, a senior from Lockhart, and Rachel Hughes, a sophomore from Llano—won top witness awards at the University of Texas at Dallas regional mock trial tournament. Mock trial is a simulation of lower-court trials in the United States judicial system that allows student to develop critical-thinking and public-speaking skills, as well as learn legal practices and procedures.

Baptist University of the Américas will offer new students a two-hour tuition-free college course on congregational leadership. The course is designed to help pastors and other church leaders learn theological, cultural and practical applications of church leadership from a Hispanic perspective. Classes will meet from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Mondays, beginning Aug. 22 and ending Dec. 16 in San Antonio. The class is limited to 30 students due to available seating. To apply, email or call (210) 924-4338, ext. 229.

East Texas Baptist University will add a varsity collegiate ice hockey team in the fall semester through a partnership with the Shreveport Mudbugs North American Hockey League team. The ETBU Tigers ice hockey team’s official home will be on George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum in Shreveport, La., where the Tigers will practice and play all of their home games. ETBU will be affiliated with the American Collegiate Hockey Association as a Division II club team. Jason “Soupy” Campbell, head coach of the Shreveport Mudbugs, will serve as the instructional skills coach for the Tigers.


Charles Thomas, fifth, at Northeast Texas Cowboy Church in Tyler.

David Dykes, 25th, as pastor at Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler.

Mike Parks, 25th, as associate pastor for worship at Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler.


Matthew Broyles to the gospel ministry at Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas, where he is a pastoral resident.

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