New students at East Texas Baptist University joined other students, staff and faculty in community service projects during Welcome Week, a five-day emphasis that also included a variety of sessions focused on social, academic and spiritual development. More than 200 students partnered with various ministries, organizations and schools in Marshall and the surrounding area, including the Boys & Girls Club Marshall, From Bondage to Freedom House, My Friend’s House, Dayspring Therapeutic Equestrian Ranch, Marshall Manor Nursing Home, Marshall Manor West Nursing Home, Oakwood House, Reunion Inn Assisted Living, Heritage House, Boys & Girls Club Hallsville, the Harleton and Hallsville school districts, Living Alternatives Pregnancy Center, Nesbitt Volunteer Fire Department and the Marshall Animal Shelter.
Dallas Baptist University welcomed its largest incoming class in school history at the start of the fall semester, including many students who arrived a week early for SWAT—the annual Student Welcome and Transition Week—Aug. 16-19. In addition to orientation, social activities, prayer opportunities and a candle lighting service led by President Adam Wright, new students joined about 200 upperclassmen, faculty and staff in servant leadership projects throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
South Texas Children’s Home Ministries named Darin Griffiths vice president of family counseling. Griffiths, an ordained minister, is a licensed professional counselor and licensed marriage and family therapist. He has worked with the Baptist General Convention of Texas-affiliated agency since 2005 and served as administrative director of several counseling offices since 2014. STCH Ministries Family Counseling operates 13 locations in Corpus Christi, Victoria, San Antonio, Houston and neighboring communities, as well as providing counseling through other branches of STCH Ministries.
Texas Baptist Men appointed Dwain Carter deputy director of disaster relief. In addition to other duties, he will direct long-term recovery. Carter worked more than five years with the Missouri Baptist Convention as volunteer mobilization strategist, which including directing disaster relief ministries. He served previously as a pastor in Missouri. He earned his undergraduate degree from Hannibal-LaGrange University and also attended Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Leslie, have two adult daughters, Jessica and Wendi.
The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor received a $700,000 grant from the Paul and Jane Meyer Family Foundation for construction of the university’s performing arts center. The Sue and Frank Mayborn Performing Arts Center will be a 40,725-square-foot building featuring a 525-seat performance hall. The center’s 2,000-square-foot Paul & Jane Meyer Rehearsal Hall will serve as both a classroom and a rehearsal space for theatrical and musical productions. Located near the entrance of the campus, the $20 million center is in its final stages of completion and will be dedicated at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Oct. 13.
About 700 young people participated in East Texas Baptist University sports camps this summer. ETBU student-athletes assisted coaches in leading camps for football, volleyball, men and women’s soccer, softball, baseball, and men and women’s basketball. ETBU also served more than 3,000 teenagers by accommodating external youth camps, including YM360’s Generate, Super Summer, Mission 58, ETREYS, the National Cheer Association’s Cheer Camp, Texas Speech and Debate Camp, Cross Camp and Camp Fuego.
Nina Ouimette joined the faculty at Howard Payne University as dean of the School of Nursing. She served 17 years at Patty Hanks Shelton School of Nursing in Abilene, a consortium of Hardin-Simmons University and McMurry University, most recently as dean and tenured professor of nursing. She earned her undergraduate degree from George Mason University, master’s degrees from HSU and East Carolina University and a doctor of education degree in instructional technology from Texas Tech University.
Willie Earl Robertson, pastor of Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church in Temple, delivered the keynote address at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor’s 172nd fall convocation, Aug. 23. Robertson serves on the UMHB board of trustees. The convocation also included a performance by the vocal ensemble One Voice and a parade of flags representing the 30 nations and 31 states from which this year’s students originate.
Wendy McNeeley, who has held a variety of responsibilities at Howard Payne University since 1995, has transitioned to a new role as assistant vice president for university records and dean of general education. HPU merged the office of the registrar and office of the dean of general education in a recent reorganization.
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Bethel Baptist Church in Big Lake will mark its 60th anniversary Sept. 24. Following the 11 a.m. worship service, a celebration meal will be served a 12 noon. Music and fellowship will follow the meal. There is no cost for the meal, and all former members and their families are invited to attend. Ronald Warren is pastor.