Around the State: Students donate to medical center

San Marcos Baptist Academy Student Council representatives join a campus volleyball team to present a $300 check to Wayne Becak, chairman of the Central Texas Medical Center Foundation. The team selected the medical center as their charity of choice after winning a campuswide volleyball tournament, sponsored by the Student Council. (Photo by Don Anders)

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Students at San Marcos Baptist Academy participated in a volleyball tournament to benefit the charity of their choice. The winning team chose to donate the $300 raised to Central Texas Medical Center in support of their breast cancer treatment services.

Texas Baptists’ Legacy Award Celebration, formerly known as the Texas Baptist Elder Statesman Award presentation, begins at 10 a.m., June 2, at historic Independence Baptist Church, near Brenham. Lunch will follow the worship service. Award recipients for 2013 are Wilma Reed of Cleburne, longtime leader of Woman’s Missionary Union of Texas, and Bob Feather, former vice president for external affairs at Baylor University and consultant to the Texas Baptist Missions Foundation.

kalantar nattracyaward300Karla Kalantar was named the recipient of the 2013 Nat Tracy Servant Leader Award at Howard Payne University.Two hundred thirty-four students received degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth during spring graduation ceremonies. The seminary’s Havard Campus in Houston conferred degrees on 29 students. Among the graduates from Texas were Mauricio Santos, Austin; Charlotte Samara, Richardson; Josiah Gutierrez, Mesquite; Venessa Ellen, Beaumont; Ronnie Leavelle, Henrietta; Robert Forrest, Huntington; Anthony Aquino, Burleson; Leslee Toon, Granbury; Matthew Ward, Houston; Allen Christopherson, Azle; Miriam Johnston, Longview; Rusty McMullen, Greenville; Karen Smith, San Antonio; Rogelio Perez Jr., San Antonio; Nathan Davis, Nogalus Prairie; Cody Rushing, Emory; Brian Wilhelm, League City; Debrah Perry, Richmond; Thomas Cheevers, Houston; Jeremy Wilson, The Woodlands; Robert Copeland, Llano; Dale Inman, Willis; Brandon Billups, Denton; Kyle Mence, Sherman; Allen Duty, College Station; and Andrew McDaniel, Baytown.

Hardin-Simmons University presented 217 bachelor’s degrees, 50 master’s degrees and two doctorates during spring commencement ceremonies. Eight students maintained perfect 4.0 grade-point averages during their undergraduate studies.

Dallas Baptist University granted degrees to 651 students during May commencement ceremonies. Three hundred sixty-eight students earned bachelor’s degrees, 276 received master’s degrees, and seven concluded doctoral studies. Commencement addresses were given by Oscar Epps, founding pastor of Community Missionary Baptist Church of Desoto; Bill Eubanks, senior pastor of Grand Prairie Bible Church; and Fred Moses, president and chief executive officer of Telecom Electric Supply Company.

Howard Payne University honored five students for their acts of servant leadership. Karla Kalantar received the Nat Tracy Servant Leader Award, presented to the senior who best demonstrates servant leadership qualities. Shannon Bundy, Jonathan Henderson, Rebekah Steadman and Erik Swenson received HPU Servant Leadership Awards. The awards recognize excellence in leadership and service, and a $1,000 scholarship is provided to each recipient. Each student designates $250 of the scholarship to be donated to a charity.

Jeph Holloway, East Texas Baptist University professor of religion, has written a book titled The Poetics of Grace: Christian Ethics as Theodicy. The book searches the epistle of Ephesians for a response to the question: “What is God doing about evil?” The book is available here  or an electronic version is available on Amazon. He has been teaching at ETBU since 2001.


Herb Pedersen, 50th, in the ministry, May 5. He is pastor of Longbranch Community Baptist Church in Midlothian.

McNeil Baptist Church in Luling, 125th, June 30. Activities will begin at 9 a.m. with a time of fellowship. Testimonies and songs by former pastors will begin at 10 a.m., followed by a challenge by former Pastor Rick Perkins. A catered lunch will be held after the service. A reservation for the meal is required. At 2 p.m., a time of testimony and singing by members will be held. Other former pastors expected to attend include Charles Woodward, Ted Bosworth, Don Hooker, Joe Howard, Price Mathieson, Douglas DuBose and Charley Day. Richard Shahan is pastor.


Gary Loudermilk, as executive director of Denton Baptist Association, after more than 19 years of service, June 30. A reception will be held in his honor at First Baptist Church in Lewisville from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. June 2. He previously was pastor of Mildred Baptist Church in Corsicana, Hillcrest Baptist Church in San Angelo, Harvey Baptist Church in Stephenville and First Baptist Church in Flower Mound. He plans to serve as a pastor, staff member or interim following his retirement from the association.


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