Around the State: TBM crews complete work in Bowie

TBM chainsaw crews worked in Bowie, San Antonio and Kerrville to remove storm-damaged trees and limbs from rooftops. (TBM Photo)

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Texas Baptist Men disaster relief volunteers finished their work in Bowie after completing 118 chainsaw jobs, removing downed trees and broken limbs from homes following a tornado that hit Montague County on May 22. TBM workers donated more than 3,900 volunteer hours. They logged 264 heavy equipment hours, prepared 1,455 meals, made more than 429 personal contacts, provided access to more than 400 showers, washed 184 loads of laundry and distributed 77 Bibles. While some TBM crews worked in Montague County, other local TBM volunteers responded to a tornado that hit a neighborhood on San Antonio’s northwest side and cleared debris caused by high winds in Kerrville.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture designated the Buckner Family Hope Center at Peñitas in the Rio Grande Valley as a Community of Faith and Opportunity. The designation offers custom-tailored technical assistance that will further the Buckner mission of strengthening families and recognizes the Rio Grande Valley as a strategic area in the United States for growth and opportunity. Fulfilling the requirements for this designation required leaders to look long-term and work closely together to create a fellowship council that focuses on skill building, strategic planning and specific recommendations for improvement. Diego Silva is director of the Family Hope Center at Peñitas.

A virtual commissioning service for 111 students serving with Go Now Missions, Texas Baptists’ student missions program, will be held at 2 p.m. on June 7.  Participate by clicking here.

During the COVID-19 lockdown, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor staff called all UMHB students to see how they were coping. Callers repeatedly heard that students had been affected economically by the pandemic and were not sure they could afford to return in the fall. In response, the university launched the COVID-19 Student Relief Fund to assist UMHB students by providing financial support to those who have suffered losses due to COVID-19. The fund’s website allows visitors to make donations of any size and share the campaign via their own social media platforms. As of June 1, friends of the university already had given more than $30,000 to help students.

A groundbreaking ceremony for Howard Payne University’s Newbury Family Welcome Center will be held at 1:30 p.m. on June 25 at Old Main Park, located near the intersection of Austin Avenue and Center Avenue on the HPU campus. The welcome center is named for the family of Don Newbury, a 1961 graduate of HPU, president of the university from 1985 to 1997 and current chancellor. The event originally had been scheduled for March 31 but was postponed as part of the university’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The previously scheduled Refuge Run and Doggie Dash to benefit Refuge of Light, a ministry that provides safe haven to female victims of child sex trafficking, will be a virtual run this year. Since Palestine has cancelled its annual Dogwood Festival due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Refuge of Light is asking volunteers to register to run or walk anytime between now and June 17. On June 20, participants are invited to drive through Davey Dogwood Park in Palestine to pick up a T-shirt and participation bag. The event fee is $25 for teenagers and adults or $10 for children younger than age 13. To register, click here.

The B.H. Carroll Theological Institute named Derek Stephens as director of development. Stephens most recently was associate director of alumni relations at the University of Texas at Arlington. He earned an undergraduate degree and a Master of Business Administration degree from Baylor University. From 2007 to 2019, Stephens worked in various roles for Baylor University, including service as director of regional alumni engagement and senior director of strategic initiatives. He also worked in communications for the Eagle Mountain-Saginaw Independent School District. Stephens and his wife, Lauren, have been married 15 years and have two children.

Dallas Baptist University named Todd von Helms as Presidential Scholar of Christianity and Culture. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Liberal Arts degree from Dallas Baptist University before continuing his education at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Duke University and Southern Methodist University. He is a senior fellow at The King’s College in New York City and is the author of Before You Leave for College, Career, and Eternity. “We are so thrilled to have alumnus and former religion professor Dr. Todd Von Helms serving his alma mater in this role,” DBU President Adam C. Wright said. “He has a passion for Scripture and for college students, especially to see young believers love God with their minds so they can serve as witnesses of the truth before our skeptical world.”

Hardin-Simmons University named Robert Tucker as dean of the Kelley College of Business and Professional Studies. Tucker served for 10 months as the interim dean of Kelley College while continuing to serve as dean of the College of Fine Arts. Tucker earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Hardin-Simmons University, a Master of Music degree from University of Cincinnati, a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Texas Tech University, and a Master of Business Administration degree from Howard Payne University. “We had a strong field of candidates, and Dr. Tucker’s experience and leadership in both business and education made him an ideal candidate to lead the newly expanded Kelley College of Business and Professional Studies,” HSU Provost Chris McNair said.

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