Within 24 hours after a tornado hit a rural area about 90 miles northwest of Fort Worth, Texas Baptist Men disaster relief emergency food-service and chainsaw volunteers were on the scene. While avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people and being checked periodically for high temperature or symptoms consistent with COVID-19, volunteers provided 150 meals and completed seven chainsaw jobs in the area south of Graham. At the same time the chainsaw crews and food-service volunteers were mobilized, TBM also responded directly to the needs of first responders during the COVID-19 crisis. Donna Rolater, a TBM volunteer and Heath City Council member, gave masks, shockwave disinfectant, biohazard suits and gloves from TBM to the Heath Department of Public Safety.
Buckner Children and Family Services announced March 18 all Family Hope Centers would close on-site facilities through at least March 31 but continue to deliver many client services by other methods, with staff working from home. “We are facing changes on a daily basis because of the rapid spread of the coronavirus and evolving federal, state and local government mandates,” said Henry Jackson, senior vice president for Buckner Children and Family Services. “Obviously, these are affecting each of us, along with the clients we serve.” Buckner will re-evaluate the situation March 31 and determine next steps, Jackson added. Facilities affected include Texas Family Hope Center locations in Dallas at Bachman Lake, West Dallas and Wynnewood; Houston at Aldine and Reed Road; Longview; Lubbock; and Peñitas. Buckner International also has suspended direct services to clients in other countries where it serves, in accordance with national emergencies declared in those countries.
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary announced March 20 all seminary-sponsored, on-campus events for the spring semester, including commencement exercises, have been cancelled as part of efforts to control the spread of COVID-19. Earlier, the seminary had moved all on-campus courses to online delivery for the remainder of the spring semester. Spring 2020 graduates will receive their diplomas by mail after May 8 and will be invited to participate in the fall 2020 commencement ceremony in December. The seminary also recently announced the launch of new, eight-week online course terms, beginning April 27, starting with nine courses in the first term with more expected to be added throughout 2020.
Hardin-Simmons University and its Board of Young Associates presented Outstanding Young Alumni awards to three individuals Feb. 28—Eric Black, executive director/editor/publisher of the Baptist Standard; David Krake, a wealth management adviser with Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in Brea, Calif.; and Vishia Wilson, director of the intensive care unit and emergency room at Abilene Regional Medical Center. Outstanding Young Alumni are selected on the basis of having achieved a significant level of distinction within their chosen field and significantly benefitted the world. To be eligible for consideration, alumni must be under age 45 and have graduated from HSU less than 20 years prior to their nomination.
Jana Jackson, director of church strengthening at Dallas Baptist Association, will retire July 17 after 25 years on the DBA staff. She joined the associational staff in 1995 as director of church and community missions. DBA plans to schedule a reception in her honor in late June or July. She also will be recognized at the associational executive board meeting on June 29 and at the association’s annual meeting Oct. 18.