Texas Baptist Men helped Peter Dyson of Waco and Travis Caywood of China Spring collect much-needed supplies as part of First Baptist Church of Woodway’s ongoing ministry in Cuba. On Sept. 26, TBM helped Dyson and Caywood secure building materials, medical equipment and food, including high-protein soup mix and large bags of pinto beans and rice. The two Waco-area laymen delivered the goods to Houston for an anticipated 21-day journey through Kingston, Jamaica, and on to Mariel, Cuba, a port near Havana. The previously scheduled but well-timed shipment should help in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, which hit the western tip of Cuba early Sept. 27, packing more than 115 mph winds and knocking out electricity throughout the island nation. Peter Dyson’s father, L.M. Dyson, a retired business professor at Baylor University, has assisted Cuban Baptists for two and a half decades by providing logistical help to link resources in North America to needs in Cuba.
Texas Baptists’ Chaplaincy Relations ministry recently marked its 20th anniversary. Since its inception, Chaplaincy Relations has endorsed 1,125 chaplains in eight categories—military, correctional, lifestyle, public safety, health care, marketplace, crisis response and pastoral counseling. Currently, 650 chaplains are in active service. Bobby Smith, a former hospital chaplain, is the founding director of Texas Baptists’ Chaplaincy Relations.
Hundreds of area residents gathered for East Texas Baptist University’s annual Great East Texas Hymn Sing on Sept. 23. “It is so sweet to be able to worship with everyone again,” said Cari Johnson, director of alumni relations and intercessory prayer ministry. “ETBU has produced phenomenal worship leaders over the years, and it is a rich opportunity to have them return and lead us today.” ETBU alumni who helped lead segments of the worship included Gary Chevalier, Katie Ashcraft, Kermit Tandberg and Ricky Hall.
Jeremy Everett, founding director of Baylor University’s Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty, participated in the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 28. The conference assembled government leaders, academics, activists and other concerned Americans to work toward a goal of ending hunger and reducing diet-related diseases in the United States by 2030. “Access to food is a human right, but no one sector or organization can solve hunger by themselves,” Everett said. “If we’re going to make systemic change on a local, state, national or even global level, we need both the public and private sector working in concert with each other. That’s what this conference is about.”
Roland Johnson, pastor of Primera Iglesia Bautista in Keller, will receive the José Rivas Distinguished Service Award from Howard Payne University during the Stinger Spectacular weekend on Oct. 14-15. Johnson, who has served the Keller congregation since 2014, has provided pastoral leadership to several churches in North Texas and Central Texas during five decades of ministry. Johnson attended HPU in 1969 and later received a bachelor’s degree from Baylor University in 1973, a master’s degree in biblical studies from Criswell College in 1989 and a master’s degree in counseling from Grand Canyon University in 2016.
The 21Wilberforce human rights organization will present its fourth annual Frank Wolf International Religious Freedom Award to Bob Fu, founder and president of ChinaAid, an organization based in Midland. Fu will receive the award at an Oct. 17 dinner at Dallas Baptist University. The award is presented to a leader who is working to advance freedom of religion, belief or conscience by standing up to oppression. “Bob Fu is courageous and relentless in his support of those persecuted for their faith. He instills fear in the Chinese Communist Party as he exposes their abuse of Christians, Uyghurs and other people of faith,” said Randel Everett, founding president of 21Wilberforce. “Dr. Fu has earned the confidence of political and religious leaders with his accurate reports and effective strategies.”
Haleigh Akin of Tyler, a senior elementary education major at East Texas Baptist University, was crowned as Miss ETBU on Sept. 24. Akin, president of Student Foundation and a resident assistant at Ornelas Hall, was selected from 11 contestants during the annual pageant sponsored by ETBU’s Student Government Association. She leads worship on Sunday mornings for the college group at Mobberly Baptist Church in Longview. Senior English and Christian ministry major Ashly Quintanilla was selected as first runner-up and audience favorite. Sophomore ministry major Avery Abshier was voted Miss Congeniality. Senior music education major Hannah Stewart won best talent.
Baylor University President Linda Livingstone recognized the university’s research staff and faculty in an email and online statement released prior to National Research Administrator Day on Sept. 25. She noted their commitment and dedication helped Baylor gain Research 1 status as a doctoral university with very high research activity. “In the course of achieving R1 status and growing in our research enterprise, Baylor has remained firmly grounded in the Christian principles and transformational education that have defined the Baylor experience for generations,” Livingstone wrote. “We believe it is our responsibility to instill in our students a commitment to serving the surrounding world as Christian leaders. … As we continue advancing as a university, we will continue to discern God’s will as we strive to prepare students for worldwide leadership and service and address some of the world’s greatest challenges.”
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