Texas Baptist Men disaster relief crews continue to work in the Kingsland and Marble Falls areas after homes in the Highland Lakes region flooded. TBM volunteers have distributed 1,200 boxes, provided mold mitigation in 65 homes, prepared about 770 meals, distributed 58 Bibles and made more than 440 personal contacts, as well as washing 121 loads of laundry and providing access to 55 showers. Trained TBM workers also have helped provide logistical support for walk-up volunteers. Ross Chandler, pastor of First Baptist Church in Marble Falls, reported volunteers removed mud, damaged drywall and soaked flooring from about 140 homes in Burnet County. Meanwhile, TBM chainsaw crews, heavy equipment operators, emergency food-service teams and volunteers who staff shower and laundry units continue to work in a four-county area in Florida after Hurricane Michael. To date, TBM workers have contributed about 9,700 volunteer hours in Florida. One TBM chainsaw team also continues its work in North Carolina after Hurricane Florence. To contribute financially, send a check designated “disaster relief” to Texas Baptist Men, 5351 Catron, Dallas, TX 75227, call (214) 275-1116 or click here.
The Wayland Baptist University chapter of Enactus, an international student business organization focused on changing lives through entrepreneurial action, worked with the university’s faculty and staff to donate 42 Bibles to the Crisis Center of the Plains. Marci Brown, director of the Crisis Center, requested the Bibles so the center could make them available to clients. The donation was part of an ongoing Enactus project to assist the center’s clients with job training and preparation.
Baptist Retirement Community, a Buckner Retirement Services senior living community, announced an $8.4 million planned renovation of its San Angelo campus. The plan includes renovating the high-rise independent living apartment building and the Sagecrest nursing building, along with road repairs. It also calls for the demolition of the Elsie Gayer nursing building while maintaining the chapel, which will be named for Elsie Gayer. The updates and new construction are part of a long-term campus renovation and repositioning plan, which included construction of The Crest, an assisted living memory care building that opened in 2016 on the 100-acre campus.
The Baptist Student Ministry at Texas Tech University broke ground Oct. 20 for the Robert Pinder Student Center, named in honor of a former professor and BSM supporter. Over the past two and a half years, the Texas Baptist Missions Foundation and a committee in Lubbock have raised almost $3.4 million for construction of the new 9,100-square-foot BSM building. Bruce McGowan, director of collegiate ministry at the Baptist General Convention of Texas, noted the building will have strategic meeting spaces and a new kitchen that will allow area Baptist churches—which raised $100,000 toward its construction—to continue serving weekly meals at the BSM. Jeff Kennon is BSM director at Texas Tech.
Jimmy Garcia of Duncanville received Howard Payne University’s José Rivas Distinguished Service Award. Garcia, who graduated from HPU in 1971, is former pastor of Primera Iglesia Bautista in Dallas, Calvario Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Calvario Baptist Church in Corsicana and Immanuel Baptist Church in Miles. He was director of missions of the Del Rio-Uvalde Baptist Association, associate director of missions for the San Antonio Baptist Association and ethnic missions coordinator for the Baptist General Convention of Texas. Dwayne Grooms of Early was the HPU Homecoming 2018 Grand Marshal. Grooms, who graduated from HPU in 1965, has served on the university’s board of trustees since 2011. He is a deacon at First Baptist Church in Brownwood. Karen Coppock Dodds of Brownwood was named the university’s 2018 Coming Home Queen. Dodds, who graduated from HPU in 1964, was a classroom teacher 28 years. Milton McGee, a member of First Baptist Church in Henderson, received HPU’s 2018 Medal of Service. McGee’s denominational service includes terms on the HPU board of trustees, the Baptist Church Loan Corporation board and the BGCT Executive Board. Hope Hohertz Doremus of Sterling City was named HPU’s Outstanding Young Graduate. Doremus, who graduated from HPU in 2010, was awarded the Texas Department of Public Safety Medal of Valor for the courageous and exemplary manner in which she discharged her law enforcement duties during a violent and life-threatening confrontation in 2016. Benjamin Abraham of Snellville, Ga., was named HPU’s Distinguished Alumnus. Abraham, who earned an undergraduate degree from HPU in 1974, is in private family practice as a doctor of osteopathic medicine and is the founding president of 127 Legacy Foundation, which assists orphanages and children’s homes across Indonesia. James Williamson of Kerrville and Marvin “Doc” Utecht of Garland were named to HPU’s Sports Hall of Fame. Williamson, who graduated from HPU in 1970, was a four-year football letterman who held Lone Star Conference records in punting in 1966, 1967 and 1968. He also holds the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics national record for total number of punts and total yardage. Utecht, a member of First Baptist Church in Garland, graduated from HPU in 1970. He was a four-year basketball letterman, playing on nationally ranked NAIA teams and a Lone Star Conference championship team. He also was a track letterman two years and a letterman on the football team one season. He set school records in javelin and intermediate hurdles, and he broke an NAIA decathlon record in the 110-meter high hurdles at the 1970 NAIA National Championships.
Baylor University received a $3.5 million gift from Mark and Jennifer McCollum of Houston to create the McCollum Family Chair in Data Sciences within its School of Engineering and Computer Science.
30th for Andy Davis as pastor at First Baptist Church in Belton. In recognition, the church will gather for a combined worship service at 10:45 a.m. A come-and-go reception for Davis is scheduled from 4:30 to 6:45 p.m. in the church’s gymnasium.
Fifth for Chris Bruce at First Baptist Church in Lexington.