Around the State: Thousands watch UMHB Easter Pageant

Dillon Moore as Jesus in the 2024 Easter Pageant. (UMHB photo)


Thousands of people viewed the reenactment of the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor’s 85th annual Easter Pageant on March 27. A video is available to view on the UMHB Facebook page and at Each year, UMHB President Randy O’Rear selects a student to direct the pageant and two students to play the key roles of Mary and Jesus. The students who fulfill the two key roles are chosen based on their strong Christian faith and character. Dillon Moore, a senior from Adkins, portrayed Jesus, and Victoria Hernandez, a senior from Robstown, performed the role of Mary. Zoey Holder, a junior from Dallas, was the pageant director.

Blake Wilson speaks at HCU Passion Ignite week. (HCU photo)

Houston Christian University marked Holy Week with the university’s annual Passion Ignite spiritual emphasis week. Through the theme “Encounters with Jesus,” students, faculty and staff were invited to consider Jesus’s interactions with a blind man, a Samaritan woman, Nicodemus and Lazarus. Speakers included Duane Brooks, senior pastor of Tallowood Baptist Church in Houston; Lora Doremus, visiting lecturer in spiritual formation in the HCU School of Christian Thought; Blake Wilson, lead pastor of Crossover Bible Fellowship in Houston; and Chris Kouba, lead pastor of United City Church in Humble.  

Julio Guarneri, executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, used Romans 1:16 to present the “gospel of change through Jesus” as Holy Week chapel speaker at Wayland Baptist University’s Plainview campus, March 27. The power of the gospel can change inability into power, brokenness into wholeness, and unbelief into faith, Guarneri said. “The gospel of Jesus redeems every aspect of your life,” he said. “If you believe, he will redeem you today. It is the best change you will ever experience.” For a limited time, a livestream of Guarneri’s presentation can be viewed at

Trudy Cathy White speaks at DBU Chapel. (DBU photo)

Dallas Baptist University hosted Trudy Cathy White, daughter of the founder of Chick-fil-A, Truett Cathy. White addressed the DBU student body during chapel March 18. White recalled her father’s difficulties at the beginning of his career, which included the second restaurant he opened burning down. He saw blessing, even in tragedy. “God never wastes experiences in our lives. We don’t choose to have fires, but we can choose how to respond to the fires that come into our lives. There’s no obstacle too difficult to overcome when you cast your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.” At the end of the chapel service, White presented a card valid for a year’s worth of Chick-fil-A food to Isom Smith, a DBU student and student worker on the grounds crew, and Linda Smith, a clerk in the DBU mailroom who has worked at the university 48 years, in honor of their service to DBU. 

(HSU photo)

Hardin-Simmons University will host a Special Olympics and Unified Sports Track Meet, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, April 3, in celebration of DIII Week. Unified Sports and Special Olympics members from local schools will participate in various track and field events, while HSU student-athletes assist. After opening ceremonies, the first half of events will include: shotput/softball throw, long jump/standing jump and javelin. After lunch, track events will include: 25m wheelchair, 25m run, 50m run, 50m walk, 100m run, 200m run and 400m run.

Texans on Mission, historically known as Texas Baptist Men, completed work March 26 at First Southern Baptist Church in Fritch after completing more than 12,800 volunteer hours related to the Panhandle fires. Volunteers prepared 4,334 meals, washed 256 laundry loads for the community and demolished 53 structures. They also distributed 120 Bibles, 2,016 bottles of water and 563 boxes. Texans on Mission reported 1,285 ministry/chaplain contacts and 14 professions of faith. Additionally, Texans on Mission took in and directed the deliveries of hay, livestock feed, dog/cat food, water totes, salt licks, diesel and other fuel. Paramount Baptist Church in Amarillo will install playground equipment Texans on Mission helped obtain for First Southern Baptist Church.

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