Around the State: UMHB students show love to community

UMHB students packed meals for Belton ISD’s Project Heartbeat program, to help students who may not have food at home. (UMHB Photo)

University of Mary Hardin-Baylor students participated in Love CTX on Aug. 6 as part of Welcome Week. The annual event is designed to provide service opportunities for students. Love CTX 2022 supported One More Child of Belton, which provides Christ-centered services to vulnerable children and struggling families. About 350 UMHB students packed 18,000 meals and wrote notes for Belton Independent School District students. The meals will go to Belton ISD’s Project Heartbeat program to help students who may not have food at home.

The Baylor seal is seen at the quadrangle on campus. (Photo / Baylor Marketing and Communication)

Baylor University ranked among the nation’s Top 10 Most Trusted Universities, according to research firm Morning Consult as part of its Most Trusted Brands project. The report measures public trust in the top 135 doctoral research universities featured in the U.S. News and World Report’s 2022 Best National University Rankings and explores how trust varies among diverse groups and different types of institutions. Baylor—the only Texas university in the Top 10—ranked No. 9 behind Johns Hopkins University, Duke University, the University of Notre Dame, Cornell University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, Yale University and Harvard University. It ranked ahead of No. 10 Princeton University. Baylor also was ranked No. 2 among Morning Consult’s Most Trusted Universities by parents, behind Princeton and ahead of Duke, Notre Dame and Yale. “Such recognition is certainly a testament to the campus-wide efforts of our dedicated faculty and staff who live and promote Baylor’s Christian mission every day, as well as the overall Baylor Family who serve as our brand ambassadors across the country,” said Baylor President Linda A. Livingstone. “We have made tremendous advances as an institution over the past five-plus years, including our recent recognition as a Research 1 university and unparalleled success in so many areas across the campus.” Morning Consult’s report is based on a survey conducted June 11-15 among a representative sample of 11,050 U.S. adults, with an unweighted margin of error of plus or minus 1 percentage point. An additional survey was conducted June 13-24 among 1,000 high schoolers ages 16 to 18, with an unweighted margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Byeong Rack Choi (2nd from left) received an honorary doctor of divinity degree from Dallas Baptist University. Choi is senior pastor of Kangnam Joongang Baptist Church in South Korea. He is pictured with (left to right) DBU President Adam C. Wright; Ryan Lee, senior pastor of Semihan Baptist Church in Carrolton; and DBU Chancellor Gary Cook. (DBU Photo)

Dallas Baptist University awarded degrees to 158 graduates—63 baccalaureate degrees, 85 master’s degrees and 10 doctoral degrees—during its summer commencement ceremony Aug. 5. DBU awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree to Pastor Byeong Rack Choi of Kangnam Joongang Baptist Church in Seoul, South Korea. Choi received his bachelor’s degree from Korea Baptist Theological Seminary before moving to Fort Worth, where he continued his ministry studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. While working on his Master of Divinity in Biblical Languages degree, Choi interned at a small church plant and later became its senior pastor. Semihan Baptist Church grew over the years from 15 families to 1,500 under Choi’s pastoral leadership and eventually moved to its current location in Carrollton. The Choi family later returned to South Korea where he accepted a call to serve as senior pastor of Kangnam Joongang Baptist Church. In partnership with Semihan Baptist Church, a special evangelistic cooperative program was established known as WORLD Ministry Institute. Choi currently is a Doctor of Ministry degree candidate at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife Lauren have two children, Rachel and Jordan.

David Ummel

David Ummel was named executive director of Buckner Westminister Place in Longview, effective Aug. 8. He most recently served as executive director for Calder Woods senior living community in Beaumont, also operated by Buckner Retirement Services. Ummel worked for Buckner Children and Family Services and Buckner church/ministry engagement prior to his move to Buckner Retirement Services. As church engagement officer, he oversaw Faith Fosters Texas, a statewide initiative to engage the faith-based community with the child welfare system. Before coming to Buckner in 2008, Ummel was an associate pastor at First Baptist Church in Plano and held various church ministry leadership positions over a 15-year period, including at First Baptist Church in Longview. Ummel was born in Tyler and grew up in Bryan. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oklahoma Baptist University, a Master of Arts degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from B.H. Carroll Theological Institute.

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