Choral musicians from First Baptist Church in Waxahachie performed at Carnegie Hall recently. As part of the Distinguished Concerts Orchestra and Singers, they presented the premiere of “Sing Christmas!” by composers Mary McDonald and Joel Raney. The choir performed the cantata before a sold-out crowd in the Stern Auditorium, with McDonald conducting and Raney providing piano accompaniment. “It was a full house that heard the gospel through music that evening,” said Chett Haynes, associate pastor of administration and worship at First Baptist Church. Haynes led the group of 68 singers and 36 guests from Waxahachie to New York at the invitation of Hope Publishing Company.
Ferrell Foster, director of ethics and justice with the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission, will begin work in February as content specialist for care and communication with Prosper Waco. He will work with Prosper Waco CEO Suzii Paynter March, former CLC director and past executive coordinator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, on projects and initiatives that advance benchmark indicators in health. He also will implement partnerships to build and strengthen a continuum of care for behavioral and mental health services in Waco. Foster has served with the Baptist General Convention of Texas Executive Board staff since 2000, working several years in the communications office before joining the CLC. He is the former editor of the Illinois Baptist. He holds a doctor of ministry degree in Christian ethics from Hardin-Simmons University’s Logsdon Seminary.
Texas Baptist Men disaster relief workers responded to a dozen disasters in multiple locations in 2019, giving more than 72,000 volunteer hours. Deployments included flooding throughout Southeast Texas and tornadoes in the Dallas area. When combined with out-of-state ministry partners who worked in Texas under TBM supervision, disaster relief workers donated more than 86,500 volunteer hours. TBM crews prepared more than 52,000 meals, distributed more than 1,000 Bibles and recorded 83 professions of faith in Christ that resulted from more than 8,100 ministry contacts.
Dallas Baptist University granted an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree to Jesse Rincones, executive director of the Hispanic Baptist Convention of Texas. Rincones, former pastor of Alliance Church in Lubbock, spoke at DBU winter commencement services. He encouraged the new graduates to face the challenges of their calling with faith and not to underestimate the impact of doing small things with excellence.
Ten years after graduating from Hardin-Simmons University, motivational speaker Roy Juarez Jr. returned to the Abilene campus recently for a public reading from his recently published autobiography, Homeless by Choice: A Memoir of Love, Hate and Forgiveness. Juarez spent his adolescent years homeless in San Antonio due to domestic violence. Eventually, he graduated from high school and went on to earn a business degree from HSU. Since 2010, he has traveled extensively, speaking to more than 450,000 students, educators and parents.
Jeffry Archer, associate dean of user services at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, will join Baylor University as dean of university libraries, effective June 1. As dean, Archer will lead the Baylor University Libraries, which includes special collections such as the Armstrong Browning Library; the Texas Collection and University Archives; the Institute for Oral History; the Keston Center for Religion, Politics, and Society; and the W. R. Poage Legislative Library. Archer went to work with the McGill University Library and Archives in January 2017. Before joining McGill, Archer served more than two decades with the University of Chicago library.