Around the State: Wayland President Bobby Hall hospitalized with COVID-19

Bobby Hall is president of Wayland Baptist University. (WBU Photo)

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Bobby and Laurie Hall

Wayland Baptist University President Bobby Hall tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Hall and his wife Laurie were traveling over the Independence Day weekend when he began experiencing symptoms related to the virus. He was hospitalized and had not been released as of July 7. She was tested and was awaiting results. Claude Lusk, senior vice president of operations and student life at Wayland, reported Hall is doing well, and his doctors think he should be on the road to recovery. Business continues at Wayland, where the university continues to make plans for students’ return to campus on Aug. 12, Lusk noted. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Bobby Hall was discharged from the hospital July 9. Laurie Hall tested positive for COVID-19 but has experienced no symptoms. The Halls will observe the recommended isolation period.]

The No Need Among You conference—originally scheduled as a three-day in-person event in Fort Worth—will be a one-day hybrid conference on Oct. 15. The event is sponsored by the Texas Christian Community Development Network. Participants can choose to attend the conference in person from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth or participate online. Participants who choose to attend on-site will be required to wear masks, maintain a 6-foot distance from others, allow conference staff to test with a no-contact thermometer, and sign a waiver affirming they have not come into contact with anyone with known COVID-19 symptoms. Keynote speakers at the four plenary sessions—part of both the virtual and in-person conference—are Soong-Chan Rah, professor at North Park Theological Seminary; Bethany Rivera Molina from Ciudad Nueva Community Outreach in El Paso; George Yancey, professor of sociology at Baylor University; and Jonathan Hartgrove-Wilson, author and speaker. Cost is $75. For more information, click here.

Sarah Hartman
Rachel Juarez-Torres

Wayland Baptist University announced two new leaders in Wayland’s Don Williams School of Education. Sarah Hartman became dean of the school and associate professor of education on July 1. Rachel Juarez-Torres will become associate dean of the school and associate professor of education effective July 16. Hartman, most recently the STAR academy gifted education teacher at East Junior High School in Somerville, Tenn., previously was chair of the College of Education at Freed-Hardeman University, and has teaching experience at the College of Coastal Georgia. She earned her undergraduate degree from San Diego State University, a master’s degree in elementary education from Alabama State University and a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from the University of Alabama. Juarez-Torres most recently was program manager for the Advancement Via Individual Determination program in San Diego, Calif. Previously, she was associate dean of career, technical and workforce education at Odessa College. She also served as interim dean and associate dean at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin in Odessa. She earned her bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and Doctor of Education degree in curriculum and instruction from Texas Tech University. She has been an adjunct and online teacher for Wayland since 2016.

Like most Spring 2020 events, The Heights Church in Richardson had to cancel its annual car show due to COVID-19. Over the car show’s 12-year history, it has provided more than $59,820 and 8,375 pounds of food to Richardson’s Network of Community Ministries Food Pantry. While it remains impossible to hold a large car show, organizers wanted to do something to help the Network of Community Ministries. So, The Heights Car Show is partnering with the Dallas Area Pontiac Association and other area car clubs to support a Food Drive Cruise-In from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on July 11 on The Heights Church’s campus at 201 W. Renner Rd. in Richardson. Participants are invited to drive their classic, exotic or sports car through the atrium entrance drive-thru off Renner Road. They can bring a lawn chair if they’d like to sit in a shaded area to watch the parade of cars that will be cruising in throughout the day. Participants who gather are asked to wear a mask and follow social distancing guidelines. For more information, contact Brian Ratcliff at


150th for Bethlehem Baptist Church in Mansfield. The church marked the occasion with a drive-in worship service at the Mansfield Performing Arts Center. Michael Evans is pastor.

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