Students from three small chapel groups at Wayland Baptist University conducted a canned food drive for Faith in Sharing House, a food pantry that serves families in Hale County. Kassie Lane, assistant professor of business administration, leads one of the small groups. “We found out that with the pandemic, organizations have not been able to donate as they have in the past, and so this is actually helping them fill their pantries for our community,” Lane said. The students delivered 16 boxes of donated canned food to FISH. At a time when students are meeting in small groups rather than together in a traditional chapel setting due to COVID-19, they have been challenged to develop service projects that address poverty, hunger or human trafficking. One chapel group sold cupcakes and raised $156 for the Crisis Center of the Plains, a shelter that offers assistance to victims of domestic violence, while another collected toiletries and socks to stock a supply closet for individuals who cannot afford essential items. Donnie Brown, director of spiritual life at Wayland, is leading the Shine initiative, focused on the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, when he urged his followers to “let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
East Texas Baptist University donated $1,500 to the Nu-Town Revitalization Group, a local nonprofit organization that strives to promote social, educational and economic awareness to improve Marshall. ETBU President Blair Blackburn presented the gift to NRG co-founders Chris Frazier, Tasha Williams and Anna Ansari. The donation is earmarked for the creation of the organization’s forthcoming Educational Resource Center and Youth Recreation Center. The center will offer a variety of services to both adults and children, including tutoring, computer access, homework assistance and resume-building. Future partnerships between ETBU and NRG may involve further donations, as well as encouraging students to volunteer, Blackburn noted. “Partnering with Nu-Town will give ETBU students the chance to get involved and enhance our community,” he said. “Part of our mission is developing Christian servant leaders that can invest right here in Marshall. We want them to take the initiative, wherever God leads them after this Hill, to invest in their community, much like Chris, Tasha and Anna.”
Led by the Black Student Union, along with the Chi Alpha Theta and Beta Beta student organizations, 70 Dallas Baptist University students participated in an early morning prayer walk for unity on Oct. 13. “The prayer walk was an opportunity for people of all nations to come together as one body in Christ praying for unity and peace throughout this world and campus,” said Jacob Jack, president of the Black Student Union. The time of intercessory prayer also included prayers for the families of DBU students who recently were killed in an auto accident.
Stephen Heyde, the Mary Franks Thompson Professor of Orchestral Studies and Conductor-in-Residence at Baylor University’s School of Music, has received the 2020 Arlin G. Meyer Prize in Music Performance from the Lilly Fellows Program. The prize honors a work that emerges from the scholar’s practice of the Christian artistic and scholarly vocation. Heyde received the prize for the performance he led of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 in C Minor, “Resurrection,” presented in February 2019 on the Baylor campus. “I am so grateful for the support of Baylor University and the School of Music and for the opportunity to work at a Christian university where the full theological implications of a piece that is overtly spiritual like the Mahler can be fully and thoughtfully discussed and emphasized,” Heyde said. “In institutions without that freedom, where one must ignore the Christian implications, the effectiveness of the piece is significantly impaired. This work is about life and death and most importantly, life after death. It is a deep and emotional reflection of the faith we profess.”
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary trustees named Benjamin Skaug, a pastor and former seminary administrator, as dean of Scarborough College, the seminary’s undergraduate school. He officially begins his duties as dean Jan. 1. He succeeds Michael Wilkinson, who has served as dean since 2013 and who will continue serving on the college faculty as associate professor of theology. Skaug is senior pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Highland, Calif. Previously he was pastor of churches in Colorado and South Carolina. He also was vice president for institutional advancement at Gateway Seminary and director of development at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He earned his undergraduate degree from the College of Idaho, Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Southern Seminary, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Gateway Seminary. He and his wife Jodie have one child, Jessica.
Howard Payne University recently opened an esports lounge that will host a club available to all interested students. Esports describes competitions played on multiplayer video games either in virtual or in-person contests. The program is the first of its kind at HPU. The lounge is equipped with 12 workstations, with gaming chairs and computers. The current academic year will be used to gauge student interest in the esports club, with plans for the organization to evolve into a competitive HPU esports team. Esports is coed, and there is no limit to the number of students who can compete at the club level within HPU’s program. Students will compete both on an individual basis and in teams ranging from two to six players, depending on the game.
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Dallas Baptist University have partnered to offer a joint Master of Divinity/Master of Business Administration degree. Graduate students who meet both institution’s requirements for admission and prerequisites for both schools can earn the MDiv from Southwestern Seminary and the MBA from DBU with certain coursework at each institution satisfying requirements for coursework at the partner institution.
In light of COVID-19, East Texas Baptist University refashioned its traditional Homecoming celebration into a “Home on the Hill” week of festivities. Events included a movie night under the stars, socially distanced pumpkin painting, free chicken wings while viewing the Major League Baseball NLCS Game 3 and ALCS Game 4, scrimmages involving various men’s and women’s teams and post-game outdoors that included pizza, desserts and games. On Celebration Saturday—when students gathered outdoors for a fireworks show, costume contest and Motown-themed concert—the 2020 Homecoming Court was announced. The court includes Freshman Duke Carson Loos, Freshman Duchess Brooke Kendrick, Sophomore Duke Mark Kunz, Sophomore Duchess Laura Staley, Junior Duke Will Kelley, Junior Duchess Abigail Bath, Senior Duke Josh Hartley and Senior Duchess Emily Jones. Homecoming King and Queen are seniors Mylan Shed, a behavioral science major from Teague, and Shelby Nallin, a worship studies major from Bossier City, La.