Around the State: Paisano encampment celebrates

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Paisano Baptist Encampment will hold its 88th general encampment July 20-25. The camp begins Sunday evening and continues through Friday noon. The camp encourages family togetherness and spiritual renewal. Alternating preaching duties will be Dennis Wiles, pastor of First Church in Arlington, and Stephen Wells, pastor of South Main Church in Houston. Todd Still will be the Bible study leader. Jerry and Debby Smith will be the featured missionaries. Between services, there are numerous activities. The camp is located between Alpine and Marfa. For more information, see

First Church in Cisco celebrated retirement of its debt on their activity building with a note-burning ceremony. Taking part in the celebration were Pat Riley, pastor while the building was being built; Chris Craig, pastor during the planning phase; Craig Curry, the current pastor; and Tim Barton, the member who supervised the volunteers and others who constructed the building.

Howard Payne University has presented awards to several faculty and staff. Glenn Hopp, professor and chair of the department of English, was named the outstanding faculty member. Mary Hill, administrative assistant for the school of business, received the outstanding staff member award. Excellence in teaching certificates were presented to Athena Bean, Stephen Goacher, Russell Wheelington and Julie Welker. Sergio Herbert and Marcie Drew received excellence in service awards.

Dennis Robertson has been named vice president for student services at East Texas Baptist University. For the last three years, he has been chair of the department of communication at ETBU.

Vic Schmidt, retiring president of San Marcos Baptist Academy, has been presented the Exemplary Service Medal, the school’s highest award. The award, “given in recognition of distinguished service to God and man through Christian education,” was presented to Schmidt as he prepares to conclude his 16 years of service to the academy, seven of those as president.

Two staff members and three faculty have retired at Houston Baptist University. Ken Rogers, director of scholarships, worked at the school 41 years. Frances Curtis, dean of student affairs, served the school 40 years. Retiring faculty include Sally Phillips, professor of bilingual education; Pat Varvel, assistant professor in nursing; and Robert McElroy, director of instrumental activities.

Ron Bowles has been named dean of the College of Fine Arts at Dallas Baptist University. Prior to joining DBU in 2005, he was minister of worship and communications at First Church in El Paso 22 years.


Phil Flournoy, 20th, as associate pastor of education and outreach at Bulverde Church in Bulverde, May 18.

Wheatland Church in Wheatland, 50th, June 29. A celebration meal will follow the morning service. Richard Garrett is pastor.

Chad Minne, fifth, as pastor of Providence Church in Paris, July 1.

Lone Pine Church in Palestine, 100th, July 6. Former pastors John Green, Steve Melton and Ray Biggerstaff will participate in the 10:30 a.m. service. Lunch will follow the service. Games, a history presentation and music from The Ray Brothers are planned for the afternoon. Ron Sloan is pastor.

Lennie Wilson, 15th, as pastor of Rosedale Church in Beaumont, July 6.

Mark Gossett, 10th, as pastor of First Church in Clarksville, July 19.

Elmwood Church in Abilene, 75th, July 26-27. Call (325) 677-7524 for more information. Joel Tobey is pastor.

Mark Mitchell, fifth, as pastor of First Church in Denison, July 27.

Belinda Frazier, fifth, as children’s minister at First Church in Denison, July 27.

Parkway Drive Church in Lubbock, 50th, Aug. 2-3. Festivities will begin Saturday with a picnic at the church at 11 a.m. A special service of remembrance will begin at 11 a.m. Sunday with former pastor Richard Rush as guest speaker. Former music ministers also will present special music. Deshun Avery is pastor.

First Church in Corpus Christi, 130th, Aug. 17. A combined worship service at 11 a.m. will feature former pastor Hulitt Gloer. A meal will follow. Cost is $5 per person or $15 per family. Call (361) 888-8228 for more information.


David Renfrow, as minister of music and administration at First Church in Bonham, May 22. He served the church 29 years.


Verne Philpot, 89, May 17 in Georgetown. She and her pastor husband served churches in Hearne, Eddy, Odessa, Fort Worth and Georgetown. When they came to serve Crestview Church in Georgetown, she was appointed as the city’s first librarian, and under her direction, the first library building was constructed. She held the position 21 years. She was preceded in death by three brothers and a sister. She is survived by her husband of 65 years, Jarvis; daughters, Sharon Thomason and Brenda Fry; sister, Bobbie Pryor; and three grandchildren.

Ken England, 99, May 22 in Austin. He served as pastor, associate pastor or interim pastor to churches in Pond Springs, San Gabriel, Jonestown and Round Rock. He also was associational missionary for Atascosa Association and preached revivals throughout Texas, Louisiana and Missisippi. He recently was named pastor emeritus of First Church in Round Rock. Since coming to the city in 1958, he was involved with Texas Baptist Children’s Home. He also was part of the group which brought the first hospital to Round Rock. He was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Elsa, and brother, Olan. He is survived by his son, Joe; daughter, Ruth Davis; and four grandchildren.

Marie Sutton, 100, June 7 in Waxahachie. While a student at Southwestern Seminary, she was secretary to W.T. Conner and typed the manuscript for his book Christian Doctrine. She married Baptist pastor Milton Cunningham in 1939. They served churches in Texas, Arizona and California. While they were in Arizona, she was the assistant to the editor of the Arizona Baptist Beacon, and she also was executive director of Arizona Baptist Woman’s Missionary Union. After her husband’s death in 1951, she became director of children’s ministries at First Church in Oklahoma City for nine years. She later directed children’s ministries at Park Place Church in Houston and Wilshire Church in Dallas. For more than 10 years, she was assistant dean of students and director of housing at Dallas Baptist University. She married her second husband, Roy Sutton, in 1987. He had been pastor of churches in Texas and Arizona. He preceded her in death in 2004. She also was preceded in death by her brother, Benton Tatum, and sisters, Maudie Tatum and Sibyl Edwards. She is survived by her son, Milton Cunningham Jr.; sister, Inez Webb; brothers, James Tatum and Scott Tatum.

Dan Kent, 72, June 26 in Fort Worth. A graduate of Baylor University and Southwestern Seminary, he also studied at Oxford University. He was a pastor 15 years and taught at Wayland Baptist University five years and Southwestern Seminary 19 years. He was preceded in death by six brothers and three sisters. He is survived by his wife, Barbara; son, Blake; daughters, Barrett Border and Leslie Cappo; and three grandchildren.

O.D. Oliver, 77, June 27 in Gilmer. He had been pastor of Acton Church in Acton, First Church in Saint Jo, Ash Creek Church in Azle, First Church in Gilmer, Baptist Temple in San Antonio, First Church in Kilgore and First Church in Bowie. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Jean; sons, Jim, Dan and David; four grandchildren; and one great-grandson.


First Church of Castle Hills in Azle will hold special services July 13 to mark the church’s 56 years of service to the community. The Revelations will present a music concert from 10:30 a.m. until noon. After a recognition of charter members, lunch will be served. Jim Turner is pastor.


Winnie Nkhoma to the ministry at Gambrell Street Church in Fort Worth.

Brett Pennington and Todd Henry as deacons at First Church in Kyle.


County Line Church, Point; July 13-16; evangelist, Billy Foote; music, Winky Foote; pastor, Wayne Darty.

Midway Church, Dayton; July 13-16; evangelist, Paul Cherry; music, The Cherry Family; pastor, Phil Loving.

Oaklawn Church, Groveton; July 13-16; evangelist, Herman Cramer; music, Paul and Christy Newberry; pastor, Lester McAdams.

Airway Church, Houston; July 13-16; evangelist, Sam Craig; pastor, Edwin Parker III.

Posey Church, Sulphur Springs; July 20-23; evangelist, Billy Foote; music, Winky Foote; pastor, Darryl Davis.

Central Church, Daisetta; July 20-23; evangelist, Paul Cherry; music, The Cherry Family; pastor, Jimmy Van Dorn.

Pleasant Grove Church, Trinity; July 20-23; evangelist, Herman Cramer; music, Paul and Christy Newberry; pastor, Kenneth Myers.

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