Around the State: Redeeming conflict in ministry

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The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and Bell Association will co-host an Oct. 18 seminar titled “Redeeming Conflict in Ministry.” Guest speakers and topics include George Loutherback, “Understanding that Reduces Conflict;” David Howard, “Listening that Transforms Con-flict;” and Mike Smith, “Tools that Manage Conflict.” For more information, call (254) 295-4606.

Magen Bunyard has returned to the staff of East Texas Baptist University as dean of students. She was director of student activities from 2002 until 2006.

Ash Creek Church in Azle celebrated the 25th anniversary of organist Jane Greer. The church commissioned Texas Baptist composer Cindy Berry to create an anthem in her honor, and she was presented with a framed first page by the composer. Pictured with Greer are sons Chris, Trey and Andrew, daughter-in-law Stephanie, and her husband, Tim.

Among the alumni honored during Howard Payne University’s homecoming festivities were Steve Tidwell, distinguished alumnus; Kristi Owen, outstanding young graduate; Dallas Huston, medal of service; and Norma Gill Burns, coming home queen. Also, TexasBank was awarded the medal of service, and last year’s HPU Lady Jackets national women’s basketball championship team served as grand marshals of the homecoming parade.


Cherry Heights Church in Clyde, 45th, Sept. 28. Michael Terrell is pastor.

John Hall, fifth, as pastor of First Church in Tom Bean, Oct. 5.

Judy Thompson, 10th, as music minister at First Church in Cooper, Oct. 6.

East Caney Church in Sulphur Springs, 150th, Oct. 12. Lavelle Hendricks is pastor.

Martin Knox, fifth, as pastor of First Church in Temple, Oct. 12.

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First Church in Pittsburg, 150th, Nov. 6-9. On Thursday, the Singing Men of East Texas will be in concert beginning at 7 p.m. Saturday will include at fellowship time with finger foods from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday mornings worship service will include participation from former pastors Bill Beasley, Bob Braly and Sam Jones. Special music will be brought by Kenneth Wesson, Bryan Price and Steve Sullivan. A meal and a time of remembrance will follow the morning service. Steve Packer is pastor.

Bethel Church in College Station, 140th, Nov. 8-9. A barbecue dinner will be held at 5:30 p.m. Saturday and a performance by Blackwood Legacy will follow. Call (979) 268-3203 to make reservations for the barbecue. Clyde Strong is pastor.

Calvary Church in Abilene, 75th, Nov. 9. A meal will follow the morning service. Earnest Wall is interim pastor.

First Church in McGregor, 150th, Nov. 16. Former pastors expected to participate in the morning service include Ed Laux, Cliff Herrington, Jim Keith, Gary Cook, Randall Scott, Mark Newton and Bill Shiell. In addition, former ministers of music Sam Prestidge, Michael Brown, Wayne Owen and Alan Smith will participate. A catered meal will follow the service. Tickets for the meal are $8 and will be available until Nov. 3 by calling (254) 840-3301. A time of singing and testimony will follow the meal. There also will be a historical display of photographs, bulletins and artifacts. Copies of the book God’s Grace … God’s Faithful-ness, A History of First Baptist Church of McGregor 1858-2008 will be available for $10. Robert Parker is pastor.

First Church in Normangee, 135th, Nov. 16. A lunch will be served following the celebration service. Old photos of the church or its activities, as well as the addresses and phone numbers of former members, are requested and may be sent to Kip Riley is pastor.


Chester Sassman, as pastor of Calvary Church in Bay City. He was pastor of the church 40 years. He began his ministry in 1959 at Caprock Church near Lubbock. He also served Bethel Church in Spur, First Church in Perrin, and First Church in Lipan.


Evelyn Wright, 94, Sept 18 in Texarkana. She was a member of Red Lick Church in Texarkana. She is survived by her husband of 75 years, Homer; daughter, Joyce Stone; son, Kenneth; sisters, Corrine Smith, Thelma Wright, Jimmie Farrell and Lois Barber; brother, Sam Elliott; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Stephen Whitlow, 12, Sept. 27 in Rowlett. He died following a battle with cancer. His father, John, is minister of music at First Church in Rowlett. He also is survived by his mother, Brenda, and sister, Caroline.

Ruth Denison, 80, Sept. 28 in Dallas. She was the mother of two Baptist General Convention of Texas pastors. She was the first woman to receive a graduate degree in business from Pittsburg (Kan.) State Teachers College. While there, she was named Kanza Queen, the beauty queen of the college, chosen in a contest judged by Bing Crosby. She later taught business and accounting. After moving to Houston, she met and married Lester Denison. She helped him start an electronics sales company and managed the office until his death in 1979. She then worked as a real estate agent, voting booth supervisor and tax adviser until retiring earlier this year. She was a member of Park Cities Church in Dallas. She is survived by her sons, Jim and Mark; brother, Edwin Payne; and three grandchildren.

Bill Laughlin, 59, Oct. 1 in Goldthwaite. He was minister of music at First Church in Goldthwaite 28 years. He previously served Memorial Church in Dallas. He is survived by his wife, Donna; son, Eric; and brothers, Bob and Ron.


Bobby Dusek and David Ehler Jr. as deacons at First Church in La Grange.

Ed Middlebrooks, Dave Thrane, Kevin Baker and Robbie Jordan as deacons at First Church in Burnet.


First Church, Haskell; Oct. 19-22; evangelist, Rick Holeman; music, Paul and Christy Newberry; pastor, Greg Gasaway.


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