Day of community service shows ‘ETBU Cares’

Mission Marshall Executive Director Misty Scott explains to East Texas Baptist University freshman Charlotte Coit of Houston about checking the seal of a jar of peanut butter to determine whether the item can go on the pantry shelf for distribution. (PHOTO: ETBU/Mike Midkiff)

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MARSHALL—East Texas Baptist University volunteers spent a recent Saturday working in service projects throughout Harrison County to demonstrate “ETBU Cares.”

The university’s Great Commission Center sponsors the initiative to involve ETBU students, faculty and staff in community service alongside their neighbors. This year, the ETBU Tigers football team combined its annual volunteer day with ETBU Cares.

etbu cares football425Joshua Eargle, East Texas Baptist University head football coach, waits to receive one more square of grass from one of his players, Jake McClain. The Tiger football team participated in ETBU Cares, providing community service at three locations—Habitat for Humanity Marshall, Dayspring Therapeutic Equestrian Center and Love Cemetery.  (PHOTO: ETBU/Mike Midkiff)Volunteers weeded Love Cemetery in Scottsville, cleared brush at Dayspring Therapeutic Equestrian Center of Harrison County, spread dirt and sod at a Marshall Habitat for Humanity project, helped students in “Saturday school” classes at Robert E. Lee Elementary and worked in the food pantry at Mission Marshall.

At Love Cemetery—a historic African-American cemetery with graves dating to the 1860s—ETBU workers joined students from Wiley College and other volunteers in clearing weeds and debris.

“I’m so proud of my players to volunteer their time serving a great organization,” said Joshua Eargle, Tiger head football coach. “ETBU cares about the city of Marshall, and Marshall has already shown they care about ETBU. We are trying to give back to a community that has given so much to our university.” 

Dayspring Therapeutic Equestrian Center

At the Dayspring Therapeutic Equestrian Center, the ETBU students cleared a wooded area of underbrush and removed downed tree limbs, some small and some large, preparing the area for a sensory trail. Dayspring, scheduled to open in the fall, seeks to enhance the independence and life skills of individuals with disabilities through multilevel equine programs.

“Nothing brings people together better than physical labor,” said Brandon Pyle, a senior football player from Hallsville.

Scott Moujalled, a sophomore football player from Dallas, decided clearing brush was even harder than football practice.

“Something you think you can lift up turns out to be very heavy. I never thought a log could be this heavy,” he said, pointing to a downed tree covered with vines.

Misson Marshall

Misty Scott, executive director of Mission Marshall, expressed her appreciation for the students’ work.

“I love it when the ETBU students come, because it is so encouraging to see a legacy continuing to be passed on of servant leadership,” she said.

“Hopefully, the lesson of contributing to the community in which the students live will follow them wherever God takes them in their journey of life, and they will continue to serve because ETBU chose to encourage and model servanthood for them.”

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