New intercultural specialist joins BGCT staff. Mark Heavener has joined the Baptist General Convention of Texas Executive Board staff as intercultural specialist to help start and develop ethnic churches, particularly in the Houston area. Heavener, who assumed his new role Dec. 1, had served as intercultural coach for Culture Connexions with the Serving in Missions organization since 2006. Prior to that, he was the ethnic liaison for the Ethnic American Network. He also has served as spiritual formation leader at Dallas Theological Seminary, where he earned a master’s degree in cross-cultural ministries in 2003. He served in various roles with InterVarsity Fellowship.
BCFS tallies hurricane season totals. During the 2008 hurricane season, Baptist Child & Family Services sheltered about 2,800 evacuees—most of whom who required extensive medical attention. During Hurricanes Dolly, Gustav and Ike, the agency operated 29 shelters in five cities, staffed by about 1,100 personnel. More than 540 nurses from across the nation reported for duty within 48 hours of being called into service by Baptist Child & Family Services.
Supplies directed to Ike victims. Texas Baptists are sending more than $12,000 in supplies to help people who were forced from their homes to temporary trailers in the wake of Hurricane Ike. Through the Baptist General Convention of Texas, Texas Baptist churches worked together to send 24 “living kits” containing cleaning supplies, household items, dishes, glasses and other miscellaneous goods to people who live in FEMA-provided trailers following Hurricane Ike. Organizations that helped provide supplies or donated money toward buying supplies for this effort were Woman’s Missionary Union of Texas, Woodlawn Baptist Church in Austin, First Baptist Church in Arlington, Union Baptist Church in Sulphur Springs, First Baptist Church in Gilmer, Kindness and Prayers Outdoor Church in Lancaster and Park Meadows Baptist Church in Waxahachie.
Wayland accreditation reaffirmed. Wayland Baptist University has been reaffirmed for full accreditation by the commission on colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools after a year-long process, the accrediting body announced at its annual meeting in San Antonio. Reaffirmation of accredited status takes place every 10 years for schools that are SACS members. SACS principles for accreditation include more than 75 core requirements and comprehensive standards with which a university must comply. Wayland has 14 campuses, including its home campus in Plainview, a dozen extension campuses and the virtual campus online. Overall system enrollment topped 6,000 for the fall term.