Sep
18
2014

Need To Read An Encouraging Story?


Posted by Tiger Pride in Alumni, Faculty/Staff


carson front page mnm

At the age of two, Carson Bryant was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.  The words of the diagnosis heard by his parents, Tom and Leslie Bryant, are words a parent never wants to hear.

Tom works at East Texas Baptist University in our Institutional Technology Department.  Leslie is a graduate of ETBU and served as a teacher at Waskom Elementary until she decided to direct her devotion to Carson and her daughter Avery Kate, who just turned one.

I first became friends with Leslie when she began to work as a student worker in the Public Relations office here at ETBU during her early years on the Hill as a student. The Sulphur Springs native worked in the PR office until she graduated.  She was a shy young lady as she began to work in my office but grew into a mature, confident lady.

2005: Leslie Nelson Bryant aids hurricane victims on their way to shelters in Dallas. PHOTO: Hilltop News/Ron Munden

2005: Leslie Nelson Bryant aids hurricane victims on their way to shelters in Dallas. PHOTO: Hilltop News/Ron Munden

I remember when Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005 I saw Leslie jump into action one day to help those fleeing New Orleans. If you recall, a large group of people had to be evacuated from New Orleans to a shelter in Dallas. The route that the buses took came through Harrison County and they made a stop at the Texas Travel Information Center in Waskom.  

The call from officials is that volunteers were needed to greet the ones who no longer had homes and to hand out supplies as they stopped in East Texas. Leslie was on the front line handing out water, clothing, and food.  She got out of her comfort zone at ETBU to serve those in need.

Leslie and Tom are servants. Tom, even with a heavy burden on his heart concerning his son does his job each on our campus with a smile on his face. This strength to carry on, in my opinion, is because of their faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Take time to read their story in the Marshall News Messenger and see how the Bryant’s are giving back in an effort to help others.

Click to read, ‘Three-year old Waskom Child looks to overcome leukemia’.

Aug
15
2014

From Stand Up-Comic to Minister of the Gospel


Posted by Tiger Pride in Alumni


ETBU alumnus Chris Elrod has performed before thousands with his stand-up comedy routine. Now he is the pastor of Impact Church in Lakeland, Florida.  (Courtesy photo)

ETBU alumnus Chris Elrod has performed before thousands with his stand-up comedy routine. Now he is the pastor of Impact Church in Lakeland, Florida. (Courtesy photo)

When pastors attend a conference or training event in which they meet fellow pastors for the first time usually a series of questions are asked to break the ice.  The questions typically are:  What church do you serve at? How many do you run? (meaning average attendance of Sunday School) or have you heard any good jokes lately? 

Rev. Chris Elrod, a graduate of East Texas Baptist University, would have no problem answering the questions above.  Elrod graduated in 1992 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the Fred Hale School of Business. 

At one time Elrod was a nationally-known comedian, averaging more than 250 speaking engagements each year. Today, he serves as the pastor of Impact Church in Lakeland, Florida.

Impact church is located in a high crime area in Lakeland. Many who attend the services come after sleeping on the streets.

The Marshall News Messenger did a feature story on Elrod that was published in the paper this week about his time on the Hill and the ministry God has called him to.

 To read “Nurturing Success” written by reporter Rebecca Holland, click here.

Before you click to another webpage, how about a good joke?

Did you hear about the time ‘Dennis the Menace’ was sitting at the kitchen table with his dad and pastor?  The pastor had knocked over his cup of coffee and it spilled right in front of Dennis.   Dennis looked at his pastor and asked, “Did your cup runneth or spilleth over, Reverend?”

 “A joyful heart does good, like medicine,” – Proverbs 17:22.

Jul
30
2014

The Big “10” Just Ahead


Posted by Tiger Pride in Alumni


Starting at 11:00 and going counter-clockwise, the Bryant quintuplets (in birth order) are Austin Corley, Mackenzie Jordyn, Kaitlyn Ann, Peyton Elizabeth, and Caleb Scott.  Photo: ETBU Archives/Hilltop News Winter 2005 Issue/Brenda Fuller

Starting at 11:00 and going counter-clockwise, the Bryant quintuplets (in birth order) are Austin Corley, Mackenzie Jordyn, Kaitlyn Ann, Peyton Elizabeth, and Caleb Scott. Photo: ETBU Archives/Hilltop News Winter 2005 Issue/Brenda Fuller

They are about to turn 10 years old. Who? Austin, Mackenzie, Kaitlyn, Peyton, and Caleb Bryant will turn 10 on September 17th.  Their parents, Craig and Darcy Bryant are graduates of East Texas Baptist University.

The Bryant Quintuplets were the talk of East Texas when they were born and last week they were in the news again. The Bryants have joined an effort to help the Seals family of Maud, Texas, in which they can relate too very well.  Back in March, mother Michelle delivered quintuplets – four girls and one boy. 

 The Bryants, who live in Hallsville, have reached out to the Seals offering encouragement and participating in a diaper drive for the family. Darcy told KTBS-TV reporter Jessica Crandall “she remembers when her five came home they went through 35 diapers a day.” 

In a phone conversation with Darcy she said, “Hard to believe my children will be entering the fourth grade. Each one has a different personality.”  The Bryants also have been blessed with another daughter, Olivia, who is five-years-old.

To watch the KTBS story on the Bryant’s click here.

When the Bryant quintuplets were born, ETBU awarded them full tuition scholarships. Darcy said after learning of the ETBU scholarship over nine years ago, “The scholarship is a blessing.

When we found out about the five, one of the hang-ups I had was how would we ever provide for our children. God provides.”

Craig graduated from ETBU in December 2002 while Darcy received her degree in June 2003.

Jul
23
2014

New Pastor Helping Church Continue A Long-Time Ministry


Posted by Tiger Pride in Alumni


ETBU alum Rev. Kevin Welborn, with his wife, Cara.  Photo courtesy Clovis News Journal.

ETBU alum Rev. Kevin Welborn, with his wife, Cara. Photo courtesy of Highland Baptist website.

Mount Pleasant, Texas native Kevin Welborn graduated from East Texas Baptist University in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Church Careers.  Welborn was recently called as the senior pastor of Highland Baptist Church in Clovis, New Mexico. That is a long way (520 miles) from his hometown where the past 10 years he has served as youth pastor of South Jefferson Baptist Church in Mount Pleasant.

The Clovis News Journal just recently did a story on Welborn and a ministry that Highland has been doing for years.  The ministry is helping local children in need get a solid start on the school year.

To read the story, “Highland Baptist Collects School Supplies for Less Fortunate in Area” by writer Vanessa Kahin, click here. 

Jul
22
2014

Liles Plays Softball in Europe


Posted by Tiger Pride in Alumni, Athletics, Honors


Lacy Liles in her Team USA uniform before playing softball in Europe.

Lacy Liles in her Team USA uniform before playing softball in Europe.

East Texas Baptist University All-American softball player Lacy Liles, who graduated this past May, had the opportunity to play a few more softball games even though her time in a Lady Tiger uniform had ended.  

Liles was chosen by the organization American International Sports Teams to play softball overseas. She represented the United States of America during a 10-day trip across Europe.

Upon returning back home to East Texas, Marshall News Messenger sports editor Nathan Hague reported on her international softball playing experience.

To read the story by Hague, click here.

Jul
21
2014

Preaching the Gospel for 60 Years


Posted by Tiger Pride in Alumni, Spiritual Life


The caption read from the 2000 Martian- “ ‘Mark Warren’  (Brett Manley) reprimands  ‘Jason Fortenberry’  (Dr. Wallace Watkins) for having a hat on in chapel during the Big Switch.”  The Big Switch is when faculty/staff members switch places with students for a day.

The caption read from the 2000 Martian- “ ‘Mark Warren’ (Brett Manley) reprimands ‘Jason Fortenberry’ (Dr. Wallace Watkins) for having a hat on in chapel during the Big Switch.” The Big Switch is when faculty/staff members switch places with students for a day.

Soda Lake Baptist Association Director of Missions Randy Babin sent an email today (7/21/2014) to pastors and staff of cooperating churches of the association to share about a milestone obtained by Dr. Wallace Watkins, pastor of Central Baptist Church of Marshall.

Over the weekend, Wallace celebrated 60 years of preaching ministry.  Randy shared in the email, “Over 30 of that time has been here in Soda Lake.  We have been blessed by his ministry in our area.”

The congregation of Central Baptist recognized his faithful proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the morning service held on July 20.   

Wallace is a graduate of East Texas Baptist College holding a master’s degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and doctor’s degree from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary.  He began serving his second term as pastor of Central Baptist on June 1, 2010. He had previously served from 1977-95.

From 1995-2005, Wallace served ETBU as Vice President for Spiritual Development.  He has also served as pastor of First Baptist Church of Hitchcock and associate pastor of First Baptist Church of Texarkana as well as numerous interims of churches in East Texas.

Congratulations, Bro. Wallace!

To listen to the sermon that Bro. Wallace preached at Central Baptist Church on July 20, click here. The title, “Throwing Stones,” the text from John 8:2-11.

May
15
2014

ETBU Alum Speaks at Jacksonville College Commencement


Posted by Tiger Pride in Alumni, Honors


Rev. Richard Smith, ETBU Alum

Rev. Richard Smith, ETBU Alum

East Texas Baptist University graduate Rev. Richard W. Smith delivered the key note address for spring commencement at Jacksonville College (Texas) held May 9th.

Rev. Smith graduated from Jacksonville College with his A.A.  in 1979 and from East Texas Baptist College in 1981 with a B.A.   He also holds a master’s degree in Theology from Jacksonville BMA Seminary.

He has been serving as the pastor of Farley Street Baptist Church of Waxahachie since March 1993.  He  and his wife Kim have been  married for 33 years.

A Tiger Pride “high five” to Rev. Smith for his faithful years of service in the ministry.

May
5
2014

She Fished and Caught a Bass Worth $500


Posted by Tiger Pride in Alumni


ETBU alumnae Allison Ratcliff holds up her "money bass" caught during the KYKX Big Bass Bonanza fishing tournament. Standing next to Allison is her brother, Mike Ratcliff, who was fishing with her when she landed the 5.88 bass and the title of Top Female Angler of the tournament.  Photo Courtesy of Allison's Facebook page.

ETBU alumnae Allison Ratcliff holds up her “money bass” caught during the KYKX Big Bass Bonanza fishing tournament. Standing next to Allison is her brother, Mike Ratcliff, who was fishing with her when she landed the 5.88 bass and the title of Top Female Angler of the tournament. Photo Courtesy of Allison’s Facebook page.

Fishing can be a very relaxing outing on a beautiful afternoon on your favorite lake.  This past weekend East Texas Baptist University alumna and former All-American Lady Tiger softball player Allison Ratcliff spent time fishing in the KYKX Big Bass Bonanza 2014 held at Lake O’ The Pines.

The relaxing part turned into an adrenaline rush as Ratcliff caught a 5.88 lb. bass fishing with a white spinner bait. The catch made her the Top Female Angler during the bass tournament and received a nice check for $500. She picked up additional prize earnings as her fish came in second in the heaviest fish of the hour competition held each day during the two-day tournament. Alison was fishing with her brother, Mike Ratcliff, when she made the money catch.

According to tournament officials over 1800 anglers participated in the KYKX Big Bass Bonanza.   The overall winner was Larry McNeese, who landed a 7.79 pound bass on Saturday, claiming the top spot winning $105,000 in cash and prizes.

ETBU was also one of the sponsors for the two-day event held by the Longview radio station.

Apr
24
2014

Re-sil-ince [ri-zil-yuhs ns]


Posted by Tiger Pride in Alumni, Athletics, Faculty/Staff


 

ETBU Cross Country Coach Natalie Bach-Prather (far right) gives instruction to Tiger runner Landon Price of Mount Vernon during the Centenary Invitational. Photo courtesy of ETBU Sports Information.

ETBU Cross Country Coach Natalie Bach-Prather (far right) gives instruction to Tiger runner Landon Price of Mount Vernon during the Centenary Invitational. Photo courtesy of ETBU Sports Information.

Re-sil-ience [ri-zil-yuh ns] – the ability to recover readily from adversity, or the like.

As some 36,000 runners raced in the Boston Marathon on Monday  (April 21) with an estimated one million gathering on the 26.2 mile course to show support of the runners and remember the ones who died and were injured, “resilience” is the word that comes to mind after last year’s tragic bombing at the finish line.

As I heard the news last year for the first time that a bomb exploded near the finish line my mind wondered quickly, “Is East Texas Baptist University Cross Country coach Natalie Bach-Prather okay?”

I knew she was running in the 2013 race.  As I checked various social media outlets I saw the post from Natalie’s husband, Michael that she was okay. Natalie had crossed the finished line about 5 minutes after the bomb went off.

Natalie, 2008 graduate of ETBU, raced again in the Boston Marathon finishing with a time of 3:36:20.  Last week on a report by KSLA-TV about how Americans just can’t be shaken the Marshall native said, “You can’t stop us. We’ll show up every year in bigger, stronger, better numbers.”

Yes, resilience is the word that comes to mind.

“Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the LORD holds them by the hand.” –Psalm 37:24 (NLT)

To read more about Natalie’s experience at the 2014 Boston Marathon, click here.

Apr
10
2014

Dr. Pierce Called As Pastor of FBC, Hallsville


Posted by Tiger Pride in Alumni


Dr. Monty Pierce, Pastor, First Baptist Church of Hallsville and ETBU Board of Trustee member

Dr. Monty Pierce, Pastor, First Baptist Church of Hallsville and ETBU Board of Trustee member

East Texas Baptist University Board of Trustee member and alumnus Dr. Monty Pierce has been called as pastor of First Baptist Church of Hallsville, Texas. Dr. Pierce is the 36th pastor of FBC, since the church was established in 1870.

Thomas Richardson, who writes a column for the Marshall News Messenger titled “Hallsville Happenings”, wrote this in his column that was published on April 4th :

Dr. Monty Pierce, 53, has been called and accepted as pastor of First Baptist Church in Hallsville at a business meeting Sunday morning.

Bro. Pierce was elected by secret ballot after the pastor search committee had unanimously recommended him. He had been with the church 11 years and served as associate pastor of Education Administration. It’s hard not to say “Monty,” served as interim pastor while Dr. David Massey was ill and has continued since his death last year.

Pierce is from New Boston, graduated from high school there and received his college degree from ETBC in 1983. He received his Master’s degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in early 1991 and his Doctorate from the same school in December of 1991. He worked at churches in Arkansas and the panhandle of Texas before coming to Hallsville.

Bro. Monty is married to Candice who works at Eastman and strongly supports him. They have a son, John Calvin Pierce, who is a senior at Hallsville High School.  He is an accomplished singer and pianist who performs at church and school.

To read the rest of Richardson’s column, which he writes about the history of First Baptist Church Hallsville, click here.