Apr
14
2015

ETBU Grad Helping Disaster Victims


Posted by Tiger Pride in Alumni


alicia ethridgeA 2012 graduate of East Texas Baptist University, Alicia Ethridge, was featured in a story on Mesquite’s Online News and Information Destitution ionmesquite.com. Ethridge is participating in FEMA Corps- An AmeriCorps National Civilian Corps program.

The program enlists young adults to assist disaster victims across the country while expanding career opportunities. The Mesquite native will spend 10 months serving with FEMA Corps. This time of service will allow her to be eligible for almost $6,000 to pay for college loans she inquired while earning her bachelor’s degree in psychology and speech communication from ETBU.

Volunteer service is not new for Ethridge.  In June of 2009,  she participated in an effort with other ETBU students working alongside Faith Baptist Church delivering blessing bags to the citizens of Deport, Texas. Deport is a small town of 700 in Northeast Texas, just south of Paris.

While at ETBU, Ethridge was a contestant in the 55th Miss ETBU Pageant and won second place in the annual Bennett Speech Contest in 2011 sponsored by the ETBU Department of Communication.

To read the complete story about Ethridge by Kent Miller at ionmesquite.com, click here.

Apr
10
2015

My Tigers Will Win!


Posted by Tiger Pride in Alumni, Just for Fun, Memories on the Hill


Jason, Addie and Julia Pfingsten courtside at the ETBU NCAA Division III Sweet 16 game played in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.  Photo by Mike Midkiff

Jason, Addie and Julia Pfingsten courtside at the ETBU NCAA Division III Sweet 16 game played in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Photo by Mike Midkiff

When the Pfingsten’s of Centerville, Minnesota heard that the East Texas Baptist University Tiger basketball team would be playing their NCAA Division III Sweet 16 game against Northwestern-St. Paul in Stevens Point, Wisconsin they were excited.  The reason being is that Addie, a 2002 ETBU grad, is married to Jason, an alumnus of Northwestern-St. Paul.  Since Stevens Point was close by, plans were made to be courtside when the Tigers and Eagles tipped off this past March 13.

Addie admits that the trash talking about who would win the match-up began with her. “I have been the one doing the most trash talking. Living here in Minnesota and being married to a man passionate about most sports, I have always helped cheer on ‘his’ teams.  Now that ‘my’ team is the one playing against one of ‘his,’ I have done my fair share of trash talking,” said Addie.

Addie and Jason made the three hour drive to be in the stands, bringing one of their three daughters to watch whose alma mater would be victorious.

Addie shared, “As soon as I found out about the matchup, I went online and ordered some gear for my youngest and I to wear at the game, and we made a pact to cheer on whichever team made it to the game on Saturday.”

“It was definitely a kind hearted trash talking, but don’t get me wrong, every morning I would pull out an old ETBU t-shirt and wear it. Thanks to my fond memories of my ETBU days, I haven’t let go of too much of my ETBU gear,” said Addie.

After teaching in elementary schools for nine years, Addie made the decision to be a stay-at-home mom to Mallory (10 years-old), Marissa (6 years-old) and Julia (3 years-old).  She also assists Jason in the family business called Thirst Missions (www.thirstmissions.org).

“Our organization brings groups from all over North America to minister to the Belizeans.  We bring college and youth groups, medical teams, family groups, as well as many more, down to Belize and help facilitate their ministry experience,” said the true blooded Tiger grad originally from Bay City, Texas. “We organize their housing, transportation, and food, to providing ministry opportunities such as construction, Bible schools, medical work, and orphanages for the teams. Our goal is to partner up teams with churches and schools in Belize and to build a partnership they can continue for years to come.”

Addie has a deep fondness for her time on the Hill. “I have so many great memories from ETBU that it might be hard to pick just one,” she said.

“My friendships that I made with my Merle Bruce third floor hall mates have to be the basis for all my great memories. From having amazing dorm parents, Dave and Christy Collins, to professors such as Dr. John Harris and Dr. Bruce Tankersley, who led a class trip, I was on to Greece to learn about Paul’s Missionary Journey.”

“The guidance and counseling of Dr. Donna Dooley, who encouraged me on my first teaching job overseas in Russia, to being a part of Student Foundation, led by Dr. Catherine Crawford. I loved ETBU, and all the experiences and friendships that continue from being a part of it.  Those third floor hall mates are still my closest friendships to this day.”

etbu stevens point 1

 

 

A Tiger Pride “high five” to Addie for her dedication and enthusiasm for her alma mater who beat her husband’s alma mater, 70-46, to advance to the “Elite 8” of the NCAA Division III National Basketball Championship Tournament.

(Note: ETBU alumnae Amanda Zagrzewbki was also at the games played in Stevens Point. Amanda, who graduated in 2001, is from Stevens Point and lives there today working in a family business. The Stevens Point Journal did a story on her while the Tigers were in Wisconsin. Click here to read. )

Mar
18
2015

Bert West Named Coach of the Year


Posted by Tiger Pride in Alumni, Athletics, Honors


west coach of the year south

Adding more accolades to the historic season, head coach Bert West has been named the D3Hoops.com South Region “Coach of the Year.” It is his second coach of the year award this season as he was also the American Southwest Conference coach of the year.

West took a team that was voted to finish seventh in the American Southwest Conference and had a Bennett Ranking of 171 to the NCAA Division III Elite Eight.  He also guided his team to their first-ever American Southwest Conference regular season and tournament championships and a 3-1 record in the NCAA Tournament.

West, a native of Arkansas, is a graduate of ETBU as well as a former Tiger basketball play.

Other accomplishments the team had this year were 26 wins which are the second most in program history, an 8-0 start (program best), a 10-game winning streak (program best), first-ever NCAA Division III national ranking at 25th, and the second longest home winning streak in NCAA Division III at 22 games. ETBU also had one of the top defensive shooting percentages in the nation, too.

ETBU defeated Hendrix College, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, and Northwestern-St. Paul in the NCAA Tournament before falling in the Elite Eight. ETBU also defeated conference champions Texas Lutheran (SCAC), Centenary (SCAC regular season), Hendrix (UAA), Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (SCIAC), and Northwestern-St. Paul (UMAC).

Click here to watch Coach West on the ETBU Extra Show.

 

Mar
6
2015

Classroom Interruptions Can Be Good


Posted by Tiger Pride in Alumni, Honors


ETBU Alum Bethany Bradley was recently named Teacher of the Year for Bonnette Junior High (Dear Park ISD). Photo: Facebook

ETBU Alum Bethany Bradley was recently named Teacher of the Year for Bonnette Junior High (Dear Park ISD). Photo: Facebook

School teachers do not like interruptions in their classrooms when they are teaching. Some distractions are good. East Texas Baptist University alum Bethany Bradley was involved in teaching her seventh grade reading class when she heard the Bonnette Junior High (Deer Park ISD) fight song being played in the hallway.

Bradley shared, “The symphonic band came marching down the hall to our fight song and interrupted class.  My principal had a bouquet of flowers for me.”

Why the interruption? Bradley, who graduated from ETBU in 2009 with a degree in Elementary Education with an Emphasis in Reading, was being presented the Teacher of the Year Award for Bonnettee Junior High.  The Pullman, Washington native will now be nominated for the Deer Park ISD Teacher of the Year Award.

This is her third year teaching at Bonnette and she taught three years prior in the Cy-Fair ISD. Bradley enjoys the relationships she creates with her students and the celebration of growth as they learn.

Her fondest memory of her days on the Hilltop, “ETBU’s education program offered so many different opportunities to be in so many different classrooms. Without that, I wouldn’t be teaching middle school, I would be in lower elementary having no idea I would have missed out on the fun age of middle school. One of my professors, Dr. Paul Vickers actually forced me to try middle school, knowing I would fall in love, and he was exactly right.”

In the essay Bradley wrote as part of the Teacher of the Year process she writes:

“Teaching is about making a difference, building confidence that never even existed before, and finding ways to make each other better no matter what we are doing. My heart beats for students who have had a rough life, who have to work harder than the average Joe to keep up, who think they hate to read and write, for it is with these students that the planted seeds sprout and blossom to the surprised delight of a cynical world. When my year is done with each of these loves, I will send them on with the hope that each will continue to bear fruit, to their own satisfaction and the benefit of their families, friends, and associates.”

Feb
19
2015

Assistant Principal Saves 6th Grader from Choking


Posted by Tiger Pride in Alumni


ETBU alum Blake Coleman and Athony Middle School sixth grader Grayson Barger being interviewed by KRIV-FOX 26 Houston. (Screen shot-www.myfoxhouston.com)

ETBU alum Blake Coleman and Athony Middle School sixth grader Grayson Barger being interviewed by KRIV-FOX 26 Houston. (Screen shot-www.myfoxhouston.com)

If you have ever been in a middle school cafeteria during lunch you have witnessed all the activity that occurs while students eat.  There is visiting among students, school personnel walking around the cafeteria to maintain order and on occasion a small food fight might break out.

At first Anthony Middle School Assistant Principal Blake Coleman thought he was being summoned to break up “horse-playing” among students. He quickly assessed that students gathered around sixth grader Grayson Barger was trying to help him because he was choking.

Coleman, who graduated from East Texas Baptist University in 2004 with a Business Administration degree, reacted quickly to perform the Heimlich maneuver to save Barger’s life.

Coleman said in an article published on the Cypress-Fairbanks ISD website, “When I first turned around I saw one male student with two other male students around his back and my first thought was they were horse playing or fighting. I quickly realized what was happening and asked Grayson if he was in fact choking. He was bright red but was able to nod.”

The website article reports that Coleman had never performed the Heimlich maneuver, but—visualizing an instructional poster he had seen—stood behind Barger and joined his hands around his abdomen, making three forceful compressions under the diaphragm. The food lodged in the sixth graders throat popped out and he was no longer at risk.

Tiger Pride commends alum Coleman for his action that saved Barger’s life.

To watch an interview by KRIV FOX 26 with Coleman, Barger and his mother, click here.

To read the story on the Cypress-Fairbanks ISD website, click here.

Feb
4
2015

ETBC Grad Retiring After 38 years in Ministry


Posted by Tiger Pride in Alumni


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Tiger Pride has learned from the latest digital edition of the Baptist Standard that East Texas Baptist College graduate Troy Richardson is retiring after 38 years in ministry.

Here is what was posted by the Baptist Standard:

Retiring

Troy Richardson, Jan. 15, after seven years as pastor of First Baptist Church in Warren and 38 years in ministry. A graduate of East Texas Baptist College and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, he spent his first eight years as a pastor in Utah. Since 1985, he has served Texas churches in San Augustine, Bon Weir, Woodville, Amarillo and Warren. He and his wife, Bonnie, have four children.

Jan
29
2015

He is not a famous pastor but probably should be.


Posted by Tiger Pride in Alumni


Retiring pastor Dr. Wallace Watkins, left, presents a Bible to Central Baptist Church's new pastor, Patrick Adair. Both Watkins & Adair are alumni of ETBU. (Courtesy photo)

Retiring pastor Dr. Wallace Watkins, left, presents a Bible to Central Baptist Church’s new pastor, Patrick Adair. Both Watkins & Adair are alumni of ETBU. (Courtesy photo)

Over the weekend, the Marshall News Messenger published a story written by Cait Shields about Dr. Wallace Watkins.  Bro. Wallace has retired as pastor of Central Baptist Church of Marshall. He joined Central almost 38 years ago.

The membership of Central held a service on January 11 to say farewell to Bro. Wallace and hello to their new pastor Patrick Adair.   

Bro. Patrick, a 2001 graduate of East Texas Baptist University, was quoted in the article saying, “There’s a friend of mine who said, Wallace Watkins is not a famous pastor but probably should be.”

I agree. My first contact with Bro. Wallace came in 1997 as he was serving as the Interim Pastor of Friendship Baptist Church of Marshall and Vice President for Spiritual Development at ETBU. I called him because the pulpit search committee at Friendship was showing interest in me becoming there next pastor.

He was very gracious on the phone and encouraging as we talked “pastor things” concerning Friendship.  As we finished the conversation he said, “Mike, anyway I can be of help to you, call me.”  I served as pastor of Friendship for six years before coming to ETBU as the Director of Public Relations in 2003. During those six years, when I ran into him he always asked, not in a casual way but in a concerned, caring way, “How are you doing?” 

When I arrived at ETBU and went by to visit with Bro. Wallace. He once again offered his help and welcomed me to the Hill. Bro. Wallace has been a friend to me since that first phone call and I wonder just how many others he and wife, Susie, have offered help to in the name of Jesus Christ?  The number has to be large.  

After Bro. Wallace served the first time at Central as pastor for 18 years (1977-1995), he served at ETBU which is his alma mater, for 10 years. He has helped many churches in his role as an intentional interim pastor after leaving the university. He did this type of ministry, helping churches, for five years then was called back to Central as pastor for a second time.

Bro. Wallace reflected in the Marshall News Messenger story, “Central Baptist had been going through a difficult time in its life, and while I never expected to serve as pastor there again, I received as clear an impression from God as I have ever received about anything. I needed to make myself available to go back to Central and see if the Lord could not use me to help them move back to focusing on those things for which they were established in 1943.”

During the past five years he served as pastor of Central, I have witnessed, how God has used him to prepare a church for its next chapter of service in the Kingdom of God. 

Like was said earlier, he is not famous but should be because of his love for His Savior and the love he has for others

The Watkins will remain members at Central and is looking forward to a new perspective being out in the pew. He said to close the story in the paper, “It will be so nice to have a pastor.”   

Bro. Wallace, thank you for your service to ETBU, Central Baptist Church, and to the community of Marshall, Texas.

(Copy from Marshall News Messenger ‘From the Hilltop’ blog written by ETBU Director of Public Relations Mike Midkiff.)

To read the story published in Marshall News Messenger, click here.

Jan
6
2015

A New Semester & Congratulations to the Graduates


Posted by Tiger Pride in Academics, Alumni, Honors, Memories on the Hill, Student Life


Interim President Dr. Lawrence Ressler presents Payton Beggs with the President's Award during fall commencement. Photo by Mike Midkiff.

Interim President Dr. Lawrence Ressler presents Payton Beggs with the President’s Award during fall commencement. Photo by Mike Midkiff.

The Spring Semester at East Texas Baptist University begins tomorrow (Jan.7). Yesterday students started to move back into the residential halls. The number of students returning yesterday was light but today it will be in full force.  Classes resume bright and early tomorrow at 8:00 a.m.

Congratulations to the 72 students who were awarded degrees on Saturday, December 20, during Fall Commencement. Of those, 59 received baccalaureate degrees and 13 received master’s degrees. The Fred Hale School of Business had its first every graduates of the Master of Business in Entrepreneurial Leadership program with six. The new program began during the fall 2013 semester. The Schools of Christian Studies, Education and Natural and Social Sciences also awarded master degrees during commencement.

During fall commencement, Payton Beggs was presented the President’s Award by ETBU Interim President Dr. Lawrence Ressler.   

The President’s Award is given to a graduating senior judged by the faculty to be the best all-around student enrolled in the University. The award includes scholastic ability and development, the degree of involvement in activities which reflect the ideals of the institution, character, integrity, and general attitude.

When Dr. Ressler called her named I was watching her as she sat among her fellow graduates.  She was stunned. It appeared to me she said to herself, “Did he just call my name. Let me wait and make sure it was my named he called before I stand up.”

Payton is a young lady who was very involved during her time at ETBU. She told me she is going to miss the Hilltop very much.

East Texas Baptist University Dean of the Fred Hale School of Business Dr. Scott Ray calls the name of graduate Haley Marie Hilton of  North Richland Hills. Behind Hilton, awaiting their names to be called are sisters Kaitlyn and Karson Kent of Mount Pleasant.

East Texas Baptist University Dean of the Fred Hale School of Business Dr. Scott Ray calls the name of graduate Haley Marie Hilton of North Richland Hills. Behind Hilton, awaiting their names to be called are sisters Kaitlyn and Karson Kent of Mount Pleasant.

The Wichita Falls native graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communication. Earlier in the fall semester, she received the Bob and Gayle Riley Servant Leadership Award.  During her time on the Hilltop, Payton was a member of the very successful ETBU Debate team as well as being involved in the ministries of the Baptist Student Ministry. She also led the worship service many times for Refuge that is held on Tuesday evenings. She attended Crossroads Baptist Church while a student at ETBU.

One of the joys of serving at ETBU is watching students achieve their educational goals by receiving their degrees from ETBU.  As the spring semester begins, I am looking forward to commencement on May 2nd to witness again those who graduate from the Hilltop.  

To see the Fall graduate list, click here.

Nov
12
2014

Alum of the ETBU Athletic Training Program Credited for Saving Player’s Life


Posted by Tiger Pride in Alumni


(www.news-journal.com)

(www.news-journal.com)

The East Texas Baptist University Academic Catalog defines that an “athletic trainer is qualified allied health care professional, educated and experienced in the management of health care problems associated with sport participation.”  This definition was put to the test when ETBU alum and Spring Hill ISD athletic trainer Michael Rich attended to Spring Hill quarterback Garrett Plumlee as he suffered a concussion in Panther football game against Atlanta this past Friday night.

In a story that was published in the Longview News-Journal (11/10/2014), “According to Spring Hill Head coach and athletic director Mark Sartain, Plumlee suffered a concussion during the third quarter of Friday’s loss to Atlanta. The training staff, led by trainer Michael Rich, took immediate precautions and called an ambulance, and while en route to the hospital Plumlee had to be resuscitated by medical officials.”

“Hats off to Michael Rich and the emergency crew that picked him up,” Sartain said, who was the ETBU head football coach from 2007-2012.  “As soon as he got into the ambulance, he started having issues. Michael handled it quickly, and efficiently, and the emergency crew took care of him on the way to the hospital. It could have been one of those tragic situations.”

Rich, who has been on staff at Spring Hill ISD for two years, began evaluating Plumlee before he even reached the sideline after being hit. In a news report by KLTV-Tyler, Rich shared, “He was complaining about how much his head hurt and being nauseous was just a huge red flag, and I just wanted to make sure he got appropriate medical care.”

Plumlee was eventually taken to a Plano Hospital because of the seriousness of his condition.  The family reported that he is expected to make a full recovery.

The ETBU community is very thankful to God for using Rich to recognize the care this young athlete needed. The family of Plumlee would appreciate your prayers for a full recovery for Garrett.  

11/13/13- Click here for an update on Garrett’s condition in story by Longview News-Journal Sport Editor Jack Stallard.

Oct
21
2014

National Champions Back On Campus 15 Years Later


Posted by Tiger Pride in Alumni, Athletics, Memories on the Hill


Members of the ETBU 1998 & 1999 National Christian Collegiate Athletic Associaiton National soccer championship team held a reunion at homecoming. Pictured left to right: (front row) Ken Morris, Trey Carlile, Clint Carter, Ike Awagu, and Buddy Ogletree. (Back row)  Antonio Encarnacion, Justin Cooley, Jonathan Cardenas, Cody Carter, Stu Morrow, Gonzalo Gonzales, and Head Coach Jose Alonzo. Photo by Jason Soles.

Members of the ETBU 1998 & 1999 National Christian Collegiate Athletic Associaiton National soccer championship team held a reunion at homecoming. Pictured left to right: (front row) Ken Morris, Trey Carlile, Clint Carter, Ike Awagu, and Buddy Ogletree. (Back row) Antonio Encarnacion, Justin Cooley, Jonathan Cardenas, Cody Carter, Stu Morrow, Gonzalo Gonzales, and Head Coach Jose Alonzo. Photo by Jason Soles.

There are many reasons people fall in love with East Texas Baptist University. One would only have to look at the many different groups who come back for homecoming to learn why.  Last year, alumni of the signing group, Innerview came back and performed the national anthem at the Homecoming football game.

This year along with the different class reunions, a group of accomplished student athletes reconnected on the Hill to celebrate the 15th anniversary of ETBU’s first athletic national championship.   

In 1998, Tiger Soccer coach Jose Alonzo, led his team to win the National Christian Collegiate

Athletic National Soccer championship. One year later, with many members of the ’98 team back to put on the blue and gold Tiger uniform, they won it all again.

Members of the back-to back championship teams gathered Saturday afternoon during the 2014 Homecoming weekend in the Phillips Great Room to visit and recall the two championship seasons. Members of the national championship teams were also recognized at the Tiger soccer match played that afternoon vs. Ozarks as well as the Tiger football game vs. Howard Payne that evening.

Two members who were on the team were brothers, Clint and Cody Carter, from Whitehouse, came to play for the Tigers. Clint, the oldest, came first, and then was followed by his younger brother. Both Clint and Cody are medical doctors today.  

“We always played together growing up since we are only a year apart,” said Cody. “But still, it was a blessing to play collegiate soccer with my brother at ETBU.”

When asked what it was like to play for Coach Alonzo Clint shared, “Coach was good at recruiting guys that were motivated to want to win and work hard.”

“Coach Alonzo was such a laid back guy, shared Cody. “All my memories of him getting mad at our play on the field really stand out because the episodes were few and far between.”

“He was very good at putting us together on the field at the right place and the right time. It was an honor to play for him,” concluded Clint.

Both had an enjoyable experiences seeing past teammates and visiting Coach Alonzo.  “It was fun watching the videos and seeing the pictures back when were skinnier and had hair,” laughed Clint.

(ETBU Director of Admissions Jason Soles contributed to this Tiger Pride posting)