ETBU Grad Receives Advisors with Heart Award

Posted by Tiger Pride in Alumni, Honors

Photo by Marc Bailey.

Photo by Marc Bailey.

Since 2013, The Chinn Guitar Project has donated more than 340 guitars to musical therapy programs and schools. The project also finds teachers to teach the ones who received the guitars, all paid for by private donations. The founder of the project is an alumnus of East Texas Baptist University.

Longview, Texas based Wells Fargo Financial Advisor and founder of the project Ken Chinn graduated from ETBU in 1981 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Ministry. Wealth has recognized Chinn’s efforts by presenting him an “Advisors with Heart Awards.”

The Kilgore native was inspired to donate guitars to others by his daughter, Tara. A few years back, she was receiving treatment for frontal lobe epilepsy at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas and passed the time playing the guitar. A nurse saw how she was spending her time strumming the guitar and introduced the Chinn family to musical therapy.

To read more about the Chinn Guitar Project, click here.

A “Tiger Pride” high five to the founder of the Chinn Guitar Project.


ETvarsity Best Preps Banquet: The Natalie Bach-Prather Cross Country Runner of the Year Award

Posted by Tiger Pride in Faculty/Staff, Honors

etbu run for boston group 6

It is not every day that an award that represents the best is named after you. Well, this has happened to East Texas Baptist University Cross Country and Track & Field Coach Natalie Bach-Prather.

The first ETvarsity Best Preps Banquet will be held on June 16 in Longview and the top male and female cross country runner will be awarded the Natalie Bach-Prather Cross Country Runner of the Year award. The evening will recognize the top high school athletes in all sports in the combined coverage areas of the Longview News-Journal, Marshall News Messenger and Panola Watchman.

Here is what the Longview News Journal printed on May 3rd  about Coach Bach-Prather.

Bach-Prather is a Marshall native, who was homeschooled and later attended and ran cross country at ETBU. In the fall, she will begin her seventh season as ETBU’s coach.

“Never in a million years did I expect this,” Bach-Prather said. “I would never have thought that this is where I would end up but I’m so glad and grateful that I did. It’s just awesome.”

Bach-Prather was a four-year letter winner and All-American Southwest Conference runner at ETBU, and she has competed in the Boston Marathon three times.

“It’s so cool, it’s such a huge honor,” Bach-Prather said of having the awards named after her. “I feel so honored to be a part of this. It’s just so cool. It’s great for the kids to have a big ceremony like this. It’s fantastic.”


Student/Athletes Recognized by ASC and NFCA

Posted by Tiger Pride in Athletics, Honors

This week on the Hilltop has been busy as students finished finals. Spring Commencement is Saturday, May 2 with a total of 126 receiving degrees, 111 bachelor’s degrees and 15 master’s degrees.

The last week of the Spring Semester has also been a time for many of ETBU’s student/athletes receiving recognitions for outstanding play on the field or court.

Below are the honors that Tiger athletes have received this week.

tennis year end

Six Players Earn ASC Awards – Program Record

Finishing off a fine season in women’s tennis East Texas Baptist University has picked up several American Southwest Conference awards which are all firsts for the program. ETBU had six players earn awards along with an individual award.

Sierra Pizarro was named the ASC East Division Newcomer of the Year for her play. She went 3-1in singles and doubles play in the ASC.  She was also voted to the All-ASC East second team for #3 singles and #2 doubles with partner Jabree McClaine.

ETBU swept the ASC East Division second team singles in all six positions. There was a tie for #1 singles as Kate Bramlett earned her first award. She went 2-1 in the ASC East and had a 6-5 overall record this year. In #2 singles is McClaine as she posted a 3-1 record at that position. Following after Pizarro at #3 singles is

Elizabeth Morton in #4singles. She also went 3-1 and was 5-6 overall on the year. Taking the #5 singles spot is Karah Hedquist with a 2-2 record. Rounding out the #6 singles position is Desjha Ellis as she had a 3-1 record.

In doubles, Bramlett and Morton were All-ASC East second team at the #1 spot. They went 2-1 overall in the ASC East and 8-4 on the season. McClaine and Pizarro were named to the #2 doubles spot as they went 3-1 and 6-7 on the year.

ETBU finished 3-1 in the ASC East and was the #2 seed for the ASC Tournament from the East Division. It was the first ASC Tournament that the program has played in and they fell to Mary Hardin-Baylor, 5-4.

doud pow

Doud Named ASC Hitter of the Week

Dynas Doud had a career week for the East Texas Baptist University baseball team as he was named the American Southwest Conference player of the Week. He helped ETBU to a 3-3 week and an 18-18 overall record.

For the week he batted .571 with seven RBI, nine runs scored, and two home runs. He went 12-of-21 at the plate and was walked six times and only struck out three. In the series vs. Mary Hardin-Baylor he had three hits and two RBI with one home run.

His best series of the year came vs. Ozarks going 9-of-11 at the plate for five RBI.  He posted a home run and a double and scored six times. In the 4-0 win in game one of the double header, he had three of the RBI with a home run. He also had a RBI in game one and three.  He had a slugging percentage of .905 and an on-base percentage of .667.

ETBU finishes out the regular season this weekend at home in a three-game series with Louisiana College.

lindsey nat hit week

Lindsey is NFCA National Hitter of the Week

Lacey Lindsey has added another award to her career as she has been named the NFCA National Hitter of the Week for NCAA Division III. Lindsey is the second ETBU player to earn a national award this season as Shelby Parker was the NFCA National Player of the Week earlier this year.

Lindsey had a career week batting .524 in six games with five home runs and 11 RBI. In the series vs. Howard Payne she recorded her 10th home run of the year helping ETBU to a three-game sweep. Against Sul Ross State she then added four more home runs to give her 14 on the year. In game one she collected her 11th of the year and then in the series finale went 3-of-4 with three home runs for six RBI.

She leads the ASC in home runs (14) and RBI (48) and is second in total bases (97). She only needs two home runs to break the ETBU program record that she tied last year hitting 15.

ETBU entered the ASC Tournament on Thursday  winning game one against Louisiana College, 5-2, and play Friday against UT-Tyler at 4:00 p.m.

lindsey parker pow again

Parker, Lindsey Sweep ASC Weekly Awards

For the second week in a row the East Texas Baptist University softball team has been awarded both the American Southwest Conference player of the week awards. Shelby Parker and Lacey Lindsey earn the respective award again.

Parker, who now has been the pitcher of the week five times, went 5-0 last week with 40 strikeouts and a 0.80 ERA. She won all three games vs. Howard Payne combining with Shelby Phillips for a 5-inning perfect game in game one. She struck out 10 batters in game one and 14 batters in game two and then had five in three innings pitched in game three. In Alpine vs. Sul Ross State she pitched in all three games while starting two for a 2-0 record. Overall in the series she had 11 strike outs.  She is now 20-0 on the year with 185 strikeouts and a 1.28 ERA.

Lindsey batted over .500 in six games with five home runs for 12 RBI. In the Howard Payne series she posted four RBI and a home run with five hits. Against Sul Ross State she went 6-of-12 with four home runs and eight RBI. She hit a home run in the first game and then collected three home runs in the final game of the series going 3-of-4 with six RBI. This is the second time that Lindsey has received the award this year.  ETBU now has garnered nine ASC player of the week awards.


ETBU Alum Chosen for the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy

Posted by Tiger Pride in Alumni, Honors

Upon graduating from ETBU in 2011, Constance Massey and her roomate, Alison Midkiff, spent a month in Thailand. While in Thailand they worked with a Baptist missionary helping him teach children in the local schools. Here is Constance with students she taught during her time in Thailand. Photo Facebook.

Upon graduating from ETBU in 2011, Constance Massey and her roomate, Alison Midkiff, spent a month in Thailand. While in Thailand they worked with a Baptist missionary helping him teach children in the local schools. Here is Constance with students she taught during her time in Thailand. Photo Facebook.

Have you ever received an email that just made your day?  East Texas Baptist University graduate Constance Massey did recently.

Here is what Constance posted on Facebook back on April 14th: “I got a super exciting email today!! I applied to go to the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy last fall and heard back today that I was selected to attend the all-expense-paid academy in New Jersey!”

Out of 1,500 applicants only 150 are chosen to attend the Academy July 27-31 at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, New Jersey. The selection panel based their decision on teacher qualifications, dedication to inspiring students and overall commitment to enhancing the teaching profession.

During the week-long Academy, participants will work with a curriculum developed by the National Science Teachers Association and Math Solutions. After the program, teachers will return to their classrooms reinvigorated with the passion to teach students how to be science literate, using hands-on experiments that show how math and science surround us daily.

Constance graduated from ETBU in Spring 2011 with a Bachelor of Science in Education degree. She teaches 5th grade Science and Social Studies at Pine Tree Middle School in Longview.  The Gilmer native also taught in her hometown upon graduating from ETBU before moving to Pine ISD two years ago. She also is the owner of Constance Massey Photography.

A “Tiger Pride” high five for being chosen to participate in the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy.


Lady Tigers Ranked #3 in the Nation & Two Players Gain Player of the Week Awards

Posted by Tiger Pride in Athletics, Honors

lindsey parker powThe East Texas Baptist University Lady Tiger softball team enters the last three games of the regular season ranked nationally in NCAA Division III Softball.  The latest poll released by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association ranks ETBU at number three.

The Lady Tigers, coached by former ETBU softball player Janae Shirley, have a season record of 28-2 and an American Southwest Conference record of 24-2. The Lady Tigers travel to Sul Ross State for a three-game series April 24-25 to end the regular season. In conference play ETBU is in second place one game behind the University of Texas at Tyler (26-1 ASC, 34-1 overall).

Lady Tiger players Lacey Lindsey and Shelby Parker have been recognized this week by the ASC as players of the week for games they played in April 13-19.

CO-HITTER OF THE WEEKLacey Lindsey, 1B, So., East Texas Baptist
Sophomore first baseman Lacey Lindsey (Leander, Texas/Leander HS) had a strong performance against No. 16 Louisiana College hitting .556 with a 1.222 slugging percentage and two home runs with for six RBI for the series. In the first game Lindsey had a home run in the fifth inning to make it 3-0. In game one of the doubleheader on Wednesday she was HBP, walked, and still went 1-for-2. In game three she went 3-for-3 with five RBI and a home run in a 7-1 win over LC. After two scoreless innings in the final game she hit a single up the middle for two runs making it 2-0. In the sixth inning leading just 4-1, she hit a three-run home run to make it 7-1 for her third hit of the game.

PITCHER OF THE WEEKShelby Parker, RHP, Gr., East Texas Baptist
Graduate pitcher Shelby Parker (Brazoria, Texas/Columbia HS) shut down the No. 16 Louisiana College line up striking out 23 of the 53 batters faced in two complete games. Parker recorded 15 strike outs in a 4-1 win in game one. She retired the first 11 batters of the game and had a perfect game in the fourth inning. In a 7-1 in the final game of the series Parker retired the first 10 batters and had eight strike outs overall before LC got a hit. She is now 15-0 and has 145 strike outs on the year.

After the Sul Ross State series the Tigers will play in the 2015 ASC Championship Tournament to be held April 30-May 3.


The 2015 NASCAR Control Tower Fan of the Year is awarded to ….

Posted by Tiger Pride in Alumni, Honors

brown nascar

If you want to see Brian Brown’s passion for racing all one has to do is ask, “Who is your favorite drive?”  The passion the Hallsville resident has for NASCAR has brought him recognition from the sport.

Brown, who has a motivational speaking ministry called Open Arms, was awarded recently the 2015 NASCAR Control Tower Fan of the Year.  The award is given to a fan who demonstrates the most unwavering spirit.

Brown is an alumnus of East Texas Baptist University and received his Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication degree in fall 2008.  When he was a student at ETBU he always had a NASCAR or Jeff Gordon bumper sticker on the back of his motorized wheelchair.

Marshall News Messenger reporter Naomi Prioleau wrote a story on Brown about the honor NASCAR has bestowed upon him. To read her story, click here.

To learn more about Brown’s public speaking ministry, Open Arms, click here.


Two Lady Student/Athletes Honored by ASC

Posted by Tiger Pride in Athletics, Honors

Two East Texas Baptist University women student/athletes were honored by the American Southwest Conference as outstanding players in their respective sports for games played April 6-13th.   Softball player Shelby Parker was named Pitcher of the Week and Elizabeth Morton  Women’s Player of the week.

parker asc pitch

ETBU starting pitcher Shelby Parker won three games to improve to 13-0 on the season and win the American Southwest Conference Pitcher of the Week Award.

Two games she pitches were shutouts, including her 3-0 shutout of Division II Ouachita Baptist. In that game she struck out four batters and only allowed one walk. In her first of two starts against Ozarks, she struck out the first six batters faced and allowed her only run in the fifth on an RBI single. In her second start of the series against Ozarks she allowed just two hits and struck out six in four innings of a five inning game.

It is the fourth time in her career she has won Pitcher of the Week in the ASC.

morton tennis pow

Following teammates Sierra Pizarro and Kate Bramlett earlier this season, Elizabeth Morton has now been named Women’s Tennis Player of the Week in the American Southwest Conference.

She won third flight singles against Ozarks’ Andrea Munoz (6-0, 6-0) in her first time playing in the third flight this season. She also won top flight doubles with Karah Hedquist 8-2 over Mollie Wilkinson and Megan Wallace. She helped move ETBU to 2-0 in ASC play this season. This is the first time Morton has won the award.

The Lady Tiger women’s tennis team has qualified as the #2 seed for the ASC Tournament which is the first-time ever for the program. ETBU will be the #2 seed from the ASC East in the ASC Tournament and will face Mary Hardin-Baylor on April 23rd in Tyler, Texas.


“I Love It When A Plan Comes Together!”

Posted by Tiger Pride in Student Life

symphony tiger pride

Do you remember the television series The A-Team?  The show was an action-adventure series starring George Peppard as John “Hannibal” Smith. This is the show that also boosted the fame of “Mr T” during the 1980’s.

There was a line that Hannibal used often in the series, do you remember it? “I love it when a plan comes together.”  That line is so appropriate for what I experienced this past Saturday night at the S.E. Belcher Jr. Chapel and Performance Center at LeTourneau University in Longview.

The event was the Longview Symphony Orchestra Concert Series presenting “Freedom Rings A Celebration of America.”  The concert also featured the choirs of East Texas Baptist University and Wiley College.

The guest conductor was ETBU’s Dean of the School of Fine Arts Dr. Thomas R. Webster with special guests Dr. Justin Hodges, ETBU Director of Choral Activities and Wiley College Choir Director Professor Stephen L. Hayes.

The first part of the program featured the symphony as they played American Salute, Hymn to the Fallen, Fanfare for the Common Man, Variations on America and Stars and Stripes Forever. Following an intermission, the choirs joined the performance. The second half of the program included Overture to Candide, Dry Your Tears, A`frika, Shout for Joy and America the Beautiful.

The ETBU choir program invited all alumni to sing in the performance as well as they held a reunion event before the performance. I saw and said hello to former Miss ETBU Kelly Mills (2007), Rachel “Farley” Massey, Amanda “Bean” Thompson and Ashley “Bean” Sterrett, all past members of the ETBU Choir.


The evening of music and song was wonderful. I personally enjoyed before the concert the acappella performances of both choirs in the foyer of The Belcher Center. The choirs were up on the walkways of the second and third floors singing to those below in the foyer.  The voices were sweetness to the ears below.

After the performance I was on stage and witnessed Dr. Webster, Dr. Hodges and Professor Hayes celebrate together. Dr. Webster told his two colleagues, “Thank you for your hard work, I could not have done this without you.”

What a great showing of team work between the Longview Symphony League and Orchestra, East Texas Baptist University, Wiley College and the staff of The Belcher Center to provide the East Texas community with an event that was encouraging and inspiring.

“I love it when a plan comes together.”

(The column was published in the Marshall News Messenger. Mike Midkiff is the Director of Public Relations at ETBU)


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 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, click here.


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 (

“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. )