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Two ETBU seniors recognized for Christian servant leadership

October 6, 2020

Two East Texas Baptist University students were recognized with the 2020 Riley Servant Leadership Award during chapel on Monday, October 5, for consistently displaying Christian servant leadership on campus and in the community. Seniors Emily Jones from Beaumont, Texas, and Mylan Shed from Teague, Texas, were honored by receiving the Bob and Gayle Riley Servant Leadership Award. ETBU President Emeritus Dr. Bob Riley and his wife, Gayle, attended and took part in the ceremony. Each student accepted a miniature replication of the “Divine Servant” statue, created by Max Greiner, which can also be found on campus at the entrance to the Rogers Spiritual Life Center.

“I always appreciate the warm welcome we receive when we come back to campus after all these years,” Dr. Riley said. “Today, we gather to recognize two students who are receiving servant leadership awards for this year. The Bible has a lot to say about servant leadership, Philippians 2:7 says Jesus took the very nature of a servant becoming a servant in his demeanor, personality, and nature. Mark 10:45 says that the son of man did not come to be served but to serve. Gayle and I were blessed to be able to provide the Max Greiner sculpture, The Divine Servant, which sits outside this chapel, as a reminder of the importance of serving those around us and those around the world.”

Annually, two students are selected for The Bob and Gayle Riley Servant Leadership Award based on their embodiment of being a Christian servant leader in their daily lives. Fellow students, professors, and other members of the ETBU campus community submit nominations recognizing their dedication to pursuing a Christ-like practice of servanthood. During his presidential tenure, Dr. Riley founded the award to foster the mind and spirit of Christ portrayed by students through service and leadership at East Texas Baptist University.

“Under Dr. Blackburn’s leadership, ETBU continues to raise up men and women as servant leaders who will make a difference as they serve God as leaders in their organizations,” Dr. Riley added. “It is a pleasure to present these awards to these two outstanding students today.”

Mylan Shed, a behavioral science major, was announced as the 2020 male Servant Leader Award recipient. Throughout his time at ETBU, he has remained an active member of the student body through participation in the Black Student Association, Cultural Outreach Ministries, Joyful Praise choir and dance ministry, Vice President of the Student Government Association, Student Foundation, Tiger Camp leader, and Thrive mentor.

“Mylan is caring, kind, and not afraid to speak up for someone in need,” a student mentored by Shed said in her nomination. “He helped me calm my fears about starting college and assured me he would be there for me every step of the way. I am so grateful he was my Tiger Camp leader.”

Emily Jones was recognized this year as the female Servant Leader Award recipient. A mass communication major, she has served in various positions since coming to ETBU, including Leadership Fellows, president of Student Foundation, resident assistant, Tiger Camp leader, and Titus ministries leader. Additionally, Jones actively volunteers in the community through service at Marshall ISD, teaching Sunday school at Mobberly Baptist Church, and leading a Life Group at New Beginnings Baptist Church.

“Emily leaves an impact on all those that she comes across both off and on campus,” Director of Student Activities Laura Coursey said in her nomination. “Emily is quick to listen and slow to speak. She is the definition of a Christian servant leader. She is faithful to her responsibilities, but even more so to her Father. She is humble and God-fearing, and wise well beyond her years. Emily treats everyone as Christ has commanded, and as a chosen child of God.”

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