Archive for the ‘Spiritual Life’ Category

4th Consectutive Year: President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Role

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

president's HE service logo

For the fourth consecutive year, East Texas Baptist University has been named to the 2014 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by the Corporation for National and Community Service. This designation is the highest honor a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement.

The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll annually highlights the role colleges and universities play in solving community problems and placing more students on a lifelong path of civic engagement by recognizing institutions that achieve meaningful, measurable outcomes in the communities they serve. ETBU was recognized in the General Community Service category which recognizes institutions that have made a commitment to improving the quality of life of off-campus community residents.  

The ETBU Great Commission Center, led by Dr. Lisa Seeley, encourages students to be involved in community service projects. ETBU was named to the 2014 Honor Roll for its community and service work accomplished during the 2012-2013 academic year.

To read more about this honor, click here.

Preaching the Gospel for 60 Years

Monday, July 21st, 2014

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.

Zach’s Story

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

zach whitlow graphic tiger

The Dean’s List with Honors and Dean’s List for the Spring Semester recognized 366 students for their academic achievement in the classroom. Everyone on the list has a story.

One particular student on the Dean’s List with Honors , sophomore Zach Whitlow of McKinney, had the opportunity to tell his story of faith in the Spring 2014 Texas Baptist Magazine published  by the Baptist General Convention of Texas.

Whitlow has answered God’s call to serve as a minister of the Gospel and is seeking his education in the School of Christian Studies to prepare himself for service in God’s Kingdom. For the past year, he has been serving as a youth intern at Central Baptist Church of Marshall.

A quote by Whitlow in the article states, “When you are called into the ministry, it means you need to start serving today. You do not need to wait around until you are prepared, because God is constantly preparing you for how He wants to use you. “

To read his story in the Texas Baptist Magazine, click here.

To see who else is in on the ETBU Spring Dean’s List with Honors and Dean’s List, click here.

Shear Love

Monday, April 28th, 2014
East Texas Baptist University junior Payton Beggs, before Shear Love and afte Shear Love.  Photo by Layne Bruno.

East Texas Baptist University junior Payton Beggs, before Shear Love and after Shear Love. Photo by Layne Bruno.

East Texas Baptist University students, faculty and staff rallied together and initially raised $5,500 during a fundraiser called Shear Love.  The Shear Love effort raised funds to help two people battling with cancer.  A total of 21 people put their hair on the line as donors were asked to stuff jars with cash with a photo of each of the volunteers pasted on it. The money raised by each person determined the type of hair cut they would receive. The hair cutting for Shear Love occurred Monday, April 21 in the Ornelas Student Center and an additional $500 came in after the event.

Tiger Pride interviewed junior Payton Beggs of Wichita Falls, she was one of the student organizers for the event, after she got her hair cut for the cause.

TIGER PRIDE: Why did you get involved?

BEGGS: A group of us wanted to organize a fundraiser to help fellow student Nathan Mathias and Jessica Bendo, sister of student Gabrielle Garcia. Some kind of hair sacrifice thing was our big fundraiser idea. After discussing details and nailing down some ideas, we decided to call the fundraiser “Shear Love.” Because I was a part of the planning, it made sense to put my hair on the line. I figured it was the least I could do for Nathan (one of the most selfless people I know) and for Gabrielle (who has been such an encouragement to me since I’ve known her). Both are incredible ministry partners and my dear friends. For all that they have done for me, organizing this fundraiser and sacrificing my hair was the least I could do.

TIGER PRIDE: What can you say about the support from the students?

BEGGS:  I was completely blown away by the support from the students. Students were dropping big bucks into the mason jars, and there were students emptying out their coin purses every day to save their friends from losing their hair.

Sacrifice is tough, and I think students saw the sacrifice from the beginning and were encouraged and challenged by those who were willing to sacrifice their hair. I was even blown away by those who put their hair on the line. They fundraised at their home churches, from the Marshall community, and solicited donations from professors who have been incredibly supportive. It was a unique fundraiser, which helped us get support from students. It was also a chance to be a part of something greater than ourselves. There was a need in our ETBU community, and students came together and did what we could the meet that need- even if they don’t know Nathan or  Jessica.

TIGER PRIDE: Do you know how many who had jars to donate in?

BEGGS: I’m not sure about exact numbers, but I think there were 8 girls and 9 guys with jars. There was also Buck Buchanan,  our beloved maintenance man, who would have given up his beard if $500 were put in his jar. The deciding factor for the girls’ cuts was their place in fundraising. The less you rose in comparison with the other girls, the shorter your hair was. The deciding factor for the guys was similar to an auction. The highest bidder for one guy’s head got to cut that guy’s hair, or at least decide what they wanted it to look like.

TIGER PRIDE: Was it just students or did ETBU staff and faculty get involved?

BEGGS: Baptist Student Ministry Director Mark Yates was our biggest organizer and advocate for the fundraiser, and he also put his hair and facial hair on the line. ETBU staff and faculty have donated money and given so much encouragement to their students. I emailed almost every professor or faculty member that I had ever come in contact with, asking for donations. They were more than willing to give and were also lifting up Nathan and the family of Gabrielle in prayer.

To read the Longview News-Journal story about  Shear Love, click here.

Marshall News Messenger Editorial

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

mnm editorial etbu wc 2

Marshall is lucky enough to be the home of several top-notch institutions of higher learning. They are a credit to their fields of study and allow East Texans the opportunity to study in their own backyard.

Last week two of these schools, East Texas Baptist University and Wiley College, signed an articulation agreement that will fast track the completion of a Master of Arts in Religion from ETBU for Wiley students. The program will allow seniors at Wiley to earn dual credit for courses in religion, in one swoop rounding out their bachelor’s degree and getting a head start on their master’s.

This program will surely foster a closer relationship between the two institutions. Wiley and ETBU already share many qualities, not least of which are they are both private schools, they each stress Christian values and serving the community and one another. This program will bring a greater diversity to all students enrolled who will be able to share their unique experiences learned at their respective colleges with one another. This agreement will benefit students in several ways.

While there are scholarships and financial aid available to students, there is no way to gloss over the expense of a college degree. Being able to shave off even a few semesters from a student’s college career can save thousands of dollars of debt the student or parents would otherwise owe after graduation.

Time saved is another great advantage of this program. While many students enjoy the simple act of learning in itself, being able to complete one’s education and begin working in a chosen career path quickly is no small benefit.

Earning a master’s degree before the typical timeline could feel like a reward for students who know going into their degree plan what they want to do in life and what they want to achieve in school.

We are glad to see this type of program adopted locally as it has been implemented successfully at other, larger schools in the state.

This is the first time an articulation agreement has been set between the institutions and ETBU President Samuel “Dub” Oliver and Wiley President Haywood L. Strickland both expressed their positive hopes for the future of the program and the cooperation of the two schools at the signing last Wednesday.

We hope students see the tremendous value in this dual education program and seek these schools out to be a part of the master’s program. The success of the program will be measured by the success of the students as they prepare for life after college.

(Editorial published in the Marshall News Messenger, March 23, 2014)

Hammers, Nails, Lumber…

Monday, November 11th, 2013
ETBU students help put up a wall at an all woman build for Habitat for Humanity Marshall.  Photo by Lisa Seeley.

ETBU female students put up a wall at a build for Habitat for Humanity Marshall. Photo by Lisa Seeley.

Hammers, nails, and lumber instead of text books, smart phones, and tablets were in the hands of 14 female East Texas Baptist University students this past Saturday (Nov. 9) in Marshall. 

ETBU male and female students involved in a Habitat for Humanity project in Marshall is not something new. What makes the latest build different is the volunteer base is all women.  It is the first ever women’s build for Habitat for Humanity Marshall.

According to ETBU Director of the Great Commission Center Dr. Lisa Seeley, “We were there helping to put up the walls of the house.  It was awesome!”

Last week members of the local chapter were on campus participating in ETBU’s Mission Marketplace to seek out volunteers.  Only requirements for volunteers are a good hammer and nail pouch, and if you don’t have one, Habitat for Humanity Marshall has plenty.   

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian ministry founded on the conviction that every man, woman and child should have a decent, safe and affordable place to live.  The homes that the ministry builds are simple, decent and affordable to low-income families.

The all women build is the 12th Habitat For Humanity project in Marshall.   Dr. Seeley shared, “We will be back out there this Saturday at 8:00 a.m.”

For more information on Habitat for Humanity Marshall, click here.

Simple Philosophy Helps First Coushatta’s Growth

Friday, August 9th, 2013
Dr. Nathan Rogers, pastor of First Baptist Church, Coushatta, La. Photo courtesy of Brian Blackwell.

Dr. Nathan Davis, pastor of First Baptist Church, Coushatta, La. Photo courtesy of Brian Blackwell.

What a blessing to hear about an ETBU graduate making a difference in the Kingdom of God.  Nathan Davis graduated in 2002. Just this past May, he became Dr. Davis as he received his Doctor of Ministry in Expository Preaching from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Nathan is currently serving as the pastor of First Baptist Church of Coushatta, Louisiana. Since 2010, the congregation of 175 has seen a 45 percent increase in Sunday morning attendance.  In the same time period, the church has baptized 22.

His wife, Melanie (Latiolais) graduated from ETBU in 2000.  Melanie is a stay at home mom with their children, Reagan and McKinley.

The Louisiana Baptist Message printed a story recently featuring what God is doing at First Baptist Coushatta.  Read the story by Brian Blackwell by clicking here.

Alumnus Pastors Church Recognized for Creativity in Missions

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

baptist mission graphic

The Texas Baptist Missions Foundation (TBMF) honored First Baptist Church of Universal City (FBCUC) with Innovator Award for Creativity in Missions. The pastor of FBCUC is East Texas Baptist University alumnus David Lindow.  The award was given to FBCUC during the TBMF Missions Awards Luncheon held during the recent Texas Baptist Family Gathering held in San Antonio.

            “To be quite honest, we were shocked. We are not trying to be innovated but obedient to the call,” Lindow said. “As our people develop passions concerning different missions we empower them to do them.  Currently, we have 26 missions ministries occurring with members championing the causes.  Most of the vibrant mission ministries were the brain child of the membership, not the staff.  That’s humbling but exciting.”        The Innovator Award honors an individual or organization that has provided a model for ministry that others can adopt. The program for the award luncheon described FBCUC this way, “The church not only provides a blueprint for building missions, but infuses the ‘actual construction’ with the personality and the intent of Christ. This church is committed to ‘Loving up, Loving in, and Loving out’- encouraging all members to express God’s love in their community, state, nation and world.”     

Lindow is not the only ETBU graduate on the ministerial staff of FBCUC.  He serves with fellow Tigers Bryan Cash and Charles Fannin. “Serving with two other ETBU graduates has been a great joy.  Being able to reflect back on former professors and classmates has been a joy,” reflected Lindow.

“One of those ETBU graduates happens to be my father-in-law (Charles Fannin), who now serves as our Senior Adult minister.  What a joy to have a godly father-in-law who is also a partner in ministry.  The other is our executive pastor.  I couldn’t lead this congregation without the expertise of Bryan Cash.  His attention to detail and impeccable people skills complement my gifts perfectly.” 

Lindow graduated from ETBU in 1984, Cash in 1985 and Fannin in 1959.

            FBCUC ministers to the community through their Needs and Seeds Ministry (household donations for the needy), New Found Freedom Ministry (outreach to the incarcerated at Giddings State School), Palisades Park Fellowship (multi-housing complex weekly worship), Women’s Shelter Bible Study, English as a Second Language classes, Spanish Ministry Sunday School class, medical and dental mission trips to the border, Disaster Relief Team, and other mission opportunities.

            Lindow has fond memories of his time at ETBU.  “The fondest memory I have is meeting my beautiful wife Lisa.  God connected me to my life and ministry partner while at ETBU.”

“Second to that would be the impact of my religion professors Dr. Don Potts and Dr. Franklin Atkinson. These two men had a profound impact upon my ministry development.  I learned more about pastoral care under Dr. Potts than I did at seminary. Dr. Atkinson taught me the incredible importance of attitude in ministry by his perpetual upbeat spirit. I’ll never forget the day that Dr. Atkinson sent someone to get me out of bed to attend Greek class because he thought I was over in my absentees. He was determined not to let me flunk. What a professor,” shared Lindow. 

The Texas Baptist Family Gathering was a meeting like never before as the African American Fellowship of Texas, Texas Fellowship of Cowboy Churches, Vietnamese Baptist Fellowship of Texas, Lao Baptist Fellowship, Chinese Baptist Fellowship and Hispanic Baptist Convention held their respective annual meetings in conjunction with the Baptist General Convention of Texas Annual Meeting.

ETBU students, faculty spread globally for summer

Monday, July 15th, 2013

Logo and 3 EsMay Term at ETBU was a great opportunity for students to study abroad, if they choose. This past term, students traveled with ETBU professors to five continents: Asia, Africa, South America, Europe and North America.

In China, Dr. Kathleen Mays led one group in studying international business. A 2nd group studied ecology and ecological management led by Dr. Roy Darville. Mark Yates led a 3rd group engaging in a cultural exchange.

In Ethiopia, Dr. Elijah Brown led students in studying the History of Christianity in Africa.

In Ecuador, Dr. Catherine Cone and Connie Wyszynski co-led in teaching Global Community Health.

In England, Dr. Cassie Falke taught British Romanticism literature to ETBU students.

In Israel, President Dr. Dub Oliver and Dr. Israel Nandamudi led a group to the Holy Land focusing on the History, Politics and Religion of Israel.

What an experience for the students that will be a memory for a lifetime.

Read about experiences in Israel, Ethiopia, and Ecuador by clicking on the appropriate link.


To read about ETBU Students Journey to Israel to Study Culture, Politics, click here.


To read about ETBU Students Travel to Ethiopia, click here.


To read about ETBU Students Combine Study, Ministry In Ecuador, click here.


To read about ETBU Students Overcome Travel Obstacles While In Ecuador, click here.


Dr. Bashaw gives baccalaureate service for Marshall ISD graduating class

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013
Dr. Jennifer Bashaw

Dr. Jennifer Bashaw

Dr. Jennifer Bashaw, Assistant Professor of New Testament at ETBU, delivered the sermon Thursday night at the baccalaureate service honoring the Marshall High School 2013 graduating class. She encouraged the graduates to set themselves apart from current trends by following God, being patient, and aligning their social media persona with who they truly are.

The service was at Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Marshall, and it featured prayers, readings and songs from students. The Marshall High School Chorale and String Ensemble both performed.

For news and information from the School of Christian Studies, click here.