Archive for the ‘Spiritual Life’ Category

Serving others on Spring Break

Thursday, March 28th, 2013
Macy Yglecias from East Texas Baptist University hands out cards for free rides to a couple on South Padre Island. Gabe Hernandez/San Antonio Express-News

Macy Yglecias from East Texas Baptist University hands out cards for free rides to a couple on South Padre Island.
Gabe Hernandez/San Antonio Express-News

Spring Break was an opportunity for many students at ETBU to use the time off to go and serve. The Great Commission Center, led by Dr. Melody Maxwell, took a group of students to East Tennessee to serve with One Accord Ministries. While in Rogersville, Tenn., students made home visits, worked in a food pantry and thrift store. Nine ETBU students joined Friendship Baptist Church of Marshall for their annual mission trip to East Saint Louis, Illinois, to work with a local church to minister to children and help with a construction project. The pastor of Friendship is Matt Paul, his wife, Kelley, is the administrative assistant to ETBU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Sherilyn Emberton.

Read the full story, here.

The ETBU Baptist Student Ministry once again served at Beach Reach on South Padre Island ministering to college students by providing free rides and pancakes. The San Antonio Express reported on the event and interviewed ETBU student Amber Smith.

To read the Express story, click here.

Service to the community

Monday, January 14th, 2013

The Great Commission Center has worked to improve Robert E. Lee Elementary in Marshall — most recently by planting shrubs and flowers at the school’s entrance.

The Marshall News Messenger featured Dr. Melody Maxwell, Director of the Great Commission Center, and the group’s work at Robert E. Lee Elementary in Marshall.

The group recently planted flowers and shrubs around the school’s entrance. In the fall, the GCC helped build a playground at the school.

Dr. Maxwell told the News Messenger the work is a vital part of the university’s mission.

“Basically the goal of what we’re doing is to connect our students and others with opportunities to serve,” she said. “We say we have the light on the hill here, and as Christians, our goal is to let our light shine for others so they’ll see God and glorify him.

“It can be easy in campus life to get absorbed in our own things, classes and stuff like that and we want our students to have a broader view of what God is doing around the world, starting right here in Marshall.”

Read the story, here.

Playground build

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

Dr. Dub Oliver, left, was among many people from ETBU helping build the playground at Lee Elementary in Marshall.
Mike Midkiff/ETBU Photo

On Saturday, Nov. 17, volunteers from East Texas Baptist University helped build a new playground at Robert E. Lee Elementary School in Marshall.

According to the story in the Marshall News Messenger, more than 30 students postponed their Thanksgiving holiday to help construct the playground.

“This project really shows the character of our students,” Dr. Oliver said. “We hope they come away with a sense of giving back to the community and giving to others.”

Read the full story here.

Local Media Celebrates ETBU’s Community Impact

Friday, October 19th, 2012

It is reasonable to think we are excited about ETBU, about homecoming, about our Centennial Celebration this weekend.

Excited…more like REALLY EXCITED!!!!! And one of those things we are excited about is the impact that we as a University, and member of the Marshall community, and greater East Texas community, make upon this area – even the world.

That’s why when we read that the Marshall News-Messenger says things like, “Had we a bit more talent, perhaps we could adequately express in words the meaning of East Texas Baptist University to Harrison County and the city of Marshall,” we feel honored.

Or when we hear things like this from, “Even today, with students from the world over, ETBU is at heart an East Texas institution,” we feel grateful.

When it comes to accolades like these, we are quick to keep our perspective.  We have had great success as a University, through good times and bad, but we strive always to keep our focus on making an impact in the lives of our students, faculty, staff, and family, being a positive influence on the surrounding community, being a beacon of quality education, and being a light for Jesus Christ in this world, remembering that our boast is in the Lord Jesus. (Ps 34:2)

We are a Tiger Family so proud of what the Lord has done on the Hill, and we are so very thankful for the kind words from these two sources, and for so many who have voiced kind words of congratulation to us! GO BLUE!

You can get the full story from the Marshall News-Messenger here and from here.

ETBU Celebrates 100 Years of Christian Education

Friday, October 19th, 2012

Celebrating 100 years of high-quality, Christian education on the Van Zandt Hill and around the country has been going on all year.  From fine arts events, to regional celebrations, to alumni gatherings, the Tiger Family has been singing the praises of 100 years of ETBU all over.

And today begins a weekend that will take that celebration to a whole new level!

Today, Friday, October 19th launches our Centennial Celebration and Homecoming weekend.  This weekend is jam-packed with events, reunions, meals, open houses, picnics, concerts, a bonfire, a parade, sporting events, a gala – all culminating in a celebration on ETBU’s most important day, October 22, its birthday. 100 years…can you believe it?!?!?

A lot can happen in 100 years.  A lot has happened in 100 years, and I can say this with certainty, that ETBU’s next 100 will be just as great – greater even – than its last.

I’d love to go back in time to that moment in 1912 when a dream became a reality and tell them how we’re doing. Here’s what  I would tell them:

– we are now a University with over 40 undergraduate and graduate degrees
– we have 36 beautiful buildings on campus, with a 37th slated to begin in months
– Marshall Hall stands as proud as ever, its Beacon shining brightly
– we are financially strong, educationally sound, and are still standing firmly in Christ Jesus
– and lastly, thank you, hoping I could put into words the impact this campus has had on thousands upon thousands of people.

It was a good vision, a courageous initiative, and, as 100 years have shown, ETBU was and is, a brilliant success.

What would you tell them? What impact has ETBU made on you? Tell us about it in the comment section below!

Come to the Hill this weekend and experience the Centennial and Homecoming Weekend at ETBU.

We are thankful for this University, grateful for those men and women who had a part in bringing a dream to live, and we are proud, so very proud, to be Tigers.


Find out everything you want to know about the Centennial Celebration at

Defending Religious Liberty

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Recently, my mother has been on this ancestry kick, and after tons of research, she has traced our family back to the 1300’s in France.  My ancestors traveled from France to England to Ireland and finally to America.  Cherie became Cherry, and Cherry married into the Murphy clan, and since my ancestors stepped foot on American soil in the early 1800’s, our family tree has grown more branches than a sycamore. My family grew very diverse from that moment on.

Diversity is very American.  Our country has been called the melting pot.  Normally it is pretty easy to spot someone from Nigeria or Sweden or China, simply by their strong traits.  That game is a little tougher in the US. We are a diverse, mufti-cultural people.

And really, diversity can be a good thing.  It allows us to interact with people from different backgrounds and life experiences; different cultures, and yes, even different viewpoints. Simply put, diversity makes us unique. And oftentimes those differing viewpoints spill over into other areas of life, like religion and morality. Even politics.

“As part of the recently passed universal health insurance reform passed in 2010, all group health plans must provide – at no cost to the recipient – certain “preventive services.”  Nine of the services are not morally troublesome, but one of the government-mandated services requires: “[a]ll Food and Drug Administration approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling for all women with reproductive capacity” be provided. The serious issue here is the fact that at least one of the approved contraceptives can cause an abortion.The government has publically stated the HHS mandate does “not include abortifacient drugs,” but the text of the regulation itself contains no such guarantee.

The “FDA-approved contraceptives” covered by the mandate include “emergency contraception” drugs. One of them is “ella” (ulipristal) – which is a close analogue to the abortion drug RU-486 (mifepristone) – and can cause an abortion to avoid pregnancy. ETBU believes that providing coverage for abortifacient drugs would be a serious violation of our faith.”

Simply stated, the government has mandated that group health plans provide services like birth control and emergency contraceptives to its employees.  Whether you agree with this or not is a prime example of the diversity I was talking about earlier.  Some see these as being perfectly fine.  Our Roman Catholic friends have a massive moral objection to this mandate.  While we may disagree on the issue of birth control, we are in perfect harmony on the issue of emergency contraceptives since we believe that life begins at conception.  This argument has truly uncovered the diversity of opinions on the matter.

Diversity may be what makes us unique, but it’s freedom that makes us Americans. And freedom is most certainly the issue.

This issue is not so much about women’s rights, or the availability of birth control and various EC’s like Plan B and Ella.  It is about a government mandating that employers provide these services or face a fine.  What is essentially happening is that this government is mandating that we must abide by their legal ruing, even though, as a Christian organization, it violates our moral conscience and tramples on our faith and freedom of religion. This is unconscionable when viewed through the lens of the US Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Since this mandate so strenuously offends our freedom, faith, and moral conscience, ETBU has decided to join other faith institutions around the nation to stand against it.

On February 16, 2012, our own president, Dr. Dub Oliver appeared before the Committee on Oversight & Government Reform at a hearing entitled, “Lines Crossed: Separation of Church and State. Has the Obama Administration Trampled on Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Conscience?” to testify on behalf of the University and the millions of Americans with a clear moral and faith objection to this mandate.  From the Marshall News Messenger to World Magazine to CNN, Dr. Dub’s testimony and remarks have been quoted around the globe.

“The deeper idea for us is the idea of religious liberty and government has crossed a boundary to require them to do something that violates their conscience,” Oliver said in an interview with CNN. This quote sums it up. The government mandate violates our guaranteed freedoms.

The moment my forefathers stepped foot on American soil, they were guaranteed life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  They were guaranteed inalienable rights, among those rights, the Freedom of Religion.

It is in the defense of these rights and freedoms that ETBU takes a stand, along with our ETBU President, and people of faith all over this nation.

We are proud to be Americans.  We are proud to be Tigers.  Way to go Dr. Dub! GO RED, GO WHITE, GO BLUE!

Click here to see how ETBU is involved in this debate.  You can also read Dr. Dub’s testimony and news stories from around the nation, as well guides and editorials.


ETBU Unveils Centennial Logo

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

100 years ago, the very spot where I sit and type this was simply a hill.  No Scarborough.  No Marshall Hall.  Not even the College of Marshall, which would become East Texas Baptist College, then East Texas Baptist University.

Just a hilltop whose destiny would be forever changed by the formation of the University we now know and love.  It has been an amazing 100 years!

So we’re going to spend this next year of 2012 honoring those 100 years!  What a better way to kick it off than with the recently unveiled Centennial Logo.

The logo was developed through collaboration with the Centennial Council, the President’s Office, and the division of Enrollment Management and Marketing.

The logo incorporates the official lowercase ETBU and name with a banner featuring our official school colors, the word Centennial, and the date of our founding 1912, and the 100th year, 2012.  The logo also features a symbol of the University, the Beacon, and the numerals 00 to create 100.

The Centennial Year will be a busy one, including 4 special editions of the Hilltop Magazine, all dedicated to various point of University history, a Centennial themed 2012 Homecoming, and many more events throughout the year.

Help us celebrate the Centennial Year of East Texas Baptist University!  Stop by campus, get involved in an event, and don’t miss Homecoming this year.

It has been an amazing 100 years and we look forward to the next 100 years!


Read more about the logo here.

Genessa Wells: A Life So Short, But Lived So Significantly

Friday, September 16th, 2011

Genessa Wells

At ETBU, we talk a lot about “A World of Opportunity in a Community of Faith,” about integrating faith and learning, and about the value of a quality education tempered by service to the Kingdom of God.  These are values we not only hold dearly, but are those to which we are wholeheartedly dedicated.  ETBU is about getting a great education, and then going into the world, and whether it be in business or education, sciences or ministry, to make a Kingdom impact on the world in which we live.  For some that is service within the local church and local ministries.  For others, it is service in missions to peoples around the world.

For Genessa Wells, it was about a Bedouin people in the arid Egyptian desert.

Genessa, a Houston native and graduate of ETBU, moved to the Middle East in 1999 and had planned to attend seminary to study music when she returned in 2001.  But that move changed her life forever.  She fell in love with the people and with sharing the Gospel.

She wrote, “I could give up (on overseas service) and get married and become a music teacher. All of this is very noble and to be quite honest, sounds good to me! But in my heart, I want to change my world — more than I want a husband and more than I want comfort. I need this opportunity to grow and to tell others about Jesus. One of my favorite praise songs says, ‘I will never be the same again, I can never return, I’ve closed the door.'”

Two years later, in her last email home, she quoted another praise song:

“‘Open the eyes of my heart, Lord, open the eyes of my heart, I want to see you … shining in the light of your glory …’ It seems that everything we do comes down to one thing: His glory,” she said. “I pray that all our lives reflect that. … It seems like a floodgate has been opened in my heart [to share God’s love]. I have a passion for it I never knew God had given me. He’s given it to me for His glory.”

On September 10, 2001, mere hours from an event that would change the world, a bus accident in the Egyptian desert claimed her life.  And in the aftermath of such a horrible event that was 9/11, it seems a bus crash on an Egyptian desert road doesn’t really compare – that the loss of Genessa seemed so insignificant when compared to the thousands that were dying half way around the world.  But to those with whom she shared Christ, to those who may have opened their hearts to Jesus in the dark, dusty corner of a Bedouin tent, it meant a great deal.  For she had shown them the way to the only thing that really matters, a relationship with Jesus.  To those of us who have been honored to learn of her story, her loss meant the world.  For she had shown, and continues, even after her passing, to show what real love is.  Whether near or far, at the market down the street or a thousand miles away, that real love is sharing the love of Jesus Christ with a lost and dying world.

For Genessa, the Great Commission wasn’t merely a suggestion, but a lifestyle.  And for that short, yet significant life, we as a Tiger Family, and as a part of the Family of God, are monumentally proud.

You can read the story about Genessa from the Baptist Press here.



A Campus You Can Be Proud Of

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

We’ve nearly posted 100 stories that make us so proud of our Tiger Family. From academics to athletics, organizations to faculty/staff honors, we can truly say we have so much to be thankful for, so much to be proud of.  I’d like to add one more to the list:

Our campus.

Maybe you haven’t been to the Hill in years. For some, the last time they saw ETBU was the day the walked across the stage to receive their degree. If that’s you, then you need to come on back for a visit.

You may not recognize the place.

Is it the new Ornelas Student Center? Perhaps. This is a building that was promised to the students years ago, and now it is a reality. Students hang out, study, meet, worship, eat, and drink in this building. It is a beautiful building that fits perfectly with the architecture of the existing campus, but most importantly, it is a place the students can say was built just for them.

You need to come for a visit.

And then there’s the former Bennett Student Center, now called the Bennett Student Commons (BSC), a building built years before the current students were born (maybe even before their parents were born)! Though it has stood for nearly a half century, it was clear that it needed an upgrade.

After around 90 days of construction over the 2011 Summer, we were happy to open its doors for the start of the Fall 2011 semester!

And again if you are one of those who hasn’t been back in a while, you wouldn’t recognize it. A massive new facade/entryway on the north side of the Quad  gives way to a completely remodeled, greatly enlarged Caf. I was with a few students during that first day and all the could say is, “Are you sure we’re at ETBU?”

You need to come for a visit.

The entryway is in the exact spot where Phillips Dining Hall once was. Phillips has made a move to the lower floor of the BSC. The new entryway on the north side of the BSC leads into a classy, fine dining space in in the place of the old bookstore and post office areas and boasts stained hard wood paneling, recessed ceilings and lighting, and fine carpets – not to mention the fact that about three old Phillips could fit in the new Phillips. It truly will take your breath away!

You need to come for a visit.

The Murphy Science Building has new flooring, $200,000 of new scientific equipment, renovated labs including a biology class with attached lab. The unsightly power lines near Meadows, Linebery, and Mabee have been moved underground. A new statue, “The Divine Servant” is now just outside the north entrance of the Ornelas Spiritual Life Center. A new athletics facility, the Tiger Football Strength Training Center, will provide a space for Tigers to workout and serves as the visiting team’s locker room during the season. A new Faculty-in-Residence apartment has been created in the University Apartments. The Library has all new carpeting. Oh, and last season, the football stadium got lights which allow for night games at ETBU. We have two new masters programs, education and religion. Our enrollment is up, the best in five years, our students are happy, and our campus is as pretty as a picture.

Like I said, you really need to come visit.

So much has been going on. So many changes have been happening. The campus is beautiful and the buildings are amazing – it’s something to be proud of. But most importantly, what I always remember, is that, no matter how many buildings come and go, no matter how often faculty, staff, and students’ faces change, and no matter how long it has been since you’ve seen pines, oaks, and the hallowed hill, the light still shines, for academic excellence and for Jesus Christ our Savior.

It’s time for a visit. Come see what our Tiger Family is so very proud of.


How about Homecoming 2011? The weekend of October 14th-16th ETBU will be alive with Tiger Spirit as we celebrate Blue and Gold Forever: A Legacy That Lasts. You can learn more here!

You Have a Voice!

Friday, August 12th, 2011

We’re making a ton of improvements around campus, so we wanted to share one improvement we’re making to Tiger Pride!

A new feature to Tiger Pride is the ability to comment on each post!  To comment, go to the individual story by clicking on it’s title, then just type your comments in the form beneath the story and we’ll get an email informing us of your comment.  Once we approve it, its live!

Great things are happening at ETBU and it is a great time to be on the Hill!

The Bennett Student Commons is near completion, our Ornelas Student Center is entering it’s 2nd year of service to the campus, and there have been a ton of improvements, from new labs to remodeled rooms, new training facilities – we’ve even buried some power lines to help beautify our campus.

If you haven’t been around in a while, take a trip to Marshall and ETBU!

We are so proud of what’s been going on and we’re sure you will be too!