Hilltop | Fall 2017

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Also Inside: Fall Sports Highlights Educational Partnerships Pave New Paths to ETBU

Homecoming 2017 Hilltop

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As a Christ-centered institution, East Texas Baptist University educates students by integrating biblical faith and learning to develop mind, body, and soul through community engagement to prepare graduates to be Christian servant leaders in their calling to God and humanity.

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Adam Ledyard Sports Information Director Mary Ann Lackland Fluency CEO Al Fowler Hannah Wells Designers Carmen Maciel Graphic Designer Julie Baugus Graphic Designer Jayme Perez (’17) Marketing Graduate Assistant Photographers Brandon LeBlanc Carmen Maciel Emily Murphrey Helen Spurling James Coreas Jayme Perez Joe Soto Julie Baugus Katy Harmon Lexi Pyle Mark Ramos Mason Hays Shelby Savoy University Leadership Dr. J. Blair Blackburn President Dr. Thomas Sanders Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Scott Bryant Vice President for Advancement Kevin Caffey Vice President for Enrollment and Administrative Affairs Ned Calvert (’95) Senior Vice President for Financial Affairs

Lee Ferguson Associate Vice President for Financial Affairs Deans Dr. Joseph D. Brown Dean, Frank S. Groner School of Professional Studies Dr. Rebekah Grigsby Dean, School of Nursing Dr. Colleen Halupa Dean, Online Learning Dr. John L. Harris Dean, School of Christian Studies Dr. Lynn New Dean, School of Natural and Social Sciences Dr. Barry Evans Dean, Fred Hale School of Business Dr. John Sargent Dean, School of Education



Kristin Williams (’16) Communication Coordinator

Ryan Erwin Vice President for Athletics and Director of Athletics

Adopted by ETBU Board of Trustees May 5, 2017


Writers Allison Peteet (’99) Assistant Vice President for Advancement | Director of Alumni Relations

Dr. Heather Hadlock Vice President for Student Affairs



Managing Editor Becky Davis Director of Marketing and Communication

Dr. Scott Stevens Dean, Spiritual Life Dr. Jerry Summers Dean, School of Humanities Dr. Thomas R. Webster Dean, School of Communication and Performing Arts Dr. Marty Warren Dean, Academic Services and Institutional Research Hilltop Magazine is published by ETBU Marketing and Communication

For news or information, join us on Facebook and Twitter



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President’s Message


Giving from the Heart: Dr. Louise Ornelas

14 Welcoming New Tigers to Campus



16 A Tiger Tradition The Greer Family, a legacy rooted in ETBU’s history 20 Student Profiles Parrish and Damron receive Riley Servant Leadership Awards 24 Homecoming 2017 Let the Good Times ROAR 30 Foundations that Last ETBU celebrates 105 years of Christ-centered education


and the 500th anniversary of the Reformation

34 Educational Partnerships Provide Opportunities for Transfer Students Recent articulation agreements pave the way for an

accessible and affordable Christ-centered education

36 Faculty Spotlight LaShondra Manning: Raising Up the Next Generation


38 Fall Sports Highlights Tigers Helping Others: Hurricane Harvey Response

46 Alumni Feature Jacob Richardson (’07)

48 ETBU Hosts Thank a Giver (T.A.G.) Day Students given the opportunity to thank


Student Athlete Profile: Abby Weaver

ETBU donors for their generosity

Letters and comments can be sent to: alumni@etbu.edu


Update online: Visit: www.ETBU.edu/ alumniupdate Please send any information for publishing or change of personal information to:

50 Accent on Alumni


Alumni Relations East Texas Baptist University One Tiger Drive Marshall, TX 75670 903.923.2071

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President’s Message Dear ETBU Alumni and Friends, With the closing our Fall 2017 chapter here on the Hill at East Texas Baptist University, we pause to recognize the countless individuals, whose stories of generosity, service, and love for ETBU have helped create and build upon the University’s compelling chronicle of Christcentered education. I praise God for the ETBU Family’s commitment to expand the reach of God’s Kingdom and the depth of God’s truths through their dedication to the University – where the integration of biblical faith and academic learning translates into a community of Christian scholars and the cultivation of devoted servant leaders. We are excited to share with you the Fall 2017 issue of The Hilltop, where you will uncover highlighted events and new opportunities that boldly testify the Lord’s unending grace and provision abounding throughout all aspects of University life. With reverent hearts, we pay tribute to the individuals and families, who have been called to advance God’s Kingdom work by giving to student scholarships, academic programs, campus developments, community initiatives, and global outreach opportunities through East Texas Baptist. October 17, 2017 marked a particularly special moment in ETBU’s history – a day dedicated to the University’s matriarch of faithful generosity, Dr. Louise Ornelas. Dr. Ornelas’ active commitment to ETBU has formed an unparalleled legacy of blessing, devotion, and love – enabling past, present, and future generations of students to know and experience the transformational power of Christ that accompanies an eternal relationship with Him. In response to the inspiring generosity of Christian servants like Ms. Lou and so many other donors and friends of ETBU, we echo Paul’s words in his letter to the Church in Philippi, “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.” In this edition, we celebrate another Homecoming anniversary of ETBU Tigers with this year’s theme, “Let the Good Times Roar.” When we speak of legacy, we also reflect upon the faculty, staff, and alumni, who have left an indelible mark on this institution as bearers of the Light of Christ. We recognize that the Hill is hallowed ground, because of the blessed memories of Tigers’ educational and spiritual experiences. As you turn the pages of The Hilltop, you will meet students and families like the Greers, who have passed the torch of an ETBU education from generation to generation. As an academic community unified through the bond of Christ, ETBU remains committed to the holistic development of our students in mind, body, and spirit, whereby Tigers are adequately prepared to serve God and His people. While we look inward to develop and enhance our current degree programs through the addition of new academic initiatives and the expansion of our School of Nursing to the downtown Marshall Grand, we look outward to establish educational partnerships with institutions across the East Texas region to provide students with accessible and affordable avenues to receive a Christ-centered education through ETBU. As we press forward in faith to pursue the will of the Lord with unbridled boldness, I am encouraged by David’s words in Psalm 19:8, “The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.” I ask that you join the ETBU Family in our prayers for God to enlighten the lives of students through a life-changing encounter with the Holy Spirit – Whose power pulls them in, purposes their paths, and propels them out to make an eternal impact in Marshall, across the nation, and throughout the world for His glory. May the gift of the Savior bring joy to your Christmas season and in the new year ahead as we aim to serve God and proclaim the good news of Christ! Joy to the Lord!

Dr. J. Blair Blackburn President



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Dr. Louise Ornelas shares the story of how the Lord used her upbringing to make a difference in the lives of students across East Texas



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I’m deeply thankful for the opportunities I’ve had over the years to support the great work that God is doing. DR. LOUISE H. ORNELAS

I grew up during the Great Depression and my parents were always more concerned with other people than with their own needs. Daddy, who worked as a spread man on a pipeline in East Texas, was especially committed to providing for others. We sometimes did without, so that my parents could have more to help those barely getting by.


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DR. LOUISE ORNELAS The homeless often camped out in a small hovel along the railroad near our home in Arp, Texas. When these men and their families came to our door asking for food, Daddy never turned away anyone. What I saw around that railroad looked like scenes out of The Grapes of Wrath. Families with nothing but the clothes on their backs and men pushing wheelbarrows with their belongings stretched up and down the railroad. Once, Daddy lined the floor of our barn with heavy paper for a family to stay there for several days. Mother brought them her own flour to cook with and also shared some potatoes and other vegetables from our garden. I like to think that I’m somehow following in my parents’ footsteps whenever I’m able to help someone else. I’m deeply thankful for the opportunities I’ve had over the years to support the great work that God is doing. Education is one of my favorite causes to support, and I believe Christian education is especially important for young people. Many years ago, when I began directing much of my energy into becoming very active at a small college in Marshall, Texas, called East Texas Baptist University. I was



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asked to serve on the Board of Trustees, which required me to go over to campus for meetings periodically. I made the hour-long drive alone through the country and spent that precious time talking with the Lord. I love driving in the East Texas countryside and I look back on those quiet drives as one way that the Lord drew me closer to Him. I grew up in Arp cheering on the Arp Tigers. My friends and I were on the cheer squad and we would run up and down the sidelines pulling for those Arp Tigers to win every weekend. We cheered our hearts out every Friday night until we were hoarse on Saturday morning. And now it’s just as fun for me to root for the ETBU Tigers! When I served on the Board at ETBU, I remember going to Marshall for my first football game one afternoon during a Texas heatwave. We were all sweltering in the stands under the hot sun, not to mention the boys on the field wearing all their pads. I turned and asked one of the school leaders why in the world they were playing ball in the middle of the day. “Well, ma’am, we don’t have any lights to play at night,” I remember him explaining matter-of-factly. “Well, let me help

you get some lights!” I said and wiped my brow. Soon after that, we all had a great time watching those Tigers play under the night sky when it was not nearly as hot! When I could help build one of the first new buildings ETBU had on campus in a long time, they asked me to give a speech at the groundbreaking. I was so nervous. Tears came to my eyes as I recounted how special this place had become to me. I remembered when they introduced me at one of the football games at halftime and all the football players shook my hand, one by one. I felt as proud of them as if I were a mother to each young man. I did not have the opportunity to attend college, as I got married and started my precious family soon after I graduated from high school. I always had to work harder for everything in my life, and I’m happy to support ETBU for challenging young people to also work hard for their dreams. I envision the future of ETBU to be stronger than it has ever been before, and I want it to grow until it’s the best it

could be for the Lord. I think it’s possible because ETBU has the best president in Dr. Blair Blackburn, and God is using the students and staff to make it grow into what He wants this university to be. I don’t know if I will make it to 104 years of age like my mother did, but I’ve lived a good while. More importantly, I’m content in the Lord—whatever He has for me is alright with me. Whenever I run into a challenge, I tell myself, “I’m not down and out yet, so I’m going on.” Even with all the giving, praying, and serving that someone can do, we are still not near what the Lord is. He alone is perfect. It’s a good feeling to go to bed at night with the peace that comes from the Lord. You can sleep well thinking of Him and not worrying about tomorrow. I believe the best is yet to come for East Texas Baptist University, and I know that God has a wonderful future planned for this school that has meant so much to me.


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1991 1995 1996 2000 2011 2017


GIVING For decades, Dr. Louise Ornelas has generously given to institutions of higher education to encourage and support students of diverse backgrounds in their pursuit of knowledge. Her donations, specifically to ETBU, contribute to the community that students, faculty, staff, and alumni have enjoyed at their Home on the Hill for this generation and many to come.


Ornelas Spiritual Life Center In July of 1991, the Ornelas Spiritual Life Center was built. The building includes a 1,500-seat auditorium for the University community to convene for chapel services and academic conferences, as well as an office space for the Department of Spiritual Development, Baptist Student Ministry, and Great Commission Center.


Louise H. and Joseph Z. Ornelas Gymnasium The Louise H. and Joseph Z. Ornelas Gymnasium was opened in May of 1995. The gymnasium provides facilities for several of ETBU’s NCAA Division III sports, and can seat more than 1,800 for athletic events and over 2,500 for special events. The structure also contains an indoor jogging track, a fully equipped athletic training room, locker rooms, and the “Tiger Room” for University events and meetings.

Ornelas Residential Center The Ornelas Residence Hall was built in 1996 to accommodate the growing enrollment. It is a two-story building with 191 apartment-style bedrooms, two laundry facilities, and private courtyards. The facility also contains an office space and lobby area.




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Ornelas Stadium In October of 2000, Louise H. and Joseph Z. Ornelas provided the funding for a 2,000-seat stadium to commemorate the return of the Tiger Football team. For the first time in 50 years, the University was empowered to reinstate a football program and reignite the Tiger Spirit, leading to a record enrollment the following year.


Ornelas Student Center The 31,852 square-foot, two-story facility stands next to Marshall Hall in the center of campus. The building consists of a large common area, a sandwich shop, coffee shop, game room, post office with over 1,600 mailboxes, banquet hall, a chapel, governance hall, and several meeting rooms.

Charles E. Herrington Service Center Opened in April of 2000, the facility was dedicated in the memory of Dr. Ornelas’ brother, Charles E. Herrington by Louise H. and Joseph Z. Ornelas. The dual purpose complex contains the Department of Physical Facilities and the Department of Instructional Technology (IT).


Louise H. Ornelas University Park The Louise Ornelas University Park Row House Development was provided through the generosity of Dr. Louise Ornelas, who contributed the lead gift, along with various other donors. The townhouse-style apartments are designed for upperclassmen students, graduate students, and married couples. Eight of the new units are one-bedroom and one-bathroom, while the other 12 units are three-bedroom and three-bathroom, providing space for a total of 88 students. Phase II of Ornelas University Park is under construction and will add another 44 resident spaces.


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he Tiger Family welcomed Dr. Louise Ornelas to the ETBU campus with Louise Ornelas Appreciation Day on October 17, held in honor of her significant contributions and service to the University throughout her lifetime. “God has provided Ms. Lou with the opportunity to use her compassion and generosity to help thousands,” ETBU President J. Blair Blackburn shared. “Untold numbers of people have been positively impacted by Ms. Lou’s spirit of giving. God has worked through her commitment to Him and through service to others to bless generations of people. Dr. Ornelas has been the model of blessing, an extension of God’s grace, which overflows from her into the lives of others.” Dedicated to God’s work within Christian higher education, Dr. Ornelas has unwaveringly supported ETBU through her faithful giving and devoted service as both former Board of Trustees member and current Trustee Emeritus. From corner to corner of the University campus, Dr. Ornelas has helped to advance the development of East Texas Baptist as a scholarly Christ-centered community for students’ intellectual and spiritual growth. “To make a connection with the name that I’ve seen for the last three years on the buildings on campus is an honor,” ETBU President of Student Foundation Austin Damron said. “I chose ETBU because of the unique atmosphere. With buildings such as the Ornelas Spiritual Life Center and the Ornelas Student Center, we continually have the opportunity to experience community as we worship and study together. Dr. Ornelas’ generosity has made ETBU what it is today.” Louise Ornelas Appreciation Day consisted of a celebration march led by Tiger Cheer, Tiger Pom, and the ETBU Band, a luncheon program, and the dedication of Louise Ornelas University Park. Ms. Ornelas has generously provided funding for various facilities on campus, including the Ornelas Spiritual Life Center, Ornelas Student Center, Ornelas Gymnasium, Ornelas Stadium, and Ornelas Residence Hall. “I am privileged to share what God has been doing on our campus and in our personal lives,” Miss ETBU and Tiger Cheer Captain Taylor Rowlands expressed. “Ms. Lou has impacted my life in profound ways. My life has not been the same since the moment I stepped foot on campus. ETBU has guided me to love Jesus more than I ever thought possible. I’m learning not only how to be a teacher, but how to be a godly teacher. Just like Austin and I, there are scores of students who have been changed because of Dr. Ornelas’ support.”


I was absolutely amazed with all that occurred on my visit on Tuesday, October 17th. It is a day I will not soon forget. I felt so honored and appreciate all the special things you had planned. It was a wonderful and joyous day!!! Dr. Louise H. Ornelas

“ Hilltop

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Campus Happenings

WELCOMING TIGERS TO CAMPUS The University Family introduces new Tigers to Life on the Hill


iger camp is the first on-campus experience for first-time freshmen and transfer students. The University hosted over 160 incoming students during the Fall 2017 Tiger Camp. Students also participated in Welcome Week, a five-day event consisting of large group sessions focused on social, academic, and spiritual development as well as activities such as small group sessions, service projects, and Chill on the Hill. These events provide students opportunities to build relationships and learn ETBU traditions. “I was initially anxious about starting the semester, since I did not know many people on campus,” ETBU freshman Mathematical Sciences major Ryder Moore said. “However, Tiger Camp and Welcome Week enabled me to connect with others. I believe that the bonds I made early in the semester have helped me to be myself and feel at home throughout the year.” Welcome Week communicates ETBU’s commitment to teaching and modeling servant leadership. During the week, over 200 students through service partnered with various ministries, organizations, and schools in Marshall and the surrounding area. “I am proud of our ETBU students, who are able to serve in the Marshall community their very first week on campus,” ETBU Director of Global Education and the Great Commission Center Lisa Seeley expressed. “Across the board, our community partners praise our students not only for the work they help with, but also for their wonderful attitudes and giving spirits. From their first days on campus, they are shining the light of Jesus in our community.”



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Rayyy @RachelFuentes4 24 Aug

Love going to a school where the faculty and students are genuinely concerned about my well-being and are constantly praying for me #ETBU

missalexandra8 Western Dance with my lovelies #etbu

Sarah @Disnerd_Sarah 2 Aug

Tiger Camp was amazing! I can’t wait until I can see and be with these people almost everyday! Much love to my Tiger Family #etbu #lampsato

Tabz @amazinglyTabbie 16 Oct

I honestly never knew what it was like to have a real friend until now. I’m so blessed for the ones God has given me here at ETBU!

Casey Clay @CaseyCatherine7 19 Aug So blessed already with amazing friends.. pumped is an understatement #ETBU


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Cayla Greer (’21)

Jamey Greer (’90)

Jared Greer (’16-’17)

Christy Greer (’93)

A TRADITION OF TIGERS The Greer Family Tree is rooted in the history of East Texas Baptist University



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Our shared experiences as Tigers have created a strong bond between my family. I will always be thankful for my home on the Hill.

Cody Greer (’16) Joey Greer (’14-’15)

Jacey Greer (’16)


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THE GREER FAMILY One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts. Psalm 154:4


itchard Bean, Christy Bean Greer’s father, came to East Texas Baptist College in 1965. He met Judy Jones Bean during the Spring semester of their freshman year and they married in 1967. Although Ritchard and Judy left ETBC to pastor a church, their experiences on the Hill left a lasting impact on their family. The couple were led back to ETBU when Judy was given the opportunity to work full-time on campus as a secretary, enabling Ritchard to finish his degree. “My dad always told me stories about his time at ETBC,” Christy Greer (’93) said. “From an early age, I knew that I wanted to follow in my parents’ footsteps and attend ETBU. Growing up as a pastor’s daughter, my faith was foundational in my life. I wanted to attend a Christian college in order earn my degree, while also learning about the Lord. My dad returned to ETBU in 1990 to complete his Bachelor of Science in Education.” Christy and her dad attended college together for a few



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semesters. He graduated in 1992 at the age of 45. His graduation ceremony was momentous for the Greer family. Now 70, his favorite expression is still “You’re never too old to learn something new.” Christy reflected that her dad has always been her hero, her greatest cheerleader, her pastor, and her example.” As God led Christy to ETBU through her family’s legacy, Jamey Greer (’90) was also being drawn to campus. While registered and planning to attend a different university, Jamey visited ETBU on Tiger Day with his youth minister, ETBU Alumnus Brad Bickham (’70). “After visiting campus that day, I knew that God had a specific plan for my life,” Jamey said. “A few weeks later, I became an ETBU Tiger.” Jamey soon became friends with Christy’s brother, Tim Bean (’86-’89 attendee). While visiting the campus with her family, Christy met Jamey. This sparked their lasting connection.

They married two years later. After 29 years of marriage, they still look back on the day they met in the lobby of Feagin Hall with fondness. While at ETBU, both Jamey and Christy grew relationally, spiritually, and academically through mentors at the University. “The skills I learned from my Education professors, specifically Dr. Shirley Dahl and Dr. Donald Alford, helped prepare me for a lifelong profession in the teaching field,” Christy shared. “I home schooled my five children for seven years and, for the past 12 years, have been a teacher in the Texas public school system. The training I received at ETBU was invaluable, as I am still drawing from the strong foundation provided at this institution.” our family has been and continues to be truly blessed. Our Overall, 14 members of the Bean and Greer Family have hearts are full as we remember the past and know that our been a part of the institution’s history, including Jamey’s kids are a part of the future of ETBU. We are all proud to be brother, Bill Greer (’88-’89 attendee), his wife, Cathie (’89), a part of the heritage of East Texas Baptist.” Christy’s sister, Andi Bean Williford (’98-’99 attendee), and The Greer family’s tradition of attending ETBU began Christy’s brother, Matthew Bean (’00-’01). In addition, all of and still thrives by the Lord’s leading. Every member of the Christy and Jamey’s five children—Joey (’14-’15 attendee), family confesses a steadfast love for the campus, a peace Cody (’16), Jayce (’16), Jared (’16-’17 attendee), and Cayla in attending, and a lasting sense of belonging to the family (currently attending)—have been educated through ETBU. of the ETBU community. “Through the education that my parents received at the “We visit Marshall every opportunity we have, spending University, they provided us with a one-of-a-kind life that time on campus and remembering all of the wonderful I hope to recreate when I get married and have children,” experiences we made during our time there,” Judy Jones Cody expressed. “ETBU has fostered a spirit of growth Bean shared. “ETBU continues to be an important part in my family that has shaped my worldview. Our shared of our lives, first through our kids and now through our experiences as Tigers have created a strong bond between grandchildren as they carry on the family tradition. We are my family. I will always be thankful for my home on the Hill.” so thankful for how this University has touched our lives.” The Greer’s remain connected to the Tiger Family through events such as Family Weekend and Homecoming. As they reunite and reminisce with faculty, staff, former classmates, and current students, the family witnesses and contributes to the continual growth of campus. Christy and Jamey expressed that they were encouraged to see the historic buildings that were a part of their story on campus in addition to the new facilities and advancements that their children enjoy. “Watching my children experience spiritual growth while earning an education and fall in love with the campus life, just as my husband and I had done CAYLA GREER and my parents before us, has brought such joy to our lives,” FRESHMAN MUSIC AND Christy confessed. “My husband WORSHIP IN MINISTRY MAJOR and I have peace knowing that they are in the center of God’s will. As all of our five kids have been able live a life on the Hill,

I visited the campus and felt the peace of God. I knew ETBU was the place for me!


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Student Profiles


RECOGNIZE SERVANTS ON CAMPUS Seniors Parrish and Damron exemplify the attributes of Christian servant leaders





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East Texas Baptist University acknowledged two students on Monday, October 30 for their outstanding service to the campus and community. Seniors Austin Damron of Lake Jackson and Harleigh Parrish of Huntington were awarded the Bob and Gayle Riley Servant Leadership Award during a special chapel service focused on servant leadership. “The award winners were selected based on the students’ service on campus, in a local church, and the community,” ETBU Assistant Provost Emily Prevost said. “The students chosen consistently exhibit the characteristics of Christian servant leadership.” Dr. Bob Riley, ETBU President Emeritus, and his wife, former First Lady Gayle Riley, presented the students with a replica of the “Divine Servant” statue, created by Max Greiner, that stands outside of the Ornelas Spiritual Life Center. “It was an honor and privilege to serve the students, faculty, and staff of East Texas Baptist from 1992 to 2009. My wife and I have been encouraged to return to campus and see it continue to thrive and grow under the leadership of Dr. Blackburn,” Dr. Riley shared. “I am convinced that ETBU will raise up men and women as servant leaders now and in future generations, who will make a difference as they serve in their careers for the glory of God.” The Bob and Gayle Riley Servant Leadership Award is given annually to two upperclassmen senior students, who exemplify the characteristics of a Christian servant leader. Peers, faculty, and staff

nominate students in recognition of their commitment to Christ’s model of servanthood. The award was established under the leadership of Dr. Riley, who served as president of ETBU for 17 years before retiring in 2009, to promote the attitude and behavior of Christ-centered servant leaders among students at ETBU. “I believe the best way to approach any leadership role, is to become a better follower first,” Parrish expressed. “I recognize that Christians are called to serve out of the love, grace, and sacrifice. I am changed because of my experiences here, and I believe I am meant to change the world by continuing to serve others as Christ has taught me to serve.” ETBU Chair of the Department of Communication Studies Cole Franklin announced Harleigh Parrish as the female award recipient. Parrish is a Speech Communication major, who has served in numerous roles during her time at ETBU including President of Lambda Pi Theta, Student Government Association Senator, Resident Assistant, and a member of the Debate Team. ETBU Professor of Communication Studies Dennis Robertson described Parrish as, “a great student, a humble servant, Christ-centered, gifted for service, and willing to go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that everyone is taken care of.” Austin Damron was introduced as the male awardee by ETBU Dean of the School of Christian Studies John L. Harris. Damron is a Religion major, who has been an active leader in several student organizations and events such as Welcome Week, Tiger Camp, Student Foundation, and Tupas. ETBU Dean of Students Blair Prevost noted that Austin, “demonstrates humility and grace toward others in his leadership roles. He seeks the best for his fellow students, while exhibiting a commitment to excellence.” “Christ is a servant and I want to be more like Him. I want to reflect Him in all I do,” Damron said. “While at ETBU, I realized a call to serve as a youth pastor and have been prepared to do so. I believe that I will be able to apply all that I have learned serving here at ETBU to teach youth about the character of Christ, to serve with a higher purpose, to build unity, and to practice patience and adaptability.”


DAMRON Hilltop

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the_real_slim_saidee my whole heart in one picture and in one place. Thankful for family weekend because it’s an excuse to show these two how much I love ETBU

Caleb Norris @5calebnorris 22 Aug Well.. I survived my first day of college. This place is awesome. #ETBU

taylor_rowlands Bring on senior year with my favorite Tiger girlies!!!

ethan99cook “Y’all the ones that I want, ooh ooh ooh.” #ThrillontheHill #halloween #grease

Erica McAllister @EricaMac9 Oct 14 Back at ETBU and all feels right with the world again #etbu



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lmost 700 family members experienced life on the Hill from the perspective of their students at ETBU’s 2017 Family Weekend. The event connected students’ families to faculty and staff and allowed them to share in the caring community environment fostered by the University through an array of activities. From ice cream floats provided by the Alumni Association and the Tigers Got Talent show to tailgating at the Grove and the Tiger Football game, families enjoyed the vibrancy of the Christian community at East Texas Baptist. “I was welcomed into the community by all. ETBU is a community of believers,” ETBU senior Austin Damron expressed. “This group of college students, who seek to make Christ’s name known, have brought a joy to my life that I have never before experienced. I am the President of a campus organization called Student Foundation that helps coordinate Family Weekend,” Damron continued. “My brother, Aaron, is a part of Freshman Class Council, another student group that assists planning events. We enjoyed working together and showing our family why so many of us have found ETBU to be our college home.” During Family Weekend, students and their families served at various locations in Marshall to show Christ’s spirit of servanthood in the local community. The University is committed to developing students to be Christian servant leaders and is active in providing experiences for them to connect their actions with what they are learning in class. ETBU’s Learning and Leading course, offered to freshmen during their first semester, hosted Fall Festivals for three of Marshall ISD elementary schools including David Crockett Elementary, Price T. Young Elementary, and William B. Travis Elementary to serve over 1,600 elementary students and their families in the Marshall community. “The festival was a great representation of what we have learned in class so far, especially because we had to work as a team for the event to run smoothly,” ETBU Mathematics Secondary Education major Jason Moore said. “It was rewarding to watch how excited the Marshall elementary students were as they played games and to realize the impact of our Tigers’ giving back. Learning and Leading is equipping me with the tools I need to be a role model and to lead by example for my future students.”


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MING 2017 Times ROAR


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here and what ETBU means to them.




Professor, Biology Chair, Biology and Chemistry Department

“ East texas B

aptist Univer





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East Texas Baptist was a place that I had always wanted to work. Now, I have enjoyed being a Tiger for more than 20 years and have had the privilege to build lasting friendships with students, faculty, and staff. I am thankful that God led me to the Hill and provided a way for me to use my gifts to help the University accomplish its mission.


aptist Unive

East texas B

The most rewarding part of my job is working with students. I enjoy sharing my faith with them and encouraging them to grow academically, personally, and spiritually. My proudest moments are watching my students graduate from ETBU, knowing that I have helped them along their journey. I am always blessed when I meet alumni and hear how much they developed

Coordinator of Accounting Services, Financial Affairs


I received a position at ETBC in 1979, after my first year of college. When I graduated in 1982, I decided to continue working in the Business Office because I enjoyed my job. Over the years, ETBU has become my second home. I feel like I am a part of a family here. We all work together, are considerate of each other, and help one another in times of trouble. I know that I would not have a better work environment than I do here.

Coordinator, Payroll/Employee Benefits


I sincerely believe that the Lord called me here and has given me assurances through the years that this is where I am to be. In my work here, I always have found excellent young people who deeply value the faith and who are seeking to realize their greatest potentials. It is a great joy to help them to think about how ministry might best support the development of the whole person. ETBU’s emphasis on the integration of faith and academic discipline fits beautifully with my sense of calling and purpose in life.

Professor, Psychology Dean, School of Natural and Social Sciences

East texas Ba

ptist Universi



East texas Baptist Universit


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Alumni celebrated at Homecoming for their continued support and representation of ETBU



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Golden Blazers Barry Hale (’83) Frances (Eiland) Henderson (’46) Dr. Tequecie Meek (’73) Merrill Nelson (’84) Jacob Richardson (’07) Kelli (Pruitt) Richardson (’09) Dr. Rita (Storie) Turner (’48) Rev. Cecil Winn (’61)

Golden Lightkeepers Susan Bennett Livingston (’64) Dr. Rutledge McClaran (’61) Carolyn Wilkinson (’67)

W.T. Tardy Service Award Hope Pierce Tartt Scholarship Fund

J. Wesley Smith Achievement Award Bob Duvall (’63)

Alumni Achievement Award Peter Muriungi (’98)

Unsung Hero Award Chuck Kennedy (’68)

Young Alumnus Award Starrla Penick (’03)

Blue & Gold Award Jerry Hamilton (’83)



haleelujah Honored to serve as ETBU’s Homecoming Queen 2017. Jesus is too good, guys. Also, shoutout to my body guards, y’all are the realest!

Kyla Arbuckle @kylafa_ 14 Oct

Tiger Pom killed it tonight at ETBU Homecoming Pep Rally

Homecoming with this sweet girl! Shelby Noack is with Hannah McGowin. October 14 at 12:00 pm

jennapetey Cool pep rally with some cool gals #ETBU #HOCO17 #TigerPom



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E T A D E H SAVE T -28




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ETBU celebrates 105 years of Christ-centered education and 500th anniversary of Reformation

Modern Christians walk in the footsteps of those that came before. ETBU memorialized two key touchstones of faith that have impacted life on the Hill: Founder’s Day (105 years of Christian higher education at ETBU) and the Reformation (Martin Luther’s historic protest 500 years ago). FBC Marshall and ETBU held a special service on October 22 celebrating the founding of the College of Marshall, ETBU’s predecessor, and honoring First Baptist Church, Marshall and the legacy of Rev. W.T. Tardy, who served as Pastor of FBC Marshall and founded the college in 1912. “W. T. Tardy wanted an institution that would proclaim Christ in East Texas,” ETBU President J. Blair Blackburn stated. “What we have today in the University was planned long ago by this church. We are grateful for what FBC Marshall has done in partnering with us in the mission to be a Christ-centered institution, committed to integrating biblical faith and academic learning to train students to be dedicated Christian servant leaders in whatever field the Lord calls them.” Drawn by the spirit of God, Tardy arrived in 1910 to serve FBC Marshall. He felt called to enrich the spiritual and intellectual condition of the community by providing a Christian education for the region. With Tardy’s vision and support from local community leaders: Marvin Turney, P.G. Whaley, and M.P. McGee. The initial funding was generously provided in 1912 to begin building the College of Marshall. In 1916, the first structure, Marshall Hall, was constructed and still stands today, over 100 years later, as a symbol for Christian education in East Texas. Following Founders Day, the Tiger Family joined Christians around the globe in the celebration of the 500th anniversary of Reformation with Here I Stand, a series of events held in honor of the anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing his 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. Sola Scriptura: A Bible Exhibition was on display in the Jarrett Library featuring three Bibles: the Coverdale Bible (1535), the Geneva Bible (1610), and the King James Authorized Version (1611). The exhibition also contained copies of Foxe’s Book of Martyrs (1563), The Whole Works of W. Tyndall (1574), and The Church History of Britain by Thomas Fuller (1655). “Our roots as Baptists are tied to Martin Luther and the 95 Theses. He set in motion a focus on our individual accountability to God and a focus on Scripture as the source of truth for the church,” ETBU Vice President for Academic Affairs Thomas Sanders said. “I hope that the life of Martin



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Luther encourages students, staff, and faculty to recognize the role that they can play in the church. Luther wanted the church to honor God instead of focusing on earthly power and for individuals to experience grace in a way that strengthened their relationship with God.” Without Luther, Tardy, and many men and women like them, the Christian faith would not be what it is today. Certainly, the freedom to learn and worship at a Christcentered college in Marshall would not be possible. Honoring and remembering those that lay the foundation for Christians’ current freedoms while teaching the next generation about these world-changers and influencers is paramount. Lance Fenton, who loaned ETBU many of the historic treasures on display at the Here I Stand exhibit from the Fenton Collection of the Texas Bible Foundation, shared, “We are honored to have the financial ability and desire to be tasked with the preservation of these reminders of the Christian heritage. Our hope is that all were able to come and enjoy the historical pieces and be filled with the Holy Spirit that lives and breathes through the timeless truths of their pages.” Martin Luther became famous for articulating that the Bible alone (Sola Scriptura) could be trusted as authoritative in Christian faith and practice. Luther believed that everything learned, read, or heard about God should be interpreted in light of Scripture. When asked to revoke his teachings, Luther responded, “I cannot choose but adhere to the Word of God, which has possession of my conscience; nor can I possibly, nor will I even make any recantation, since it is neither safe nor honest to act contrary to conscience! Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise, so help me God! Amen.” Just like Luther stood 500 years ago, Tardy stood a little over 100 years ago on Van Zandt Hill and proclaimed “The Lord made this [noble hill] for a college.” Now, many more stand on this Hill and are equipped to become the Christian servant leaders and reformers of tomorrow. “My challenge to you, students, is to think about one thing that really bothers you in the world,” Professor of Religion and Director of Online Religion Programs at Wayland Baptist University Stephen M. Stookey urged during the University’s Reformation 500th anniversary chapel service at ETBU. “Then ask yourself, ‘What is it that really convicts me about this?’ and ‘Do I really have the courage to be a catalyst for change where God has placed me?’ Martin Luther did it and changed the world. You can too.”

Dr. Ryan Berryhill Pastor at FBC Marshall

Dr. Steven M. Stookey Professor of Religion and Director of Online Religion Programs at Wayland Baptist University


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Kilgore College

Tyler Junior College

NEW PATHS Navarro College

UT Health Northeast

Panola College

Youth With A Mission

TO ETBU Trinity Valley Community College

Angelina College

Jacksonville College

Educational partnerships pave the way for more transfer students to receive a Christ-centered education through East Texas Baptist University As a part of the Tiger Transfer Track Program, East Texas Baptist University has broadened its reach by signing articulation agreements with nine partner educational institutions and ministry organizations in an effort to provide increased academic opportunities for transfer students across East Texas. The partnerships provide an accessible and affordable avenue for students to receive a quality, Christcentered education through ETBU. “Transfer students make valuable contributions to the ETBU community. As a community college graduate, I personally know the value of the two-year college experience and how my education prepared me for university study,” ETBU President J. Blair Blackburn shared. “We welcome transfer students to come to ETBU to complete their education beyond their community college associate degree and technical occupational training.” As a result of these partnership agreements, students will be prepared to transfer to ETBU in order to complete their bachelor’s degree. Each agreement will ensure that eligible students and graduates of the community colleges will be able to seamlessly transfer approved courses, receive priority for admission, and be granted priority consideration for scholarships at ETBU. The University will also offer $11,000 each year in academic scholarship support to Phi Theta Kappa honor students. “The challenge of the Texas Higher Education Board to



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create a globally competitive workforce in Texas is all of our responsibilities. This step marks a strategic partnership toward this end,” ETBU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Thomas Sanders said. “We are grateful for this collaborative effort and look forward to the future success of our students and institutions. These agreements allow us to build on students’ previous education and toward the successful completion of an undergraduate degree, helping individuals reach their personal goals and providing a stronger workforce for Texas.” ETBU is actively pursuing partnerships with institutions and organizations including: the University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler, Kilgore College, Jacksonville College, Trinity Valley Community College, Youth With A Mission, Panola College, Navarro College, Angelina College, and Tyler Junior College. East Texas Baptist will continue to establish educational partnerships and further relationships with more institutions committed to the holistic development of students. “The articulation agreement with ETBU will provide our students with additional options as they continue their educational journey, Kilgore College President Brenda Kays shared. Dr. Blackburn clearly understands the purpose of community colleges and knows the value our transfer students can bring to the university environment. We look forward to our partnership with ETBU to further student success.”


Fall 2017


Faculty Spotlight



LaShondra Manning

Assistant Professor Psychology and Sociology Doctor of Philosophy, Counseling Texas A&M University-Commerce Master of Arts, Community Counseling Stephen F. Austin State University Bachelor of Science, Psychology Stephen F. Austin State University



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“After praying for God’s will in my life, He revealed to me that, ‘my gift would make room for me,’ (Proverbs 18:16) and that I did not have to do an intensive search. If I would just stand still and see the salvation of the Lord (Exodus 14:13), my calling would become clear,” Dr. LaShondra Manning shared. “After a period of time, I realized my calling as a counselor and here I am, teaching others how to do something I love.” Dr. Manning graduated from Marshall High School in 2000, earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology in 2004 and Master of Arts in Community Counseling in 2006 from Stephen F. Austin State University, and received a Doctorate of Philosophy in Counseling at Texas A&M University-Commerce in 2016. Before becoming a professor, she served as a professional counselor in private practice for 11 years. “Teaching is rewarding because I have the honor to see students pursue their dreams. It is exciting to witness this growth process and know that I have the ability to impact students’ work with future counseling clients. The reason I became a counselor educator was because of the experiences I had as a graduate student. I had caring professors, who took an interest in me and helped mold me into the counselor I am today. I know that my purpose is to teach and pay forward to my students what my professors gave to me.” She was drawn to East Texas Baptist University in the Spring of 2015, after meeting Dr. Tom Haygood at a counseling conference in Austin, Texas. Dr. Haygood, a former psychology professor at ETBU, invited Dr. Manning to campus upon learning that she is a Marshall native. “Although I was unaware at the time, meeting Dr. Haygood was divine intervention. It was an honor and

blessing to become a professor at ETBU. Throughout my three years at ETBU, I have taught many students that are also from Marshall. I enjoy being able to serve as an example to them that an individual from a small-town can achieve his or her dreams.” Motivated to instruct the upcoming generation, Dr. Manning seeks to create a learning environment where students feel comfortable and safe to ask questions, challenge traditional practice, and begin a life-long quest for endless knowledge. “Counselors make a difference in the lives of others, but that difference begins with the teacher-student relationship. If I can help to transform students into ethical counselors with empathy, unconditional positive regard, and empirically-based counseling techniques, I have done my job and contributed to the field of counseling. I enjoy providing examples from my previous counseling experiences as a model of how the profession should be executed in an ethical manner within a diverse society. I find joy in knowing that I am still impacting clients, now indirectly, by preparing their future counselors.” By relating biblical principles and Scripture to the way that counselors should relate to their clients and client issues, Dr. Manning emphasizes the importance of integrating faith into the profession and into students’ lives as they execute the calling God has for them. “I aim to be congruent, genuine, and authentic as God made me because as His vessel, that’s what students will see in the classroom and clients will see in counseling sessions. It is in the acceptance of myself and how Jesus died on the Cross for my sins that keeps me grounded, humble, and capable to do my job as His servant in life and at work.”



before February 15


after February 15


Conference events include corporate worship, preaching, Bible studies, concerts, breakout sessions, and dessert fellowships. During your stay, enjoy our on-campus housing in a spectacular residence facility and delicious meals in ETBU’s Dining Hall.


The Isaacs

Scot Cameron

The Foto Sisters

SPEAKERS INCLUDE: Dr. David Hardage, Executive Director, Baptist General Convention of Texas Dr. Ron Lyles, Senior Pastor, South Main Baptist Church, Pasadena Dr. Bob Utley, Retired ETBU Religion Faculty, Bible Lessons International

Register Now

REGISTRATION: Contact the ETBU Office of Advancement Hilltop hilltopu@etbu.edu 903.923.2068 etbu.edu/sac18

Fall 2017




Under first year Head Coach Scott Highsmith, the ETBU football team had their third straight winning season for the first time in program history, finishing the season with a 7-3 record, which included a 68-35 win over Louisiana College, to retain “The Border Claw.” Sophomore quarterback Brian Baca broke the ETBU single-game record for passing yards (659) and passing touchdowns (7) in a game. Junior Richard Johnson also broke his own record for single-season touchdowns (14) and Ty Parsons broke the single-season tackles record (122) and partnered with Caleb Taylor to become the first linebacker duo at ETBU to each have over 100 tackles in a season. ETBU had 11 players garnish ASC honors, including Kentavious Miller being named Co-Freshmen of the Year and Baca being named to the ASC Outstanding Sportsman Team.

Volleyball finished in third place in the ASC East Division under second year Head Coach Keely Peterson. Their overall record was 13-19 and included an upset win over #13 UT-Dallas at Ornleas Gymnasium. ETBU also earned a 3-2 victory over Hardin-Simmons University in the ASC Tournament. Seven players earned ASC awards, including Paige Miller, Elyse Shaw, Allison Sevening, Abby Weaver, Natalie Coburn, Karina Lay, and Meredith Augsburger. Weaver was voted the ASC East Sportsmanship Athlete of the Year.



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MEN’S SOCCER Head Coach Chris Crawford led the men’s soccer team to win six matches and finished out the season strong by going 2-1-1 with wins over Louisiana College and Howard Payne. Other wins included a 3-0 shutout against Hendrix, a 3-2 win against Millsaps and a 4-3 non-conference victory against Howard Payne. Bryant Botello garnered ASC Co-Defensive Player of the Week. In addition, four players were honored with ASC awards including Daniel Ritter, Max Ponticiorvo, Travis Atkinson, and Jordan Burke.



Under second year Head Coach Erik Solberg, the women’s soccer team finished the season with a program record 13 wins. This included a seven-match winning streak, which featured a 1-0 win over the University of Texas Tyler. ETBU also made history when they defeated NCAA Division I opponent Alcon State 4-1. With a fourth place finish in the American Southwest Conference, ETBU hosted a first-round tournament match for the first time since 2005. For their great season, seven players earned All-ASC awards, including Ashleigh Rondon, who was named Freshmen Offensive Player of the Year, and Kibriana Bonner, who was named Freshmen Defensive of the Year. Also receiving ASC honors were Hannah Murin, Heather Brady, Megan Friend, Kristi Freund, Claire Montondon, Bonner, and Rondin.

The men’s and women’s cross country teams, under the guidance of Head Coach Natalie Bach-Prather, produced many personal bests this season. Both teams finished in sixth place at the American Southwest Conference Championships. On the men’s side, Mack Broussard set a program record for the fastest 8K during the annual ETBU home meet. He also finished fourth at the ASC Championship meet earning All-ASC First Team. Broussard and Beau Billings advanced to the NCAA Regional meet, along with Melissa Kinder, who finished in 23rd place at the ASC Championships. This was the fifth consecutive season that ETBU has had runners compete at the NCAA Regional meet.

HOCKEY The ETBU Ice Hockey team is in the middle of their second season and have a 13-3 record, with wins over Texas State, Texas A&M, TCU, UNT, Dallas Baptist, Auburn, and SMU. The Tigers currently have a 10 game winning streak, with games remaining against Texas, UTEP, and SMU. Freshmen Riley Knott from Edmonton, Alberta, is leading the team with 51 points and Michael Garvie, a graduate student from Toronto, Ontario, has 26 goals on the year.


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Student Athlete Profile


ON AND OFF THE COURT ETBU Senior Abby Weaver uses the platform of volleyball to share the gospel of Christ Since Abby Weaver began playing volleyball in fifth grade, she has been committed to work hard and excel. Her talent caught the attention of recruiters at East Texas Baptist University. During the summer after her senior year of high school, she received a call inviting her to visit the ETBU campus. “At that time, I had narrowed down my choices to three schools,” Abby explained. “I anxiously anticipated the visit and was nervous that day. However, as soon as I stepped out of the car, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace. As I continued my tour, I realized that I already felt as though ETBU were my second home.” Throughout her four years at East Texas Baptist, Abby has been a member of the ETBU Volleyball Team. She is an active spiritual campus leader, serving as team captain, President of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and a Leadership Fellow. Abby also holds academic honor society membership in Theta Alpha Kappa (Christian Studies and Theology), Pi Gamma Mu (Social Sciences), and Pi Alpha Theta (History). She is an active member at New Beginnings Baptist Church in Longview. “As a student, being a part of the Lady Tiger Volleyball program has helped me develop time management skills. Not only did I need to push myself on the court, but in the classroom as well. The discipline, work ethic, and desire to improve my performance on the court translated to my life as a student and allowed me to succeed.” The sport of volleyball has enabled Abby to grow as a student-athlete and provides a unique opportunity to express her devotion to the Lord. Whether she is running through drills, encouraging her teammates, or



Fall 2017

Sha’Maal Parrish @Maal_70 Oct 21 @brian_baca made it look so easy today with 600+ yards and 7 TDs #ETBU #beatLC

showing respect to an opponent and referee, Abby has used her sport for ministry and a platform for sharing Jesus. “When I play, I want people to notice something different about my team. I hope others watch us and realize that we play for something bigger than ourselves. Our goal is to glorify God with the talents that He has gifted to us. This sport has taught me how to be a servant leader for the Kingdom and how to put my relationship with the Lord at the forefront of my mind and heart when I complete.” The friendships that she made with her teammates extended beyond the court. Abby lived at the “Flood House,” a student ministry house on campus. The name was inspired by Hosea 6:3, “Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge Him. As surely as the sun rises, He will appear; He will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.” Abby and her roommates host movie and craft nights, team dinners, Bible studies, and prayer times for friends and fellow ETBU students. “My roommates are incredible women of the Lord and have helped create a loving and welcoming environment for all who come over to our campus house. We want the house to be flooded with the Holy Spirit and for people to leave with their cups overflowing. Having roommates that are passionate about the gospel, committed to using their house, sacrificing their time, and willing to do as the Lord says is a genuine testimony to what true community looks like.” Abby’s experiences as an athlete, student, and community leader at ETBU has prepared her for a career in international camp ministry. “Camp is a safe place for youth to step out of their comfort zones, enjoy exciting and creative activities, and learn about the truth of God.” “I have seen lives transformed in this environment and feel called to serve in this capacity overseas, as the opportunity for children to attend Christian camps is scarce in other countries. ETBU has taught me about culture, missions, communication, and how to apply all of these skills when sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. I pray that the Lord will use me for His will and continue to prepare me for the next chapter in my life.”

t_moore_32 Today I played my last football game ever and all the glory goes to God for the opportunity to play this great game. I am eternally grateful for all the great memories, teammates, brothers, coaches, and life lessons I have learned from this game

Krisit Freund @YourBestFreund 31 Oct Come watch @ETBU_WS tonight at 5 for our conference tourney game and my last home game ever! #HALLOWEENPARTY

Sandy Bozzuto @Sanbozz 28 Oct @ETBU_Hockey has their brooms out

again. Congrats on yet another sweep!!!

ETBU_wbsk Morning stretch with Coach Papas before our scrimmage tonight against Wiley College! Come out and support us, tonight at 5:30!

#etbuwbb #LGI


Fall 2017


TENNIS ETBU tennis competed in the ASC Fall Championship and ITA Tournament in September. On the men’s side, Connor Mason and Ty Tarver teamed up to win the ASC “D” Draw Doubles tournament while John Herr won the ASC “E” Draw Singles tournament. On the women’s side, ETBU won seven fall individual championships in the ASC Tournament. Elisa Kendall, Tiffany Stankiewicz, Jullika Seekhieo, Kelly Lewis, and Jabree McClaine all won singles championships while Stankiewicz/Smith and Kendall/Lewis took doubles championships.



The bass fishing team competed in three events in the fall. They finished in fourth place at Lake Ouachita to start their season, followed by a 13th place finish at the Red River Qualifier, and a sixth place finish at the Fort Gibson Lake Qualifier. For the second straight year, ETBU will have a boat competing in the FLW National Championship in 2018, as Colby Simmons and Brandon Barber qualified. Jacob Keith and Brett Clark were also named FLW College Fishing All-Americans for their performance during the 2016-2017 year. ETBU will return to action in January for a FLW qualifier at Sam Rayburn.

The Tiger Cheer and Tiger Pom teams attended the National Cheerleaders Association (NCA) and National Dance Alliance (NDA) collegiate camp at Southern Methodist University in July. Both teams earned a bronze paid bid to compete at Nationals in April 2018. In addition, Tiger mascots Toby, Jonas Satterfield, and Tabby, Lauren Tice, earned All-American bids to compete at the NCA National Championship.



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Domus Victorium–Solus Christus is the vision to build a Home for Champions–for Christ

Alone! Building the ETBU Tiger Softball Clubhouse and enhancing the facilities at Taylor Field will meet the needs of today and the future of a deeply committed Christ-centered athletic program. It is a God-given vision that will require support from ETBU alumni and friends of the University. Join a local Marshall family, who stepped up to the plate to donate a major challenge gift and see your donation matched and multiplied. Each gift, large and small, will advance ETBU Softball’s national prominence and perennial championship contention.



The ETBU Tiger Softball Clubhouse and improved Taylor Field will: • Attract nationwide exposure to ETBU's quality athletic and academic programs • Unite our campus and East Texas community for home games • Host NCAA Regional and Super Regional tournaments • Provide high school playoff opportunities • Offer fall and summer select team host facilities • Emphasize ETBU's winning tradition and commitment to excellence • Bring honor and glory to God through Christ-centered, discipleship-focused sports43 Hilltop Fall 2017

Tigers Serving Others


HELPS REBUILD AFTER HARVEY East Texas Baptist University sent more than 40 students, faculty, and staff to Southeast Texas to partner with First Baptist Church-Nederland, Texas Baptist Men, and Baptist Men of North Carolina in the disaster relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Harvey. The team spent five days during Fall Break in October working to repair homes in the area. “Our teams were able to stand in the gap and make a difference in the midst of turmoil,” ETBU Director of the Great Commission Center Lisa Seeley shared. “The students consistently handled difficult situations with grace and kindness as they ministered to the people impacted by Hurricane Harvey in the Nederland and Port Arthur area.” The group separated into three teams to serve 11 specific families in the Southeast Texas region, removing sheetrock, flooring, interior wood, and personal possessions from homes affected by the flooding. Through this trip, the team saw the effects of the hurricane, heard the stories of neighboring Texans, and offered spiritual and physical support. “I was humbled by the experience,” ETBU Tiger Baseball player Dylan Sumpter confessed. “I was grateful to have the opportunity to talk, mourn, and pray with the families. We were all working for a purpose, with a common goal to reflect Christ. I enjoyed working alongside my teammates and getting to know them on a deeper level.” Although the group was able to put many families on a path toward recovery, they did encounter a setback. After spending one morning attempting to remove mold from a significantly damaged home, an inspector informed the team that the house could not be restored. ETBU Soccer student-athlete Samantha Martinez carried the burden of translating to the homeowner that she would lose her home. This devastating experience served to remind the ministry team that the recovery process is ultimately in the Lord’s hands. “It was an eye-opening experience for all of us,” ETBU Assistant Baseball Coach Kyle Palmer expressed. “To have our players sacrifice their time shows that God is



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working in and through our ETBU students and that He can bring out the best in people through difficult circumstances.” Prior to this mission trip, ETBU was active in helping Hurricane Harvey victims recover from the storm’s destruction, collecting supplies to assist those affected. VP and Director of Athletics Ryan Erwin, Cameron Burger, Larry Northcutt, and Brandon Curran, transported the supplies to First Baptist Church Woodville, which served as a Red Cross evacuation and storm relief center. In addition, the Tiger Bass Fishing and Men’s Basketball teams spent time during the month of September mudding out homes in Lumberton and Port Arthur, Texas. The University will continue to send out disaster relief teams in the coming months and years to meet the needs of hurting people. “Our students are called to serve. That is part of our mission at ETBU,” ETBU President J. Blair Blackburn said. “We want students to understand that it is their responsibility and calling from God to be servant leaders. These mission trips are an opportunity for them to put into practice what they have been taught here at ETBU by sharing the gospel and love of Christ with those who are suffering from the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.”


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ETBU was one of my top schools and my family is very grateful for the scholarships that I have received.

To learn more about how you can support a student like Mehgan Carter through a planned gift, contact the Office of Advancement at 903.923.2071 or advancement@etbu.edu, or visit https://etbu.giftlegacy.com East University Planned Giving 46 Texas Hilltop Baptist Fall 2017

Education is a gift. Pass it on.

Mehgan Carter is a Kinesiology major with a minor in Marketing at East Texas Baptist University. Encouraged by her coach and compelled by a call from the Lord, she traveled from Houston to study in Marshall. “I have developed close friendships and enjoyed being a student here. I play intramural basketball and am involved in the Baptist Student Ministry,” Mehgan shared. “After graduation, I want to work in the corporate world. My goal is to pursue a degree in Sports Marketing and work for a sports organization such as Nike.”

Attending ETBU was made possible for Mehgan with the help of scholarships funded by generous donors. “ETBU was one of my top schools and my family is very grateful for the scholarships that I have received. My parents walk alongside the Lord and trusted in God that He would provide.” Mehgan Carter (‘18)



Fall 2017


Alumni Feature


ETBU Young Alumnus Jacob Richardson expresses how networking in the ETBU community is about being committed to Christ

I have the confidence to confront any challenge, knowing I am equipped from my education at ETBU. JACOB RICHARDSON (‘07) 48


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Jacob Richardson (’07) shared,“The most rewarding aspect of being an East Texas Baptist University alumnus is that I learned how to be set apart as a Christian in the professional world and ten years later, I am still able to apply the training I received. I grew in my faith, met my wife, and made life-long friendships that I enjoy to this day. I am still being blessed by my experiences and am thankful that God led me to this wonderful place.” Richardson is originally from Panola, Texas and grew up hearing about East Texas Baptist University. Influenced by ETBU Alumni, such as Rick McGee (’88), Cory Perkins (’00), and Cortney Beall Thomas (’95), Jacob was led to consider the University for further study. Once he graduated from Elysian Fields High School in 2003, Jacob visited campus for Tiger Day. “Looking back on the process of applying to ETBU, I can only describe the experience as God’s provision. From the moment I stepped on campus, the Hill felt like home. Although I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to attend ETBU due to the cost, God provided a financial aid package that made attending the University less expensive than any other school on my list. It became clear that I was supposed to be at ETBU.” While enrolled, Jacob had the opportunity to build close relationships with various professors on campus. The personalized and practical instruction that he received allowed him to learn from his mistakes in a safe environment and prepare for realistic scenarios. “During my time at ETBU, the Dean of the School of Business Charles Williams made a difference in my life. I visited his office my sophomore year to switch my major, as I was not performing well. He saw something in me and invested in helping me discover my calling. Through his teaching and mentorship, I flourished in the School of Business, making the Dean’s List with Honors for each of my remaining semesters. Now, I have the confidence to confront any challenge, knowing I am equipped from my education at ETBU.” After graduating from ETBU with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Jacob earned his Master of Business Administration from Stephen F. Austin State University in 2011, and Juris Doctor from South Texas College of Law Houston in 2015. Currently, Jacob is an attorney in the process of building his own law firm that specializes in business litigation, transactional practice for business, real estate, and estate planning. In addition, he serves as Counsel for the Murrah & Killough Law Firm in Houston. “Recently, I was communicating with an older attorney regarding his overflow work. In our discussions, it came apparent that he was a graduate of ETBC. Through our shared experience at East Texas Baptist, he took me under his wing to provide helpful advice. I am grateful for

his guidance and am more successful because of the connection.” East Texas continues to be a home for Jacob and his family. His wife, Kelli Pruitt Richardson (’09) received a degree in Communication and served as a middle school journalism teacher, yearbook instructor, and cheer coach. She now stays at home to raise their daughter, Kate and Carter, who is on the way. In the Fall of 2017, Jacob and Kelli became the youngest alumni in institutional history to be honored with Golden Blazers for the sacrifices they made to help their alma mater. “The Lord laid it on our hearts to give back to a place that has been such a blessing in both of our lives. We have made a commitment to support ETBU in whatever capacity is needed. Whether through financial donations or serving on the Young Alumni Council, we are passionate about staying connected and building the alumni network. Our vision for East Texas Baptist University is that Christ remains the center and that the institution would expand its reach both locally and internationally to impact students across the world with the gospel.”


Fall 2017


jerry245 @jerry245 11 Oct

I’m very thankful for having the opportunity to attend this amazing school and meeting such great people! Thank you to all the donors who help provide this opportunity #ETBUtagday


T. Brandon LeBlanc @btxleblanc 11 Oct We cannot thank the donors enough for their contribution to East Texas Baptist University. We love our Home on the Hill! #ETBUTAGDAY

MissyB @Missy_Barron 11 Oct So many wonderful reminders around campus to live out His calling for our lives. #ETBUTAGDAY

Jonathan Manriquez @Man... 11 Oct S/o to donors for helping provide new uniforms to the marching band and helping the marching and jazz band to be successful! #ETBUTAGDAY

brookie.grant The Grant’s are thankful for the donors who made our ETBU experience possible! From the generosity of scholarships to the wonderful facilities provided to the beautiful statues around campus, we are constantly reminded of our loving and faithful Jesus. ETBU would not be the same without y’all!!! #ETBUTAGDAY



Fall 2017


East Texas Baptist University hosted the inaugural ETBU Thank a Giver (TAG) Day on Wednesday, October 11. Signs were marked around the campus, standing as visual reminders that donor generosity contributed to the life of East Texas Baptist as it is today. “ETBU TAG Day allowed students the opportunity to share their appreciation to our donors through social media,” ETBU Vice President for Advancement Scott Bryant shared. “Students were encouraged to pose at their favorite places on campus in front of the signs. With a caption and the coined hashtag, #ETBUTAGDAY, students expressed their gratitude to our donors on a creative platform.”


l a i c o S










ETBUsports Hilltop

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Accent on Alumni UPDATES 1960s

Murray (’83), pictured with her at the ribbon cutting. “She loved those kids and I watched as one after another ran up to hug her tonight. What an impact she made, and what a legacy!”

Carolyn Wilkinson (’67) pictured with the Men’s Tiger Basketball team as they spent their fall break helping in the recovery efforts of Hurricane Harvey at her home church, First Baptist, Nederland. Dr. Glenda (Langford) Nelson (’60) was inducted into the Carthage Independent School District Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame on October 27, 2017. Glenda is a 1957 graduate of Carthage High School. She is pictured here with ETBU Development Officer, Brad Mashburn, on the night she was inducted. 1980s Karen (Hargis) Young (’83) was honored by the Marshall Independent School District for her 26 years of service as “Coach Young.” As the new Davy Crockett Elementary School opened this year, the ribbon cutting on the Coach Karen Young Gymnasium took place. “While this was her career, it was also her ministry,” said Young’s ETBC classmate and friend, Sherree



Fall 2017

1990s What are the odds that two ETBU Alums would run into each other in Wyoming? Lisa (Burson) Wright (’91) and Cas Webster (’02), both from Texas, had never met, but both

were sporting their ETBU gear while vacationing. They snapped this picture to show their Tiger Pride! Terri (Vandagriff) Cassels (’96) shares her Tiger Pride with her kindergarten class at Cain Elementary in Whitehouse. Cassels adopted her

alma mater as a part of “No Excuses University” and taught her class an ETBU cheer as they faithfully wear blue and gold every Monday to show their love for the ETBU Tigers! Cassels said that as an alumnae, she is excited and proud to represent ETBU on her campus and in her classroom! Julie Roberts (’97) accepted the role of Director of Communications with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 2000s Allison Benson (’00) was promoted to Assistant Vice President of the Technology Department at Texas Bank

& Trust. Brock Gill (’00) was recently featured

in CCM magazine highlighting his career as one of this generation’s leading illusionists and promoting him as the main speaker on the first annual Big Church Night Out Tour this fall, featuring Newsboys, Sidewalk Prophets, and more of Christian music’s top artists. Nicholas Haas (’02) won a once-ina-lifetime sweepstakes through Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc., when at the urging of his wife, Abbey, Nicholas guessed how many baseballs Old Dominion had filled their one-of-a-kind see-through trailer with. Over 51,000 MLB fans put in guesses, but Nicholas made the winning guess and received tickets to the next three World Series. Nicholas played baseball for ETBU from 1998-2002. Nicholas and Abbey, pictured here, are expecting a baby in December. Jonathan M. Kraemer (’02) and his wife, Michelle, coauthored The Band Director’s Guide to Success, published by Oxford University Press. After graduating from ETBU, Jon moved to Lubbock, where he

Music Theory and his Ph.D. in Musicology from Texas Tech University. He has served as a Minster of Music in various churches and a band director at various high schools, currently as an Assistant Band Director at Abilene High School. Nathan Lorick (’03) was elected executive director of the Colorado Baptist General Convention after serving as the evangelism director for the Southern Baptist of Texas Convention. Benjamin “Benji” Cantu (’04) recently started a job as the Career Counseling Liaison for the College of Education at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville. Jonathan Kaan (’04) is currently serving as a music instructor in piano studies at Kilgore College. Mitchell Erwin (’07), an employee for East Texas Lighthouse for the Blind, was selected as the 2017 Indirect Labor Employee of the Year, and will be the nominee representing The Lighthouse for the National Milton J. Samuelson Career Achievement Award. Nathan Lippens, son of Ben (’07) and Angela (Myers) Lippens (’05) and new member of the ETBU Tiger Club. Nathan turned eight years old and is showing off his Tiger Club shirt as he graduated out of the Cub Club. 2010s Cody Mather (’13) is now serving as the high school pastor at First Baptist Church in Hendersonville, TN. Lauryn McCurry (’13) was recently appointed as Athletic Trainer at Houston Methodist Hospital. Donnie De La Cruz and wife, Lucy (Elston, ’13), have been called to serve as pastor of Dumplin Baptist Church in

New Market, TN. Roommates their freshman year of college and teammates on the Lady Tiger basketball team at ETBU, Amanda Rucker (’15) and Jessica Shans (’15) faced off against each other this fall, this time as coaches. Amanda is the head coach for the Quitman Lady Bulldogs basketball team and Jessica is the head coach for the Overton Lady Mustangs.

BIRTHS Wes (’03) and Rhonda (Parker) Hinote (’03) welcomed their third child, Cambridge Kay “CamiKay” to their family in February 2017. CamiKay joins big sisters, Cadence and Kylie. Blake Coleman (’04) and his wife Katherine welcomed their first child, Charlotte Ruby, into their lives in March 2017. Charlotte weighed 7 pounds, .05 ounces, and is filled with joy. The Colemans live in Cypress with grandparents close by! Katie (King) Soape (‘14) and husband, Joel, welcomed daughter, Jordyn, into their family in August 2017. She joins big sister, Kingsley.

DEATHS 1930s James William Bradford, College of Marshall class of 1938, passed away on September 1, 2017. 1940s Johnny Barkett (’47) passed away on September 24, 2017. Merna (Hatchel) Harwell (attd ’47) passed away on September 28, 2017. Sadie Jane (Dunkle) Huffman (’49) passed away on May 25, 2017. 1950s Dr. Bill C. Morgan (’50) passed away on June 8, 2015. His wife, Lettie (attd. ’48), joined him in heaven on September 5, 2016. A memorial service celebrating their lives was held in July 2017. Joseph Paul Smith (’50) passed away on September 23, 2017. He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Mary Ann (Hawkins), who was his sister’s suitemate at ETBC. Robert Lancaster (’50) passed away on October 30, 2017. J. W. “Salty” Stevens (attd. ’50) passed away on June 21, 2017. He served as president of the Iron Workers Union Local 263. LTC Morris C. Frost (Ret.) (’53) passed away on May 30, 2017. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Ada (Moyers, 63). Joyce (Brown) Hume (’55) passed away on January 26, 2017. Doris (Feltman) Bilderback (attd. 57) passed away on June 12, 2017. She is survived by her husband of 60 years, Carl Bilderback (’57). Margaret (Rhinehart) Perry (’57) passed away on December 13, 2016. 1960s Rev. Samuel Earl Taylor (’61) passed away on October 26, 2017. He loved ETBU and served on the Board of Trustees.


Fall 2017


Virginia (Bowman) Cox (’63) passed away on November 15, 2017. J. D. Longlois (’64) passed away on July 12, 2017. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Emma. Robert “Bobby” Shows, husband of Peggy “Jane “ (Terry) Shows (’64) passed away on September 3, 2017. Bobby and Jane had been married 52 years. Bea Williams (’66) passed away on June 19, 2017. Larry W. Osborne (’67) passed away on October 27, 2017. Kay (Birdwell) Asher (’68) passed away on July 21, 2017. Kenneth Cauthen (’69) passed away on August 3, 2017. 1970s Sherry (Goodman) Cockrell (attd. ’70) passed away on February 24, 2017. Sharon (Harkreader) Salazar (attd. ’78) passed away on October 9, 2017. HONORARY ALUMNI Delores Baker, longtime friend and benefactor of ETBU, passed away on November 4, 2017. HONORARY ALUMNI & BOARD OF TRUSTEES Dr. Lonnie “Bo” Pilgrim, former member of the ETBU Board of Trustees and beloved donor, passed away on July 26, 2017. Doris Meyer, beloved donor and mother of ETBU Board of Trustees member, Phillip Meyer, passed away on June 30, 2017. Joy Howell, former member of the ETBU Board of Trustees and beloved donor, passed away on September 10, 2017.

STAY CONNECTED WITH US New Jobs, weddings, births, accomplishments, updates— whatever your news, share it with your ETBU Family. Send to: Alumni Relations East Texas Baptist University One Tiger Drive Marshall, TX 75670 Email:


Update Online: etbu.edu/alumniupdate Allison Peteet Assistant Vice President for Advancement and Director for Alumni Relations



Fall 2017

THANK YOU CHURCHES We would like to thank local churches for their support as we equip Christian servant leaders for God’s call

Airline Drive Church of Christ Bossier City, Louisiana Baptist General Convention of Texas Dallas, Texas Bel Air Baptist Church Marshall, Texas Bethesda Baptist Church Marshall, Texas Bowen First Church of God Stanton, Kentucky Call Junction Baptist Church Kirbyville, Texas Calvary Baptist Church Talco, Texas Calvary Chapel Frisco, Texas Cathedral of Faith Beaumont, Texas Cedar Grove Baptist Church Carthage, Texas Central Baptist Church Marshall, Texas Centro Cristiano Internacional Lufkin, Texas Church at the Mill Ben Wheeler, Texas Church on the Rock Lufkin, Texas Coffeeville Baptist Church Coffeeville, Alabama College Baptist Church Big Spring, Texas Crossroads Baptist Church Marshall, Texas Cross View Baptist Church Texarkana, Texas Elysian Fields Baptist Church Elysian Fields, Texas Fairdale Baptist Church Hemphill, Texas Faith Tabernacle Church of God Allen, Texas Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church Beaumont, Texas First Assembly of God Texarkana, Texas First Baptist Church Atlanta, Texas First Baptist Church Benbrook, Texas First Baptist Church Bossier City, Louisiana First Baptist Church Burleson, Texas First Baptist Church Center, Texas First Baptist Church Farmers Branch, Texas First Baptist Church Forney, Texas First Baptist Church Franklin, Texas First Baptist Church Gladewater, Texas First Baptist Church Hallsville, Texas First Baptist Church Hamshire, Texas First Baptist Church Henderson, Texas First Baptist Church Huffman, Texas First Baptist Church Jefferson, Texas First Baptist Church Kilgore, Texas First Baptist Church Lake Jackson, Texas First Baptist Church Lewisville, Texas First Baptist Church Lindale, Texas First Baptist Church Logansport, Louisiana First Baptist Church Longview, Texas First Baptist Church Marshall, Texas First Baptist Church Mt. Enterprise, Texas First Baptist Church Mt. Pleasant, Texas First Baptist Church Mt. Vernon, Texas First Baptist Church New Boston, Texas First Baptist Church Pharr, Texas First Baptist Church Port Neches, Texas First Baptist Church Tatum, Texas First Baptist Church Winnie, Texas First United Methodist Church Dublin, Texas First United Methodist Church Sealy, Texas Forest Home Baptist Church Kilgore, Texas Grand Central Church Montgomery, Texas

Green Acres Baptist Church Tyler, Texas Gregg Baptist Association Longview, Texas Harleton Baptist Church Harleton, Texas Iglesia Bautista Victoria en Cristo Fort Worth, Texas Iglesia de Cristo North Tyler, Texas Immanuel Baptist Church Marshall, Texas Jackson Missionary Baptist Church Longview, Texas Jerusalem Baptist Church Longview, Texas Johnson Chapel AME Church Amarillo, Texas Joshua Baptist Church Joshua, Texas Kentuckytown Baptist Church Whitewright, Texas Kerrville Bible Church Kerrville, Texas Key Life Fellowship Porter, Texas Light of the World Christian Church Marshall, Texas Laird Hill Baptist Church Laird Hill, Texas Living Word Teaching Center Haltom City, Texas Magnolia Baptist Church Cleveland, Texas Mobberly Baptist Church Longview, Texas Monument of Faith Breakthrough Ministries Lancaster, Texas Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church Baytown, Texas Nesbitt Baptist Church Marshall, Texas New Hope Baptist Church Marshall, Texas Noel Memorial United Methodist Church Shreveport, Louisiana Oakland Heights Baptist Church Longview, Texas Parkway Fellowship Richmond, Texas Pinecrest Baptist Church Silsbee, Texas Prairie Baptist Church Cleveland, Texas Progressive Missionary Baptist Church Houston, Texas Ramah Missionary Baptist Church Tenaha, Texas Rangerville Church of Christ San Benito, Texas Rosehill Baptist Church Texarkana, Texas Rosevine Church of God Hemphill, Texas Second Baptist Church San Antonio, Texas Second Chance Temple of Deliverance Ministries Shreveport, Louisiana Second Union Baptist Church Alexandria, Louisiana Shiloh Terrace Baptist Church Dallas, Texas Shreveport Community Church Shreveport, Louisiana St. John Baptist Church San Antonio, Texas St. Patrick’s Cathedral New York, New York Tabernacle Baptist Church Ennis, Texas Tate Springs Baptist Church Arlington, Texas The Church of Uncertain Karnack, Texas The Fountain of Praise Houston, Texas The Joy Church Marshall, Texas The Living Well Church Arlington, Texas The Way Church McAllen, Texas The Way of Life Church Pearland, Texas Trinity Baptist Church San Antonio, Texas Trinity Episcopal Church Marshall, Texas Trinity United Methodist Church Ennis, Texas Triumph the Church and Kingdom of God in Christ Center, Texas Vanderbilt Baptist Church Tyler, Texas Victory Baptist Church Marshall, Texas Wesley Chapel C.M.E. Church Princeton, Louisiana West Conroe Baptist Church Conroe, Texas Woodland Hills Baptist Church Longview, Texas


Fall 2017


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