Hilltop | Winter 2020

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Also Inside: ETBU Chick-fil-A opens Unveiling of "My Brother's Keeper" Memorial


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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.

Writers Sydney McBride Communication Coordinator Emily Roberson Director of Alumni Relations and Advancement Communication Josh Bumpas Bailey Byas (’19) Ashley Schenck (’19) Designers Julie Baugus Design Coordinator Will Edwards Digital Media Coordinator Shannon Page (’99) Web Development Coordinator Katy Harmon (’19) Graduate Assistant Photographers Julie Baugus James Coreas Will Edwards Katy Harmon Caleb Kwok (’19) Mason Hays Carleigh Walker University Leadership Dr. J. Blair Blackburn President Dr. Thomas Sanders Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Scott Bryant Vice President for Advancement Dr. Heather Hadlock Vice President for Student Life Ryan Erwin Vice President for Athletics Lee Ferguson Vice President for Financial Affairs Academic Leadership Dr. Joseph D. Brown Dean, Frank S. Groner School of Professional Studies



Managing Editor Becky Davis (’18) Assistant Vice President for Marketing and Communication

Adopted by ETBU Board of Trustees May 5, 2017

Dr. Rebekah Grigsby Dean, School of Nursing Dr. Colleen Halupa Dean, Online Learning Dr. John L. Harris Dean, School of Christian Studies Dr. Barry Evans Dean, Fred Hale School of Business Elizabeth Ponder Dean, Library Services Dr. Emily Prevost Assistant Provost Dr. John Sargent Dean, School of Education Dr. Laurie Smith Dean, School of Natural and Social Sciences



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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, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn


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Contents 4



Reaffirmation of Accreditation ETBU Welcomes Dr. Beth Moore to Her Home on the Hill Moore urges graduates that 'your time is now' at Fall 2019 Commencement


14 ETBU Chick-fil-A Opens on Campus


16 Out of the Ashes Nigerian Archbishop Benjamin Kwashi shares

why we should risk our lives for the Gospel

18 Student Profile | More Than an Education International student Minh Vong finds Christ and changes the course of his life 24 Faculty Spotlight | Discovering a Divine Calling ETBU Assistant Professor of Communication

Dr. Angela Anima-Korang blends research with communication studies


28 Building on a Strong Foundation God's provision continues to improve the student experience

through renovation and expansion

36 Fall Sports Highlights


42 Breaking Barriers Tiger Spirit Teams ignite hearts for Christ in Japan

50 ETBU Unveils My Brother's Keeper Statue

55 Alumni Feature | An Endless Song ETBU Professor Jim Moore invests in students

through music


Homecoming 2019


ETBU King and Queen share hometown ties to Marshall, Tiger spirits unite during homecoming festivities

66 Accent on Alumni

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





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“For this reason I remind you to FAN INTO FLAME

the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.” 2 Timothy 1:6

Re/•rēəˈfərm af•firm /

to affirm again especially as to strengthen or confirm to state again as a fact to assert again strongly; to confirm the validity or correctness of (something previously stated)

In a culture that is counter to the Christ-centered mission of ETBU, the University is thriving. The reaffirmation of accreditation for a higher education institution is a comprehensive and technical, yet cumbersome, process. Reaffirmation requires the detailed work of many individuals and years of preparation. This fall, on December 10, the University received confirmation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) that ETBU was in compliance with all 75 standards and 25 policies to reaffirm accreditation with no recommendations. “It is a rare occurrence for a school to have no recommendations,” Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Thomas Sanders said. “I want to express my sincere gratitude to God for this remarkable result. While our team worked incredibly hard and made wise decisions, the end result is surely the work of a mighty God. I am blessed to work with a president and a cabinet who supported the work of reaffirmation, but Bryan Fitts, Dr. Emily Prevost, and Dr. Marty Warren deserve our appreciation for their leadership. Without this reaffirmation, we could not carry out the Christian mission of ETBU. Thanks to God and our incredibly gifted team.” SACSCOC is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern United States. The Commission’s mission is the enhancement of education quality throughout the region and the improvement of the effectiveness of institutions by ensuring that they meet standards established by the higher education community that address the needs of society and students. Accreditation by SACSCOC signifies that the institution (1) has a mission appropriate to higher education, (2) has resources, programs, and services sufficient to accomplish and sustain that mission, and (3) maintains clearly specified educational objectives that are consistent with its mission and appropriate to the degrees its offers, and that indicate whether it is successful in achieving its stated objectives.


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While our team worked incredibly hard and made wise decisions, the end result is surely the work of a mighty God. DR. THOMAS SANDERS PROVOST, ACADEMIC AFFAIRS 6


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“Following years of preparation, including planning meetings, training workshops, effectiveness review sessions, policy/procedure evaluations, volumes of writing, continual edits, and prayer—much prayer, we are grateful to God for the blessing of reaffirmation that we worked so hard to achieve,” ETBU President J. Blair Blackburn said. “In our personal lives and in our professional callings at ETBU, we serve under the authority of Christ, first and foremost. Let us step forward in faith with the confidence of our calling to serve the Kingdom of God as His disciples and as His Christ-centered University. We acknowledge and appreciate the important work of our peers in higher education to support our commitment to the Gospel mission for which God founded this institution in 1912 and for which He compels us to carry forth today and tomorrow.” In reflecting on the ways that God has blessed East Texas Baptist University over the years, we return to the innumerable opportunities He has given us to allow our students to flourish and be nurtured by the Word of God. As the Apostle Paul reminds us in 2 Timothy 1:6, “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.” “To fan the flame, we must teach and equip our students to serve Jesus with a fiery passion. When we fan a flame, we give the flame more fuel, more energy in the hopes it will burn more intensely,” Dr. Blackburn said. “Likewise, God’s gifts to us must be fueled by His grace through our prayer, faith, obedience, and diligence. We must use these gifts to fan the flame of the students God has set before us at ETBU. I believe that everyone who has a hand in making ETBU what it is today are the Lord’s instruments, His agents to help students know Christ, grow in Christ, and show Christ to those around them, and for that I am eternally grateful.” In that vein, ETBU continues to strive to create new forms of community for our students including the Thrive Initiative, the University’s new Quality Enhancement Program. Thrive connects students with faculty and staff, who mentor them and keep them accountable in their relationships with God and others. “Every student has a place to be involved in the life of the community. We all have something to give and it doesn’t matter what we look like or where we came from, our gift or our major, we all have a way we can serve,” Assistant Provost Dr. Emily Prevost said during her chapel message to students. “When we choose to serve and be connected to the community, to offer our gifts to those around us, we have the opportunity to thrive.” The Oaks on Grove Townhomes have given

students a new place to connect with one another in camaraderie, while the exciting new Chick-fil-A on campus will foster enhanced engagement with the Marshall community. The Tiger family continues to increase in number, students are finding new ways to edify one another through our Thrive mentorship program. This Winter 2020 issue of The Hilltop showcases the empowerment of generations of students to become ambassadors of His Word, both at home and abroad. Dozens of students discovered their call to ministry during our annual Calling Conference, dedicating their lives to using their voice for His purposes. Thanks to generous donations from our beloved benefactors, the ETBU School of Nursing in the newly renovated Marshall Grand continues to commission quality nurses as the hands and feet of the Gospel in hospitals around the country. The Chapel on the Hill will soon stand as another institutional icon and symbol of our faith in Jesus, as future Tigers gather to celebrate love and life under its steeple. Tigers have traveled thousands of miles around the world to bring God’s love to the people of over twenty countries through the Tiger Athletic Missions Experience (TAME) and the Global Study and Serve Initiative. God has given this University incredible opportunities to help students who are called to the Hill thrive spiritually, emotionally, and academically. ETBU rejoices in light of the flawless reaffirmation of accreditation, and the Tiger family remains committed to proclaiming God’s truths and equipping His disciples.


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Moore urges graduates that 'your time is now' at Fall 2019 Commencement “Ours is not only a God of time, ours is a God of timing," author and speaker Beth Moore said. "You have been sent not to be of the world, but to be in this world, to serve faithfully in the name of Jesus. To be alert, to be astute, to be brave, to be bold in love and truth.” East Texas Baptist University presented 134 graduates during the Fall 2019 Commencement ceremony. ETBU President J. Blair Blackburn presided over the ceremony as 100 students received undergraduate degrees and 34 received graduate degrees. “East Texas Baptist University is committed to being a distinctively Christ-centered University, dedicated to glorifying God by transforming students into Christian servant leaders through their time here on the Hill,” Dr. Blackburn said. “It is our prayer that our graduates use their intellectual and spiritual gifts to transform the world for the glory of God in their vocational callings.” Special guest and recognized Christian author and speaker Beth Moore traveled to the Hill to present the keynote address during the ceremony. With a love for writing and a call to Kingdom work, Beth Moore boasts an extensive career in Christian ministry including the founding of Living Proof Ministries, published discipleship books and Bible studies, and she can even be seen teaching on the television program Living Proof with Beth Moore, aired on the Trinity Broadcasting Network. During her address, Moore encouraged graduates to embrace the timing of their endeavors, fully serving God for the sake of their generation. “What we are doing today is called a commencement. Commence means to begin, to start. We don’t always have the luxury of knowing that a brand new beginning is in front of us; that change is in the wind and that the wind is a hurricane. You do have that luxury in this moment,” Moore said. “You are of this generation on divine purpose, in this current culture. You are carriers of the Gospel, and you have been called to speak into this generation. Graduates, go therefore and invade the globe, embrace your new beginning. You will find that Jesus, who you were once taught was the one and only, as it turns out, is your one and only. You will find that all along, you had what it took. You had Jesus. And He will hold you fast.”



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On behalf of East Texas Baptist University, Dr. Blackburn presented Moore with an Honorary Doctor of Letters for her impact on countless lives in our nation and around the world through Christian ministry. “We believe this is the time to recognize the ways that God has used and will continue to use Beth Moore’s gifts, and we believe that she serves as a model among women and men for our University community to be obedient to God’s call and to serve Him even in the face of opposition,” Dr. Blackburn emphasized. “Most assuredly, Dr. Moore, we recognize it is your time for God. We see, hear, and discern the empowerment of the Holy Spirit’s anointing on you to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to encourage believers in their discipleship and spiritual development.” Each commencement, the President’s Award is given to the graduating ETBU student who is the best representation of a Christian leader, scholar, and servant. Graduating Magna Cum Laude, ETBU Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology graduate Landin Brown received the President’s Award for his commitment to Christ in the classroom, on the basketball court, across campus, and throughout the community. While at ETBU, Brown has spent many hours volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club of Marshall and Marshall Junior High School. He is an active member of Greater Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church. Brown was recognized as a leader on campus as part of Leadership Fellows and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Brown has served as a captain of the Men’s Basketball Team, where he has been identified as an influential and encouraging spiritual leader among his teammates. “Coming out of high school, I didn’t know if I was going to go to college,” Brown said. “I knew if I went to college, I wanted to play basketball, but I didn’t have an offer at the time. My mentor encouraged me and told me to never give up on my dream, and that’s how I was called to ETBU. This University has prepared me to thrive by giving me the opportunity to be a servant leader.” The ceremony included speaking parts from several students, one of which was ETBU Bachelor of Science in Speech Communication Graduate Lucas Pritchett, who gave the invocation. Graduation featured readings of the ETBU theme verses, Proverbs 3:5-6 and Matthew 28:1920, led by ETBU Bachelor of Science in University Studies graduate Ana Ascencio. “A degree from ETBU means that I have completed a Christ-centered education for my future, and I will forever be grateful for that,” Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication graduate Claire Alexander said. “I chose to stay at ETBU to pursue a master’s degree and to continue to be part of a University that has truly cared about my success in and out of the classroom since my first day on the Hill.” In addition to the traditional musical performances


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during the ceremony, award-winning musician and ETBU Bachelor of Applied Science in Business Studies graduate Curtis Grimes gave a special performance of his song Born to Die. In 2018 at the Texas Country Music Awards, Grimes was named “Male Vocalist of the Year," recognized as “Christian Artist of the Year,” and received “Christian Country Song of the Year.” In 2019, he took home the “Entertainer of the Year” award as well as the “Christian Song of the Year” for the second consecutive year. “I reconnected with my youth minister from several years ago while his son was attending ETBU. I told him my status and that I was interested in going back to school, so he referred me to ETBU,” Grimes said. “My wife, Brooke (’19), and I had the same schedule and took the same classes, so we had each other as accountability and study partners. I always tell everybody that I’ve been to several colleges over the years, and this one is by far the best in every aspect. I hope our kids end up going to school here too. It’s been a great experience.” ETBU offers 11 graduate and 43 undergraduate degree programs to develop Christian servant leaders, and celebrated the University’s second-highest enrollment during the Fall 2019 semester. While East Texas Baptist continues to see increased enrollment, its mission of providing a transformational, Christ-centered education and commitment to helping students succeed remains constant. “East Texas Baptist first awarded associate degrees in 1919 and bachelor’s degrees in 1945,” Provost Thomas Sanders shared of ETBU's history. “Commencement is a special time in the life of a university. It is an event that celebrates the relationship between students and faculty. It is also a time for both the University and the families of the graduates to join in pride and celebration of these new ETBU alumni.”

You are of this generation on divine purpose, in this current culture. You are carriers of the Gospel, and you have been called to speak into this generation. Graduates, go therefore and invade the globe, embrace your new beginning. DR. BETH MOORE CHRISTIAN AUTHOR AND SPEAKER Hilltop

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Oh, there will be other names, many names, but there is no other name like

this Name.

There is no other Jesus and no better version of Jesus than right there in the pages of the four canonical Gospels. It is this, and only this Jesus, that God

raised from the dead and seated at His right hand. Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, Ephesians 1 claims, far above every name that has ever been or will ever be named, for this Jesus has no peer, no devil or demon, no angel or man, no dictator, no Prime Minister, no Cabinet, no Senate, no President, no Congress, no cavalry, no weaponry, no scrutiny, no mutiny, no corporate head, no boss, no web, no entity or celebrity, no principality or power, can boast

in His presence. Lord of all. He is the undefeatable, incorruptible, uncontainable, unstoppable

God seated this Jesus at His right hand and put all things under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the Church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills



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all in all.

During her Commencement address to ETBU's Fall 2019 Graduates Saturday, December 7, 2019 Hilltop

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hick-fil-A is easily among the most successful restaurant chains in the US. From its distinctively delicious chicken, to the distinguishing customer service, crowds continue to line up for the Chick-fil-A experience, complete only when the phrase “my pleasure” is spoken and the iconic chicken is handed over. Except, the experience is far from over, because patrons will likely be lining up again tomorrow. The new Chick-fil-A on East Texas Baptist University’s campus, located inside the Ornelas Student Center, served its first customers in January. “We are so excited to reveal Chick-fil-A in Marshall, here at ETBU,” ETBU President J. Blair Blackburn said. “In a partnership with Sodexo, ETBU’s dining service provider, we’ve invested in this project, and we are so grateful that we can now offer America’s favorite restaurant for our campus community. However, this is also for the Marshall community. East Texas Baptist is Marshall’s University, and our doors are open for Marshall to come and enjoy this new addition to campus.” Construction of the new restaurant was completed in record time, just seven weeks, in order to be up and running in time for the start of the Spring 2020 semester. ETBU crews worked hand-in-hand with Ross Slone of Slone Construction in Marshall to get the job done. “We were able to meet with Chick-fil-A, and their architects designed the restaurant to fit in our space,” ETBU Director of Construction Cameron Burger said. “Without the help of our general contractor from Slone Construction, the University staff, and Chick-fil-A, we wouldn’t have been able to complete the project in such a timely manner and with such excellence.” The restaurant hours of operation are Monday through Thursday 7:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., Friday 7:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., and closed on Sundays. “It is amazing how the students are going to get to enjoy having this on campus,” ETBU Board of Trustees Member Dr. Billy Foote said. “I can’t even begin to tell you what this place



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means to me. I get teared up quite often just thinking about it, so to be a part of what’s going on and to see the school continue to flourish, it’s incredible.” Not only will the restaurant provide additional food options for anyone looking for the coveted waffle fries, but the construction and opening of Chick-fil-A is already having a positive impact on the economy of Marshall through hiring mostly local contractors. “The $1,000,000 construction project, and these remarkable job opportunities to serve with such a reputable Christian-owned company has significantly impacted the economic development of our city,” Dr. Blackburn added. “The sales from our Chick-fil-A restaurant add to the tax base for improving Marshall.” ETBU’s pursuit to open the restaurant and Chick-fil-A’s commitment to Christian higher education has created over 40 part-time and full-time jobs for both members of the Marshall community as well as ETBU students. “Our full-time staff will be comprised of members from the community, and our part-time staff will be members from the community as well as ETBU students,” Retail Manager for Chick-fil-A Stephanie Williams said. “I’ve been with

Sodexo for almost ten years, so when my boss asked me if I wanted the management position I was excited. My responsibility is to take care of the whole store, and it’s an honor to have the opportunity to do this.” ETBU Tigers have already begun lining up for food and enjoying the new space for fellowship. ETBU senior Reagan Walker shared her excitement, “It’s great having Chick-fil-A here because not only does it create jobs for students, but it’s a good atmosphere with good food,” Walker said. “We already do a lot of driving back and forth to the Chick-fil-A in Longview, so now it’s really nice to have it on campus.” Those who would like to visit Chick-fil-A in the Ornelas Student Center can find parking in the lot adjacent to campus at the corner of East Avenue and North Grove Street. “It’s wonderful that this restaurant has been brought into the school,” Marshall community member Tom Wynn said. “I think it will have a very positive effect on the community, it’s a good draw to get people to come and see the ETBU campus, it’s good food, and they’ll be around good people. I think the addition will be very positive for the city, the University, and for Chick-fil-A.”


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OUT OF THE ASHES Nigerian Archbishop Benjamin Kwashi shares why we should risk our lives for the Gospel


he flames grew higher and higher, reaching towards the very one at the center of it all. As he stood and watched what he and his family once called home turn to ashes, Archbishop Benjamin Kwashi’s faith remained more powerful than any opposing force, fire, or affliction. He knew, that once the embers smoldered and the smoke cleared, His God was a God of redemption, a God who would take out of the ashes what was meant for evil, and turn it for His good. In a country where our faith practices are built on a foundation of freedom, it can be difficult to imagine the religious persecution experienced by so many across the world. East Texas Baptist University was honored to welcome Archbishop of Jos Province for the Church of Nigeria Benjamin Kwashi and his wife, Gloria, to empower students, faculty, and staff with a testimony of overcoming religious persecution to proclaim the Gospel. Prior to Archbishop’s address, ETBU President J. Blair Blackburn presented Kwashi with a Max Greiner Great Commission Globe Sculpture and Texas State Senator Bryan Hughes presented the couple with a Texas State flag that was flown over the state Capitol in Austin in honor of the Kwashis in acknowledgement of their commitment to living out Jesus' charge from Matthew 28. “On the 12th of March in 1987, more than one hundred Nigerian churches, houses, and businesses were burned down and destroyed. I still carry that around today. I believe, as I tell the children, that on the 12th of March in 1987, I had died. Any other day I get to live is extra time to share the Gospel,” Archbishop Benjamin Kwashi said. “The Gospel does not kill, the Gospel does not steal, the Gospel does not



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lie, and the Gospel does not destroy. The Gospel builds us. The Gospel helps us. And we cannot tell you, that the ways in which you have allowed us to walk into your school and doing so, into your lives, as we share our testimony and seek to encourage you.” The Kwashis have experienced several near-death experiences while sharing the love of Christ in Nigeria. Touched by a growing orphan crisis in Africa, the Archbishop and his wife have adopted and cared for over 60 children. With their visit to ETBU, Benjamin and Gloria Kwashi brought stories and wisdom about the value of living out the Gospel through every circumstance and every trial, and challenged the University community to risk their lives to share about the eternal life found in Jesus. “The children who are orphans might need clothes, they might need a place to stay, but the need I felt the Lord show me was that they need people who would offer their lives to be parents,” Gloria Kwashi said. “The discipline and love that parents should give is what we try to provide these children. God has given us reasons to testify. Looking at us, we have nothing to bring, but for the sake of Christ, we feel honored.” In the Archbishop’s biography, Neither Bomb nor Bullet: Archbishop on the Front Line, by Andrew Boyd, Kwashi shares the compelling story of three different occasions he was almost killed for sharing the Gospel of Christ in Nigeria. “We have a Gospel worth living for and a Gospel worth dying for,” Archbishop Kwashi added. “If we die, we go to be with Jesus, if we live, we work for Jesus. Either way, we lose nothing.”

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International student Minh Vong finds Christ and changes the course of his life


enior business major Minh Vong traveled all the way from his hometown of Ho Chi Minh City in South Vietnam to Marshall four years ago to pursue higher education. He stepped onto ETBU’s campus unsure of his life’s direction, and unfamiliar with college life, while also adjusting to an entirely new country, culture, and set of expectations. ETBU’s International Education program offers students from around the globe the opportunity to attend college in a close Christian community with excellent teaching and a robust, encouraging student life experience. Knowing he wanted to study abroad, but unsure of where to plant his roots, Vong now believes that God drew him to ETBU in order to change the course of his life and faith. “When I came to the United States, I wanted to learn about other cultures and travel the globe, but I wasn’t sure where to go,” Vong shared. "An organization I applied to sent me the schools that would offer me an international scholarship, and even though I had never heard of Marshall, Texas, I felt drawn here for some reason.” Minh’s first semester brought a whirlwind of change. Throughout his freshman year, he recalls overcoming several challenges, including not having a vehicle for transportation, adjusting to the cultural differences, and living in a different



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time zone from his friends and family. “As an international student, you have to be persistent, just keep pushing forward,” he said. “Hanging out with people helped me become better at speaking English. Reaching out to them, interacting with them also helped with being away from my family.” In Vietnam, Christianity is not common. Minh’s family practiced Buddhism, and he did not hear much about the Christian faith before moving to East Texas. However, it was not long before he felt God moving in his life. “I was not a Christian before coming here, so this has been a transformative experience. It started with chapel,” Vong expressed. “I went to chapel and enjoyed the worship, seeing everyone getting so involved in it. Then, my roommates invited me to church. I got to meet new people, improve my English skills, and learn more about God. It just felt right to me. I felt peace, something I had never experienced before.” After accepting Christ, Minh knew his life would never be the same. His fellow Tiger students, professors, and churchgoers have been essential spiritual resources for him. “You never know what tomorrow may bring, but I learned to have faith in God, to trust His plan for my life,” Vong shared. “I also learned to not be afraid to ask questions. The people at ETBU are amazing and will help you with anything you need. The professors have played a part in my spiritual development as well.” Vong continued, “I’m a business major, so when you think about business, it’s all about money. But my professors integrate faith and how to do business, which has helped shape who I am now.” At first, Minh’s family was unsure about his conversion to Christianity, but he says that they accepted it after seeing the peace he found in his relationship with Jesus Christ. Minh has not returned to Vietnam since he came to the States, but he video chats with his family almost every day. “Whenever I feel sad or homesick, I pull out a Bible and read it. It’s comforting to me,” he said. “Because of my new faith in Christ, I have a new family of believers here at ETBU, even though my biological family is in another country.” Minh is involved in Enactus, an organization on campus that teaches business skills and ethics while enabling students to run a small business that gives back to the Marshall community. He is a Resident Assistant in Centennial Hall, ETBU’s freshmen housing complex. He enjoys paying forward the kindness shown to him on campus. “Living in Centennial Hall my freshman year, I felt isolated sometimes,” he shared. “I didn’t know anybody. My RA actively reached out to me, introduced me to people, showed me places on campus and around Marshall. That’s why I wanted to become an RA, I wanted to be that someone that freshmen can come to when they have problems. I can be there for them and help them like the RA helped me.” While Minh’s plans for the future are unclear, he knows

that God will continue to bless him and grow the seed of faith that was planted in his heart since arriving on the Hill. “God has taught me how to be patient and faithful, knowing that all things work together for good,” Vong concluded. “Even though a situation may be difficult, it’s preparing you­—it makes you stronger. God gave me the strength to gain a different perspective, to be positive, caring, and loving to people. He’s given my life a purpose, and I want to be there for people and serve others for Him.”

You never know what tomorrow may bring, but I learned to have faith in God, to trust His plan for my life. I also learned to not be afraid to ask questions. The people at ETBU are amazing and will help you with anything you need. MINH VONG SENIOR BUSINESS MAJOR Hilltop

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One thing that hasn’t changed is the mission, purpose, and focus. That is what’s important. ETBU is focused on Jesus, and cares about both their students and the community. STEPHANIE ANDREWS (’89) MOTHER OF KELSI ANDREWS AND 1989 MISS ETBU 20


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UNITED IN FELLOWSHIP Family Weekend brings families to the Hill for annual tradition


ore than 600 students and their families gathered on the Hill for the 2019 annual Family Weekend festivities including a University-wide Lunch on the Lawn, community service to benefit Mission Marshall, and Tiger Football, as the entire campus united in Christian fellowship for the Glory of God. “The campus was flooded with family members, who came to visit their students and get a glimpse of what life looks like here at ETBU.” Vice President for Student Life Heather Hadlock said. Faculty, staff, students, and families joined together for activities such as Family and Faculty Connection, Alumni Association Floats, and Family Tailgate. “I enjoyed having my family here to meet my friends and coaches,” ETBU basketball player and sophomore elementary education major Zaiah Jackson said. “This is my home away from home and I love celebrating it with my family.” Family Weekend provides the perfect opportunity for students to introduce their loved ones to their new life on campus. Freshman Arthur McDonald’s family traveled all the way from Tampa, Florida. “This is Arthur’s first year in college, but he still calls every day,” Arthur McDonald’s mom, LaSondra McDonald said. “We went to Lunch on the Lawn, enjoyed root beer floats, and went shopping at the bookstore. Arthur showed us around campus; he seems like he is adjusting well and having fun.” The Family Weekend schedule includes Tigers Serve Saturday, a service project for the Marshall community. This year, the Tiger Family donated, packaged, and delivered 2,251 pounds of canned food and other non-perishable items to Mission Marshall. “Tigers Serve was encouraging as I watched families show up to donate,” Dr. Hadlock added. “Having family members model the Christ-centered servant leadership that is key to ETBU’s mission was a blessing to experience.” Stephanie Andrews, the 1989's Miss ETBU Class ’89 attended Family Weekend activities with her daughter, sophomore Music Education major Kelsi Andrews. “ETBU has changed so much, when I was here we had 600 students [now there are over 1,500],” Ms. Andrews said. “One thing that hasn’t changed is the mission, purpose, and focus. That is what’s important. ETBU is focused on Jesus, and cares about both their students and the community.”


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COMMUNITY ETBU hosts 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb, and sponsors Marshall Fire Department's historic bell project

The Marshall Grand external fire escape allowed our first responders to honor the men and women who perished while attempting to save the lives of people they had never met simply because it was their job to do so. RANDY PRITCHARD DEPUTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT COORDINATOR AND ESD 3 BATTALION CHIEF

ETBU is a big part of growing this community and putting Marshall on the map. The outpouring of commitment from ETBU has just been outstanding. I love the University and love being a part of this community. REGGIE COOPER MARSHALL FIRE CHIEF Hilltop

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DISCOVERING A DIVINE CALLING ETBU Assistant Professor of Communication Dr. Angela Anima-Korang blends research with communication studies

All of the research in the world could not satisfy the longing for knowledge she felt inside. Driven by a passion for learning and exploring practical applications for her findings, Dr. Angela AnimaKorang found herself at a crossroads. After completing a bachelor’s degree, two master’s degrees, and a Doctor of Philosophy, the young scholar from Ghana, Africa made the leap from student to instructor, applying her years of study and research to influence and expand the young minds at East Texas Baptist University. “My undergraduate degree was in computer science so going through my thesis, I decided to come up with an e-doctor system from a computer science angle,” Korang said. “During my research, I had to go to the hospital a lot to get information. I found that the communication aspect of diseases was missing. It wasn’t that there wasn’t any information about how you can contract the disease or the services available once you did. It was really about how we had framed the specific disease to be negative. Clearly we were not able to connect the two, so I started thinking about how to make people more aware of the realities.” In order to dive deeper into her findings, Korang decided to continue her academics and research, and pursue a Master of Science in Mass Communication, hoping to find ways to bridge the gap between medical information and how it is relayed to the population. She took the opportunity to move from her home in Ghana and join her family in the United States in 2009. “My family was already in the United States, so it just made sense for me to apply to U.S. schools for my master’s degree,” Korang said. “My sister was in pharmacy school in Illinois, so I chose the school that she was already attending.” After graduating with her first master’s degree, the school she attended did not offer a doctoral



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I’m grateful to be here, but it goes beyond gratitude. It’s a calling. From the first time I stepped on campus, I knew this is where I needed to be. DR. ANGELA ANIMA-KORANG ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF COMMUNICATION


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program in her interest, but her drive to continue the research she had begun led her to seek out new opportunities. “The larger school in a different city had the program. I wanted to go there, but the admission period had already passed,” Korang said. “That’s when I was able to meet the Dean and she told me that someone had dropped out of the program and that the spot could be mine if I was qualified. I applied and the very next week I was accepted into the program. It was a miracle, being in the right place at the right time. Everything was working together for good.” But she didn’t stop there. Upon completing her Ph.D. in Mass Communication and Media Arts, Korang decided to further pursue her research regarding public health issues, leading her to complete a second graduate degree in public health. Her well-rounded educational background provided a solid foundation upon which to build a remarkable teaching career. “I decided to pursue a Ph.D. in Mass Communication because I was interested in doing more research, but the Ph.D. also trains you to teach,” Korang said. “I think I was more drawn to teaching the deeper I got into the program. It was more about knowledge, sharing the knowledge, and having the ability to grow mentally. When you are an instructor, you can still do research. It influences the way you teach. Once you are teaching, you have an amazing opportunity to blend the two." When she reached the turning point of completing her degrees and choosing what career path to take, Korang chose higher education over working in the health care industry. She packed up, made the move to Dallas, and began seeking out teaching opportunities. It was this choice that led her to discover this University on the Hill in Marshall, Texas. “A friend of mine called me and told me about a faculty position at ETBU, so I sent my information to the Dean of the School of Communication and Performing Arts Dr. Tom Webster, and he replied that he was in the area where I was living,” she shared. “It was crazy. We met up at a Starbucks and talked about the job and what ETBU was about. Later I told my mother about it, and she told me that this might be the place for me.” After her initial meeting with Dr. Webster, Korang made her first official visit to Marshall, where she was able to tour campus, meet faculty and students, and get a feel for what life at ETBU would be like. “The students that I met were receptive and engaging. When we were talking, I was thinking ‘this is great, I want to engage with students like these,’” Korang said. “I met some of the faculty, and I really connected with them and felt the Holy Spirit with them. I hadn’t felt that in other schools that I had been



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to. After seeing Baker Chapel and the Patsy Smith Intercessory Prayer Room in Scarborough Hall, I knew that regardless of whatever offer I received, this is where I wanted to be.” Although this is Dr. Anima-Korang’s first time serving as a full-time instructor, her teaching experience dates back to 2014. Over the last five years, she has used her passion for observation and research to improve her methods of engaging with students in the classroom. “Dr. Anima-Korang was always helpful whenever we had questions, and she was always there for us with understanding in any situation,” senior mass communication major Jose Pena said. “Since being in her class, my educational experience at ETBU has improved and I’ve learned so much that I will definitely use in the future.” Department Chair for Communication Studies Dr. Cole Franklin believes that Korang’s breadth of knowledge provides numerous benefits to the classroom including a global perspective and a strong background in public relations. Additionally, her background in public health will allow the University to pursue an expansion of course offerings related to health communication. “Teaching is an amazing experience, I get to learn a lot. It helps me to grow, and it opens me up to be more receptive to different things,” she said. “Engaging with students and learning what they are looking for has helped me to fine-tune the way I deliver lessons. Essentially, teaching is a conversation.” Her positive impact can been seen outside the classroom as well, as she has helped facilitate and start the Communication Society for communication students who are interested in the field or taking related courses. The society brings students together and finds ways to help them develop skills that they can showcase on their resumes. “As a faithful follower of Christ, Angela serves and cares for her students with love and kindness,” Dr. Webster said. “Her walk with Christ is evident in her teaching and in every conversation she has with students and colleagues. She is a joyful individual, who shares her faith openly and freely. Dr. Anima-Korang serves as a model for students as they seek to grow closer to the Lord.” After teaching her first semester in ETBU’s Communication Department, Dr. Anima-Korang believes her journey from Ghana to pursue education were a series of moments, orchestrated by God, to lead her home to the Hill. “I’m grateful to be here, but it goes beyond gratitude. It’s a calling,” Dr. Anima-Korang concluded. “I felt called here, I really did. From the first time I stepped on campus, I knew this is where I needed to be.”

Teaching is an amazing experience, I get to learn a lot. It helps me to grow, and it opens me up to be more receptive to different things. Engaging with students and learning what they are looking for has helped me to fine-tune the way I deliver lessons. Essentially, teaching is a conversation. DR. ANGELA ANIMA-KORANG ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF COMMUNICATION Hilltop

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Building a strong foundation


God’s provision continues to improve the student experience through renovation and expansion



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In pursuit of the University’s commitment to provide a high-quality, Christ-centered educational experience, 2019-2020 saw the largest campus renovation and expansion efforts in University history. ETBU constructed and remodeled spaces to allow for an optimal learning environment here on the Hill, and to make way for anticipated future growth. Dozens of students became the first-ever residents of the recently completed first phase of the Oaks on Grove Townhomes. Each townhome provides premier living spaces for up to six residents, with a beautiful open floor plan, modern hardware and finishes, and a carefully curated layout to encourage community among residents. Ornelas Hall and University Apartments also received new paint, updated flooring, and refreshed, welcoming lobby spaces where students can gather to study and relax. “The on-campus living and learning environment is crucial to the experience students create while in school,” ETBU Director of Residence Life Colton Sherwood said. “The relationship students build with this environment is fundamental to their learning. I’m thankful that our students have the opportunity to live and learn on such a beautiful campus.” The learning spaces in the Jenna Guest Music Building and the Redwine Instrumental Building received complete makeovers before students returned for the fall semester. “The ETBU Music Department’s space received new paint, flooring, and completely updated restrooms,” Assistant Professor of Music Dr. Candice Aipperspach commented. “Along with these renovations, we have adopted a more modern look for our building’s art. It is wonderful to have a renovated space to host events such as concerts and recitals. Our visitors have noticed!” According to Director of University Operations Chris Crawford, thank-you notes continue to pour in from students, faculty, and staff who have noticed the changes on campus. They take pride in our institution’s commitment to updating and bringing our buildings into the 21st century. “When the students see that the administration is willing to invest money to make their space more beautiful and up-to-date, they take ownership,” Crawford said. As of this semester, the historic Marshall Grand is officially open for classes. East Texas Baptist’s School of Nursing is utilizing the new classrooms, simulation lab, skills laboratory, and study areas as students prepare to become the next generation of servanthearted nurses.



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“The Marshall Grand gives us the opportunity to have a space for all of the technology that we use to enrich the nursing curriculum,” Dean of Nursing Dr. Rebekah Grigsby said. “The space is just a delight to be in. There’s almost a spirit you feel when you walk in the building. For me, I know that it’s God’s presence, that He is here.” Continuing to be blessed by donors and friends of the University, the ETBU Athletics Department also saw major updates in their facilities. The football team’s training room, players’ lounge, and theater were recently remodeled, transforming them into newly efficient spaces that will assist not only in the way the team trains and communicates, but also how the department recruits new student-athletes. “We are blessed to have some of the best facilities in the nation. In fact, the recently updated players’ lounge is now one of the nicest in Division 3.” ETBU Head Football Coach Brian Mayper shared. “The field house and the surrounding areas are great spaces for mentoring our student-athletes to be disciples of Christ. Our newly refurbished football theater allows us to engage the Tiger Football Team in weekly discipleship time that aides them in their spiritual and educational growth.” The Chapel on the Hill and the surrounding Kenny Ponder Park, generously donated by the Ponder family of Marshall, are now under construction, and will serve as a dedicated space for the community to come together in prayer and worship. To read more about the groundbreaking for this sacred new space, see page 34. While most campus changes have a direct impact on the University itself, the Marshall community will benefit from the highly-anticipated opening of ETBU's Chick-fil-A. The coveted chicken sandwich and waffle fries, along with sweet teas and milkshakes, will be a staple on-campus restaurant for use by students, faculty, staff, and the Marshall community. “Our new Chick-fil-A features both indoor and outdoor seating, added to the seating that already exists in the student center,” Chris Crawford explained. “We are pleased to welcome Chick-fil-A to our campus, and we are excited to serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner.” Without the generosity of University supporters who are committed to the Christ-centered mission of the institution, these projects could not happen. The University family rejoices in the gifts that have been given to make these campus updates possible as the growing Tiger student population continues to thrive academically, spiritually, and socially.


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RENEWING Oaks on Grove townhomes transform Grove Street and expand student options for residential housing. East Texas Baptist is committed to actively restoring the Marshall community through efforts made by the ETBU Neighborhood Renewal Initiative (NRI). Since its inception in 2016, the program has restored and removed dozens of condemned homes from area neighborhoods in the City of Marshall. Several dilapidated homes adjacent to ETBU’s campus were removed, improving the neighborhood and creating space for The Oaks on Grove, a new premier living/ learning residence at the University.



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Ponder Groundbreaking



ETBU breaks ground on the Chapel on the Hill and Kenny Ponder Park

urrounded by University faculty, staff, and trustees, the Ponder Family gathered at the future site of the Chapel on the Hill and Kenny Ponder Park to mark the official groundbreaking of the facilities which will carry the namesake and legacy of Kenneth Eugene Ponder. Memories of the son, father, uncle, and friend filled their hearts as Gene and Patsy Ponder addressed the crowd and shared reflections about their son's life. Located adjacent to the pond on ETBU’s campus, the Chapel will be a dedicated house of worship to focus on the power of prayer, the sanctity of biblical marriage, and the celebration of loved one's lives. Situated next to the Chapel will be Kenny Ponder Park, a peaceful outdoor area with gardens, walking paths, benches, and an arbor. Gene and Patsy Ponder have remained a cornerstone of the Marshall community as founders of Master WoodCraft Cabinetry and devoted members of First United Methodist Church of Marshall. “Kenny was a very special young man who knew how to bring out the best in people,” Mr. Ponder said. “He had such a love for his family, his parents, and everyone he knew. The concept for this park is simply to create a place of hope, peace, and quiet contemplation. Our goal is to make a sacred space that will last. As people walk through the park and up towards the Chapel, we want them to find places to stop, think, and feel closer to God. He has been more



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than gracious to our family, and we want to pass it along. We hope this park means as much to everyone who walks through it as it does to us.” Kenny's sons initially donated funds to create a park area with gardens, a walking path, an arbor, and benches. Inspired by the generosity of their grandsons and nephews, Gene and Patsy, along with Kenny's brother Alan, contributed additional funds to construct the Chapel on the Hill. “This is possible because of the sacrificial commitment of the Ponder family,” Dr. Blackburn said. “It is amazing how sovereign our God is to have created this vision for a chapel dedicated to Him and then fulfilled it through this faithful and generous contribution of this loving and caring family, who have dedicated themselves to serving their employees and others in our community through their cabinetry business. We give praise to the Lord for His continued faithfulness and provision for the Christ-centered calling of ETBU and for the benevolence of Gene and Patsy Ponder, their children, and grandchildren.” Several members of the Ponder family, along with Dr. Blackburn, participated in breaking the first ground for this park and chapel. Construction on the Chapel on the Hill and Kenny Ponder Park is scheduled to be complete in Summer 2020.

Unite with us in this journey of creating a wedding chapel and sacred space for prayer, reflection, and commitment on ETBU’s serene Hilltop campus. The Chapel on the Hill will provide a dedicated house of worship to focus on the power of prayer, the sanctity of biblical marriage, and the memorial celebration of loved ones. Situated next to the chapel will be Kenny Ponder Park, a peaceful outdoor area with gardens, walking paths, benches, and an arbor.






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FOOTBALL ETBU Football finished the 2019 season at 6-4 for their fifth winning season in a row. The Tigers went 6-3 in the American Southwest Conference. After starting 0-2, the Tigers won six of their final eight games, including a homecoming win over Howard Payne, 41-35, and keeping “The Claw” in the Battle of the Border Claw over Louisiana College, 31-7. Senior Brian Baca set a new school record with the most passing touchdowns (64) breaking the previous mark of 62 set by Josh Warbington. Baca also became the second quarterback in program history to complete over 500 passes (501) for over 7,000 yards (7,192) in a career. In addition, he was named a Campbell Trophy semifinalist and was named AllASC first team for the second year in a row. Head Coach Brian Mayper became only the second head coach to have back-to-back winning seasons since Ralph Harris did in 2002 and 2003. ETBU had four ASC Players of the Week, Anton Clark (Defensive), Grant LaPoint-Teate (Defensive), Jeremiah Robertson (Offensive), and KJ Kelley (Defensive). Kelley was then named to the D3football.com “Team of the Week” on November 4. In all, 12 members earned All-ASC awards with three players on the first team: Baca, Sirbatian Charles (CB), and Clark (LB). Jalen Blanton (WR), Kelley (CB), LaPoint-Teate (CB), and Robertson (RB) were named to the second-team while Mauricio Aceves (P), Tariq Gray (WR), Jonathan Kalafatis (OL), Michael Kalafatis (OL), and Cory Stang (OL) were honorable mention. Justice Henson was named a member of the ASC Sportsmanship Team of the Year.

MEN’S CROSS COUNTRY Tiger Men’s Cross Country sent participants to the NCAA Division III South Regional for the sixth time in the last seven years. Junior Mack Broussard achieved three top five finishes as the team’s top runner, including 2nd place at the University of Texas-Tyler Braveheart Invitational and ETBU’s home meet. He placed 43rd at the regional meet and fourth at the American Southwest Conference Championship with an 8K time of 26:29.2 Broussard earned his third straight All-ASC first team award, and the ASC Sportsmanship Award. He was also named ASC Runner of the Week twice. Sophomore Stephen Brown also qualified for the regional meet after finishing 26th at the ASC Championships. Brown’s best finish of the year came at the University of Texas-Tyler Braveheart Invitation, where he finished in 11th place.


Women’s Cross Country produced three, top-five team finishes this Fall, including 2nd place at LeTourneau, 3rd at University of Texas-Tyler, and 4th at ETBU's home meet. Sophomore Almalisseth Rodriguez was the top runner with her best finish in 5th place at the ETBU meet. She qualified for the NCAA Division III South Regional meet with a 17th place finish at the American Southwest Conference Championship, where ETBU finished in 7th place as a team.


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MEN’S TENNIS Tiger Men’s Tennis competed in two individual tournaments during the fall semester. At the American Southwest Conference Fall Individual Championship Tournament, John Herr (Flight B) and Dalton Barron (Flight H) achieved the highest finishes in singles at 3rd place. Tyler Howard and Andrew Deutsch would pair up to reach the finals in Flight B as Herr and Joseph Salinas took the Consolation Championship in Flight A. At the ITA South/Southwest Regional Tournament Championship, Herr had the best run reaching the round of 16 in Flight A singles. Salinas won three matches in a row in Flight A consolation bracket after a first round loss. Matthew Fuhr also had success in the consolation bracket winning the Flight D Singles Championship. ETBU opens their 2020 season with a home match against the University of St. Thomas.

WOMEN’S TENNIS Playing in two fall tournaments, ETBU Women’s Tennis improved their play gearing up for team competition in the spring. In the American Southwest Conference Fall Individual Championships Tournament, two players advance in the winner’s bracket in Abby Jones (Flight E) and Maddi Davis (Flight F). In doubles, Jones and Corrine Hall would finish in 3rd place in Flight C. Facing the toughest players in the ITA Fall South/Southwest Regional Tournament, Elisa Kendall would reach the finals in Flight A, but fell short of defending her championship from 2018, falling 7-5, 7-6. Kelsey Roberts and Kylee Mixon would advance to the “B” doubles championship falling, 8-4. ETBU began the Spring Semester on January 25 with a home match against University of St. Thomas.

MEN’S GOLF Tiger Men’s Golf started their second season competing in four fall tournaments. Their best finish was at Louisiana College’s Fall Invitational, where they finished in 3rd place. Leading ETBU was Hank Crain, who earned ASC Golfer of the Week honors, placing 2nd with 146 (75-71), missing 1st place by only one stroke. ETBU would place 7th in both the Rockwind Links Intercollegiate hosted by McMurry University and the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor Fall Intercollegiate Invitational. At the American Southwest Conference Fall Preview, ETBU finished 8th. Riley Griffin was named to the All-Tournament Team for finishing in 7th place.

WOMEN’S GOLF ETBU Women’s Golf had three top-five finishes in the fall including a 4th place finish at the Rockwind Links Intercollegiate hosted by McMurry University. They were led by top ten finishes from Cali Brockway and Emily Watson, who both tied for 8th in the tournament. ETBU had 5th place finishes in both the UMHB Lady Crusader Invitational and the American Southwest Conference Fall Preview. Watson was named to the ASC All-Tournament Team finishing tied for 4th place with a 159 (77-82), which was seven strokes off of 1st place.

MEN’S SOCCER Head Coach Chad Cox guided ETBU Men’s Soccer to their second straight American Southwest Conference Tournament. ETBU went 7-11 overall, winning their last three regular season matches. The Tigers finished 6-5 in the ASC as the sixth seed, earning an overtime win at Schreiner University, 4-3, to start the season, and an upset win over 2018 ASC Champion University of Mary HardinBaylor, 2-1. ETBU won their final three matches over Sul Ross State University, 1-0, Howard Payne University, 3-2, and LeTourneau University, 4-0, to finish in 6th place. Named to the first team, Travis Atkinson ended his career as a fourtime All-ASC selection. He was the only ASC player this year named All-ASC four years in a row. Named to second team, Max Ponticorvo earned the ASC Offensive Player of the Week twice. Isaiah Simien also made the second team, Tristan England made third team, and Travis Floyd was honorable mention.

WOMEN’S SOCCER Tiger Women’s Soccer won seven matches in 2019 and went 3-1-1 in overtime games under first year Head Coach Kristin Cox. ETBU earned overtime victories against Schreiner University, 2-1, University of Ozarks, 1-0, and Sul Ross State University, 3-2. They also recorded shutout wins against the Mississippi University for Women, 2-0, Millsaps College, 2-0, Belhaven University, 5-0, and Louisiana College, 3-0. Riley Broughton, Ashleigh Rondon, and Amy Pineda each scored goals for the wins. Six players were named All-ASC for the year, including Rondon to the second team, along with third team members Raegan Kappler and Brianna Mickshaw and honorable mention selections Olivia Gallegos, Kayla Nichols, and Laura Williams. Rondon earned ASC Offensive Player of the Week.

BASS FISHING In a banner season, Tiger Bass Fishing claimed the Yeti FLW School of the Year Championship for the Southern Conference in September, their first team championship. The Tigers logged a win, three top 10 finishes, one top 15, and multiple top 35 finishes. Their consistency at different fisheries (Lake Sam Rayburn, Lake Texoma, and the Arkansas River) led to their first-ever Yeti FLW College Series Southern Conference Team of the Year Title for 2019. Mason Beatty and Jacob Keith qualified for the FLW National Championship, finishing second at the Arkansas River Tournament. Brett Clark and Cody Ross took 3rd place, and Keith and Kaden Proffitt earned 4th place at the Bassmaster/Carhartt College Series qualifier on Lake Sam Rayburn. Grant Hendrix and Cameron Tullis had the top boat in 20th place at the Cabelas Collegiate Fishing Series on Lake Dardanelle, and Keith/Proffitt finished the fall season in 10th at the Bass Outlaw Outdoors qualifier for the Bassmaster/Carhartt College Series. The Tigers are slated for five tournaments this spring.


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VOLLEYBALL Tiger Volleyball finished 14-14 and went 7-7 in the American Southwest Conference East Division under first-year Head Coach Darby Graff. ETBU won their first six matches with four gains at the Austin College Classic claiming wins over Austin College, University of St. Thomas, Centenary College, and Paul Quinn College. Julia De Los Santos was the ASC East Division Defensive Player of the Week for her play at the Austin College Invitational. She finished with 99 digs, including a career high (37 digs) against Austin College. Four players earned All-ASC awards: Bailey Byas and Allie Fennell were named to the East Division first team, Annie Harris the second team, and Cassidy Zellmer honorable mention.

HOCKEY Off to their best start in program history, ETBU Hockey opened up the year with 17 straight wins. They swept the series from Texas State, the University of Texas, Dallas Baptist University twice, University of North Texas, and Texas Christian University twice. That run also included regional wins over California State University-Northridge, California State University-Fullerton, and Long Beach State University. Following the outstanding fall season, the Tigers are 17-1-1 and leading the Texas Collegiate Hockey Conference North Division. Four players have earned Texas Collegiate Hockey Conference Players of the Week: Tyler Fitzgerald, Ryan Gruszka, Riley Knott, and Filip Soderstrom. ETBU finished out the last six games of the regular season in January.


For more information visit GoETBUTigers.com Winter 2020 41 or contact Head Coach Alain Savage: asavage@ETBU.edu Hilltop | 903.923.2228

BREAKING BARRIERS Tiger Spirit Teams ignite hearts for Christ in Japan “I became captivated by the smallest of children with eyes closed and hands raised in complete worship of God,” sophomore Yasmin Hamilton said. “I was overwhelmed to see the Japanese children and adults genuinely love the Lord and hunger to spend time with other believers in a community where it is not popular.” Spreading the Gospel through the universal language of sports, the East Texas Baptist University Tiger Spirit Teams (Cheer and Pom), and Acrobatics and Tumbling traveled to Japan this fall as part of the Tiger Athletic Mission Experience (TAME) program. Led by Director of Global Education and Great Commission Center Lisa Seeley, Vice President for Athletics Ryan Erwin, Head Coach of Cheer and Acrobatics and Tumbling Farrah Dunaway, and Pom Coach Kyla Arbuckle, the group of 23 athletes and staff partnered with the International Sports Federation (ISF) in evangelism and ministry surrounding Camp Buttobi and the people of Yokohama, Japan. “In preparation for this trip, I had been praying that our athletes would be able to experience the Lord in a truly personal way, and that they would learn to serve others when it does not benefit them,” Coach Dunaway said. “One of the greatest gifts in serving as a coach for these athletes has been watching them experience God, serve others, and realize what the Father can do through them if they are willing.” During the trip, the Tiger Spirit Teams spent time with the Joy Joy Children’s Ministry during a worship service at Hongodai Church. Student-athletes shared testimonies



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as well as their cheer, dance, and acrobatic talents with attendees at the church. Tiger students witnessed firsthand how the Christian faith can overcome cultural and linguistic barriers during a community outreach activity at a shopping mall in Yokohama where they connected to the local community through music, games, and dancing. “Our goal was to get as many people involved as possible, including children and adults,” junior Anna Gaddis shared. “It brought joy to my heart seeing the many smiles on their faces, and it was fun to see Christ working.” Before setting out to facilitate a kid’s camp for the last leg of the trip, the group made the one-hour train ride to Tokyo, where they spent the day sight-seeing and praying for the city as they make preparations for the 2020 Summer Olympics. continued on page 44


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“I was in awe of the beauty of this country, and our God created it all,” junior Emily Buffington said. “We walked around, enjoyed the views, and were able to sit and pray for the upcoming Olympic events and that the Gospel will be shared with the many upcoming visitors. It is so cool how an event can be planned and bring so many new people from around the world together.” This trip to Japan marks ETBU’s 11th sports mission experience and the third trip with ISF—an organization that seeks to change the world through sports. The group volunteered at Camp Buttobi, a kid’s camp four hours from Tokyo, where they spent the remainder of the trip teaching the campers dances, cheers, and stunts. Student-athletes also served in the kitchen and built relationships with the kids and adults at the camp. “Seeing the eagerness of the children to learn from us was extremely heartwarming, and their joy was contagious,” sophomore Sarah Murray stated. “It was a special moment to step back and watch them dance and cheer with our team. There was no language barrier, and we were all the same. This was such a perfect picture of how I imagine God sees all of His children.” These ETBU student-athletes utilized their unique skill sets to minister to each other, the ministry partners, and the people of Japan. “One of the main things we talked about while in Japan is how we can incorporate sports into the Gospel, and why millions of people show up to support an event where they have no personal relationship with the athletes, like the Olympics. The answer is community,” junior Jacqueline Comparin shared. “Our mission here has been to spread the Word of God by doing what we love. Whether that be dancing, cheering, or tumbling, we are all doing it for the Lord. When people ask us what we are here for and how they can be a part of it, we explain that just like in athletics and sporting events, there is community in Jesus Christ.”



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There was no language barrier, and we were all the same. This was such a perfect picture of how I imagine God sees all of His children. SARAH MURRAY SOPHOMORE ACCOUNTING MAJOR

The ETBU Football Team will be traveling to Scotland in July of 2020 as part of the Tiger Athletic Mission Experience (TAME) program. The TAME program provides East Texas Baptist University student-athletes with the opportunity to use their God-given talents as a platform to connect with people and share the Gospel of Jesus.


Visit www.ETBU.edu/give and select the “Football TAME Trip” as the designated fund for your donation. Send checks payable to ETBU Office of Advancement One Tiger Drive Marshall, TX 75670 *Designate checks for “Football TAME Trip” in the memo

For more information on how you can support the TAME program, contact: rerwin@ETBU.edu | 903.923.2228 Hilltop

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SERVING IN STRIDE ETBU Cross Country and Track & Field Teams serve in Greece



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Despite mounting tensions in other parts of the world, 34 ETBU Cross Country and Track athletes, coaches, and staff members, traveled for more than 30 hours to Athens, Greece to partner with International Sports Federation (ISF) and Streetlights, a community discipleship ministry that focuses on working with refugees from Europe and the Middle East. “TAME was created in order to give ETBU Tiger student-athletes the opportunity to use their God-given talents and abilities to share their faith with people across the globe as they strive to transform the world for Christ,” Vice President for Athletics Ryan Erwin said. “Our student-athletes were nothing short of amazing as they fought through exhaustion. They did an amazing job interacting with and showing love toward the local children in Greece.” The teams hit the ground running with outreach to refugees of all ages during a community festival facilitated by Streetlights, where the student-athletes served by assisting with various activities such as face painting, dance competitions, and games. “The kids loved getting to laugh and play,” senior Michael Sanders said. “It was amazing to see God work through our actions to spread the Gospel.” ETBU student-athletes did not shy away from their opportunity to reach out to a population in need during their time in Greece. As a testament of Christ-like love and service, some Tigers attended an Iranian church service where they were able to serve lunch to over 75 Iranian refugees.

“TAME was created in order to give ETBU Tiger student-athletes the opportunity to use their Godgiven talents and abilities to share their faith with people across the globe as they strive to transform the world for Christ.” —Ryan Erwin Vice President for Athletics

“As we arrived at the church, the leader greeted us and we prayed for God to open our hearts and eyes to the world we were about to see,” graduate student Beau Billings said. “While at the church we were able to meet a man and learn his story through Google Translate. It showed the true power of God and how appreciative the people we were serving are.” Before a small group of Tigers took trains to reach a local refugee camp, a Streetlights leader shared a verse from Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” After being encouraged to reflect on their purpose in Greece, the student-athletes visited and ministered to residents of the camp, and were inspired by the stories of suffering and triumph. “We introduced ourselves and sat down to visit with a family,” freshman Kennadie Ransberger said. “The woman shared her testimony with us. She was not a believer, but her story was extremely moving and brought tears to my eyes. She talked about her past that brought her to this camp and how difficult and heartbreaking it was. However, she also talked about how strong she is today and the person she has become because of it. It was such a humbling and eye opening experience for each one of us. Leaving the camp was so sad, they did not want us to go.” Aside from ministering to the hearts of Greece, the group assisted with painting, cleaning, and needed repairs for a local kindergarten, elementary school, and the Streetlights building. A large portion of the service efforts involved teamwork, allowing the teams to grow closer together. “I have really enjoyed getting to know my teammates through this experience,” freshman Hope Shipp said. “Not only have I gotten to know my teammates, but I’ve also met some really awesome new friends. I cannot wait to see the other amazing things God has planned for us in my time at ETBU.” In addition to ministry opportunities, Tigers had the once-in-a-lifetime chance to run a marathon or 5K race through the streets of Greece, finishing at the site of the original Olympic Stadium. “This was no ordinary race,” junior Kylie Embry said. “We were running through the city streets of Athens with cars all around us. In the midst of the chaos around us, our team was a unit, working together, encouraging one another, and enjoying the experience.” During a hike to the Acropolis and Parthenon, the teams experienced the history of the iconic landmarks before climbing Mars Hill, where Paul preached the sermon found in Acts 17 of the Bible. The group had a special time to reflect, sing worship songs, and

partake in communion with brothers and sisters in Christ, who were also traveling in Greece. “Seeing firsthand what we have read about in the Bible and actually getting to be at that spot was mind blowing and very humbling,” senior Reed McDonald said. “When we were praying as a group, the sun came out for the first time all day and shined down on us and then when we were done, it tucked back behind the clouds. The whole trip was humbling from communion, to singing, and soaking in all the beauty.” Through playing with local children, reaching out to refugees, and serving as the hands and feet of Christ at the schools and Streetlights buildings, the studentathletes brought home an abundance of memories and a refreshed outlook on how their purpose as a team extends far beyond running the race or coming in first place. “This trip has been an incredible experience resulting in bringing our team together, enlightening and changing our perspectives, creating a space for hearts to awaken, and fostering a deep gratefulness for the many blessings we take for granted,” ETBU Cross Country/Track and Field Head Coach Natalie Bach-Prather said. “It was so special to see many of our athletes have soul-awakening moments throughout the week, and it was very evident that God was working through our group to reach others. I am so grateful for this opportunity we had to grow as a team and witness life changing moments.”

ETBU UNVEILS MY BROTHER'S KEEPER STATUE “We reflect on the lives of two young men, who will always be a part of the fabric of this institution,” ETBU President J. Blair Blackburn said. “We reflect, but we celebrate their eternal lives with Jesus. D.J. and Tre are in the presence of our Lord Jesus, and now their presence and legacy will forever live on at Ornelas Stadium.”


he “My Brother’s Keeper” statue, commissioned in memory of the lives of two freshmen Tiger Football players, Darrian "D.J." McClintock, Jr., and Norvontre "Tre" Harrison, who lost their lives during a tragic drowning accident in April of 2016, now stands at the top of Ornelas Stadium as a symbol of accountability and sacrifice of Christian discipleship. Family members of both McClintock and Harrison returned to ETBU in April of 2017, for a memorial service held on the one year anniversary of the boys’ passing where Dr. Blackburn announced the plans to have the bronze statue made in memory of the young men. “I was very excited and surprised to learn about the statue," D.J.’s dad Darrian McClintock said during the memorial service. "That's a good way to remember them and the school here is truly like a family." A plaque at the foot of the statue reads scripture from 1 John 3:16 “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” D.J. and Tre’s legacy of brotherly love will stand, arm in arm, at the top of Ornelas Stadium, watching over their brothers and fellow Tigers on the football field. "It really touched me because at the end of the day, I want him to be remembered and this is a way to remember that April 28, 2016, was a day that changed our lives forever," Tre's mother Norvetta Harrison of Shreveport said. "It feels like when ETBU plays football, Tre and D.J. are carrying them and will be there with them." Although the boys’ presence has been greatly missed around campus and on the football field since that tragic day in 2016, their legacy of brotherly love, sacrifice, and fond memories will forever remain present in the minds and hearts at East Texas Baptist.



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“The loss of D.J. and Tre brought our team to another dimension of togetherness and a unity of playing for one another. We were playing for two of our brothers who would have done anything for just one more play,” ETBU Tiger teammate and now ETBU Assistant Football coach Travis Danford (’17) said. “Now as a coach, I tell my guys all of the time to not take a single day for granted and to make the most out of every opportunity they are blessed with.”

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. 1 JOHN 3:16


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ETBU's Mentoring Experience Preparing Tigers to flourish intellectually, spiritually, physically, emotionally, and socially

Learn more at www.ETBU.edu/Thrive



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5 15 260



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Over the last century, East Texas Baptist University has educated generations of Christian servant leaders. This year we have over 1,600 students studying at ETBU, volunteering in our community, and going into the world on mission. Help us continue to transform the lives of current and future ETBU students through a contribution to the Blue & Gold Fund.

East Texas Baptist University is called to provide a quality, Christcentered education to students. With the help of alumni and friends of the University, ETBU provides scholarships to students based on Christian leadership, academic achievement, and financial need. Please consider making a contribution to general scholarships or an endowment to ensure ETBU is accessible and affordable for everyone who feels called to the Hill.

With your assistance, ETBU will continue to attract quality studentathletes and offer them a Christ-centered experience where discipleship, ministry, and missions are central to their spiritual formation. You can take pride in having an impact on the success of Tiger Athletics and the academic, spiritual, and physical development of our student-athletes.

The Legacy of 1912 Society comprises alumni and friends who, through thoughtful estate planning, deferred giving, and other forms of planned giving, ensure that resources will be available to support ETBU far into the future. The legacy of your planned gift will last forever and support current and future generations of ETBU students.



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ETBU Professor Jim Moore invests in students through music


hether he was in the choir room, at church, or in the grocery store, it was impossible to keep ETBU Professor Emeritus and Director of Choral Activities Jim Moore (’60) from singing. “Mr. Moore would do anything to give people the opportunity to sing,” Rachel (Farley) Massey (’08) explained. “Once after a choir performance, we were eating in a crowded restaurant and a waitress asked us to sing, and the next thing you know we are standing in the middle of the restaurant singing. It didn’t matter where we were. Mr. Moore always wanted to give people the chance to enjoy music.” This tenacious love for people and music was the hallmark of Moore’s musical career that spanned over 50 years and included numerous national accolades. After his passing in November 2019, his former students, friends, and family all spoke of his love for God, family, and music. “Jim was one of the most decorated and well-known

faculty members we have ever had at ETBU,” School of Communication and Performing Arts Dean Tom Webster shared. “However, there was nothing Jim loved more than creating beautiful art, investing in his students, and being with his family.” Prior to beginning his choral teaching career, Moore enrolled at East Texas Baptist College and earned his Bachelor of Music in 1960. During his time at ETBC, Moore was named Campus Personality, served as a cheerleader throughout his undergraduate career, and participated in and led numerous choirs on campus. “When my dad spoke about his time as a student at ETBC, he would often say, ‘I didn’t let a little education get in the way of my fun,’” Moore’s daughter Kelly Pfaffenberger said. “He was always full of energy and incredibly social.” Moore went on to earn his Master of Music from the University of North Texas, which is where he met his wife, Patsy Owens. After four years of active duty in the United


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States Army, Moore began the choral teaching career that eventually led him back to serve as the Director of Choral Activities at East Texas Baptist University. “Some of my strongest memories as a kid are being in Scarborough Chapel while my dad rehearsed the choir,” Pfaffenberger shared. “Seeing how he interacted with students left a huge impression on me and was a big reason why I decided to become a music educator myself. I wanted to impact students the way he did.” Moore first began his teaching career at ETBC from 1977-1980 before moving his family to the DFW area; however, in 1994, former School of Music Dean Bob Spencer asked him to return to ETBU. Reluctant to move his wife and two daughters again, Moore began commuting from the Metroplex to Marshall each week until he retired in 2009. “Because he commuted from Irving, he lived on campus certain days of the week,” Massey said. “So late in the evenings if you heard Clair De Lune echoing through the music building, you knew you would find Mr. Moore sitting at the choir room piano.” Although his accomplishments were numerous, his students remember him by the impact he left on their lives. “I have never worked under anyone else who not only expected excellence, but knew how to pull it out of me,” Eric Lawrence (‘03) emphasized. “I cannot thank him enough for the drive he instilled in me to not only pursue excellence but the confidence to know that I can deliver excellence.” After his retirement in 2009, he continued to serve churches as a music minister like he had done since he was 17 years old. Coincidentally,



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Massey joined the church where he was serving after her graduation from ETBU. “The first Sunday I visited the church Mr. Moore spotted me and said ‘Ms. Farley, there is a seat for you in the choir,’” Massey said. “During that season of life, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Eventually, his daughter, Kelly, took over directing the choir and we were able to be choir members together. We developed a secret code to help him get back on track when he would get lost in the music. Those are memories I will cherish forever.” According to Pfaffenberger, before he retired, Moore was leading the ETBU Acapella Choir at Plymouth Park Baptist Church during severe thunderstorms. The choir was singing a rendition of How Can I Keep from Singing when the power suddenly went out. “Right as the choir sang the lyrics, ‘No storm can shake my inmost calm while to that refuge clinging. Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth, how can I keep from singing?’ the church was filled with darkness,” Pfaffenberger said. “Most directors would have stopped, but my dad kept going. When I reflect on that memory and those lyrics now in light of my dad’s illness, it’s the perfect representation of who my dad was and how he lived his life. Alzheimer’s took so much, but one of the very last things he lost was singing. Nothing could take away his joy, and he sang all the way to the end.” In honor of Jim Moore’s life and dedication to ETBU, the University has created The James Moore Endowed Scholarship in support of music students. To give in honor of Mr. Moore, please contact ETBU Advancement by calling 903.923.2071 or by visiting www.ETBU.edu/give. Jim will be missed by his wife, Pat, his two daughters, Kelly and Kerri, his four grandchildren and the entire ETBU family. A reunion concert featuring members of Dr. Moore's choir will be held in Baker Chapel of the Rogers Spiritual Life Center on Saturday, April 18 at 4:00 p.m. to celebrate his life and legacy of teaching.


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A New Musical Book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice Music and Lyrics by Andrew Lippa Based on Characters Created by Charles Addams Directed by Joshua Scott Music Direction by Dr. Candice Aipperspach

February 27-29 at 7:00 P.M. March 1 at 2:30 P.M. Memorial City Hall Performance Center 110 East Houston | Marshall, Texas 58

Tickets are $10 General Admission | FREE with a student ID Hilltop Winter 2020 903.923.2158 | www.ETBU.edu/theatre


Register by March 6, 2020 for the Early Bird Price


$189 Regular Price

$229 Commuter Price $50 per day

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.


Dr. Don Newbury

University Chancellor, author, and teacher

Foto Sisters

Sacred, folk, and classical singers and musicians

Mark Lowry

Singer, songwriter, author, and humorist

For more information: Contact the ETBU Office of Advancement hilltopu@ETBU.edu | 903.923.2068

Students explore their vocational callings at fifth annual Calling Conference “It would be easy to think that this whole calling I’ve been talking about is just for people who are going to serve in a church, but if you are here, and you are a follower of Jesus Christ, you are called,” Dr. Brent Gentzel, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church-Kaufman said. “Whether you’re a plumber, carpenter, pastor, or teacher, if God called you into that field, then you should serve because you believe God put you there to use you as part of His revolution. Don’t make the mistake of settling for an occupation, something you do for a paycheck. Make the decision to do what God has called you to do.” ETBU hosted its fifth annual Calling Conference for students to discover and affirm their vocational ministry, providing a deeper understanding of specific callings with opportunities to learn from experienced pastors and ministers. “This conference is a great opportunity for students to hear from individuals who are doing the work that they are interested in pursuing,” ETBU Director of Ministry Guidance Jeremy Greer said. “We heard their hearts and their experiences, and students were able to ask them questions. Our hope is for students to leave with a clear sense of direction, feel encouraged in their endeavors, and continue to pursue that calling.” Dr. Gentzel encouraged all students, regardless of their major, to pursue their vocational calling, a concept that is woven into the fabric of this institution, which equips all students to share the Gospel of Christ in their future vocations. Participants heard from a panel of ministry professionals and chose from a variety of breakout sessions to attend on topics such as pastoral ministry, worship and communications, Hispanic ministry, and youth ministry. “The Calling Conference helped me realize that I would not be working alone,” ETBU senior religion major Jose Hi said. “I enjoyed hearing an entire church staff speak about how they work together. Many times a lot of fresh graduates think about what they think God can do through them, forgetting that God is already at work through many people. This helped me realize that my daily spiritual walk is done with and affects my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.” Pastor of Stewardship at FBC Kaufman Jason Thurston shared about how he was called to serve in youth ministry after chasing a career in retail management.



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“Youth ministers love their students so much that we not only share the Gospel with them, but we share our own lives,” Thurston said. “In youth ministry, it’s easy to focus on what we are doing or the big events we are planning. When we stop focusing on the people we are doing life with then we lose our focus on Him. It’s about relationships. The key is finding balance.” The Calling Conference offers our students access to a wide array of seasoned ministers eager to share encouragement and counsel. “My hope is that within this heightened awareness, students will perceive the calling God has on their lives,” Intercessory Prayer Ministry Coordinator Cari Johnson said. “Then, latch on to the courage to follow it.”

I enjoyed hearing an entire church staff speak about how they work together. This helped me realize that my daily spiritual walk is done with and affects my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. JOSE HI SENIOR RELIGION MAJOR Hilltop

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HOMECO ETBU King and Queen share hometown ties to Marshall, Tiger spirits unite during homecoming festivities

I think the professors at ETBU have set wonderful examples of what it means not only to pursue higher education, but also what it looks like to represent Christ. LANE CRAIG 2019 HOMECOMING KING & CHRISTIAN MINISTRY MAJOR

MING 2019

My favorite thing about ETBU is the community and friendships I’ve made; they are all Christcentered, and everyone pushes each other to be better. MORGAN ARST 2019 HOMECOMING QUEEN & ACCOUNTING MAJOR


2019 GOLDEN BLAZERS Charles and Ora Nell Peden (’55, ’54), Denie Kendrick (’58), and Dorothy Keasler (’58)


2019 GOLDEN LIGHTKEEPER Paul Tapp (’69)



Ken Chinn (’81)

Dr. Robert Spencer



The Honorable Brad Morin (’84)

David Riddle (’68)



Dale Perkins, Sr.

Dr. Nia Madison (’00)

Accent on Alumni 2010s Austin Jones (’19) is a football Graduate Assistant Coach at Hardin-Simmons University. He is pursuing his graduate degree in Sport and Recreation this summer. Charles Johnson (’19) was named the Director of KOKA, which is the longest airing urban radio station in Shreveport. Erica McAllister (’16) began as a Continuum of Care Coordinator with Human Coalition following her graduation with her Master of Social Work from University of Texas at Arlington. James Ash (’18) was named the Student Pastor at Northway Baptist Church in Angleton. He and his wife, Maddie Ash (’18), are excited about this new ministry opportunity. Taylor Weaver (’11, ’13) earned his Ph.D. in Theology and Religious Studies from the University of Kent in Canterbury, England. Congratulations, Dr. Weaver! April (Ruhl) Cottrell (’11) graduated from the University of North Texas with a graduate degree in Library Science with a focus in Youth Librarianship in May 2019. April is now working as a Reference Librarian at the United States Air Force Library in England.



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Congratulations to Chris Dier (’10) on being named the 2020 Louisiana Teacher of the Year! Chris teaches World History and Advanced Placement (AP) Human Geography at Chalmette High School in Chalmette, Louisiana.

2010s Josh Crain (’04) was appointed Lead Pastor at Inland Hills Church in Chino, California. He previously served as a pastor in Pennsylvania. Amanda (Graham) Dycus (’00) became an Assistant Professor of Nursing at the University of MaryHardin Baylor.

1990s Dr. Karen Rambo-Hernandez (’97) stepped into a new position as an Associate Professor at Texas A&M University.

DEATHS Faculty, Staff, and Friends of ETBU 1940s Dr. Roger Chapman (’43) died September 6, 2019. After receiving his undergraduate degree from the College of Marshall, he joined the Naval Air Service and served in the South Pacific. Because of his love for the school, ETBC honored him with an honorary doctorate in 1984. Dr. Chapman was also a Senior Games National Tennis Champion in 1997 and 1999. Roger was a charter member of the World Oilman’s Tennis Tournament and played tennis until age 87. Dr. Chapman is survived by his wife, Sandra, his son, Roger, and many dear grandchildren and greatgrandchildren.

Eddie Kite (’95) was named the Athletic Coordinator at Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, Texas.

Jeanna (Sanders) Powers (attd. ’45) passed away at the age of 92. Jeanne was a devout Christian, devoted wife, loving mother, an adoring grandmother, and great grandmother. Many of her family members went on to attend and graduate from ETBU.

Jodi (Johnson) Lozano (’94) was recently promoted to Executive Vice President, Conroe Division Manager at Old Republic Title.

Rev. Dan Gardner (’48) passed away November 11, 2019. Dan was a pastor and served on the ETBU Board of Trustees in 1967.


Dr. Mary DeShazo (’49) passed away April 21, 2019. Dr. DeShazo was a Chemistry Professor at Sam Houston State University for over 50 years. He was a fierce supporter of equal rights and loved to return home to East Texas when she could.

Kermit Licklider (’78) and his wife, Lillie (Craig) Licklider (attd. ’74) both retired after successful careers. Kermit served at the Dow Chemical Company at plants in various places for 36 years. Lille served almost 40 years as a nurse. The couple resides in Angleton. Calvin Jones (’71) and Carol (Fowler) Jones (attd. ’71) have been serving Cornerstone Baptist Church in Mitchell, South Dakota since 2017. Calvin celebrated his 54th preaching anniversary this May.

1950s Mary Hall, wife of Dr. Harlan Hall, passed away October 9, 2018. Francisca “Rhea” Lewis passed away at the age of 96 to join her

beloved husband and former interim President of ETBU, Harvey D. Lewis on August 6, 2019. James McBride (’55) passed away June 10, 2019. Jim was known to hundreds of students as Coach McBride thanks to his lifelong commitment to serving students in the Longview area. Jim is survived by his wife, Janice (Carpenter) McBride (’55). John L. Sharpe’s (’55) wife, Kathryn Sharpe, passed away on September 3, 2019. The couple were married for 72 years. Joe Hogue (’56) died July 24, 2019, at the age of 97. Joe was a cheerleader as a student and continued to be a great supporter of ETBU throughout his life. He was a faithful supporter of Tiger Athletics and gave generously to various projects across the University. Evidence of his generosity can be found in the Dean Healthplex, Ornelas Student Center, Centennial Hall, and the “Fishers of Men” statue in the University Quad. He and his wife, Marilyn, also established the Joe and Marilyn Hogue Endowed Scholarship to provide scholarships to support students studying athletic training. Dale Person (’57) died August 30, 2019. Mr. Person was a successful chemist and an active member of Central Baptist Church in Marshall. Above all, he was a dedicated husband, father, and grandfather. Dr. William Everett (’57), Trustee Emeritus of the ETBU Board of Trustees, passed away September 2, 2019, after a battle with cancer. Dr. Everett dearly loved his alma mater, “my ETBU,” as he would share with others his affinity and

devotion to the University. Dr. Everett served in senior pastoral leadership at numerous churches in Texas, including First Baptist Church in Longview, Central Baptist Church in Carthage and Fielder Road Baptist Church in Arlington. He will be missed by his family and the entire Tiger Family. Mae (Spell) Kennedy (’56) passed away July 4, 2019. Mae was Senior Call Out Girl of 1956. She was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Jack Kennedy, who served as ETBC/ETBU Trustee 1984-1991 and 2001-2004. She is survived by her son Bill Kennedy, daughter Sue Kennedy (’82), “adopted” daughter Jerry Ann Guidroz, brother Rev. Martin Spell (’52), and numerous nieces and nephews, including Gayla (Spell) Langley (’62).

was given a position at ETBU, Rev. Bean was able to finish his degree in 1992 at the age of 45. Their daughter, Christy Bean Greer, graduated from ETBU in ’94, and two of the Bean’s grandchildren are current students. Ginger Gandy Lustig (’96) went to be with the Lord suddenly on November 9, 2019. She leaves behind her husband of 23 years, Jonathan, 18-year-old son, Will, and 9-yearold daughter, Riegan Lustig. She was a theater and speech teacher, a supervisor for student teachers through Stephen F. Austin State University, and a lifetime member of SAI from ETBU. Diana (Lacy) Martin (’99) passed away November 13, 2019. She will be missed by her children and grandchildren.

1960s Miriam (Clydelle) Madison (’68) passed away June 7, 2019 surrounded by her family. After receiving her degree from ETBC, Miriam was employed by Longview ISD as a special education teacher from 1968 until she retired in 1988. She was an active member at Church Hill Baptist in San Antonio and Longview Missionary Baptist Church and will be missed by many. Dr. Larry Waters (’69) passed away August 7, 2018. He was a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary in Dallas. Prior to teaching at the Seminary, he and his wife, Mary, were missionaries in the Philippines for 27 years.

WEDDINGS AND ANNIVERSARIES Weddings Congratulations to former Trustee Dr. Carl Duck (’73) and his wife, Bonnie, for celebrating 70 years of marriage on August 28. Dr. Duck received an honorary doctorate from ETBC in 1972, and the couple established an endowment for sociology students in memory of their son, Reggie Duck (’73). Jay (’01) and Christi (Mace) Beerley (attd. ’98) celebrated 20 years of marriage on July 24, 2019. The couple met at ETBU 22 years ago.

Dr. Jerry Smith (’61) died July 8, 2019, at the age of 82. Over the course of his ministerial career, he pastored six churches throughout Texas. He leaves behind many family and friends, who miss him dearly.

1990s Rev. Ritchard Bean (’92) passed away August 13, 2019. Rev. Bean and his wife, Judy Jones Bean (attd. ’65), met at ETBC in 1965. When Judy


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J.R. Mathews (’65) and Gloria (Langford) Mathews (’67) celebrated 55 years of marriage on August 29, 2019. Tafadzwa Charuma (’14) and Chloe Jedlick (’13) tied the knot on July 12, 2019 in Rockwall, Texas. Brett Forbus (’16) married Shelby Savoy (attd. ’19) in May 2018. The couple resides in Kilgore. Adam Vinson (’18) married Griselda Alvarado (’18) on October 13, 2019. Congrats to the happy couple! Ryan Barham (’16) and Jessica Baker (’19) were married May 25, 2019, at a family friend’s farm in Blue Ridge surrounded by their closest friends and family. Nathanael Whisman (’19) married Halee Vasquez (’18) on August 8, 2019. The couple wed in a sweet little spot tucked away in the Pineywoods surrounded by their friends and family. The Whismans will reside in Maryland. Jose Vega (’17) and Lauren Jarrell (’18) were married at The Milestone in New Braunfels on Friday, September 6, 2019. The couple met in 2016 at ETBU and will reside in San Antonio.



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“May the Lord who brought them together bless their marriage, enrich their lives, and deepen their love for each other throughout the years.”

TIGER CUBS Lawson Clane Rice was born June 20, 2019 to Taylor Chancellor-Rice (’13) and Cody Rice of Athens.

Billy (’07) and Julie (Parker) Collins’ (’07) daughter, Brooklyn, proudly sports her Cub Club onesie.

Vivianne Cowart, daughter of Monique Cowart (’09), is so excited to be a member of the Tiger Club!

Cheyenne Scott Grant was born July 9, 2019 to Austin (’18) and Brooke (Dahman) Grant (’19) at 3:46 a.m.

Audrey Rogers, granddaughter of Debbie Rogers (’09) shows off her new Cub Club shirt.

Andrew (’07) and Cortney (Brinker) O’Kelley (’07) are thrilled to announce the birth of their fourth child: Parker Joanna O’Kelley born on Monday, April 22, 2019 at 9:12 p.m. in Tyler. She weighed 7 lbs. 3 oz. and was 19.5” long. Big sister, Piper, and brothers, Patrick and Price, were over the moon to meet her!

This summer Ryan and Hilary Woodfin Hall (’06) welcomed their daughter Emma Joy Hall. Emma is the niece of Michael Woodfin (’10) and the granddaughter of Ron (’84) and Sharon Hall.

Mikel and Michelle (Gallimore) St. John (’14) welcomed a new Tiger Cub into the Tiger Family. Their son, Gideon, can’t wait until he’s big enough to wear his new Cub Club onesie. Christopher and Claire (McCaslin) Pennington (’11) welcomed their daughter, Della Rae, on April 8, 2019.

Assistant Vice President for Marketing and Communication Becky Davis (’18), her husband Michael, and daughter Zoey welcomed Nolan to the world on August 23. The Davis Family is grateful for their little Tiger.



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

Emily Roberson

Director of Alumni Relations and Advancement Communication

Email: alumni@ETBU.edu Update Online: www.ETBU.edu/alumniupdate Winter 2020 69 Hilltop




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NonproďŹ t U.S. Postage Paid Shreveport, LA Permit No. 1031 One Tiger Drive Marshall, TX 75670


Visit www.ETBU.edu/ReferATiger to encourage a friend or family member to explore the Christ-centered education available at East Texas Baptist University 72


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