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PampaNews The

2018 PRIDE

Business 2018

Jay’s Drive-In: Delivering the ‘Superdog’ for 70 years By John Lee

jclee@thepampanews.com Twitter: @jcl1987

Jay’s Drive-In first opened in January 1948 a little further down Alcock as SuperDog and was owned Fred Hutchens. Dwight Dennis and his brother, Albo, took it over in 1992 and in 2003 Dwight took over on his own. Having worked for Jay’s Drive-In since he was 17 years old in 1970, Dwight is almost synonymous with the business. “I like the generations of people that have been here,” Dwight said. “The grandfathers, fathers, grandsons, etc. I’ve been here for three-and-half generations. It’s all local people and I just love people.”

Jay’s Drive-In still cooks the food like it was 1948, fresh and from scratch. “Nothing is pre-cooked (except for the gravy and stuff like that),” Dwight said. “It’s all fresh. It takes a little longer in today’s fast market, but it’s better food.” Most of the staff at Jay’s Drive-In has been with the business for 10 to 15 years. “David (Whitson) has been here 27 years,” Dwight said. “My son, Michael, has been here off and on since he was nine.” With so much experience between each member of the Jay’s Drive-In staff, it’s definitely family-oriented atmosphere. Jay’s Drive-In offers dinner, side items, hand-mixed malts and shakes, cherry-limes and, of course, the superdog. “We sell probably 1,500 a week of those,”

Dwight and Kathy Dennis, Bob Bright, David Whitson and Michael Dennis.

Photos by John Lee

Dwight said. “That recipe goes way back. It has several different kinds of spices and it is rolled fresh. It’s not a corn-dog it has no corndough in it. It’s kind of a sweet batter.” Jay’s Drive-In serves a throw-back in time to the days of take-out burger joints. “It’s like the original McDonald’s,” Dwight said. “They were all take-out. I consider a lot of recipes things we’ve collected over the years. We batter our own catfish and other things we sell a lot of.” Jay’s Drive-In is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and can be reached at 806-669-2722. “It’s old-fashioned good food,” Dwight said. “We’re going to do it this way until either we retire or someone buys us out.”

2018 Business — The Pampa News — Pride Edition


Building a Stronger Future

The Pampa Economic Development Corp. and Xcel Energy have partnered on efforts to attract new business to the Pampa Energy Center, an industrial site located along U.S. Highway 60 west of the city. As part of Xcel Energy’s Certified Site Program, a 250-acre space known as Pampa Energy Center South received site certification following a robust year-long site analysis process. “Xcel Energy is now actively promoting Pampa’s industrial capabilities to a much wider audience, which extends our reach considerably at no extra cost,” said Clay Rice, Executive Director of the Pampa EDC. “Having a partnership with Xcel Energy, which has the resources and know-how to market and promote one of the best industrial sites in the Panhandle region, is a terrific opportunity for Pampa and Gray County. The Pampa EDC looks forward to working with Xcel Energy on this venture,” said Ken May, president of the Pampa Energy Center Board. Certification of the Pampa Energy Center South site will help Pampa be more competitive in the marketplace by making it faster, easier, and less expensive for developers and site selectors to consider real estate for their client.


ampa Energy Center is Pampa EDC’s rail served Industrial Park. With approximately 1,000 developable acres of land and 5500 acres of water rights, the property is more than sufficient to market as one of the finest Industrial Parks in the state. The abundance of acreage owned by Pampa Energy Center will be excellent for a variety of industrial development projects. Companies located at Pampa Energy Center are: Flogistix, Enbridge Energy, G2X Energy-Pampa Fuels, Rampa, Inc., and RenewTest, LLC.

Space still available— for leasing information contact: The Pampa EDC (806) 665-0800

Clay Rice

Executive Director

Debbie Winegeart

The Pampa EDC is pleased to have Spencer McElhannon of Leading EDG to assist our community’s aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners. Spencer offers consultative services free of charge courtesy of the Pampa EDC. www.leadingedg.com

Administrative Assistant

Treasa Heuston Receptionist


he Pampa Economic Development Corporation is an organization that promotes new business in Pampa. The Pampa EDC type B has aggressive business incentives funded from the half-cent sales tax for Economic Development that yields over $1,000,000 dollars annually. Incentives are available to companies creating new jobs in Pampa on a project by project basis. Location and excellent quality of life make Pampa a prime spot for new industrial business and sales. Pampa, Texas is located 50 miles Northeast of Amarillo, Texas, 113 miles from Elk City, Oklahoma and 120 miles from Liberal, Kansas.

Las Pampas Square Pampa Print Shop Dance Academy of Pampa Peoples Kenpo Karate Cinema 4 Theater Enbridge Energy Hoagies Deli

Bealls Department Store The Plaza Restaurant Yum Yum Thai Restaurant King’s Row Family Hair Care Pampa Sleep Store Sheila Webb State Farm Verona Italian Bistro

Watermill Express The Well STEM Education Center Northern Safety & Industrial Benchmark Functionalfitness

For leasing information contact: Clay Rice (806) 665-0800 crice@pampaedc.com

107 E. FOSTER • (806)665-0800 www.pampaedc.com

2018 Business — The Pampa News — Pride Edition

Jim Sinyard has fulfilled Pampa’s hair cutting needs for 18 years

By Patrick Allen

pampanewssports@gmail.com Twitter: @PatrickJ_Allen

Jim Sinyard,, a local barber, has been cutting the hair of Pampa residents for 18 years. He started the shop in January of 2000 and has enjoyed it ever since. “I started my shop over on 316 south Cuyler,” Sinyard said. “People told me when I started that I wouldn’t last six months. Almost 20 years later and I am still here.” Sinyard has relocated his shop a few times since he has opened, moving to Hobart street after and eventually settled down at 609 W. Foster. “This has been a good business for me,” Sinyard went on to say. “It has more or less become my hobby now. Pampa and the surrounding areas have been really good to me. It is more than a business to me now. It is more of a relationship with the community.”

just have to let that go on by.” Sunyard also went on to talk about what he learned in barber school. “In barber school they teach you how to do perms, highlights, hair colors and a lot of other things,” Sinyard explained. “I had to go through 1,500 hours of training and did a written test as well. When I started out here, I was doing both men and women’s hair, and it didn’t take me long to realize that a barbers communication and a woman’s communication are two different things. It just didn’t pan out really well. Then my sister-inlaw Candice Sinyard came in and she has worked with me for many years. Then we started doing both men and womens hair, but eventually we faded out the ladies hair since she leaned more towards men haircuts as well and so we do strictly men and kids hair now.” If you step into Sinyard’s shop, you will notice many hats and pictures hanging around his wall, and he takes pride in Sinyard then talked about what he his west wall, which is dedicated to the loved most about his job. “I really like my job,” Sinyard expressed. “I get to visit with all walks of life and now with the refineries and other places, I visit with people from New York to Louisiana and California. The one thing that I have found is we are all pretty much the same. We are just good, working people.” While Sinyard’s barber shop has been going strong through the years, he has noticed that many changes have been made in regards to popular hairstyles. “There are now all kinds of hairstyles,” Sinyard stated. “I consider myself an old-school barber and we still use a straight razor here and shave faces. We do a lot of military cuts as well and now some are coming in and wanting different designs and things of that nature. I guess I’m too old-school for that, so I


armed forces and those who have served in it. “We have a wall here dedicated to all of the men and women who have served in our armed forces,” Sinyard said. “It was actually started by Candice. We are very proud of this wall, and it consists of hats and other items that those in the armed forces gave to me to put there. A lot of them are long-gone now, but we still respect them and we are still proud of the American flag. We want to honor those men with this wall. We also thank those who are in active duty here by cutting their hair for free.” Sinyard also wanted to give advice to those who were looking to pursue a career in cutting hair. “There is a lot of controversy with barbers and cosmetologists,” Sinyard said. “If you enjoy people, you will love it. It is not an instant gold mine if that is what you are looking for, but it is enjoyable and you can be a big part of the community. You can’t beat it.”


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2018 Business — The Pampa News — Pride Edition


DeFever Monuments continues to provide monuments for Pampa By John Lee

jclee@thepampanews.com Twitter: @jcl1987

Lance DeFever has been a part of Fairview Cemetery but has owned DeFever Monuments, located at 1600 Duncan in Pampa, for 19 years. “We provide any type of monuments or hedgestones as well as date-line engraving,” DeFever said. “We are now also doing the cleaning and re-lettering, restoration work on old monuments.” DeFever’s son, Ethan, has started taking river-rocks and started adding address rocks and other stone decor. “It’s more than the typical cemetery stuff now,” DeFever said. “We’ve branched out some.” DeFever’s service area has grown to include more than just Pampa and said it’s a slight challenge getting his name out there as the primary means of advertising is word-of-mouth. “I’ve been doing it for so long now that hopefully I’ve provided a good enough service,” DeFever said. “That’s allowed me to sell monuments in other towns where I hadn’t advertised or done anything. That (word-of-mouth) has helped me more than anything.” Monument stones are primarily made out of

granite. Stones were formerly made of marble because it was soft and easy to tool, but marble wears down over time. “After 75 to 100 years they’ve slushed off and you can hardly read them,” DeFever said. “The last 75 to 100 years they are made of granite because they can stand the test of time.” DeFever said while it is more common to have arrangements made after a death, there is a trend to have arrangements done in advance. “More people are starting to buy their monument ahead of time,” DeFever said. “They are starting to see the advantage of having everything done. They save their children and surviving spouse the trouble. You have the advantage of having it done the way you want. Sometimes the emotions get in it (when the children or surviving spouse do it) and they over-spend.” While many hedge-stones and monuments are ordered and delivered engraved, DeFever Monuments has the ability to change date-lines after the fact. “Ethan does date-lines and sometimes later on people will want to say ‘parents of’ or someone’s name like ‘mom’ or ‘dad,’” DeFever said. “We don’t have to send a marker in if there is extra stuff like that.”

Before Restoration

DeFever Monuments tries to offer the most personal service possible. “We are right here in town,” DeFever said. “We offer the ability to sit down across the table from people and work hand-in-hand designing their monument. We take a lot of pride in being able to do that.” For more information on DeFever Monuments call 806-669-4495.

After Restoration



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2018 Business — The Pampa News — Pride Edition

First Bank Southwest: A long-time 5 supporter of the Pampa community

Photo by John Lee

From left, Vianey Melendez,Lynsie Green, Megan Kelley, Lilly Calixto, Jeri Joiner, Kim Hill, Dale Ann Novian, Donna Crawford,Jessica Howe and Marsha Poole. Locally, FBSW holds an annual consumer and mortgage loans and Bank Southwest is in a prime, downBy John Lee jclee@thepampanews.com customer appreciation cook-out, has a have a wealth management depart- town location. Twitter: @jcl1987 Meals on Wheels route, volunteers in ment for those interested in estab- “We are in the heart of downtown,” the local schools, holds a school sup- lishing trusts, investments or estate- Hill said. “We are right next to the First Bank Southwest has been ply drive, supports the various non- planning. a financial institution in the Texas profits such as Relay for Life, Create- “We are a big bank that serves small courthouse, city hall and can serve Panhandle for 110 years. They have a-Beat and Pregnancy Support center communities,” Hill said. “We are one the people of the downtown area. We are also at a location near the vein of branches in Perryton, Booker, Amaand is an active member of the Pampa of the Top 5 banks in the Texas Pan- where people come downtown.” rillo, Hereford and, of course, Pampa. Chamber of Commerce. handle. So we have the ability to offer FBSW’s 14 staff members are local They bought their current Pampa “We just try to give back in as many big services in small communities.” location, formerly Citizens Bank and residents and three of them have 35 places as we can,” Hill said. “We feel FBSW holds themselves to the manTrust, in 1990. years or more experience. FBSW strives for not only the com- like we are a pillar in the community tra “faith, family and then our bank.” “That says a lot about our experipany to be community-driven, but the and we have wonderful customers This family-oriented atmosphere ence level,” Hill said. “It also says who are involved in all areas of the makes customers more than just a destaff as well. something about our company. They “We are all community-minded,” community. We’d just like to give posit number. treat their employees well.” Pampa branch president Kim Hill back to our community. For those “We believe in building relationsaid. “Each of our locations partici- who support us, we’d like to support ships, it’s not just about having an ac- Hill closed with saying the compacount,” Hill said. “We believe in hav- ny and staff of FBSW feel blessed to pates in many, many things in the them.” FBSW is a full-service bank, they ing a relationship and treating them be a part of Pampa. community. We feel like that giving For more information call back to the community is what we’re provide any kind of deposit accounts, like family.” about.” certificates of deposit, commercial, Located at 300 W. Kingsmill, First 806-665-2341.


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2018 Business — The Pampa News — Pride Edition


The Business Community in Pampa: Welcoming and Involved

Photos by John Lee

The Top O' Texas Goldcoats, many of whom are business owners and leaders in the community, hold ribbon-cuttings throughout the year welcoming businesses to Pampa. Around a dozen businesses joined the Chamber of Commerce last year.

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2018 Business — The Pampa News — Pride Edition

Top Value’s Isaac Silva has been serving Pampa’s grocery needs By Patrick Allen pampanewssports@gmail.com

Isaac Silva, the manager at Top Value Cost Plus Foods, has been working in the grocery business in Pampa for 11 years. “I really enjoy my job here,” Silva stated. “I get to meet a lot of new people, as well as friends on a daily basis. I really like talking to people and helping them if they need it. I’m here to help our customers with their grocery needs. I also show my employees, especially our young kids, about the work force and what the future is all about. It is about working hard and making a living, and that is what I would like to teach our kids.” When it comes to customer satisfaction, Silva wants to make sure that every customer that walks through his door is satisfied with their service and products. “The happiness of our customers is

really important to me,” Silva stated. “We also want to provide the best prices to our customers to give them more in their savings.” Silva has lived in Pampa for 45 years now, and talked about what he liked most about the community. “It is a pleasant place to live,” Silva went on to say. “There is not much crime compared to a lot of bigger cities and it is good place to live. Yes, we have our ups and downs, but that can be said about every town. It is a nice place to live and raise a family and that is what I chose to do. I had a chance to move out of town but I chose to stay because I really like Pampa.” When asked if he would work at Top Value for years to come, Silva responded: “Yes, I think I will. I would like to retire from this store when the time comes, and I think this will be my last adventure in the grocery business.”


The Business Community in Pampa: Welcoming and Involved

File photos

Above, the Gray County Appraisal District and Culberson Auto, Inc. are just two of the many business that hold various holiday celebrations for the community.

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2018 Business — The Pampa News — Pride Edition

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2018 Business — The Pampa News — Pride Edition

Beverly Taylor, the face of The Pampa News’ classifieds

By John Lee

jclee@thepampanews.com Twitter: @jcl1987

The Pampa News’ classifieds are some of the most read material in the daily paper. Whether it be for a garage sale, a pet, a job, a house or a car, most people have put a classified ad before. If you are someone who has put an ad in, you have met Beverly Taylor, who has been with The Pampa News since 1982. When Taylor started at The Pampa News, there were three people who ran the classified department who typed ads on a type-writer. Now, Taylor is the sole face of the classified department. Taylor went to work

for Gray County for a short six-month stint in 2013 but the love of The Pampa News brought her back. “I love the people I work with and the customers,” Taylor said. The new press, acquired in 2014, and the change to the computers has been the biggest change Taylor has seen at The Pampa News. Taylor recalled her most unique experience that actually was quite scary. “Louise Fletcher was the publisher back then and there was a man who came in and went to her office and just pushed the door open,” Taylor said. “He was fairly regular, we didn’t see what he

had in his hand but he dumped red paint all over her desk, I don’t know what the red paint meant but he was accusing her of yellow journalism.” Fletcher came out of her office with red all over her body, the office staff didn’t know if it was blood or paint. Taylor has seen The Pampa News through five publishers. While Facebook buy, sell and trade pages have staked their claim in the personal transaction industry, Taylor says there are advantages to print classifieds. “Once somebody gets their newspaper the information is handy right there,” Taylor said.

“I understand people always have their phones, too. But they have to go to the site and sort through the stuff for sale.” Taylor stays at The Pampa News because of the people

in the community and her co-workers. “I started here when I was 25 years old and I grew up here (at the paper),” Taylor said. “This is my home and my family.”

Members of The Pampa News in the mid 1990s. Circled in the picture are ReDonn Woods, Beverly Taylor and Chico Ramirez.


Taylor has five children between her and her late husband of 32 years, Keith. She is the grandmother of 11 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

File photo


Submitted photos

Businesses in Pampa are some of the most giving businesses in the Texas Panhandle. Here businesses such as Enbrige and Cabot give to local non-profits in Pampa.

2018 Business — The Pampa News — Pride Edition

Circulation manager Chico Ramirez, 10 a staple at The Pampa News office By John Lee

jclee@thepampanews.com Twitter: @jcl1987

While it would be a stretch to say any member of The Pampa News staff is more important than the other, a case can be made for the importance of Chico Ramirez, who is a key part of the paper’s circulation. Ramirez started working for The Pampa News as an eightyear-old boy on Oct. 25, 1960, which makes him the eldest member of the paper’s staff. “I was a street salesman back then,” Ramirez said. “We’d go around town trying to sell papers. When I was old enough, around 11 or 12, I became a paper boy.”

When Ramirez was in high school he started in circulation part-time. In 1997, he took over as circulation manager. A lot has changed since Ramirez started at the paper. While today a majority of the layout and type is done on the computer, Ramirez remembers when the paper was produced with “hot type.” The pages were put in wooden frames that weighed 40 pounds and after printing the frames were taken apart and the type was melted down for reuse. Now the two pressmen along with two inserters operate the the racks and dealers around circulation department while Pampa and the surrounding area. Ramirez handles the paperwork Ramirez remembers when the and takes the newspapers to all blank paper was unloaded by a

File photo

Chico Ramirez, second from right, and the press crew/circulation department in 2008.

train right behind The Pampa News office at 403 W. Atchinson. During Ramirez’ tenure at The Pampa News, they have had three different presses. A rather odd occasion at the paper, Ramirez remembers a shoot-out between two members of the staff in the 1970s. “We had an advertising director and a sports editor that just didn’t like each other,” Ramirez said. “Both of them brought their gun that day and they were the only ones up front. We were working in the back and heard gunshots and the building emptied. They couldn’t shoot and nobody got hurt.” Ramirez, 76, is married to his wife, Elizabeth, since March 21, 1964 and the pair have two children Andrew and Leo with seven grandchildren and six grandchildren. He plans to keep working as long as his health is good.

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2018 Business — The Pampa News — Pride Edition


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2018 Business — The Pampa News — Pride Edition

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2018 PRIDE

Church 2018

Bob and Margaret Williams and First Presbyterian Church welcomes all who would like to serve Jesus Christ By John Lee

jclee@thepampanews.com Twitter: @jcl1987

Bob and Margaret Williams has been members of the First Presbyterian Church in Pampa for almost 45 years. The church had 75 charter members in 1926, peaking at near 500 in the 1960s. Today, the church has 124 members and are eight years from its 100th anniversary. The existing building was built in 1941, with the education building and annex being added about 10 years later. The church has a community playground that invites neighborhood children to play. “There is no lock,” Bob said. “We have the playground and its primary use is for the neighborhood kids. We have a welcome sign in both English and Spanish.” The church, located at 525 N. Gray, has a traditional worship

service. The Williams say First Presbyterian Church is connected to general assembly. The church is connected to a general-region Presbytery, that sends a member to the national assembly for Presbyterian Church USA. “We’re connected because we have a bond with all Presbyterian Churches, we all pay dues into the Presbytery,” Margaret said. Bob added that the services at other Presbyterian churches would have similar styles to Pampa. Presbyterian churches’ ministries emphasize on hospitals and educational facilities. “They have built seminaries to educate their pastors and if you go to Mexico you will see Presbyterian homes and hospitals,” Margaret said. “That’s part of their mission.” The church supports Trinity and Austin College and formerly supported Shriner College.

For those looking for a church home, First Presbyterian Church is always welcoming new members. “We’re welcoming to anyone who wants to serve Jesus Christ,” Bob said. Margaret echoed that statement and added they are interested in educating the youth as well. “We’re very interested in our children,” Margaret said. “We have a good youth program and know that the next generation is the way to preserve the church.” Bob said the church is a family and they have a great relationship with all of their members. First Presbyterian Church is a giving church and supports, among others, Good Samaritan, Relay for Life, CASA of the High Plains and used to have the Genesis House, which helped young women who had fallen on troubled times. First Presbyterian Church has seen seven members move on to become Presbyterian ministers

and eight have become church leaders in other denominations. They partner with Highland Christian Church, St. Matthews and Macedonia Baptist church for vacation Bible school. First Presbyterian Church, located at 525 North Gray, is often lauded as a beautiful church and that is reflected in the pride the congregation takes in the facilities. “It’s the prettiest little church in town,” Margaret said. “Our interim pastor, when we brought her here she said, ‘This looks wellloved.’” Bob echoed with saying, “we’re very proud of it. When you’re proud of it you take care of it.” The church has service on Sundays at 10:45 a.m. with a children’s sermon during the service. They also have a Wednesday night program called “Worship on Wednesdays.” For more information on First Presbyterian Church in Pampa, call 806-665-1031.

Our Church Community — The Pampa News — 2018 Pride Edition


Hobart Baptist Church: serving the Pampa community for 72 years By John Lee

jclee@thepampanews.com Twitter: @jcl1987

Hobart Baptist Church started as a mission church from First Baptist Church 1946. The original lot and building were donated by Elmer Barrett. In 1951, the new sanctuary was built the church has been located in it’s current location since. Mike Watson has been the pastor of the church since the fall of 2010. The congregation runs between 50 and 75 in the congregation. The church offers three adult Sunday school classes: a young couples class, a everett-body class (mostly senior adults) and a class for everyone else. The church also has a nursery/children’s program that serves through high school-aged children. “While the congregation is primarily older, the Lord has blessed us with several young couples that have come and joined this winter,” Watson said. “The demographic is changing a little, which tickles me to death.” The church is involved in January Wild Game Dinner in the fall and offers a cooking ministry as well. “Leroy Dotson built a cooker and he utilizes it at the Wild Game Dinner but we also use it for evangelism in New Mexico, we’ve cooked for the VFW, the Chamber of Commerce, Meals on Wheels, Pregnancy Center, First Baptist Church at Groom, etc.,” Watson said. “That’s probably our biggest outreach is cooking and the Wild Game Dinner.” As part of the Easter season, the church held a Seder Meal, which is a traditional Jewish Passover meal. The church also holds some revivals, block parties and vacation Bible schools. As a church Hobart Baptist decided to be more involved in funerals for those in Pampa who don’t have a church home. The church has one full-time staff member and four part-timers. Hobart Baptist Church is a Southern Baptist church which makes them members of the Southern Baptist Convention. The church is, however, autonomous. “The way the Southern Baptist is set-up is we have a Southern Baptist National Con-

vention,” Watson said. “They don’t rule the churches, we’re completely autonomous, but we do send them money for missions. We have North American Missions and International Missions. We send money to them and they send missionaries all over North America and all over the world.” Hobart Baptist Church offers traditional worship services where they sing out of a hymn book backed by a piano.

The church’s motto is “The end of your search for a friendly church.” “We’re very Biblical and believe that the Word is the primary concern about the things we do around here,” Watson said. “We’re very conservative, traditional and Biblical.” For more information on Hobart Baptist Church call 806-669-3212 or stop by at 1100 W. Crawford.

Our Church Community — The Pampa News — 2018 Pride Edition

Mary McDaniel and the friendly First United Methodist Church By John Lee

jclee@thepampanews.com Twitter: @jcl1987

Mary McDaniel started going to First United Methodist Church as a 12-year-old girl on the third Sunday of June in 1932 and became a member on Easter Sunday in 1934. McDaniel attributes her grandmother to being influential in her becoming a member of the church. “As a kid, we lived in Kansas City and she was a member of the only Southern Methodist Church in the State of Kansas at the time,” McDaniel said. “So that’s why I picked the Southern Methodist Church.” McDaniel’s shared a story from when she was four or five years old when attending church in Kansas City with her mother, Ida Douglass, and her grandmother Nancy Jane Douglass. “We had Children’s Day at the church,” McDaniel said. “I thought it was the most important day at the church. My mother taught me a Bible verse, it was (this is how it was said) ‘I give you faith, hope and charity, and the greatest of these were charity.’ I still remember my mother teaching this to me, the way she put it to me.” As a shy young girl, McDaniel wasn’t comfortable sharing much, but that day at church with that quote, McDaniel was confident and projected the quote. When McDaniel started attending FUMC, C.A. Long was the Reverend and McDaniel recalls the worship services being very different compared to what you might see in

many churches today. “They were very formal,” McDaniel said. “They had suits, ties, gloves and hats. No bare arms, our shoulders were covered. We didn’t talk much in the church, either.” Today the church is more relaxed and cordial. McDaniel was a long-time member of the choir and remembered the first time seeing the choir perform. “My first Sunday there I saw the choir and I said, ‘I hope someone asks me to sing in the choir,’ I thought they gave invitations,” McDaniel said. “When I was 17 I was asked. I was in the choir for 70 years. Singing was what I enjoyed.” While elder members are important to the church management, the younger members are just as important and McDaniel enjoyed giving childrens’ sermons. “They can sit there with their mouths open but don’t move a muscle,” McDaniel said. “They want to hear the stories and, of course, probably want the treat after. But they are so cute to see.” McDaniel said the first change to the church came in 1973 and then again in more recent years. She added that each renovation left its mark. One of the renovations included was around 2000 when the United Methodist Women decided to renovate the fellowship hall in the basement of the church. “I wanted us to do it in agreement so I suggested we didn’t take any votes,” McDaniel said. “We didn’t

have one cross-word or disagreement among us. We realized we were working together.” Comments from the community included how inviting the fellowship hall looked afterwards and today it is still used for various civic clubs, church and community functions. McDaniel joked that one of the project workers expected various disagreements working with a group of women. “He said this is one of the nicest groups he ever worked with,” McDaniel said. “He thought when we got a group of women he could expect a lot of bickering and disagreement, but not one cross-word was ever spoken. I always felt like that showed in the building.” From all of her years in being in-


volved with the church, one of her greatest lessons learned is working together. “It’s not my or your way it’s our way,” McDaniel said. “It’s what we decide together as a group. It works out so much better than when someone comes in and says, ‘this is how we’re going to do it.’” Presently, First United Methodist Church has services on Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m., King’s Kids and Children’s Choir on Wednesdays from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and youth worship on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. They have Sunday school on Sundays at 9:15 a.m.ß For more information on First United Methodist Church call 806669-7411. The church is located at 201 E. Foster.


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Our Church Community — The Pampa News — 2018 Pride Edition

'Beyond our Power' the theme for Bible Baptist Church this year


By John Lee jclee@thepampanews.com Twitter: @jcl1987

Sunday school starts at 10 a.m. Church service on Sunday starts at 11 a.m. and Sunday evenings

Bible Baptist Church is prepar- at 7 p.m. ing for a transition as Paul Hud-

Bob Hudson is involved in

son, who is currently serving as prison ministry where he visits co-pastor, will soon be taking prisons twice a week and even the reigns of the church from his has a class on Thursdays called father, Bob Hudson. Paul came back to Pampa last

“Searching the Scripture.” “He has seen a lot of people

June after he and his family trust Christ as their savior respent the last 11 and a half years cently,” Paul said. The church also goes to the

in Uganda.

The retirement party for Bob nursing homes in Pampa on SatHudson will be June 22 at 6 p.m. urdays and is working on a projThe theme for this year at Bible ect to start the Pampa Christian Baptist Church is “Beyond our School again. power” from 2 Corinthians 8:3.

Bible Baptist Church also at-

“It really just shows there re- tends conferences for youth, ally is a lot beyond our power,” men and women annually. Paul said. “We need the help

Bible Baptist Church offers a

from God. Without him we can traditional worship service and

while there may be many differ- all of that according to the Bible, Bible is the final authority and is Bible Baptist Church started ent churches and denominations not according to what we desire. the sole authority in all matters in 1947 and is an Independent in Pampa, Paul said it’s impor- (We also need to look at) what of faith and practice. do nothing.”

Baptist Church with a congrega- tant for those searching for a would help us spiritually to grow For more information on Bible tion of about 50 members. The church home to find a church and our families.” Baptist Church call 806-669congregation has a good mix of that fits their needs. Bible Baptist Church is not a 7830 or stop by 500 E. Kingsmill. young and old.

“There’s a lot of different member of Pampa Ministerial They also have an e-mail address They offer a Wednesday night teachings, styles and practices,” Alliance but they do believe the at bbcpampa@cableone.net. children’s program at 7 p.m., Paul said. “We need to evaluate



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Our Church Community — The Pampa News — 2018 Pride Edition

Wallace and Doreen Bruce and the 5 love of Briarwood Church By John Lee

jclee@thepampanews.com Twitter: @jcl1987

Briarwood Church in Pampa started as Lamar Full Gospel Church in 1966. It’s first location was at 1200 S. Sumner. In 1987, the church moved to its present location at 1800 W. Harvester. Their first pastor was Wesley Pollett who served as preacher for a few years. Afterward, Gene Allen served as preacher for 25 years before current pastor Lynn Hancock, who has been preacher for 25 years. Wallace and Doreen Bruce joined the church shortly after their children started going to Briarwood. Wallace and Doreen said the friendliness is what they enjoy about Briarwood Church. “We like everything,” Doreen said. “The friendliness of the people and it is a close congregation. We love the people. We love the pastors.” The Bruces said the Lord has just blessed the church with great programs for all ages. “We have a very strong children’s program,” Doreen said. “That’s one of our big assets. We have good youth groups. Comradarie is still growing and everyone is still keeping up with each other.” The strong comradarie has helped the church grow from just a couple of families, with around 20 members, to an average of 400 members. The worship is a full band and is contemporary. The Bruces said they have been told when you walk through the door you “feel the love” from the church. “When you go there to worship, you worship and it doesn’t make any difference how you worship, you’re allowed to worship how you want to,” Wallace said. “There are great things that happen at our church. It’s hard to explain it all but great things happen.” The church has Feed the Flock held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 to 6 p.m. where Briarwood volunteers prepare and serve approximately 125-140 hot meals.

The church supports many ministries including Wheel Times, Inc., Snack Pack 4 Kids and many more. Doreen said the church and youth ministries are both very strong led by Karen Putman and Brandon Booker, respectively. It’s ministries such as these that have allowed the church to grow the Christian faith. “From the beginning of the church to today we have sent out many ministers, missionaries, choir directors, all walks of life have gone out from Briarwood,” Doreen said. On their website, Briarwood Church says they believe in The Trinity: “It is the testimony of both the Old and New Testaments and of the Christian Church that God is both One and Triune. The biblical revelation testifies that there is only one God and that He is eternally existent in three persons–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. A. God the Father- God the Father is the creator and sustainer of all things, and He created the universe in love. He created man in His own

image for fellowship and called man back to Himself through Christ after the rebellion and fall of man. B. The Son- Jesus Christ is eternally God. He was together with the Father and the Holy Spirit from the beginning, and through Him all things were made. For man’s redemption, He left heaven and became incarnate by the Holy Spirit through the virgin Mary; henceforth, He is forever one Christ with two natures–God and man–in one person. C. The Holy Spirit- The Holy Spirit is God, the Lord and giver of life, who was active in the Old Testament and give to the Church in fullness at Pentecost. He empowers the saints for service and witness, cleanses man from the old nature and conforms us to the image of Christ. The baptism in the Holy Spirit, subsequent to conversion, releases the fullness of the Sprit and is evidenced by the fruits and gifts of the Holy Spirit.” For more information on Briarwood Church, visit www.briarwoodchurch.org or call 806-6657201.

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Our Church Community — The Pampa News — 2018 Pride Edition

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Our Church Community — The Pampa News — 2018 Pride Edition


Serving the others as Christ would

"You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love." -Galatians 5:13

Father Mark Lang of St. Matthew's and the blessing of the animals.

In the Bible, Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matt. 19:14) Create-A-Beat is an after-school program that is housed in Highland Christian Church and serves the Children in Pampa.

The “Empty Nesters” Sunday School Class at First Baptist Church recently participated in “Operation Christmas Child” sponsored by Samaritan’s Purse. They filled more than 70 shoeboxes with items for children overseas, ages 2-14. Operation Christmas Child is an outreach ministry by Samaritan’s Purse where shoebox gifts are packed for children in need around the globe.

Our Church Community — The Pampa News — 2018 Pride Edition

Serving the others as Christ would


After last year's devastating Hurricane Harvey in South Texas, several churches in Pampa held programs to gather supplies to send to our Texas neighbors, including St. Paul United Methodist, First United Methodist and New Life Assembly Church in Pampa.


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2018 PRIDE


School Tammy Diggs: 34 years at Lamar Elementary By John Lee

jclee@thepampanews.com Twitter: @jcl1987

In the field of education when teachers can change classes, grades and schools, to stay at one campus is an accomplishment in itself. That’s exactly what Tammy Diggs has done as she is about to finish her 34th year at Lamar Elementary. “I love the atmosphere and comradarie of the staff at this school,” Diggs said. Diggs has had numerous children of her former students and one grandchild of a former student. Teaching has always been a passion of Diggs’, even when she took a detour in college to work in a variety of public settings including a finance office and the Amarillo Police Department as a civilian personnel. But it’s the love for the kids that brought her back. “I’ve always wanted to be around kids and being able to make a connection with the kids,” Diggs said. Diggs remembers when the building added a wing and remodeled the cafeteria. Most recently the gym and bleachers were replaced. Her craft, however, has changed most of all. “There’s a lot more pressure now to perform,” Diggs said. “There’s not near as much time to do fun, unit-type things. The ‘art’ types of things we used to do.” Diggs wishes the powers that be at the state level, and even national level at times, would remember that the students are children, not small adults. “Let them be kids,” Diggs said. “Everything is so much more data-driven and score-driven.”

Diggs said the numbers and scores that schools are expected to meet change so often, that the moving target makes it challenging for teachers. “When I was in those grades the moving target made it difficult,” Diggs said. “You give a test and you don’t know what the standards are going to be until after you give the test.” This is Diggs fifth year teaching second grade. Previously, in this order, she taught fifth grade for 10 years, fourth grade for four years, third grade for 15 years and now she is in second grade. Diggs recalls actually teaching wanting to teach junior high school in college and being three math classes short of high school certification. After starting in fifth grade and elementary teaching, Diggs couldn’t imagine teaching at the junior high or high school

level. For those looking to get into education, Diggs said it’s a passion for the kids that is the key ingredient. “You’re not going to do it for the money,” Diggs said. “You have to really have a desire to make the lasting impact on the kids. There is so much pressure, so much paperwork and more that goes into than anyone realizes. You really need to have a heart for it.” Diggs lives in White Deer is married to her husband of 33 years, Frank, with two children: a son, Jake, who is a coach in Westbrook and a daughter, Rebecca, who teaches at Wilson Elementary in Pampa. Diggs has two grandchildren, Oakley and Huntley. For more information on Lamar Elementary call 806-669-4880.

2018 Schools — The Pampa News — Pride Edition

Debbie Wildcat: Providing nourishment to 2 Austin Elementary students for over 20 years By Patrick Allen


Debbie Wildcat, a cook at Austin Elementary, has been serving food to students at Austin Elementary for over 20 years now, and has been working in the district for 35 years. Wildcat started out at Lamar, then moved to the High School and once she moved to Austin, she never left. “I started back when my children were in school,” Wildcat stated. “I just worked while they were in school and was out each day when they were out so it all worked re-

ally well for me, and the kids.” Wildcat then went on to talk about her daily schedule. “It can be pretty hectic,” Wildcat said while laughing. “We prepare breakfast and serve it between 7:20 to 8 a.m. and then we go and clean all of that up. After, we start preparing lunch and serve that from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Then we clean that up and go again.” Wildcat also talked about what made her job so enjoyable through the years. “Some of the things these kids do,” Wildcat jokingly said.

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2018 Schools — The Pampa News — Pride Edition

Kelly Vigil and Shannon Loter tied for 29 years within Pampa ISD and Pampa Junior High 3 By Patrick Allen

faces.” Both Vigil and Loter enjoy working together, and while Twitter: @PatrickJ_Allen at first didn’t see each other much, they have grown closer Kelly Vigil, a librarian, and Shannon Loter, a special edu- over the years and stated they felt like they have always cation teacher, are tied for the longest running employees known each other. Both also plan on continuing to be at PJHS as long as they can be. within the district at the Pampa Junior High School. Vigil not only is a librarian, but also does many more things for the school. “I’m a librarian here at the school, but I also teach the gifted and talented and a technology applications class,” Vigil said. “I am also the elementary library coordinator for the district.” Vigil has been a librarian for six years, and has taught reading and ELA for 23 years. “I really enjoy the books,” Vigil stated. “I’ve always loved literature, and to see kids get excited about books, that is a good feeling.” Vigil also talked about a special book fair that they hold every year for their students. “We have an annual book fair here in the library that we do,” Vigil explained. “The ELA teachers bring their kids down during their classes and the students can buy books, pillows, pens and erasers and so much other stuff. We then use the money for our library, and it is just a really neat thing that we do here. It is a big hit with the kids.” Loter also talked about what she did in her job. “I teach the self contained special education class of sixth, seventh and eighth grade students,” Loter said. “The diversity of the class is challenging, but my job is interesting and every day seems like a different day. I love the kids and they kind of like the favorites around the school. The staff and other students just love them and they are really unique.” Loter also is a coach for the Pampa special olympics team, and went on to explain what they competed in. “We four sports in Pampa,” Loter said. “We do golf, bowling, basketball and track. Our teams are very successful and are a lot of fun. We have a lot of volunteers that help with the program, many are family members, and some just do it because they love it. It is very fulfilling and rewarding to help with special olympics and to see the smile on their pampanewssports@gmail.com

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2018 Schools — The Pampa News — Pride Edition

Lori Beesley: teaching students at 4 Pampa Learning Center for 20 years By Patrick Allen

pampanewssports@gmail.com Twitter: @PatrickJ_Allen

Lori Beesley, a teacher at the Pampa Learning Center, has been with PLC for 20 years now out of the 26 total years she has been teaching. “I first got the idea of teaching when I went to take my first child to kindergarten,” Beesley said. “I was impressed by her teacher and how good she was with the kids. She just had a way about her where she just took them in and got them started. I loved that and after I just thought that’s what kids need.” Beesley currently teaches math, and spoke on why she chose that subject over others. “I really didn’t know which direction I was going to go,” Beesley said. “As I started my basics in community college at Liberal,

Kansas I really loved math. I had a great teacher that explained it and I just loved the order and structure of it all.” Beesley then went on to talk about what she felt was the best part of her job. “I really love helping the kids,” Beesley expressed. “I hope to always make my room a place they want to come to. Maybe they don’t like the subject, but I want them to feel comfortable enough coming in here and letting me help them.” Beesley solves many mathematical problems on a daily basis, but also has to solve problems outside of the textbook as well. “Sometimes students just don’t know how to get started and how to think mathematically,” Beesley explained. “One of my goals in teaching is to help them think clear and more straight as they go through the process of solving problems and answering questions.” Beesley also talked about what she loved most about the PLC. “I love so much about this school,” Beesley said. “I love our faculty, as we all work together for our kids. It is a warm and inviting place, and I think the kids feel that too. They really take ownership of our campus here.” When asked how long Beesley would continue to teach, she replied: “I love it here, and I want to teach here as long as I can.”

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District Spotlight

2018 Schools — The Pampa News — Pride Edition

Kristie Troxell: 24 years at Travis Elementary By Patrick Allen


come in already reading and some students come in not knowing letters or sounds to those letters. I have to try to balance out both of them and challenge both sides.” Kristie Troxell, a kindergarten teacher at Travis Elementary, has been Troxell has been asked to teach other grades working at Travis for 24 years now. Troxell in the past, but stated that she felt that kinderstarted her teaching career at Travis once she garten was the place she was meant to be. She finished college, and hasn’t left since. stated that was where her passion was, and “I got into teaching because I really have a couldn’t bear to leave the grade. love for kids,” Troxell expressed.”Especially Troxell isn’t originally from Pampa, as she the little ones. You get to see so much growth came from Lubbock. Troxell then graduated as far as what they have learned.They may from Texas Tech and moved straight to Pampa come in not knowing how to write their name, and started her teaching career. or may even not know how to hold a pencil, “I really like the small town atmosphere,” and by the time that they leave kindergarten Troxell said. they are reading and writing and it is just a “It is a nice sized town to raise a family in. I really good feeling to know you have given actually grew up in a smaller town than Pampa them a good start and a good foundation to so I realize that it has much more than other work from.” small towns but you don’t have the big popuTroxell also talked about why she really lations like cities. I like how people know each loved Travis. other and you can build a relationship with “Travis has always been a place that people many people. I’ve raised three kids here and want to teach at,” Troxell said. they have all done great through the Pampa “We have a great teacher morale, the staff schools.” and administrators are close and I feel that Troxell has also won many awards for teachTravis is a great school because of that.” ing in Pampa, including Teacher of the Year Troxell then went on to mention what kind of twice, the Pampa Elementary Teacher of the difficulties she faced with her career. Year, and a Region 16 finalist for Teacher of the Year. “Students come in on various levels,” Troxell stated. “Some students pampanewssports@gmail.com Twitter: PatrickJ_Allen

District Spotlight




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2018 Schools — The Pampa News — Pride Edition


Mark Mertz: 25 years at Wilson

Mark Mertz, a coach at Wilson Elementary, has been with the school for 25 years now. Mertz is now a coach, but was previously a teacher. “Coaching is my passion,” Mertz expressed. “I actually started out at Wilson as a teacher for 16 years. I was a fourth and fifth grade teacher for a long time and decided it was finally time for a change. I put some of my gifts in place and try out P.E. coaching and I have been doing that ever since.” Going into college, Mertz had his mind set on being a basketball coach for a high school but decided that he would go down the route of business. “My wife to-be at the time told me that I was good with little kids,” Mertz stated. “I then put my mind back into teaching, and at the time I didn’t think about working at an elementary school, but I thought to myself that it wouldn’t be so bad and went into it and enjoyed it. Thats where I am at now.” Mertz then went on to talk about what he enjoyed the most about coaching at Wilson. “It is the challenge of physical fitness,” Mertz said. “I like the fact that we live in a day and age where everyone is thrilled about getting out and exercising. It is fun to see the kids play and enjoy exercising and have a fun time. It’s nice to be the type of guy that the kids see as the fun guy. It’s nice to see them get a relief from the day. You also get to see the growth of the

kids from kindergarten to fifth grade and then you can see what kinds of things the kids have a gift in that you can share with them.” Mertz also talked about what kind of difficulties he ran into on a day-to-day basis as a coach. “Sometimes the kids come in with no background in sports or athletics and I then have to get down to a level that they can understand,” Mertz explained. “Also, sometimes the kids come in hyperactive and ready to have everything out of their system and they can’t help it sometimes. It also is a little difficult to find things that all of the kids will find pleasing and entertaining while getting the exercise they need. That is a pretty big challenge right there.” Mertz originally is from Cleveland, Ohio but moved to Pampa later down the line in his life. “It is just a great community here,” Mertz expressed. “It is one of the few places that can make you feel at home and I have acquired a great family here as well. It gave me a chance to start over on some things in my life and I met my wife who has helped me throughout the years and has been my rock.” Mertz also explained that he really loved the atmosphere of Wilson and how the staff got along with each other well. “It is a great place to work,” Mertz said. “All of the staff work together as much as we can and we make sure to help each other.”

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2018 Schools — The Pampa News — Pride Edition

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2018 Pampa Pride  

2018 Pampa Pride