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MX News Update 2024

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DBU women’s football and volleyball are active in Costa Rica

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The Dallas Baptist University women’s soccer and volleyball teams traveled to Costa Rica over spring break. They served local schools in Guanacaste and Portegolpe and organized sports clinics for the students. The principal of one of the schools said that Americans had not attended their school in more than 21 years. Assistant athletic trainer Sports Medicine Courtney Pinson said: “It was an eye-opener for everyone to see the children crying after spending just a few hours with them. …I have personally witnessed some girls “loosening up” mentally. I saw them giving away to God, and I saw many seeds planted and watered.” DBU women’s football student-athlete Sophia Schrock said, “The faithfulness of the Lord followed us. … Our relationship with the children at Escuela Antonio Jose de Sucre will be cherished forever. We were blessed to share God’s love with them through murals, soccer, volleyball, and fellowship, as our group returned with fresh minds and attitudes of gratitude. I continue to be in awe of the many ways the Lord has acted, and He alone deserves all the glory.”

ETBU’s 77th senior girls call-up, Erin Berry. (Photo/ETBU)

Erin Berry van Bullard was recognized April 26 at East Texas Baptist University’s 77th annual Senior Girl Call-Out. The senior student, who is selected by a vote of the faculty and staff, is “called out” each year and is distinguished for her exemplary Christian character, social consciousness, personal poise, academic achievement and spiritual vision. Berry, a psychology major, is a student in the Honors Program and has completed an award-winning honors research project. She also played on the ETBU women’s basketball team and has served as a Fellowship of Christian Athletes leader, Tiger Camp leader, Psi Chi secretary, Phi Gamma Mu president and Thrive peer mentor. As a member of St. Timothy’s Anglican Church in Marshall, she is actively involved in community and service, contributing to the growth of the church plant. Twenty-seven young women participated in the Senior Girl Call-Out event along with their “little sisters,” lower-class men chosen by the seniors. During the ceremony, each senior girl passed on to her sister the symbols of the University’s ideals and traditions: the grace of the myrtle, the strength of the oak and the evergreen life of the pine. Berry also won the undergraduate research competition at the Southwestern Psychological Association conference in San Antonio. Will funny chickens cross the road?: Humor styles and first impressions was her winning project.

HPU students Jack Shackelford (left) and Daniel Archer (right), recipients of the Dr. Nat Tracy Servant Leadership Award 2024, are pictured with Dr. Gary Gramling, dean of the School of Christian Studies, director of the Christian Studies Graduate Programs and professor of Christian studies. (Photo/HPU)

Howard Payne University recently honored five students at the annual Servant Leadership Awards Chapel for their servant leadership on campus and in the community. Shrouded students were Daniel Sagittarius from Houston, Emily Hughitt of energy, Hannah Parnell from Idalou, Jack Shackelford of Midlothian and Georgia Simmons of Clarksville. “We are extremely blessed to have such high-quality students here at Howard Payne University,” said Gary Gramling, dean of the School of Christian Studies, director of graduate programs in Christian studies and professor of Christian studies. “If you were at the meeting of our selection committee, you would know that narrowing down the selections to just a few people who are honored is a very difficult task. One of my favorite times of the year is when we have the opportunity to recognize students who want to serve the Lord Jesus by serving others.” Hughitt, Parnell and Simmons each received the Howard Payne University Servant Leadership Award, which recognizes exemplary junior-level students in leadership and service and includes a $1,000 scholarship. Hughitt was a recent intern at the Baptist Standard. Archer and Shackelford each received the Dr. Nat Tracy Servant Leadership Award, intended for upper-level students and established to honor the life of the late Nat Tracy, a faculty member at HPU’s School of Christian Studies. Recipients of both awards are selected from nominations from HPU staff and students.

Students from Howard Payne University Brenna Douthit And Samantha Molina were named the 2024 recipients of the Yellow Rose Scholarship by the HPU Women’s Club. Both were honored at the annual Yellow Rose Scholarship Luncheon next door Barbara Grooms, the winner of this year’s Yellow Rose Award. Douthit is a sophomore from Waxahachie majoring in nursing.

The HPU Women’s Club recently hosted the 2024 Yellow Rose Scholarship Luncheon. Barbara Grooms (center) was honored as the recipient of the Yellow Rose Award and Samantha Molina (left) and Brenna Douthit (right) were named as recipients of the Yellow Rose Scholarship. (Photo/HPU)

Molina is a sophomore from El Paso majoring in business administration and music education. She is the first student from HPU’s El Paso Center to be a Yellow Rose Scholarship recipient. Grooms has been associated with HPU her entire life. She received her bachelor’s degree from HPU in 1959. Grooms served as secretary of First Baptist Church, Brownwood, for 25 years, where she had many opportunities to get to know HPU students. She and her husband, Dwayne, remain faithful members of the Church. This year’s keynote speaker was Lesley Wyse.

The Yellow Rose Endowed Scholarship currently provides scholarships to two students, thanks to generous support from the HPU family and community. The luncheon, a tradition started 19 years ago by the HPU Women’s Club, is the main fundraiser for the fair.

Hardin-Simmons’ Western Heritage Day. (Photo/HSU)

Hardin-Simmons University celebrated its 42nd annual Western Heritage Day on April 25. More than 4,000 visitors visited the campus to travel back in time and experience a fun and educational day. Western Heritage Day aims to educate and celebrate the culture of the Great Country’s past through interactive demonstrations and hands-on learning. This free event, aimed at elementary and pre-k children, is offered to the community each year.

Steve Coleman has announced his retirement from the Hardin-Simmons baseball program, effective at the end of the season, after 27 years leading the program. “I came to Hardin-Simmons when I was 33 years old and this university has been so good to me,” Coleman said. “I have grown as a coach, as a leader, as a husband, a parent, a grandparent and have strengthened my walk with the Lord. The coach in me always wished we had won a title or more games, but the most important thing for me is the lasting relationships I have with my players and coaches. Those are the things I cherish most.” Coleman has a 568-537 record and has led the Cowboys to the postseason 19 of 27 years, including this year. He is the school’s all-time scoring leader and is the longest-tenured coach at Hardin-Simmons. His teams have achieved a cumulative GPA above 3.0 over the past 32 semesters. “I am beyond grateful for everything the Coleman family has done for Hardin-Simmons University,” he said Johannes Neese, associate vice president for athletics. “It has been a great professional honor to work side by side with Steve for 27 years. … We will make plans to honor Steve during the fall semester of 2024. This will allow many of his former players, who are coaches, to come back this offseason to thank him.”

Hanna Brown was awarded the Parish Pulpit Preaching Fellowship and the Biblical Preaching Award from Preaching Today.com at the Spring Prize Chapel of Baylor University’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary. The fellowship, sponsored by Church of the Pioneers, is awarded at a small number of seminaries, including Princeton, Fuller, Gordon-Conwell and Luther Northwestern. The recipient – ​​a master’s student who has shown promising preaching – is chosen by the faculty of the participating seminaries to receive $45,000, plus $5,000 debt reduction, to study abroad for a year to preach. Truett recipients of the award complete their fellowship at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. A sermon by Brown can be seen in Baptists Preaching.


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Darin Wood has been selected as one of three winners of the 2024 Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Wood has been pastor of First Baptist Church of Midland since 2016. The Joshua native has a Master of Divinity degree and a Ph.D. from Southwestern and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Dallas Baptist University. He previously served as pastor of Central Baptist Church in Jacksonville, First Baptist Church of Frankston and Memorial Baptist Church in Corsicana. He also served as a youth evangelism intern at the Baptist General Convention of Texas.

Jalyx Hunt (Photo/Juan DeLeon Creative)

The Philadelphia Eagles selected the Houston Christian University Huskies linebacker Jalyx Hunt in round three with pick 94 in the NFL draft. Hunt is the all-American Huskies and the very first player drafted out of Houston Christian University. In the 2023 season, Hunt recorded 46 tackles, nine tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, one interception with a return for a touchdown, three quarterback hurries, two pass breakups and a blocked punt in 10 games. In just two seasons, Hunt has amassed 13.5 sacks, which ranks second all-time at HCU, while his five forced fumbles are tied for the most by any HCU player in his career. His three sacks this season against Lamar University are the second-most in a single game in program history.