News Archives: Baptist Student Ministry

HPU hosts annual Mustache Wheel of Doom fundraiser

Bene wheel spin for webBROWNWOOD – December 13, 2017 – Howard Payne University’s annual Mustache Wheel of Doom fundraiser recently raised more than $5,000 for the Baptist General Convention of Texas’ Go Now Missions. The event is sponsored by HPU’s Baptist Student Ministry.

Teams of male students, along with their personnel sponsors, grew their beards throughout the month of November while raising money for the organization which sends students from universities across Texas, including HPU, to mission fields around the world. Eleven HPU students have been interviewed to potentially serve as Go Now Missionaries during summer 2018.

The two teams that raised the least amount of money spun the Mustache Wheel of Doom and shaved in whichever style the wheel determined. The choices included stripes, half-beards, “No-Tee Goatees” and more.

Twenty-nine students and five personnel members participated in the fundraiser, raising $5,106.

Lehrer beard stripes for web“Mustache Wheel of Doom is a fun event and we look forward to it every year,” said Keith Platte, director of HPU’s BSM. “We’re blessed to be able to support Go Now Missions and the people all over the world who are impacted by this ministry.”

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Cutline: Junior Cole Bene reacts to his spin on HPU’s Mustache Wheel of Doom.

Freshman Jacob Lehrer smiles as stripes are shaven into his beard following HPU’s Mustache Wheel of Doom fundraiser.

HPU’s Stark serves at Mission Arlington through Go Now Missions

Candace Stark 2BROWNWOOD – October 2, 2017 – Howard Payne University junior Candace Stark of Midland served in Arlington this past summer through Go Now Missions, a cooperative organization of Baptist churches that mobilizes Texas university students to share the love of Jesus Christ across the world. Through Go Now Missions, Stark was able to serve at Mission Arlington for four weeks.

Mission Arlington is a center for community ministry in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The many different service ministries at Mission Arlington provide help with the physical needs of the community’s people while introducing them to the Bible and Jesus Christ.

While serving with Mission Arlington, Stark spent most of her time in the “out back” area where donations of clothing and household items were delivered and sorted. While there, she had the opportunity to share Jesus with those serving with her and to pray with them for four weeks.

“The reason I chose to serve ‘out back’ was because at times when it was not too busy I could talk with the volunteers,” said Stark. “Many people working there were serving court-ordered sentences and were amazed that I chose to serve in that area by raising money to do so. My willingness to open up to those whom others had given up on was a neat and humbling experience.”

While serving with Mission Arlington, Stark also assisted with “Rainbow Express” which is similar to Vacation Bible School. She helped serve food and teach the kids about Jesus while the adults were taught separately about Jesus as well. The event occurred two times per week for two weeks.

“Rainbow Express was such a great success and the turnout was unbelievable,” said Stark. “So many kids and adults accepted Christ during the event and that was a blessing to see.”

In addition, Stark served at Remynse Street Fellowship, a local church in the area. Stark said she was taught valuable biblical and life lessons by a special woman in the church. She had the opportunity to learn more about being intentional in working with the kids in the area and in mission work.

“God really showed how sovereign He is in all situations and how we should not question why or where He sends us to do His work,” said Stark.

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Cutline: HPU student Candace Stark served at Mission Arlington this past summer.

HPU BSM leaders encourage student involvement

Haylee Maddox for webBROWNWOOD – September 7, 2017 – Keith Platte, director of Howard Payne University’s Baptist Student Ministry, and several BSM student leaders spoke during the university’s Chapel program Wednesday morning. The leaders described to students the various ways in which they can become involved with BSM ministries.

Platte introduced the student leaders, saying that serving through the BSM is one way in which they live out the BSM’s motto of “Love. Serve. Share.”

“Our student leaders have a passion for their peers to know Christ, they have a passion for our community to know Christ and they have a passion to serve other people,” he said.

Students were encouraged to become involved with one of the BSM ministries including tutoring young students at a local apartment complex, mentoring youth at Brownwood’s Texas Juvenile Justice Department facility, fellowshipping with residents at local nursing facilities and partnering with churches across the state to provide youth activities including Disciple Now Weekend and 5th Quarter. Additional ministries are geared specifically toward mentoring and fellowship with other HPU students. These include Community Groups, Pray & Do, Student-Athlete Ministry, Campus Outreach, Student-Led Worship, Freshmen Council and weekly free lunches provided by area churches.

Sophomore Haylee Maddox of Bellville, leader of one of the BSM Community Groups, reminded students they will get back what they invest during their four years at HPU.

“If you go to social events and start being nice to people and introducing yourself, you’ll start to build relationships,” she said. “Jesus truly changes people and that’s exactly what the BSM is all about.”

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Cutline: HPU sophomore Haylee Maddox, a member of the Baptist Student Ministry leadership team, encouraged her peers to get involved on campus through the BSM. She was one of several BSM leaders to speak during HPU’s Chapel service on Wednesday.

HPU graduate spends summer working with refugees through Go Now Missions

Shaefer Church 2017BROWNWOOD – September 7, 2017 – Shaefer Church, a 2016 Howard Payne University graduate, spent the summer in Greece volunteering with refugees who have fled the Middle East and northern Africa. He was one of three students from HPU and hundreds from the state of Texas serving around the globe this summer through Texas Baptists’ Go Now Missions.

Church served alongside seven other Americans at a refugee camp on the island of Lesvos. They provided the individuals with food, clothing, stability and safety, an opportunity, he said, that strengthened his own walk with Christ.

“As Christians, we are called to serve others and, when we do this, we draw closer to Jesus,” he said. “I really got to see God’s love for the oppressed and how He is at work with refugees. I was blessed in that I got to meet some great human beings within the camp.”

As a student at HPU, Church was involved on campus, particularly with the Baptist Student Ministry.

“I helped out with a few BSM ministries over the years, but the two in which I invested the most time were Student Led Worship and Campus Outreach,” Church said. “Being a part of the BSM was very formational for me, and it really helped shape how I view missions, community and serving others.”

Keith Platte serves as HPU’s BSM director.

“Shaefer served as our BSM student worker for two years,” said Platte. “During that time, I had the joy of seeing God grow a wonderful servant and leader. There’s no doubt that Shaefer was gifted by God with the gift of leadership and that shows in everything he does. People naturally want to join along in what Shaefer is doing, and Shaefer keeps following after the heart of God, so he keeps bringing people closer to God. That’s what discipleship is about. Shaefer gets that.”

In addition to Greece, Church served at other times with Go Now Missions in the Philippines and in Oregon.

“All of these experiences impacted me in ways that I can’t even fathom,” he said. “I am who I am today because of what I saw God do while I was on those trips.”

Church said his long-term ministry goal is to serve Christ and help others overseas. He currently serves as youth director at First United Methodist Church in Brownwood.

“I get to work with some truly amazing youth and serve the Lord right here in my own community,” he said. “I love working with the students, and the fact that I get to be their youth leader is an amazing blessing.”

Church graduated Magna Cum Laude from HPU in December 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Bible.

“In every way that I can imagine, HPU prepared me for what I’m doing now,” he said. “The Christian studies department was a great place for me to learn more about God’s Word, the Church and how to do ministry. I really loved my time at HPU.”

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Cutline: Shaefer Church, a 2016 HPU graduate, spent his summer working with refugees on the Greek island of Lesvos. He is pictured on the HPU campus.

HPU group serves in Slovakia

HPU group in Slovakia 2017 BROWNWOOD – July 20, 2017 – Nine Howard Payne University students traveled to Slovakia at the beginning of the summer for a short-term mission immersion experience. Travelers included students in Dr. Melody Maxwell’s International Missions Practicum course as well as students involved with HPU’s Baptist Student Ministry. The group was accompanied by Dr. Maxwell and Keith Platte, BSM director.

The HPU team led ministry activities among the Roma and Slovak people and learned from Shane and Dianne McNary, field personnel with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.

“It was our privilege and joy to be able to interact with such a dynamic and talented group of young scholars,” wrote the McNarys in an e-mail newsletter following the trip.

Dr. Maxwell’s class prepared for the trip the semester prior by studying short-term missions along with the history and culture of the area and the Roma people.

“The Roma are a people group in Europe who are often marginalized and frequently live in poverty,” said Dr. Maxwell. “We were blessed with the opportunity to briefly serve among the Roma alongside the McNarys.”

Among other activities, the group taught English at a public school in Važec and hosted a Bible school for Roma children in partnership with Jekh Drom, a local non-profit. They also connected with Word for the World – Slovakia, a group of people translating the Bible into a local Roma dialect, and the Slovak Bible Society who has partnered with the group in publishing and distributing the Bibles.

“This trip specifically taught me about the importance of having cross-cultural knowledge and how that shapes our presentation of the Gospel,” said Zoe Emley, junior from Natalia. “This trip was one where I felt that I gained an overwhelming amount of great information about Slovak and Roma culture and the culture of short-term missions.”

Before departing from Europe, the team traveled to Poland where they visited the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum, Schindler Museum and the Polish Roma Association Museum.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that what we did as tourists directly related to who we had been working with while we were on mission,” said Kara Strange, May 2017 graduate from Fredericksburg. “Our tourism was not without a purpose.”

Tara Carroll, junior from McKinney, said the trip taught her that God speaks to everyone differently.

“God transcends human limitations and can transcend cultural differences as well,” she said. “The Gospel is multifaceted and can to speak to everyone in many ways. God has used the McNarys to do beautiful work in Slovakia and with the Roma people. We were able to come alongside this work with them for a short time. They will continue to do this Gospel work long after we are gone.”

In addition to Emley, Strange and Carroll, those on the trip included Daniel Harris, May 2017 graduate from Boerne; Kindell Hill, junior from Jarrell; Tom Kyle, May 2017 graduate from Salado; Anthony McCarson, May 2017 graduate from San Angelo; Erin McCleer, junior from San Angeolo; and Caitlin Vincent, junior from Brownwood.

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Cutline: A group from HPU completed a short-term mission immersion experience in Slovakia at the beginning of the summer. They are pictured at the High Tatra Mountains as they traveled from Slovakia to Poland. Left to right: Caitlin Vincent, Kara Strange, Kindell Hill, Keith Platte, Erin McCleer, Tom Kyle, Zoe Emley, Anthony McCarson, Tara Carroll, Daniel Harris and Dr. Melody Maxwell.

HPU students reflect on Beach Reach experiences

Beach Reach group 2017BROWNWOOD – April 6, 2017 – Students from Howard Payne University’s Baptist Student Ministry joined hundreds of other Christians in serving and ministering to beachgoers on South Padre Island during Spring Break. The annual event, known as Beach Reach, is designed as servant-leadership outreach.

Ten HPU students and three staff members took part in ensuring others stayed safe during the week by giving free van rides across the island and serving pancakes on the beach. They also prayed for the beachgoers and sought opportunities to speak with them about their relationships with Jesus Christ.

“Beach Reach was a great chance for us to go out and help stop a lot of drinking and driving,” said Paden Seidel, sophomore from Proctor. “Along the way we were also able to let many people know that someone cares about their well-being. As a whole, it was a great experience.”

Marissa Godbey, junior from Austin, attended Beach Reach during her freshman year as well.

“I was so excited to have another opportunity to share the Gospel at Beach Reach,” she said. “The atmosphere was a bit different than what I’d remembered and there were twice as many people. Although it was easier for me to talk confidently with people, the island was a lot crazier. The craziness only made me more ready to help keep everyone on the island safe and share the Gospel. I had many great conversations throughout the trip and I know God’s presence was felt on the island.”

The group planned and trained for five weeks in advance of the trip. The students were led by Zachary Sterling, 2016 HPU graduate who now serves as the BSM campus missionary intern.

“One of the goals in training for Beach Reach is to develop the habit of living ‘on mission’ regardless of where we are,” he said. “Christians don’t go on mission, we are on mission – whether at Howard Payne or South Padre or wherever we are. We should always take the time to engage others in conversations and genuinely care about what they have to say.”

In addition to Godbey, Seidel and Sterling, those on the trip included Keith Platte, BSM director; Kelly Eason, residence director for Veda Hodge Hall; Melodee Carrier, junior from Seguin; Zoe Emley, junior from Natalia; Sarah Fernandez, junior from Goliad; Dillon Hughes, senior from Plano; Abi Miller, junior from Belton; Aryn Morris, junior from Pipe Creek; Nate Rhodes, senior from Brownwood; and Emily Selman, junior from Red Oak.

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Cutline: HPU students and staff served and ministered to beachgoers on South Padre Island over Spring Break. They are pictured on campus before the trip.

HPU students raise funds for missions through Mustache Wheel of Doom

kelley-mustache-wheel-of-doom-for-webBROWNWOOD – December 7, 2016 – Several Howard Payne University men recently stepped up to the Baptist Student Ministry’s Mustache Wheel of Doom to learn the fate of their facial hair. The popular annual event raised more than $9,000 for the Baptist General Convention of Texas’ Go Now Missions.

Teams of students, along with their faculty and staff sponsors, grew their beards throughout the month of November while raising money for the organization which sends students from universities across Texas, including HPU, to mission fields around the world.

The two teams that raised the least amount of money spun the Mustache Wheel of Doom and shaved in whichever style the wheel determined. The choices included stripes, half-beards, “No-Tee Goatees” and more.

“Mustache Wheel of Doom is a fun event with a big impact on missions,” said Keith Platte, director of HPU’s Baptist Student Ministry. “HPU students serve through Go Now Missions each year so we are excited to help support the organization.”

student-half-beard-for-webCutlines: Dr. Kevin Kelley, assistant professor of organizational psychology, reacts after spinning the Mustache Wheel of Doom.

Paden Seidel, freshman from Proctor, shows off his half-beard following the Mustache Wheel of Doom fundraiser.

HPU students assist with outreach to Houston’s marginalized

BROWNWOOD – November 1, 2016 – Students from Howard Payne University’s Baptist Student Ministry spent the university’s recent Fall Break in Houston learning about three of the city’s marginalized populations and assisting with outreach programs to those groups.

Led by Keith Platte, director of HPU’s BSM, the group connected with the Church at UH (University of Houston) to learn about the needs of refugees, human-trafficking victims and homeless in the city and how churches in the area are assisting those groups.

The first day they learned about refugees in Houston and how individuals and groups through the Baptist General Convention of Texas have assisted those communities to grow in faith and fellowship. Platte and the students then had the opportunity to play with children in an apartment complex where many Bhutanese and Burmese refugees live.

“Our students got to know some of the challenges that refugees face and how people can learn how best to help them,” said Platte.

The next day, the group learned about the city’s homeless population and human-trafficking victims.

“The first half of the day we cleaned donated shoes for a homeless ministry called Lord Of The Streets,” Platte said. “Then we went to the place where they meet and learned from the group’s director. We got to ask many questions about best practices in addressing help and care for homeless people, and we learned much about the homeless situation in Houston.”

Platte and the students then met with members of a group called Elijah Rising, which helps rescue and restore women who have come out of human-trafficking situations.

“We got to hear from their director, Cat, about the current climate in Houston on sex trafficking, reasons it is growing so quickly and why Elijah Rising is in need of advocates,” Platte said. “Our group also got to tour the Museum of Modern-Day Slavery, which in itself was a huge learning tool.”

The group then traveled through neighborhoods of Houston that have been verified as places which are trafficking women.

The group concluded Fall Break by participating in a worship service with Lord of the Streets during which the students served breakfast and shared in communion with the attendees.

Platte said students grew through their experiences as they saw how some of God’s followers are responding to the city’s needs.

“I believe our students came away with a much greater awareness of God’s heart for the people society has marginalized,” he said.

In addition to Platte, those on the trip included Jaclyn Bonner, senior from Lytle; Karli Conrad, junior from Katy; Taylor Davis, freshman from Alvin; Zoe Emley, sophomore from Natalia; Sarah Fernandez, sophomore from Goliad; Lauren Gravell, freshman from Fredericksburg; Dillon Hughes, senior from Plano; Jessica Meeks, sophomore from Bridgeport; and Bailey Patton, freshman from Grand Prairie. Zac Sterling, campus missionary, accompanied the group.

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HPU hosts another successful Jacket Journey new-student orientation

Jacket Journey 2016 Group

 

 

 

 

 

BROWNWOOD – August 25, 2016 – Howard Payne University hosted another successful Jacket Journey new-student orientation last week for incoming HPU freshmen and transfer students. Approximately 320 incoming freshmen and 50 transfer students participated.

During Jacket Journey, new students spent their first week in residence halls, learned about HPU traditions and campus life and met faculty, staff and upperclassmen leaders.

Chime In 2016 lineHPU hosted Chime In on Friday, August 21, during which the new students were officially welcomed to the university. The participants ceremoniously walked through the university’s Wilson Gate before arriving at HPU’s Old Main Tower to sing the alma mater for the first time together as a class. As graduating seniors, the students will in turn participate in Chime Out, symbolically leaving HPU through the Wilson Gate.

A variety of games, workshops and team-building events were also held. A church social was hosted by the university’s Baptist Student Ministry and local churches. Students also participated in Serving With A Right Motive (S.W.A.R.M.), a community-service event.

S.W.A.R.M. 2016Now is the time to apply for HPU’s spring or fall 2017 semester. The Heart of Texas Scholarship, paid over four years, is automatically awarded to students from the Heart of Texas area who meet unconditional admission requirements and enroll full-time in the fall and spring semesters. Qualifying students will have graduated from high schools or homeschools in Brown, Callahan, Coleman, Comanche, Eastland, McCulloch, Mills and San Saba counties. For more information about this scholarship and other opportunities awaiting students at HPU, contact the Office of Admission at (325) 649-8020 or enroll@hputx.edu. More information may also be found online at www.hputx.edu.

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Approximately 320 freshmen and 50 transfer students participated in HPU’s Jacket Journey orientation this past week.

HPU freshmen and new transfer students walk through the Wilson Gate during Chime In, one of the many traditions for new students at the university.

HPU students participate in community-service events around Brownwood during S.W.A.R.M. this past weekend.

HPU students serve as Go Now missionaries

HPU Go Now Missionaries 2016BROWNWOOD – June 13, 2016 – Nine from Howard Payne University’s Baptist Student Ministry are serving as missionaries around the globe this summer and fall through Texas Baptists’ Go Now Missions program.

Summer missionaries include Joseph Flanigan, junior cross-cultural studies major from Round Rock; Jessica Harris, senior management major from Brownwood; Kindell Hill, junior cross-cultural studies major from Jarrell; Anna Lauren Jeffers, senior Christian education major from Greenville; Adriana Mata, junior elementary education major from San Angelo; Kara Strange, senior business administration major from Fredericksburg; Katie O’Conner, sophomore liberal arts major from Granbury; and Angelica Ramirez, sophomore general studies major from Austin. Ruby Johnson of Alvarado, who graduated in May 2016 with a Bachelor of Music degree, will serve during the fall 2016 semester.

The students are serving in U.S. locations such as Washington, California, Arizona and Oklahoma, as well as in South Africa, Haiti, Germany and other international locales. Their roles vary from working with refugees to leading sports camps for children.

Keith Platte, director of HPU’s Baptist Student Ministry, said HPU students’ participation with the Go Now Missions program has grown during his time at the university.

“We had nine who served during Christmas and nine during the summer and fall,” he said. “What a great blessing to see God stirring these students into action.”

For more information about HPU’s Baptist Student Ministry, visit www.hputx.edu/bsm.

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Cutline: Before traveling to various mission fields around the world, HPU’s student missionaries attended an orientation program at Dallas Baptist University. Pictured in the back row, from left to right, are Anna Lauren Jeffers, Adriana Mata, Joseph Flanigan and Jessica Harris. Pictured in the front row, from left to right, are Kindell Hill, Kara Stange, Ruby Johnson, Angelica Ramirez and Katie O’Conner.