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HPU fall 2018 semester begins with times of worship, reflection

Dr Armes Convocation for webBROWNWOOD – September 20, 2018 – The tone for Howard Payne University’s fall 2018 semester, now underway, was set early in the semester by Opening Session for university personnel and University Convocation, HPU’s first Chapel program of the 2018-2019 academic year.

During the Opening Session, Dr. W. Mark Tew, provost and chief academic officer, presented a devotional message that also served as an inspiring challenge for the new year. Dr. Paul W. Armes, interim president, offered a welcome and shared his thoughts on HPU and the importance of faith-based education. Other university administrators provided campus updates and news.

Dr. Celeste Church, professor of music, accreditation liaison and dean of institutional research and effectiveness, introduced the James 5:16 Initiative, which encourages personnel to pray for one another. James 5:16 (NIV) states “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

Pastor Ray Still, president of HPU’s Board of Trustees and pastor of Oakwood Baptist Church in New Braunfels, delivered the morning’s keynote address. He spoke on the importance of higher education with a biblical worldview.

“We ought to desire for students to come out of here loving God and loving people and wanting to be used by God,” he said. “I’m glad that you’re a part of that.”

He discussed the power that occurs when Christians come together to work toward a shared goal.

“There is incredible power when all the people of God are pulling in the same direction,” he said. “There is an incredible power in momentum. There is an incredible power in the unity of hearts and minds all wanting to honor God and do what God has called them to do.”

To view Dr. Tew’s, Dr. Armes’ and Pastor Still’s presentations from the Opening Session, visit

HPU’s Chapel season began Wednesday, August 22, with the annual University Convocation program. Dr. Armes addressed the student body and HPU personnel, encouraging those in attendance to become the extraordinary people God has created them to be. HPU faculty members appeared in their academic regalia and the audience was led in prayers, hymns, scriptural readings and the Alma Mater.

New this semester, HPU offices will be closed weekly for Chapel (Wednesdays at 10 a.m.) so that personnel may join with students in worship. Campus visitors and community guests are welcomed and encouraged to attend. The schedule of Chapel programs for the semester is available at

HPU is now enrolling for the spring 2019 semester. HPU offers a variety of financial aid options, including scholarships for students from Brown County and surrounding counties. For more information about HPU, contact HPU’s Office of Admission at 325-649-8020 or by e-mail at


Cutline: Dr. Paul W. Armes, HPU’s interim president, addresses the audience at HPU’s annual University Convocation ceremony.

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