BROWNWOOD – July 11, 2018 – With almost two months as Howard Payne University’s interim president under his belt, Dr. Paul W. Armes is rediscovering the joys of working in a faith-based educational institution. Dr. Armes, who served for 15 years as president of Wayland Baptist University in Plainview, began his role at HPU on June 1 following Dr. Bill Ellis’ retirement and transition to chancellor.
“I believe so deeply in the importance of faith-based education,” said Dr. Armes. “I’ve been retired for two years and, about a year into retirement, I began to think about the young people, the choices they’re making and what God is doing in their midst. I knew it would be nice to participate in that again.”
When he was approached by HPU’s Board of Trustees to serve as interim while a search began for the university’s 20th president, Dr. Armes accepted the opportunity to continue this important work for the Kingdom of God. He was already familiar with HPU as his father, Dr. Woodson Armes, served as a trustee in the 1980s.
Dr. Armes said he strongly believes that an education deeply rooted in faith – such as one receives from HPU – is more important in our world today than it has ever been before.
“It’s good to know that there are universities where you can still openly and honestly have conversations about Christ and His will for your life,” said Dr. Armes. “You can have conversations about what it is that He has called us to in this world. Those are really neat kinds of discussions to have because they’re about destiny as opposed to just being about vocation. There’s an added layer in that exchange that is really special.”
In addition to his presidency at Wayland Baptist University, Dr. Armes also served as president of San Marcos Baptist Academy, a private Christian school that, like HPU and Wayland, is affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas. He has pastored five Baptist churches in Texas and Missouri and held several interim pastorates. He continues an active pulpit supply ministry.
Dr. Armes earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in religion from Baylor University, followed by Master of Divinity and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has served on numerous committees and boards in denominational, professional and community life. He has also taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels. His honors include being named “Plainview Man of the Year” in 2013.
When he reenters the world of retirement, he will settle with his wife, Duanea, in Stephenville with children and grandchildren nearby. He enjoys woodworking and beekeeping, and the couple also has plans to buy an RV and travel to national parks to partake in another hobby, photography.
However, God’s work in the lives of college students will always be close at heart.
“The wonderful thing about Howard Payne is that this is the kind of place where you come face to face with the claims and the plans that God has for your life,” said Dr. Armes, mentioning that God works heavily in the lives of students and university personnel alike. “Watching folks blossom as they begin to understand where they fit into His plan – whether they’re adults or young people – is really what I think the ministry of Howard Payne is all about.”
Cutline: Dr. Paul W. Armes serves as interim president at Howard Payne University.