Recent News News Archives News Categories

HPU Youth Ministry Workshop helps prepare students for lives of service

Dr Jackson at ChapelBROWNWOOD – April 12, 2016 – Youth ministry students at Howard Payne University recently participated in the university’s 46th annual Youth Ministry Workshop, an event designed to strengthen their leadership skills and help prepare them for lives of ministry. The students participated in 15 sessions throughout the event, hearing from veteran ministers from the area, throughout Texas and beyond. The workshop began in 1970 under the leadership of Dr. A.J. Turner, who was then assistant professor of religious education.

The students additionally participated in two worship services and completed a short observation paper on their experiences at the workshop.

Dr. Gary Gramling, professor of Christian studies and director of HPU’s Christian studies graduate programs, described the impact of the workshop on students.

“I think the great value of the workshop is the fact that we bring veteran youth ministers each year so that students can hear firsthand about various aspects of student ministry from people who are currently serving,” he said. “Leadership is something that can be taught to a certain degree, but much of it is caught from seeing and interacting with people who are wonderful leaders and excellent role models.”

YM Workshop ParticipantsIn addition to Dr. Gramling, speakers for the event included: Ricky Cavitt, youth minister at Coggin Avenue Baptist Church, Brownwood; Brad Echols, youth minister at First Baptist Church, Midland; Chuck Gartman, adjunct instructor of Christian studies at HPU and president of Go To Youth Ministry Inc., Cleburne; Jeff Howard, youth minister at First Baptist Church, Plano; Chris Hurt, student pastor at First Baptist Church, Frisco; Dr. Allen Jackson, pastor at Dunwoody Baptist Church, Atlanta, Ga.; Randy Johnson, youth minister emeritus at First Baptist Church, Richardson; Daniel Morrow, student minister at Field Street Baptist Church, Cleburne; Candy Smith, HPU Board of Trustees member, retired minister of education at First Baptist Church, Richardson, and chaplain for Marketplace Ministries; Steve Stege, executive pastor at First Baptist Church, Frisco; Jimmy Storrie, executive director of Life Recovered, Denton; and Dr. Rusty Wheelington, associate professor of Christian studies at HPU.

For more information about the programs in HPU’s School of Christian Studies, call (325) 649-8403 or visit

Applications are still being accepted for the fall 2016 semester at Howard Payne University. HPU offers a variety of financial aid options including the Heart of Texas Scholarship, which awards $60,000 to 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


Photo cutlines: In addition to speaking to ministry students as part of HPU’s recent Youth Ministry Workshop, Dr. Allen Jackson addressed the student body at Chapel.

In conjunction with the Youth Ministry Workshop, participants enjoyed an evening at the home of Dr. Gary Gramling, professor of Christian studies and director of HPU’s Christian studies graduate programs. Pictured, from left, are Dr. Gramling, Lubbock Roe, Joseph Flanigan, Ben Fountain, Cris Begay, Nate Rhodes, Andrew Overmiller, Anthony McCarson, Scott Turner, Chuck Gartman and Shawna Rains.