ANDERSON—Texas Baptists Institutional Legacy Day recognized Howard Payne University for over 130 years of exemplary Christian higher education. The recognition, which took place during a worship service at the historic Anderson Baptist Church on Jan. 30, honored the faith and commitment of Howard Payne leadership, both past and present. It also celebrated the partnership between the university and Texas Baptists.
Texas Baptists Associate Executive Director Craig Christina presented the award to Howard Payne President Cory Hines.
“Texas Baptists loves Howard Payne University,” Christina said. “We have offered our prayer and support for over 132 years, and today we are so grateful for the tremendous leadership of Cory Hines.”
Howard Payne was founded in 1889 in Brownwood by members of the Pecan Valley Association. In 1897, the school joined a network of schools funded by the Baptist General Convention of Texas.
Since then, the school has grown to offer over 100 majors, with a campus that spans 80 acres. Howard Payne enjoys an enrollment of approximately 1,000 students.
During the service, worship was led by Heritage Band, the Howard Payne chapel band.
Richard Jackson, former pastor of North Phoenix Baptist Church and Howard Payne alumn, delivered a sermon from Matthew 16:16-20, reminding congregants that the Church is built on believers.
“[The disciple] Peter was a stone. And everybody who is born again by the Spirit of God by receiving Christ is a stone in the edifice of God,” he said.
Jackson thanked the church for being part of a legacy that has supported Christian education for years as institutions train up Christian leaders to continue building the Church up.
“All of us are a part of the same family; all of us are a part of the Kingdom of God. Jesus is the administrator of the church of God, and so we all work together… and therefore churches come together to support institutions like Howard Payne University,” Jackson said.
Following Jackson’s sermon, Chris Liebrum, vice president for External Affairs at Howard Payne, thanked Texas Baptists, Jackson and Anderson Baptist Church for making the service possible. He noted that the members of Anderson Baptist were part of a special legacy of Baptists who were there since Texas Baptists’ founding.
In 1848, twenty-two churches gathered together in Anderson, TX, to form a Baptist state convention in Texas. Then in 1886, five Baptist state conventions merged together in Waco to form the Baptist General Convention of Texas. Since then, Texas Baptists has partnered with more than 27 education, health and human care institutions. Institutional Legacy Day was started in 2018 to celebrate these partners.
“I want to say thank you to you on behalf of your forefathers for their wisdom and courage,” Liebrum told the church, “and for listening to God’s voice to not just plant churches but also mechanisms for teaching students.”