BP Ledger, Oct. 10 edition

Baptist Press
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Posted: Oct 10, 2011 5:52 PM
BP Ledger, Oct. 10 edition
EDITOR'S NOTE: BP Ledger carries items for reader information each week from various Southern Baptist-related entities, and news releases of interest from other sources. The items are published as received.

Today's BP Ledger includes items from:

Biblical Recorder

Florida Baptist Witness

International Mission Board

Compass Direct News

Campbellsville University

Judson College

Charleston Southern University -- 2 items

Hardin-Simmons University

IMB writer joins Recorder

Dianna L. Cagle, BR Assistant Managing Editor

RALEIGH, N.C. (Biblical Recorder)--A recent Biblical Recorder (BR) Board of Directors meeting resulted in a new addition to the BR staff.

Shawn Hendricks, a senior writer from the International Mission Board (IMB), will start as managing editor on Oct. 24.

"I am excited to welcome Shawn to the Biblical Recorder staff," said K. Allan Blume, editor/president of the Biblical Recorder. "He shares our vision for the Great Commission and brings valuable experience in journalism to this ministry. I believe North Carolina Baptists will appreciate his leadership and his perspective."

Hendricks has been at the IMB for almost 10 years. He has a communication arts degree with an emphasis on journalism from Union University in Jackson, Tenn., and cut his teeth at the State Gazette in Dyersburg, Tenn., before working in public relations at Hannibal-LaGrange College in Hannibal, Mo.

He also was a writer at Word & Way, the Baptist paper in Jefferson City, Mo.

"It's an exciting time to join the Biblical Recorder," said Hendricks.

"God is doing some amazing things through North Carolina Baptists in this state, around the country and in other nations. I'm looking forward to being a part of the BR team and helping tell this story."

Hendricks said his time at the IMB gave him a front-row seat to how God is "impacting lives throughout the world. It's been a wonderful ride, and I've enjoyed seeing how God continues to transform lives."

The Baptist Communicators Association awarded Hendricks awards in features and news writing this year for coverage in Haiti.

He and his wife, Stephanie, have a daughter, Laura. For the past two years the Hendricks have been involved at Movement Church, a church plant in Richmond, Va.

The Board met Sept. 26 at Caraway Conference Center near Asheboro. During that same board meeting, the directors approved a move of the Recorder offices to the Baptist State Convention in Cary.

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NFL Hall of Famer Selmon remembered as a 'man of great wisdom'

By Carolyn Nichols

TAMPA, Fla. (Florida Baptist Witness)--NFL Hall of Famer and Tampa Bay Buccaneer defensive end Lee Roy Selmon, 56, died Sept. 4 after suffering a stroke two days earlier. Central Tampa Baptist Church, where he was a member, joined a nation of football fans in mourning his passing.

After a wake and viewing at Central Tampa Baptist Church Sept. 8, thousands gathered at a larger venue, Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz, for his funeral Sept. 9. Several speakers, including Central Tampa Baptist Church Pastor Jeffrey Singletary, touted not only Selmon's work on the football field, but also his lifetime of service to the Tampa area.

Singletary told Florida Baptist Witness he met Selmon at a Big Brother/Big Sister event about 25 years ago, although he "knew him from a distance" in his playing days. The Selmon Family began attending Central Tampa Baptist seven years ago and joined the church five years ago, he said.

Selmon served in the Young Lions Mentoring Program at Central Baptist, a program aimed at 12-18 year-old boys, and he was also a member of the Tuesday morning Men's Fellowship Ministry that numbers 12-15.

"He was a man of great wisdom, and he was a sounding board, counselor, confidante and friend," Singletary said.

Selmon and his wife, Claybra, went to Haiti in October, 2010, as members of a mission team from Central Tampa Baptist to deliver supplies to churches affected by the earthquake. During the trip, the Selmons decided to personally finance the construction of a home for a family of 14, and he paid for two young men to attend high school, Singletary said.

"Nobody knew he did that and nobody there knew who he was, and that's the way he wanted it. They are people who like to be behind the scenes," he said. "We will miss him."

Selmon, who played with his older brothers Dewey and Lucious at University of Oklahoma, won the Outland Trophy and Lombardi Trophy in 1975 after leading the Sooners to two national championships. He was the number one pick in the 1976 NFL draft, the first player selected to play for the new expansion team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1979, and was selected to play in six Pro Bowls. He retired as a Buccaneer in 1984 and was selected to the NFL Hall of Fame in 1995. Selmon was the first inductee into the Buccaneer's Ring of Honor at Raymond James Stadium two years ago.

He was instrumental in the creation of the football program at the University of South Florida, where he served as assistant athletic director beginning in 1993, then as athletic director 2001-2004. USF President Judy Genshaft announced at Selmon's funeral the re-naming of the USF athletic center in his honor.

Selmon also owned eight restaurants in the Tampa area that bear his name.

He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Claybra; three young adult children, Brandy, Lee Roy Jr. and Chris; and five brothers.

A second funeral service was held Sept. 10 at First Southern Baptist Church in Del City, Okla., with burial in Trice Cemetery in Oklahoma City, about two hours east of Eufala, where Selmon was born.

Memorial gifts may be made to Abe Brown Ministries, www.abebrown.org, 2921 North 29th Street, Tampa, FL 33605; or to The Selmon Fund at the University of South Florida Foundation Partnership for Athletics, www.mybullsclub.org, 4202 E. Fowler Ave., ATH 100, Tampa, FL 33620.

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SOUTH ASIA (IMB)--Brief items reported by South Asia News (http://www.go2southasia.org) on Oct. 4 include:

BANGLADESH. "The rains came down and the floods came up." This is not just a cute song for the residents of Bangladesh. This is the reality of the yearly monsoon and its devastating effect on life. Many have suffered this season, as their homes have been submerged by water and all their worldly possessions have been lost. The world recognizes the humanitarian crisis and the disease and poverty that are part of the normal cycle of life for millions. This is significant and worthy of our prayers and giving. However, let us also not forget the next part of the song about the man whose home was built on the foundation of sand. It could not stand under the weight of the storm. This can be seen by the naked eye and is part of the problem in Bangladesh. Spiritually speaking, most Bangladeshis' lives are built on the weak foundation of works and superstition. They need the solid foundation of Christ so they can remain strong through any storm. Pray for the needy of Bangladesh to have safe refuge, food and medical care. Most of all, pray that they will come to know Christ, the solid Rock, and experience His unwavering presence in their lives.

BHUTAN. Pray for a spirit of boldness among the believers to keep sharing the Gospel message. The country is always discussing anti-conversion laws. Pray that the Gospel would go forth unhindered even in the face of political pressures. Pray that the church would worship using their local languages, not trade languages, so that the songs might spread easily and naturally from church to church and house to house as they worship the Father in their mother tongue.

DIASPORA. "The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest" (Matthew 9:37-38, HCSB). We desperately need co-laborers, especially South Asian partners, to reach the many South Asian immigrants in the Diaspora. On October 3-8 there will be a training event in a Toronto suburb. Please pray for the participants and the trainers - that their travel be safe, their communication be clear, and their vision be from God. Ask the Lord to prepare these participants to take the Gospel message to thousands of South Asians world-wide who are still worshipping false idols.

INDIA. "Sometimes I have such dark dreams and such severe depression that I have to ask my boss to leave work on account of my crying," said A., an educated and wealthy government teacher in the valley. Statistics say that more than 80 percent of Kashmir deals with some form of post-traumatic stress, depression, or mental illness. The effects of more than 20 years of militancy and violence have taken their toll on the minds and hearts of ordinary people who are sincerely searching for peace. Some of those struggling with depression have received Bibles or have heard the Gospel message. Jesus said, "I am leaving you with a gift -- peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn't like the peace the world gives. So don't be troubled or afraid" (John 14:27, NLT). Pray that His peace will penetrate the darkness and bring complete deliverance for all those in Kashmir drowning in anxiety or depression.

MALDIVES. Pray for Mohamed Nasheed, the president of Maldives since Nov. 2008, a young man who was imprisoned on several occasions before being elected as president because he stood up for what he believed. Pray that he will continue to stand for justice and truth for his nation and come to know the One who said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me" (John 14:6).

NEPAL. On September 18, a 6.9 magnitude earthquake occurred in Sikkim near the border of India and Nepal. Lives were lost, homes and roads were destroyed. People were left without food, water and the basic necessities of life. Please pray as relief efforts continue that the love of God would shine through Christian workers and that many would encounter the Savior of the world. Pray for Nepalese believers who are being trained to reach out in the most remote areas of Nepal with the Good News.

PAKISTAN. "Pakistan is a hard place, so Christian leaders have to be anchored in the Word and in the practice of the Gospel in order to make a difference," the seminary president said as he peered through his glasses and over his desk. Seminaries, Bible colleges, and Christian training centers in Pakistan are responsible for training and discipling most of the leaders of churches and Christian organizations in this spiritually dark area. They often do this with amazing resilience and joy despite meager funds, support, and constant persecution from the majority who live there. Pray that these institutions will be filled with the Light of Christ, and that new and promising partnerships between seminaries and churches in the United States will bring fresh encouragement and vision to the centers for theological education in Pakistan.

SRI LANKA. J's story is similar to that of believers across Sri Lanka. J is a Buddhist-background believer. He was raised a Buddhist, and he believed in Buddhism -- that is, until volunteers came to him in his time of need after the tsunami. He was shocked that people he had never met would do something so lowly as clean his toilet. He was captured by the love of Christ! Soon J placed his faith in Jesus as his Savior. Today, J lives faithfully for his God. But it has not been an easy road for J. Being the only member of his family who has renounced his faith in Buddhism creates complications. His wife has burned his Bible, thrown cold water on him as he was praying, mocked and belittled him, and in so many other ways sought to destroy any love he has for her. Others all across this island daily bear the cross of Christ in a similar manner. It may come in the form of a beating, homes being damaged, churches being burned, shops being vandalized, families fleeing to the jungle for safety, and, even for some, death. Pray for persecuted believers to remember the mercy and grace that has been lavished on them so that they can say with Paul, "When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly" (1 Corinthians 4:12b-13). Pray also for believers to "fearlessly make known the gospel" (Ephesians 6:19) to those around them.

SOUTH ASIAN HINDU FESTIVALS. Divali (pronounced dee-WAH-lee), a popular Hindu festival, will be celebrated by Hindus this month. The festival covers four days, but the primary date is October 26. Often called the Festival of Lights, it is marked by fireworks, candles, and strings of lights wherever they can be hung. There are as many stories about the meanings of Divali (also known as Deepavali in some areas) as there are lights in each city, but the basic belief is that Divali represents the victory of good (light) over evil (darkness). In South India, the day is celebrated with a ritual oil bath in the morning and by donning new clothes, eating special sweets, and greeting one another with, "Have you had your Ganges bath?" (referring to the oil bath that is considered as purifying as a bath in the holy Ganges River). Hindus believe sins are forgiven, and a sense of unity is sought. Will you pray for the Hindus of South Asia this week? Ask God to reveal His Son as the true Light of the world. Pray that their eyes will be opened and that their hearts will be prepared to receive the seed of the Gospel. Pray that this time next year, there will be fewer Divali celebrations and more salvation celebrations! Ask God to help you meet Hindus in your neighborhood, and to give you opportunities this week to talk to them about the ultimate victory of good over evil.

SOUTH ASIAN UNENGAGED PEOPLES. The Dhobi (the washer men of India) are scattered throughout India and tend to take on the customs of those around them. The Dhobi of Tamil Nadu are Islamic converts from Hinduism. Numbering almost 1 million, they are in need of the Savior. As they wash and iron others' clothes, pray for the Dhobi to desire a relationship with the one true God and allow Jesus to wash away all their sin.

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Hard-line Muslims in Egypt Attack Coptic Church, Homes

Throng of 3,000, including Salafists, burn Christian-owned houses, businesses.

By Wayne King

CAIRO, Egypt (Compass Direct News)--A group of hard-line Muslims attacked a church building in Upper Egypt this afternoon, torching the structure and then looting and burning nearby Christian-owned homes and businesses.

The 3,000-strong mob of hard-line and Salafi Muslims gutted the Mar Gerges Church in the Elmarenab village of Aswan, then demolished much of its remains, multiple witnesses at the scene said. The mob also razed four homes near the church and two businesses, all Christian-owned. Looting was also reported.

Michael Ramzy, a villager in Elmarenab, said the attack started shortly after Muslims held their afternoon prayers.

"Imams in more than 20 mosques called for crowds to gather and destroy the church and demolish the houses of the Copts and loot their properties," Ramzy told local media.

The Mar Gerges burning is the third church in Egypt in seven months to be burned down by a mob. Additionally, numerous other churches have been looted or otherwise attacked this year, including a New Year's Eve bombing at the Two Saints Church in Alexandria that left 23 dead and scores critically wounded.

No casualties have yet been reported in today's attack.

The tension in Elmarenab started the last week of August, when Muslim extremists, many of them thought to be members of the Salafi movement, which patterns its belief and practices on the first three generations of Muslims, voiced anger over renovations taking place at the church and anything perceived as a Christian symbol that could be seen from the outside.

To force the Copts to acquiesce to their demands, the Muslim extremists blockaded the entrance to the church and threatened Copts on the streets, in effect making them hostages in their own homes.

On Sept. 2, a meeting was held with military leaders and village elders in which the local leadership of the Coptic church agreed to strike all crosses and bells from the outside of the church. Normalcy returned briefly to the village, but by early the next week, the same people making demands for the removal of the crosses demanded the removal of newly constructed domes.

In subsequent meetings, known as "reconciliation meetings," the priests of the church said that removing the domes would cause the building to collapse. Unfazed, the group of hard-line Muslims called for the church building to be burned.

During the dispute, the Muslim group claimed that the renovations were illegal because the building in question wasn't actually a church, but a hospitality building - a claim cast into doubt as the original building on the site had existed as a church for roughly 100 years, and the parish received permission by the Aswan governor in 2010 to rebuild it as a church.

The attack is part of a larger and ever-increasing trend taking place in Egypt whereby a government official in a province or municipality grants permission for a church to be built or reopened, and hard-line Muslims threaten violence if services take place. Coptic leaders accuse the government of playing a colluding role in the violence by not enforcing the law, including a recently renewed and expanded Emergency Law, which stipulates imprisonment as a penalty for acts of sectarian strife, "thuggery" and vandalism of private property.

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Jim Munroe shares his testimony through illusion at Campbellsville University; 172 professions of faith by CU students

By Natasha West, student news writer

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. (Campbellsville University)--Jim Munroe's ability to blend illusion and the gospel is why Campbellsville University students are raving about him. On the evening of Sept. 30, Ransdell Chapel was overflowing with 900 plus people enthusiastically waiting for Munroe's show to begin.

Many students responded to his story, said Ed Pavy, director of campus ministries at CU. "After we had collected the response forms, our Prayer/Usher team counted 172 professions of faith by CU students. What an impact for the kingdom!"

"Jim Munroe and his crew arrived right on time, were very friendly and were easy to work with. We utilized his street magic abilities in our dining hall during the busiest rush, with our football team as they prepared for practice, and with our marching band before their afternoon rehearsal," Pavy said.

Many people didn't know what to expect. "I don't like magic shows, I never have because it's fake, and I don't find anything entertaining in that," Celeste Presley, a sophomore from Georgetown, Ky., said.

"I went because a friend asked me to go, but then he gave his testimony and I realized why he did what he did. This was my favorite part. After seeing the show, it made me want to be a stronger as a Christian because if he can keep his faith with cancer and afterward use that as a tool to witness, it showed me that everything is minuscule compared to the fear of dying," she said.

"The show was simply amazing. Jim's connection with the crowd was instantaneous. His production was flawless, unique and very entertaining! The way Jim uses his personal story as a backdrop to incorporate his beliefs about the act he is performing as contrasted to the truth he puts his faith in is just excellent. We all know the message. His communication of it is personal, powerful and effective," Pavy said.

"He blew my mind! As a Christian, it strengthened my walk with God, showing me he has a plan for us, and he has a specific purpose for my life," John McCain, a senior from Rosehill, Va., said.

Munroe used tricks, humor and mystery in the show and always provided more substance behind it, making it relatable to the audience's lives and to making the audience question what the truth really is. He gave his personal testimony and explained what God has done for him and why he is where he is today.

Munroe said he has been doing magic tricks since he was a young child. He said, "Having become a magician you understand that there is some kind of scheme or something going on behind the scenes that is ultimately fake or false."

In college he was asked to attend church one day, and that's when his life changed. He explains that he began to ask himself the God question. Maybe there is something more to this? If he was going to believe in this God, and the Bible, then he asked God to make it real to him.

He said, "Sometimes when you pray prayers, you don't fully want them to be answered. Mine was getting ready to be answered."

Munroe was 29 years old when he started having really intense pain in his leg. He decided that it would probably be best for him to go to the ER.

They began to run numerous tests on him. The doctor told him that his white blood test was very high. They ran more tests to later find out he had leukemia and basically that he was going to die in two months if they didn't do anything.

Munroe said he went through a rough road, but God proved to be faithful when he received a perfect match for a bone marrow transplant. The transplant was successful and his body accepted this new blood and it slowly began to build a new immune system.

As he explained his story, "It's no longer I who lives, but someone else who lives inside of me. When they look at my blood now, when they investigate it, they don't see a 30-year-old male; they see a 19-year-old female. I literally have XX chromosome living on the inside of me, a substitution of blood on my behalf so that I could live again; and so that the deception of my body would die. That to me is really difficult to ignore when I ask God to reveal himself to me. That is very difficult to ignore."

Munroe said he believes that all of us have a spiritual cancer that's eating us away on the inside and that when we really take a look at it, we are dying and we are begging for somebody to intervene and step in on our behalf.

"He mentioned the show is called the 'maze' because it's like our life, we don't know where we are going, and we never know what God has planned for us, but he has a purpose," Ashley Wilson, a junior from Russell Springs, Ky., said.

Munroe encouraged those students who didn't have a relationship with God to seek him, and make the decision to become a believer, and to devote their lives to following him.

The Maze was supported through the Eliza Broadus State Mission Offering received annually through the Kentucky Women's Missionary Union and the Kentucky Baptist Convention. The Maze is being brought to eight locations around Kentucky.

"What a wonderful blessing for our campus and another example of the benefit we receive to be affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention," Pavy said.

If you would like more information on the maze, go to www.whatisthemaze.com.

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Judson biographer and retired missionary challenges college audience to leave a legacy

By Michael J. Brooks

MARION, Ala. (Judson College)--Rosalie Hunt said her life was changed as a youngster growing up in China on the day a beggar came to the door.

"It was Christmas morning," she said. "I heard the knock and decided to see who it was myself since everyone else was busy. I was surprised to see the beggar on the front steps asking if we had any bread."

Hunt said the beggar was a leper and his hands and feet were twisted. She gave him a biscuit and watched him pick up every single bit, not wasting a crumb.

"Then and there I felt God calling me to give my life to people in need," she said. "And I learned that spiritual need is met through Jesus who called himself the bread of life."

Hunt made a return visit to Judson College on Sept. 27 where she spoke to students, faculty and staff about her work as a missionary in the Orient, and more particularly about her work as Judson biographer.

Hunt was born in Honolulu while her parents served in China. She earned degrees in theology, speech, counseling and English in preparation for her missionary career that included stints in Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, India and Australia. More recently she was president of the Alabama Woman's Missionary Union.

Hunt is known to her Judson audience as the biographer of Adoniram and Ann Judson. Her book, "Bless God and Take Courage" was published by Judson Press in 2005.

"I visited Burma in 1999 and saw the reverence Christians have for Adoniram Judson," Hunt said.

"He translated the scriptures from the original language into Burmese and Burmese Baptists yet see him as their spiritual ancestor."

Judson was not a Christian when he graduated from Brown University, but upon further study, wrote that he was making "a solemn dedication of my life to God." He met Ann Hasseltine in Bradford, Mass. and proposed to her one month after their meeting. They married on Feb. 5, 1812 and sailed for India two weeks later. En route to India both Adoniram and Ann became convinced that New Testament baptism was by immersion and determined to leave the Congregational church and become Baptists. They were baptized in India and then found their life work in Burma.

"Adoniram Judson is a wonderful example of perseverance," Hunt said. "His motto was always 'bless God and take courage,' and he did, no matter the circumstances."

The Judsons worked in isolation and waited over three years before receiving their first letter from home. Their first child was stillborn en route to the Orient and their son, Roger, died at age seven months. The couple labored for six years in Burma before they had their first convert. When the Burmese went to war with Britain the government feared Judson was a British agent and imprisoned him for almost two years.

"Ann Judson saved her husband's life," Hunt said. "She took him food every day and convinced the authorities three times not to proceed with planned executions. She was a model of courage. She quite literally gave her life to save her husband, and she died at age 36."

Hunt said the Judsons left 100 churches in Burma and 8000 believers. Today there are over 4 million Christians in Burma including 2 million Baptists.

"These wonderful Christian pioneers left a legacy," she said. "They helped build the kingdom of God. What are you and I doing to make a difference in eternity?"

Hunt has been honored in recent years with honorary degrees from Judson University in Elgin, Ill., named for Adoniram Judson and by Judson College in Marion, named for Ann Judson. She makes her home in Guntersville, Ala.

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Charleston Southern Senior Achieves Perfect Score on National Teacher Preparation Test

CHARLESTON, S.C. (Charleston Southern University)--Shannon Burgess, a Charleston Southern University senior majoring in elementary education, recently earned a perfect score of 200 on the Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching test administered by the Educational Testing Service.

Burgess, a native of Anderson, is a South Carolina Teaching Fellow. The PLT test has a range of 100 to 200, with a score of 185 used to identify Recognition of Excellence winners. A Recognition of Excellence Certificate identifies those teaching certificate candidates who score in the top 15 percent nationally.

"Perfect scores of 200 on the Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching K-6 test are very rare," said Kevin Larkin of the Educational Testing Service. "Only about 0.2 percent of examinees have achieved scores this high."

Currently, Burgess is completing a year of clinical practice at Spann Elementary School in Dorchester District Two, a Professional Development Site for CSU's School of Education. She is on the Dean's List, serves as treasurer of the Future Teachers' Society and is an officer for Teaching Fellows. She has served as a mentor/tutor at Boulder Bluff Elementary School and has worked with Lowcountry HeartWalk, Operation Charleston Child, Lowcountry Orphan Relief and Habitat for Humanity.

Dr. Norma Harper, dean of the School of Education, said, "Shannon is more than a perfect score. She lives out the CSU commitment to learning, leading and serving. Her intellectual and creative energy are already making a difference for children."

Burgess said, "I did not do this alone. God really helped me to do my best on it. I could not have done it without Him, so I can't take all of the glory!"

Burgess is the daughter of Rex and Kristie Burgess of Anderson. She is engaged to Bryan Meares, who is also a Teaching Fellow at CSU. She has been a nursery worker and Sunday School teacher at Bethel Baptist Church and is currently a member of Calvary Baptist Church in Williamston.

The Principles of Learning and Teaching test is a requirement for graduation and state certification and measures the future teacher's ability to apply knowledge and to think critically about classroom curriculum, management and assessment, as well as leadership skills.

The CSU School of Education is a nationally accredited teacher education program through the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

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Groundbreaking stirs emotions

CHARLESTON. S.C. (Charleston Southern University)--Jay Mills has a deeper appreciation for the sacrifice required to build a new Athletic Center. The Charleston Southern University head football coach choked back tears as he spoke of the physical sacrifice past and present players endured to make the building a reality.

"This is very emotional for me to think of the young men who have sacrificed to perpetuate a vision and a dream," he said. "For many of them, it's cost them physically."

"Jay Mills is a special individual with a special vision," said CSU athletic director Hank Small. "He took this challenge on for his team. This is great for all of us to see. May God bless him and the athletes."

Charleston Southern University president Dr. Jairy C. Hunter called the groundbreaking a "miracle," calling past and present football players "servant leaders" for their efforts.

"This is a special day in the life of our University," said Hunter. "The University is grateful to our football players, athletic director and coaches for their dedication and hard work."

Phase One of the new 24,000-square-foot Athletic Center will begin this fall and will feature football and track & field locker rooms and an athletic training center. The second phase of construction will include football offices and meeting rooms. Construction on the third and final phase will include a new athletic weight room.

"The Athletic Center represents significant progress for CSU's NCAA D-1 athletic program, specifically the university's commitment to student-athlete welfare and success," said Dr. Rick Brewer, vice president for student affairs and athletics. "We are excited about the construction of this anchor facility for two additional facilities to be built in the future. The Athletic Center advances CSU's athletic program goal of providing a competitive NCAA experience built upon a commitment to developing student-athletes academically, athletically and spiritually."

When the new center is completed, the facilities will benefit all of Charleston Southern University's 16 NCAA Division I athletic programs. CSU Track & Field coaches Tosha Ansley and Tim Langford attended the ceremony and thanked the program.

"When I came for my interview, I walked the track seven times for each of these words: Lord, let your will be done. Amen," Langford said. "I'm excited about what's going on here.

Alumni and current athletes -- you're the tradition."

"We're privileged to work here," said Ansley. "We appreciate the football team for all they have done. I graduated in 1999. When I was here the track team didn't even have locker rooms. We changed in our rooms."

Former quarterback Collin Drafts, a member of the 2005 Big South Championship team and a 2011 Hall of Fame inductee, is excited to see his alma mater make improvements.

"This building has been a long time coming," he said. "This is something that was talked about when I was in school, so it's great to see it finally happening."

Charleston Southern University has partnered with Hank D'Antonio and Associates and Trident Construction for the design and construction of the new Athletic Center.

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Distinguished Young Alumnus Appointed Head of TxDOT

ABILENE, Texas (Hardin-Simmons University)--Governor Rick Perry has named Hardin-Simmons University alumnus Phil Wilson to head up the Texas Department of Transportation. The energy company executive, a former top aide to Perry, was chosen last Thursday to lead the 12,000-employee TXDOT.

Wilson graduated from Hardin Simmons University with a BA in political science and history in 1990 and received an MBA from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

While at HSU, he received the Tomorrow's Leaders Today Award, the George Skiles Anderson Award as an outstanding graduate, and was named to Who's Who Among American Colleges and Universities.

Wilson was elected vice president of the Student Congress, served as freshman class president, served as co-editor of the Bronco, and was a staff writer for the campus newspaper The Brand. Wilson returned to the HSU campus in 2005 to accept the Outstanding Young Alumni Award.

This is not Wilson's first time in the public or political spotlight. Wilson served as Texas Secretary of State in 2007-2008. As Secretary of State, Wilson served as the chief elections officer, the governor's liaison on border and Mexican affairs, and Texas' chief protocol officer.

Wilson has also headed the Texas Enterprise Fund, the Emerging Technology Fund, and has headed the Governor's Office on Economic Development and Tourism.

Wilson worked as Perry's director of communications, deputy chief of staff, and has overseen the governor's initiatives in economic development, job creation, federal funding issues, military base realignment and closure, and policy development. Wilson also worked as state director for U.S. Senator Phil Gramm.

The Texas Transportation Commission approved the appointment of Wilson as the agency's executive director on a 4-0 vote, September 29, 2011. Commission Chairwoman Deirdre Delisi says, "Wilson brings a solid background in business and public service to this agency." Delisi is the former chief of staff for Governor Perry and Wilson's boss for several years.

Wilson comes to the state position having previously served as senior vice president for public affairs for Luminant Energy. Wilson is active as an HSU alumnus and is a former Board of Young Associates officer. He is a Brownwood native.

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