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May 9, 2014
Mark Newton’s second child, a son, was born in 1997, exactly 100 years after renowned Texas pastor George W. Truett – namesake of Baylor’s Truett Seminary – graduated from Baylor University.
In honor of that centennial anniversary and the celebrated preacher, Newton and his wife, Aurelia, both proud Baylor alums, named their nine-pound, nine-ounce baby boy Truett. The little boy’s birth weight was significant in that the Newtons had made a pledge to the Seminary to donate $100 for each pound.
“I didn’t know he’d be that big!” Newton said, adding that he and Aurelia kept their pledge.
Today, Newton has joined Baylor as the University’s director for church engagement, a new position in the Division of Constituent Engagement. He is tasked with building relationships and partnering with Baptist churches, non-denominational fellowships and other congregations friendly to the University’s Christian mission.
He serves as a link for these churches to Baylor’s vast network of resources and coordinates on-campus efforts with various entities involved in ministry outreach, ministry guidance and Truett Seminary.
“I have loved the local church and Baylor University for as long as I can remember,” Newton said. “Church engagement and Baylor University simply go hand in hand.”
After graduating from the University in 1985 and completing his Master of Divinity at Southwestern Seminary, Newton began a ministry career in which he served local churches and the broader Christian community for nearly 26 years. Most recently, he served for 11 years as senior pastor at First Baptist Church of San Marcos.
Newton will couple the skills honed as a pastor with his love of Baylor to reach out to congregations and organizations, assess needs, and develop ways those organizations can partner with Baylor or benefit from the University’s existing resources. More than 50 centers, institutes and departments connect to the University’s Christian mission.
While serving as a pastor, Newton traveled back to Baylor over the years for various conferences and seminars. But he admits that he wasn’t fully aware of the University’s breadth of resources. His goal is to educate churches and other partners and help them know about those opportunities.
“My job is to seek any and all ways to engage churches. I will sit down with people and ask ‘What can Baylor do for you?’ And then I’ll listen,” Newton said. “Sometimes we’ll have to look at ways to take some things to them.”
“I look forward to telling the Baylor story to as many churches as possible in the years to come,” he said.
The Newtons have two children: a daughter, Adolynn, a Baylor freshman; and Truett, a junior at San Marcos High School.