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Lake to leave Baylor's ministry for VP position at Belmont

Nov. 30, 2004

By JOSH HORTON, staff writer

Dr. Todd Lake, dean of university ministries, resigned his position and will become the vice president for spiritual development at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. However, he will not leave without affecting the university, from Chapel to the Todd Lakers intramural basketball team.

"He's broadened ... what university ministries means," Steve Graves, director for university ministries and missions, said. "He's changed [Chapel], and really enhanced what that is, as well as bringing people in from different professions to talk about what it means to be a Christian in different fields. That's a lasting change here."

Lamona Martin, office manager for university ministries, said she will miss one of Lake's quirks.

"I think we'll probably all miss the little notes he made," Martin said. "He could write notes on the smallest little pieces of paper that you could imagine."

Martin said she thinks Lake has made an impact on students individually.

"He really cares about their lives on a daily basis and wants them to know the impact that Christ can have in their life, in their daily walk," Martin said.

"That's been his main focus in Chapel, to have people speak to [students] about how the Lord is with them and walks with them in their everyday work week," Martin said.

Graves said he thinks the phrase that best describes Lake is "thoughtful Christian."

He said he and Lake often used the phrase because it has two meanings. He said it describes both someone who thinks about faith and also about other people.

"I have loved working with him," Graves said. "I have never enjoyed working with someone more than I've enjoyed working with Todd."

Student reaction to Lake's resignation was more mixed.

Some students, such as San Antonio freshman Jennifer Delgado, were positive about Lake's time at Baylor.

"I think it's sad that he's leaving," Delgado said. "Hopefully we will continue to enjoy chapel."

However, Conroe sophomore Jarrett Koch said he did not like Lake.

"When I was in Chapel, I never felt like he answered anything," Koch said. "It always seemed like he shirked around the answer."

Lake could not be reached for comment because he and his wife are in China to bring home their adopted daughter, Jasmine Lee Jordan-Lake, but he said in a press release that he thinks the move will be emotionally difficult, but positive.

"Although it is difficult to leave all the friendships we have made and a university that is second to none, this call to Belmont is a positive one for our family."

Vice President for Student Life Dr. Eileen Hulme said in a press release that Lake created opportunities for students.

"While he has served as a campus pastor, he has created opportunities for students to think more deliberately about God's calling in their lives. He has truly enriched the spiritual environment on campus and we will miss him," Hulme said.

President Robert B. Sloan Jr. named Lake dean of Chapel and minister to the university community in November 1999.

Lake had previously been campus minister at Wingate University in Wingate, N.C.

In his time at Baylor, he helped institute such changes as Chapel Fridays, Chapel being broadcast over the Internet, the addition of praise and worship music to Chapel and the resident chaplain program, which allows Truett Seminary students to minister and live in residence halls.