Baptist General Convention of Texas Makes Gift to Support Addiction Recovery
- BGCT Executive Director David Hardage and Lilly Ettinger, recovery program coordinator in Baylor's department of wellness, celebrated the BGCT's gift for the Beauchamp Addiction Recovery Center, which is located in the East Village Residential Community. (Matthew Minard/Baylor Marketing & Communications)
- Lilly Ettinger, recovery program coordinator in Baylor's department of wellness, gives a tour of the under-renovation Beauchamp Addiction Recovery Center at Baylor to BGCT Executive Director David Hardage. The BARC will open in the fall. (Matthew Minard/Baylor Marketing & Communications)
WACO, Texas (May 31, 2017) – Baylor University today announced a gift from the Baptist General Convention of Texas that will support the University’s recently created Beauchamp Addiction Recovery Center.
The designation of its most recent gift to the Beauchamp Addiction Recovery Center (BARC) exemplifies the BGCT’s commitment to supporting efforts, both at Baylor and across the state of Texas, that address challenging issues in contemporary culture, said Dr. David Hardage, executive director of the BGCT and a 1979 Baylor graduate.
“Our Christian Life Commission has long served as advocates for biblical, Christian responses in the face of challenging cultural changes. And as a whole, our Convention of churches is driven, in part, by the Great Commandment of Jesus to love God and love others,” Hardage said. “We realize that addiction disorders are a real problem and that the BARC can provide real solutions and answers.”
The gift was made from the Thomas Meeker Fund, an endowment created at the BGCT several years ago. A portion of the Meeker Fund is designated for programs that address issues related to substance use disorders.
Baylor has consistently sought to educate its students about the negative consequences of alcohol and drug use and to care for those in recovery from compulsive behavior and addiction. Made possible by a gift from Bob and Laura Beauchamp of Houston in December 2016, the BARC is dramatically enhancing Baylor’s efforts to foster the holistic well-being of its students by expanding its continuum of care to include an array of on-campus recovery support services as well as programming to strengthen prevention education and intervention support.
The BGCT’s gift will enable the BARC’s staff to educate Student Life staff on addiction and collegiate recovery and support the staff’s efforts to improve recovery ministry education for Baylor’s ministry guidance students. The funds also will be used to help create a recovery prayer project and liturgical services in conjunction with Spiritual Life and to improve the recovery library available to students at the BARC. This coming September will see the first fruits of the BGCT-funded work by the BARC’s staff, when Baylor will celebrate National Recovery Month in a variety of ways on campus.
“It’s so important for our students to know that they’re not alone in recovery. Stigma grows when we don’t speak honestly about the struggles in our community. Everyone is affected by addiction, and we all have a responsibility to help,” said Lilly Ettinger, recovery program coordinator in Baylor’s department of wellness. “The BGCT’s support will help us continue to talk about the effects of alcohol use disorders, substance use disorders and the blessings of recovery. The support of alumni and donors is absolutely crucial here.”
The BGCT’s most recent gift is an extension of its long partnership with the University in support of Baylor’s ongoing mission as a faith-based institution of higher education with a Baptist heritage. The gift to the BARC is only one component of the BGCT’s wide range of generous giving to Baylor during the current fiscal year — and indeed across many decades of support.
Headquartered in Dallas, the Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT) has endeavored for more than a century to encourage, facilitate and connect churches in their work to fulfill God’s mission of reconciling the world to himself. The BGCT’s ties to Baylor are similarly longstanding, and its financial support to the University has been truly remarkable. In fact, the BGCT stands atop the list of Baylor’s largest single financial supporters, having given a cumulative total of more than $500 million to the University. This fiscal year, which ends on May 31, the BGCT’s gifts to Baylor totaled more than $1.5 million.
“The Baptist General Convention of Texas and Baylor University have been close partners over many decades in the effort to enlarge the Kingdom of God and to empower Texans and Texas Baptists by educating men and women for leadership and service,” said Interim President David E. Garland. “From nominating denominational leaders to serve on our Board of Regents to providing unwavering and unequaled financial support for our students and academic programs, the BGCT has been an indispensable friend and a constant source of institutional strength.”
The BGCT currently provides scholarships to M.Div. students in Baylor’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary that have been critical to removing financial barriers to ministerial education. In turn, Texas Baptists have benefited from having Truett-educated pastors spread across the state while serving in a wide variety of congregations.
The BGCT’s philanthropic support also has been important to the growth and strength of Baylor’s Ministry Guidance program, housed in the department of religion, which helps students who are exploring careers in ministry to clarify and affirm their call to ministry and to introduce them to ministry as a vocation. Each year, more than 200 ministry students are recipients of the Baptist Ministry Scholarship, which is partially funded by the BGCT. For many undergraduates in the Ministry Guidance program, this scholarship has been the final piece of the financial assistance puzzle that enabled them to attend Baylor.
“Texas Baptists and Baylor have shared a common belief from the beginning of our historic relationship. That belief begins with the Lordship of Christ but also includes a commitment to Christian higher education,” the BGCT’s Hardage said. “When we learned about the Beauchamp Addiction Recovery Center being established at Baylor, we felt a gift to support its work would be a confirmation of our institutions’ mutual core values. Therefore, we are very happy to provide these additional resources to help students.”
ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.