Baylor to Dedicate New Literacy Missions Center

Jan. 10, 1997

The Baptist Literacy Missions Center at Baylor University will have an open house and dedication ceremony of its new facilities at 3 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17, at the literacy center located at 1514 South Fifth Street.

Baylor President Robert B. Sloan Jr. and Dr. James Semple, director of State Missions Commission of the Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT), will have remarks and perform a ribbon cutting for the facility which opened a year ago. Another purpose of the program is to celebrate the relationship between Baylor and the BGCT in supporting the literary missions center.

Baylor and the BGCT began the center in a cooperative effort in 1988. The joint effort is the only one of its kind in the state. Maurine Frost, coordinator of the literacy center since 1992, said the joint effort between Baylor and the BGCT is what makes the center successful.

"Texas has one of the best literacy missions programs in the country because of the close relationship between Baylor and the BGCT," Frost said. "Neither of us could do alone what we are doing together."

Since the literacy center began nine years ago, the program has helped more than 100 churches across the state develop literacy missions programs. In 1996 alone, more than 470 volunteers were trained to lead literacy missions programs through 48 literacy missions workshops. In 1988, the center helped establish amnesty programs in more than 100 churches which helped thousands of immigrants gain U.S. citizenship through teaching English and reading skills.

Frost also said that the literacy programs use the Bible in teaching English and reading which has contributed to nearly 100 professions of faith in 1995. The center supports one of the largest church related reading programs in the nation, Frost said.

"That makes you feel doubly good," she said. "When you are helping people with their literacy needs and also helping them with the spiritual needs."

The literacy center also is an active participant in the Central Texas Literacy Coalition in which Frost is an executive board member.

For more information, contact Frost at 755-3854.

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