Byron Weathersbee Named Interim Baylor Chaplain

Aug. 5, 2005

Baylor University Interim President William D. Underwood today announced the appointment of Dr. Byron Weathersbee, co-founder and president of Legacy Family Ministries, as interim university chaplain, effective Aug. 15.

A 1985 Baylor graduate, Weathersbee, 42, will provide leadership for Baylor's twice-weekly Chapel services, as well as pastoral care to the university community. He also will lead University Ministries, whose mission is the spiritual development of students through resident chaplains, discipline-specific mission opportunities and the sports chaplain program. Baptist Student Ministries also reports to the university chaplain.

"Byron Weathersbee is a committed Christian who is known for excellent ministry," said Dr. Dub Oliver, interim vice president for student life. "I am pleased that he has agreed to work alongside us in this very important role at Baylor. Byron knows Baylor and Baylor students well, and I am excited that our community will experience his gifts through his service as interim university chaplain."

"Dr. Weathersbee is a gifted leader, a caring person and a passionate visionary of the place of Jesus Christ in the lives of young people, and all people, in our world today," said Dr. Randall O'Brien, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs. "Our faculty, staff and students will come to love and appreciate Byron greatly, just as I do. His competence and character and commitment to Christ, are simply outstanding."

"It is a privilege to step into this role as interim chaplain," Weathersbee said. "One of Baylor's greatest assets is its commitment to the spiritual development of students, and I look forward to the challenges ahead. I am honored to work with one of Baylor's oldest traditions, Chapel, and eagerly anticipate the relational aspect of meeting the needs of students. I absolutely love working with university students. Baylor is uniquely positioned to help men and women become whole and complete individuals as they move through life."

Following his graduation from Baylor, the Rotan native earned a master's degree in religious education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and his doctor of education degree in leadership from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He was licensed to the ministry on April 17, 1983, at First Baptist Church, Rotan, and ordained on March 24, 1985, at First Baptist Church, Gatesville.

Weathersbee began his ministerial career in 1983 as a youth intern at First Baptist Church, Bartlesville, Okla. He also served as minister of youth and recreation at First Baptist Church, Gatesville, from 1983-85, and Immanuel Baptist Church in Temple from 1985-88; minister of students and family life center director at Southern Hills Baptist Church in Tulsa, Okla., from 1988-93; and minister of youth at Columbus Avenue Baptist Church in Waco from 1993-95. In 1995, Weathersbee helped plant Waco's University Baptist Church, an innovative church that targeted a younger generation and grew to nearly 1,000 worship participants in its first year. He served as associate pastor at UBC from 1995-97, organizing and implementing all spiritual growth groups and training and equipping small group leaders and ministry coordinators.

In 1995, Weathersbee and his wife, Carla, also a Baylor graduate, founded Legacy Family Ministries, a non-profit organization that does relationship development with students, marriage preparation courses for engaged couples, and family camp weekends. Currently, the ministry has had more than 500 couples attend the Countdown marriage prep course with only six reported divorces. Weathersbee currently serves on the board of directors for ReKindle Ministries, Logan Walter Ministries, and Skit Guys, a Christian comedy team, and is a past member of the board of advisers for Legacy Outfitters. He has served as a speaker at universities, high schools, Fellowship of Christian Athletes meetings and Young Life meetings, and has preached at camps and revivals for university and high school students. He also has published various articles on student ministry, family and church recreation.

Weathersbee also has taught recreation/wellness and graduate sports ethics courses for the past five years as a part-time lecturer in Baylor's department of health, human performance and recreation. He has served as a part-time sports chaplain at Baylor since June 2003 and is responsible for recruiting, training and coordinating volunteer sports chaplains for each of university's NCAA athletic teams. For the past decade, he has been the volunteer chaplain for the Baylor baseball team.

The Weathersbees have three children: Bo, 18, Brittney, 16, and Casey, 12. They are members of Columbus Avenue Baptist Church, where Weathersbee currently serves on the church's pastor search committee.

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