Rogers Foundation Funds Truett Chapel

Oct. 19, 1998

by Larry D. Brumley

Baylor University President Robert B. Sloan Jr. recently announced a $2.5 million gift from the Robert M. Rogers Foundation of Tyler for construction of a 550-seat chapel on the new George W. Truett Theological Seminary campus.

The announcement was made during the annual Baylor Philanthropy Weekend banquet at the Ferrell Center on Friday night, Oct. 16.

The chapel, which is part of a 53,000-square-foot, $10 million Seminary complex that was approved by Baylor's Board of Regents on Sept. 18, will be named for Paul W. Powell, a current member of the Baylor board who serves as president and CEO of the foundation.

"We are not only grateful that this gift comes from the Rogers Foundation to fund construction of the chapel, but also at the same time it honors their CEO, Paul Powell, one of our great leaders in Texas Baptist life," Sloan said. "The chapel will be a focal point of the new seminary campus, and indeed the entire Baylor campus, and we are grateful to the Rogers Foundation for this very generous gift."

Powell, a 1956 Baylor graduate and a former chairman of the university's Board of Regents, was pastor of Tyler's Green Acres Baptist Church for more than 17 years before being named president and CEO of the Annuity Board of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1990. He has been serving as a consultant to the Dallas agency since his retirement last October.

The Port Arthur native has also served as pastor of Baptist churches in San Marcos, Taylor, Troy and Belfalls and has written more than 30 books and numerous articles for books, journals and magazines. He holds honorary degrees from Baylor, the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, Campbell University, East Texas Baptist University and Dallas Baptist University. Baylor and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary have honored Powell with Distinguished Alumnus Awards. He is a 1960 graduate of Southwestern Seminary.

Powell is currently a member of the board of trustees for Baylor University Health Care System in Dallas and has served as a trustee for East Texas Baptist University, the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, Texas Baptist Children's Home at Round Rock, and the Annuity Board. He was president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas from 1985-87.

Baylor announced at last November's Baptist General Convention of Texas in Austin a $5 million lead gift for the seminary campus from the family of John and Eula Mae Baugh of Houston.

To be erected at Third Street and Dutton Avenue on the Baylor campus, the seminary facilities will include the chapel, which features a 100-foot spire; classrooms and seminar rooms; faculty and administrative offices; community spaces; and a Great Hall for special events.

The Rogers Foundation is a private charitable foundation established by Robert M. Rogers for private education, religious purposes, and local philanthropy in Texas and Idaho.

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