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HSU Students Urged to ‘Shine Like Stars’

By Joe Starkey



Dr. Albert Reyes, President of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, urged students to “shine like stars in a dark world” during his address at Hardin-Simmons University’s 2005 fall Convocation in Abilene, Texas. Convocation is the official opening of the academic year, and Behrens Chapel was packed with the largest student body ever enrolled at HSU. After opening comments by University President, Dr. Craig Turner, HSU’s President Emeritus, Dr. Jesse Fletcher asked blessings on those gathered with the invocation. Dr. Phil Christopher, pastor at Abilene First Baptist Church, conducted the scripture reading before Dr. Reyes stepped to the podium. Dr. Reyes spoke passionately of the darkness so prevalent in society. He related stories of his early ministry in crime-infested sections of Dallas and noted with sadness that he and his family actually became used to the gunshots and sirens that were an ever-present part of the neighborhood sound-scape. He called students to “shine like stars, for it is you who are the lights of the world.” Dr. Reyes gave students three keys to unlock their potential. First, he challenged students to, “obey, and be accountable to God’s word.” With this accountability firmly in mind, he illustrated how vital it is to develop more of one’s talents by using the University’s resources to “work out what God has already worked into you.” His final charge was to “offer solutions not simply recognize problems,” since this makes one a light source; not a mere reflector. Dr. Reyes is President of Baptist University of the Americas in San Antonio, Texas, and currently serves as President of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. He has served as a River Ministry Missionary, pastor, church planter, missologist, and educator in Texas and has ministered in Mexico, Brazil, Spain, and North Africa. He was appointed as Chair of the Hispanic Task Force for the White House Initiative for Academic Excellence with the U.S. Department of Education. He is the inaugural awardee of the George W. Truett Award for Excellence in ministry for a Singular Achievement awarded by Baylor University and the Baptist Standard. He received a Doctor of Divinity degree from Dallas Baptist University, and is currently enrolled in the PhD Leadership program at Andrews University.

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