Baylor University

01/26/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/26/2020 13:03

Baylor University Honored on Texas Baptists Institutional Legacy Day

Oldest continuously operating university in Texas is recognized on Sunday, Jan. 26, for 175 years of service in Christian higher education

Media Contact: Lori Fogleman, Baylor University Media and Public Relations, 254-710-6275
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WACO, Texas (Jan. 26, 2020) - Baylor University was recognized today by the Baptist General Convention of Texas on Texas Baptists Institutional Legacy Day for 175 years of service in Christian higher education during a special worship service at historic Anderson Baptist Church in Anderson, Texas.

'Texas Baptists are grateful to the historic Anderson Baptist Church for allowing us this last Sunday of January, each year, to recognize one of our affiliated institutions,' said Texas Baptists Executive Director David Hardage, BA '79. 'Last year we celebrated the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (UMHB) and this year, we will honor Baylor University. These BGCT institutions are making a positive difference in our state and beyond for the Kingdom.'

Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Baylor and its counterpart, UMHB, are the oldest institutions in partnership with the BGCT.

Classes for preparatory students began at Baylor in May 1846 in Independence, Texas, with college courses offered the following June. In 1886, Baylor and Waco University consolidated to form Baylor University at Waco.

From humble beginnings 175 years ago in Independence to a thriving Christian research university today on the banks of the Brazos River in Waco, Baylor enrolls more than 17,000 students and employs nearly 3,000 faculty and staff, who are deeply committed to the University's mission to educate men and women for worldwide leadership and service by integrating academic excellence and Christian commitment within a caring community.

'We are deeply appreciative of the BGCT for honoring Baylor University on Texas Baptists Institutional Legacy Day and for its longstanding partnership in support of Baylor's ongoing mission as a Christian research university in the Baptist tradition,' said Baylor President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D. 'It is particularly meaningful to be at historic Anderson Baptist Church as we celebrate Baylor's 175-year history of academic excellence animated by Christian faith.'

The sermon - 'Faithful,' based on 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 - was given by Todd D. Still, Ph.D., The Charles J. and Eleanor McLerran DeLancey Dean at Baylor's George W. Truett Theological Seminary and The William M. Hinson Chair of Christian Scriptures.

Also participating in the worship service were Adam Cogliano, a third-year theology and church music student at Truett Seminary and music minister at First Baptist Church of Valley Mills; Alan Lefever, Ph.D., director of the Texas Baptist Historical Collection and part-time lecturer in church history at Truett; and a worship ensemble of Baylor music students.

On behalf of the BGCT, Dr. Lefever shared historical context for the day, followed by the presentation of a plaque honoring Baylor's legacy given by BGCT Associate Executive Director Dr. Craig Christina to President Livingstone.

Texas Baptists Institutional Legacy Day

Institutional Legacy Day, held on the last Sunday in January, began as a way for Texas Baptists to honor the legacy of institutions, in order of their formation, that have partnered with or grown through cooperation with Texas Baptists. After more than 134 years of ministry, the Convention now partners with more than 27 education, health and human care institutions.

Anderson Baptist Church holds significance in Texas Baptists history as the location where, in 1886, five state conventions merged to form the BGCT in order to more effectively advance the Kingdom of God.

Additionally, Institutional Legacy Day follows in the footsteps of Texas Baptists Legacy Day, which has been held annually in historic Independence, Texas, on the first Sunday in June since 2013. In that recognition, two individuals are recognized for their contribution to Texas Baptists life.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 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 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

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