Longtime campus minister to be honored during homecoming

PLAINVIEW – Donnie Brown, longtime campus minister, will be recognized as one of Wayland Baptist University’s 2022 Distinguished Alumni Award winners Feb. 17 during a banquet held as part of the WBU Homecoming celebration in Plainview.

Brown earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Education from Wayland in 1993 and a Master in Religious Education at Southwestern Seminary. He began his career in youth ministry, serving in churches in Odessa, Olton and Azle. He was serving as pastor in China Spring when Dr. Fred Meeks, a former professor, asked him to consider returning to Wayland to serve in the newly vacated position of Director of Baptist Student Ministries. Brown and his family moved to Wayland in 2001, where he served for the next 16 years. As BSM director, he enjoyed leading students on mission trips and in evangelism efforts, as well as serving as chaplain for the Pioneer football team. 

In 2017, Brown moved into the role of Director of the Wayland Missions Center and the Kaleo Youth Institute. In 2019, he acquired the additional title of Director of Church and Denominational Relations. In May of 2020, Brown was announced as the first Director of Spiritual Life for the Wayland Baptist University System, a role that oversees BSM – currently led by WBU alumnus JR Dunn – as well as FCA, the Wayland Missions Center, and Church and Denominational Relations. His focus is to incorporate faith expressions into campus life for students and employees across the Wayland system. No matter what role he finds himself in, Borwn’s favorite part of his job is interacting with students and helping them to grow in and live out their faith.  

Brown is married to Lori, Family Pastor at First Baptist Church in Plainview and a 2021 Wayland master’s graduate. Their son Joshua, a 2019 Wayland graduate, serves as a recruiter to churches and is married to the former Abigail Pearce, a 2019 WBU graduate and law student at Texas Tech. Daughter Hannah lives with her husband Jesse in Waco. Jesse is currently in the management training program for Enterprise, and Hannah is a graduate student at Truett Seminary and preaching resident at First Baptist Church in Temple. 

 “Donnie Brown has had a major impact on the Wayland campus for more than 20 years and has been a part of countless students’ spiritual journeys,” said Jeffrey Vera, director of alumni relations. “As spiritual life director, he has grown his influence and taken to heart the faith component that has been part of Wayland’s story since day one. We are proud that he bleeds blue and gold and are honored to recognize him.”

The Blue and Gold Banquet is set for 6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 17, on the Plainview campus. It is open to alumni and friends for $15 per person, which includes dinner. In addition to Brown, honorees include Rick Cooper, longtime basketball coach; Kathie Jackson, longtime educator; Richard Miller, longtime probation officer and pastor of Happy Union Baptist Church; young alumnus honoree Dr. Hailey Budnick, a neurosurgical resident; and benefactor honoree Sally Dillman Eaves.

The dinner is just one piece of the homecoming weekend lineup that can be found online at www.wbu.edu/alumni-and-friends/homecoming.htm. Registration is available at that site. For more information, contact Vera at (806) 291-3600.