Families dedicate new endowed scholarships at Wayland

PLAINVIEW – Four families gathered at the luncheon for the Board of Trustees at Wayland Baptist University on Thursday to dedicate new endowed scholarships at the school. Amelia Bishop was honored with a scholarship in her name for female ministerial students, while the Abercrombie, Brian and Gabriel families honored family members with scholarships.

A graduate of the University of Texas at El Paso and Southwestern Seminary, Amelia “Millie” Bishop has been active in missions education and promotion groups for five decades. She taught English at Wayland for five years and at Plainview High School for 15 years in English and journalism while her late husband, Dr. J. Ivyloy Bishop, served as religion professor at WBU.

From 1984-88, she was president of the Woman’s Missionary Union of Texas and then served on a number of state convention committees. In 1989, she was named Texas Baptist Elder Statesman, and in 2005, she received the Mary Hill Davis Missions Award and the Dorothy McCoy Missions Service Award from First Baptist Church Plainview.

She has written about missions as well, authoring two devotional books, a biography of longtime WBU leader Eula Mae Henderson, and numerous articles. She and Dr. Bishop co-authored two mission study books as well. A member and deacon at First Baptist Church in Austin, Bishop has two children and four grandchildren.

Charles and Mary Abercrombie of Amarillo – parents of board member Dr. Gary Abercrombie of Plainview – dedicated the Barton and Harriett Smith Abercrombie Endowed Scholarship along with other family members, honoring pioneering ancestors. Barton was born in Georgia in 1862 to the son of a Confederate Army soldier. He was raised in Carroll County, Tenn., and married Clarksburg native Harriett Smith in December 1889.

The family traveled in covered wagons to Indian Territory, in what is now Love County, Okla., in 1890, and then in 1897 headed west to what is now Altus, Okla. The couple had ten children, one a Baptist preacher and one a Baptist deacon.

The scholarship was dedicated “to honor those pioneers who had such terrible hardships. It is almost impossible for our generation to imagine what they went through. Their faith in God carried them all the way,” the plaque reads.

Board member Tom J. Brian and wife Ann of Lubbock dedicated a scholarship in memory of their daughter, Kathryn Anne Brian Wiley, who died May 22, 2003, the day before her 25th birthday. Katy attended Wayland her freshman year, 1996-97. She and husband Eri c Wiley have a son, Isaiah. She is survived by a brother, Tom E. Brian, and a sister, Laurie Brian.

Longtime board member Max Gabriel of Plainview and his wife Marcheta left a legacy at Wayland with a scholarship in their name and one honoring their children. The Kyle Gabriel and Tiffany Gabriel Wright Endowed Scholarship was designed “as a living testament to their children and all youth who value and pursue a Christian education.” Kyle died in an accident at age 15. Tiffany and husband Chris have two children, Aidan and Emma Kate. The elder Gabriels also gave a scholarship in their name as an expression of love for the university. Longtime Plainview residents, the Gabriels owned Gabriel’s Department Store for many years and were active members of First Baptist Church. Max was named Plainview Man of the Year in 1989 in honor of his community service, which included several roles as deacon, teacher and committee work at FBC and at Covenant Hospital. Marcheta taught Sunday school and VBS and served on many church committees as well. Max has been on the Wayland Board of Trustees for 18 years, serving as chairman and on several committees. The Gabriels have been faithful supporters over the years, donating the stained glass windows and furnishing for the prayer room in the Mabee Learning Resources Center and another scholarship honoring their parents.