FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – Students from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary have benefited from nearly $500,000 in donations given by the Neches River Baptist Association in East Texas over the past 15 years.

“The churches of the Neches River Baptist Association, which serve in such a wonderful, shepherdly manner, led by the director of missions, Dr. Bill Jones, have faithfully dispensed across the years an incredible amount of scholarship money left to the association for the purpose of preparing students for the ministry,” Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Seminary, said.

On Dec. 6, 1993, the late Tom and Madge Bean Dauphin established this fund by providing an initial gift to the Baptist Foundation of Texas in order to help students attending Southwestern Seminary, East Texas Baptist University and Howard Payne University. The Dauphin Scholarship is now approaching its one-million-dollar mark in total donations. The scholarship is available to students from churches in the Neches River Baptist Association who attend these schools and who are called to the ministry. Thus far, it has covered the cost of tuition, books and fees.

“Not only am I grateful for the incredible foresight of the Dauphin Family who cared enough about the future to do this,” Patterson said, “but also I am eternally grateful for the way in which Dr. Bill Jones and the churches of the association actively find students and send them, among other places, to Southwestern Seminary, and then they continue to support and encourage them in every way.”

Jones, associate director of missions for the Neches River association, said, “Our association is truly blessed to award these scholarships, and we encourage our pastors to speak often about how God calls someone to ministry. When God speaks to hearts through His Holy Spirit and places that burden for Christian ministry, then we have a way to help meet the requirements for training in a tangible way.”

This semester, the Dauphin fund has provided full scholarships to 14 students working toward their bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degrees: Jason Attaway, Jerry Luke Henderson, Wade Traylor, John Goss, Sr., Jeremy Franks, Mikey Osborne, Jared Burt, Paul Knight, Sabin Boruga, Rebecca Clark, Skylar Clark, Mitchell Kleckly, Donald Norred and Charlie Robinson.