The following is a press release from Wayland Baptist University:

PLAINVIEW, Texas (PRESS RELEASE) — Citing Dr. James Wayland and his wife, Sarah, as examples, Dr. Estelle Owens, Emeritus Professor of History and University Historian, called for an “all- in” mindset Wednesday afternoon as she spoke at Wayland Baptist University’s Founders Day celebration.

Dr. Bobby Hall, President, welcomed the Wayland family and the community before introducing Owens.

“Long before there was anything but the land — and the wind — Wayland existed in the mind and heart of God,” Ownes said. “He knew we would be here to celebrate the existence of this university, its 114 years of service, and those who have gone before us who made Wayland what it is today. We exist because He wants us here. He just needed a few good men — and women — to make the vision a reality.”

“He finds them in every generation, starting with James Henry and Sarah Francis Wayland — Jimmy and Sally — whom he called into his service,” the historian said. “When he called, they echoed the prophet Samuel with the only answer they could give: ‘Speak, Lord, for your servants are listening.’”

Owens told of how the founder and his wife were always “all in.”

“As he sat and studied the land, he prayed that God would allow him someday to establish that school,” she said. “He and she went all in on that, pledging their worldly goods, their prayer support, their influence, and their good name to ensure that the college was born and succeeded. They went all in as they persuaded others to join them in the effort…”

“’All in’ meant that they were servant-leaders, pioneers, mentors, life coaches, and just plain good examples for others to follow,” she said. “They went way beyond sacrificial giving of themselves and their means. By today’s standards, their giving over their lifetime totaled the equivalent of about $2.5 million — a huge percentage of his medical practice income and what he earned as a small rancher and landowner. They gave and gave and continued to give, even when it hurt. Their lives echoed the Bible’s King David who once declared that he would never ‘offer the Lord my God that which costs me nothing.’”

“Generation after generation, God has called thousands of others to do the same to make a difference in the world that desperately needs the values Wayland holds and teaches,” the historian said. “Go ‘all in’ to treat people with dignity and respect, to love as Jesus loved, to recognize that everyone is equal at the foot of the cross. Going ‘all I’ may not make you financially wealthy or famous, but it will surely enrich your life as you serve your Creator and work for a better world, as the Waylands did.”

The celebration of the university’s 114th anniversary took place in the foyer of historic Gates Hall, the oldest building on the Plainview campus. Cake and other refreshments were served.

(Press release from Wayland Baptist University)