Alumnus Honored with Texas Baptists Legacy Award


Hardin-Simmons University alumnus Elmin Howell, class of 1952, received a well-deserved honor in early June when the Baptist General Convention of Texas (Texas Baptists) presented him with the 2017 Legacy Award. Numerous family and friends, including several members of the HSU family, attended the ceremony at the historic Independence Baptist Church near Brenham. The oldest, continuously active Baptist church in the state of Texas, Independence Baptist Church was organized in 1839.   

When Elmin Howell launched the Texas Baptists’ River Ministry in 1968, he never dreamed how many lives would be touched during the next three decades and beyond. The ministry was formed to meet the spiritual and physical needs of people on both sides of the border.

Under Howell’s leadership, 670 churches were started in Texas and Mexico. In addition, six children’s homes and 67 healthcare clinics were established in Mexico. Howell coordinated the work of more than 10,000 volunteers per year, including about 900 summer missionaries each year, most of whom were college students from Texas and beyond.

After retiring, Howell served as president of the board of directors for Mission East Dallas Medical Clinic for three years. A ministry of Shiloh Terrace Baptist Church, the clinic has now provided healthcare for more than 7,000 patients and at least 400 people have come to faith in Christ through its ministries.

In 2005, Howell helped begin a Bible Study in the civic center in Canton to coincide with First Monday Trade Days – an event that brings 7,000 vendors and up to 300,000 visitors to the East Texas town monthly. The Bible Study is still going under a dedicated leadership.

Elmin Howell and Betty Kelton met as students at HSU. Married 62 years, they have a son, Paul Howell, and a daughter, Kim (Howell) Todaro. They have four grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. Six of the seven great grandchildren attended the ceremony, all wearing HSU t-shirts, and were presented with tentative acceptance certificates for future admission to HSU. Dr. Lanny Hall, HSU chancellor, presented a congratulatory certificate from HSU president Eric Bruntmyer.

Hardin-Simmons University presented Elmin Howell with an honorary Doctor of Divinity in 1997.




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