San Angelo Pastor, Scholar, Named to the Hardin-Simmons University Board of Trustees


Photo: Dr. James Hassell, Bachelor of Arts, 2001; Master of Divinity, 2005
Dr. James Hassell has been named to the Hardin-Simmons University Board of Trustees. Hassell, pastor at First Baptist Church, San Angelo, Texas, earned two degrees from HSU, a Bachelor of Arts degree in church ministry, 2001; and a Master of Divinity degree from HSU’s Logsdon Seminary, 2005. Hassell also earned a Doctorate of Ministry degree from Truett Theological Seminary, Waco, Texas, 2012.
“Dr. Hassell is a wonderful addition to the HSU Board of Trustees,” says HSU president, Dr. Lanny Hall. One of our finest graduates, Dr. Hassell has established himself as leader among Texas Baptists. We are proud to welcome this distinguished Christian alumnus back to this important leadership post.”
Hassell has served in a wide range of capacities in Baptist Churches across West Texas and the Fort Worth area. Before his call to serve as pastor at First Baptist, San Angelo, Hassell was Pastor of Preaching and Pastoral Care at Agape Baptist Church, Fort Worth. Additionally, he served as pastor of First Baptist Church, Tulia, Texas; youth and music minister, and associate pastor at First Baptist Church, Bedford, Texas; and youth minister of First Baptist Church, Merkel, Texas.
In 2011, he was selected to deliver the convention sermon at the Baptist General Convention of Texas annual meeting. He is a member of the T.B. Maston Foundation Board of Trustees, has served as chairperson of the Program Committee for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship General Assembly, member of the CBF Texas Leadership Council, member of the HSU Board of Young Associates, served on the Credentials Committee of Tarrant Baptist Association, and is a current member of the Logsdon Alumni Council.
Born in Amarillo, Texas, Hassell attended First Baptist Church-Amarillo and Coulter Road Baptist Church. A graduate of Amarillo High School, he played baseball and was active in the choir and National Honor Society. As a student at HSU, Hassell was chaplain of the Concert Choir; served as a director of New Student Orientation, 2000; was chosen as a Young Maston Scholar, 2001; was the recipient of the George Skiles Anderson Medal, given for character and service to the university, 2001; and was the Honorable Mention recipient of Tomorrow’s Leaders Today Award from the HSU Board of Young Associates.
Dr. Bill Tillman, one of Hassell’s professors at Logsdon School of Theology and Seminary, recalls, “He was one of the best students I had in the years I was on the Logsdon faculty. And, he remains as one of those former students I now call friend and colleague.”  Tillman served as professor of Christian ethics and the T.B. Maston Chair of Christian Ethics. He currently serves as director of theological education for the Baptist General Convention of Texas.
Tillman wrote the forward included in Hassell’s book, Seeing New Light: Hope for Declining and Aged Congregations, “The book is a very fine statement about how a local congregation can do missions,” says Tillman.  
Hassell met his future wife, Shannon Haddon, while a student at HSU. Graduating in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music education, she has served as a choir director in public school education, and developed a successful private voice studio.
The Hassells have one daughter, Emma, born 2008 in Amarillo.



  • A Princeton Review Best Western College
  • Council for Christian Colleges & Universities  
  • Center for Student Opportunity: Promoting a College-Bound Culture
  • US News Best Colleges
  • Military Friendly
  • college_of_christian_distinction_badge20172018
  • College Choice Best Christian Colleges and University
  • University and College Accountability Network