Story by Micaela Freeman | Staff Writer, Video by Meredith Aldis | Broadcast Reporter
Mission Waco hosted its annual banquet and presented its “Servant Leader” award to six Baylor University students and two affiliated programs: Alpha Pi Omega (APO) and Baylor Campus Kitchen Tuesday night at the Waco Convention Center. Over 700 Wacoans attended the banquet and heard speaker Dr. Soong-Chan Rah, Associate Professor of Church Growth and Evangelism at North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago talk about his role within the church and community.
Mission Waco president and co-founder Jimmy Dorrell was thrilled about the year Mission Waco has had. He said this year has been a year full of growth and opportunity for everyone involved.
“I love watching the transformation,” Dorrell said.
Mission Waco and Dorrell have had a successful year of volunteerism by giving back to Waco and are happy to have been given the opportunity to better the Waco community.
“It has been an incredibly fun year to see what we think a healthy and natural transition for the years ahead,” Dorrell said.
Mission Waco has been in Dorrell’s life since his attendance at Baylor in 1968. He said Mission Waco offered Dorrell an outlet to his community.
Dorrell said he was excited to have his alma mater represented within Mission Waco.
“It’s life changing not only for the inner city folks but also the Baylor students,” Dorrell said. “There are students all over the world we keep up with.”
The banquet featured the Waco Choir and Baylor students Houston senior Emily Neyland and Southlake senior Amy Adams.
Mission Waco, almost 50 years later, has carried on its meaningfulness for both Adams and Neyland.
“I think it means knowing where you’re rooted,” Neyland said. “Getting outside of yourself and getting to know the people around you, I think it’s really important.”
The past four years for Neyland and Adams have been a unique experience and they were happy to share their stories and experiences with Mission Waco.
“Everyday is my favorite experience!” Adams said.
The event offered many to gather as a community and celebrate Waco’s volunteerism. Dorrell felt honored to be apart of such an impactful community.
“One [reason to have this banquet] is to celebrate what we think God has done in the community,” Dorrell said. “It has been so fun over these 25 years of Mission Waco to fill up a room of people who understand and believe that life more than just consumerism.”
The “Servant Leader” award was meaningful in many ways for Adams and Neyland. Both joined Mission Waco their freshman year and have felt grateful to be a part of it. Adams and Neyland said Baylor has equipped them to become “servant leaders” in their community and are thankful for the opportunities Mission Waco has given them. Through many acts and years of volunteerism and acts that have bettered the Waco community, Neyland and Adams were chosen to recieve the “Servant Leader” award by Dorrell and his team of leaders in Mission Waco.
“I think Baylor has been really great examples of what it looks like to serve and also have challenged me not only academically but as a person,” Neyland said.