First gentleman focuses on faith

President Linda Livingstone and Brad Livingstone look on with students during the freethrow contest Monday night during on Noche Del Oso. Baylee VerSteeg | Multimedia Journalist

By Faith Stafford | Contributor

At the end of the Livingstones’ first year back in Waco, and Baylor President Dr. Linda Livingstone’s first year in office, the couple seems to have the love and support of thousands of Baylor students.

While many students are familiar with Dr. Livingstone, who was inaugurated on April 18, 2017, they may not know much about her husband, Brad Livingstone.

Brad Livingstone said he has spent his time back in Waco reaching out and caring for his students on a spiritual and personal level. He also said while he values education, he knew coming back that he was placed here for more than simply educating students in a classroom.

“There are things far more important than academics,” Brad Livingstone said. “That is the eternal question. Where are my students spiritually?”

As a teacher at Vanguard High School, the first gentleman said he prays for guidance and direction for his students every morning, desiring for them to know the goodness of God before they know the material he covers in the classroom.

Students often find Brad Livingstone walking his puppy, named Bu, around campus, which he said God has used as an opportunity to reach out to students.

“The funny thing is, it’s like Bu almost has her own ministry,” Brad Livingstone said.

Brad Livingstone said before each walk, he prays over the numerous encounters awaiting him and his pup.

“I start out by praying that God would send us someone who just needs a smile,” Brad Livingstone said, “and honestly, sometimes we’ll get stopped 50 times, which is absolutely fantastic.”

The first gentleman also said he tries to get to know his students personally and has even gone so far as to invite them to attend church with him.

Earlier this semester, after Clovis, N.M., junior AJ Wright tweeted at Baylor that she would go to church if school was cancelled, Brad Livingstone invited her via Twitter to join him and his wife at Calvary Baptist the following Sunday. Although Wright never joined the Livingstones, she said was touched by the gesture.

“I took it seriously. I could tell he was being genuine and sweet,” Wright said. “It was especially heartwarming because he didn’t even follow me. I was just a random stranger.”

The first gentleman said he has only tweeted three times in his life, and two of those tweets went to Wright.

“I’m not an avid Twitter user, but I scroll a lot,” Brad Livingstone said. “I found the tweet, and I just thought it was funny. I didn’t know AJ at all, but I just sent her a friendly invite anyway.”

Brad Livingstone said he has spent his first year back seizing every small opportunity to care for and love his students, which he believes is the ultimate reason God brought he and his wife back to Waco.

“You take advantage of the opportunities God gives you, and then let him take care of the rest,” Brad Livingstone said. “He’ll take it from there.”