DTS Dean of Students | Herman L. Baxter “Bax” (ThM, 2017)

Alumni Spotlight

Presently, I serve as an Associate Minister at Greater Bethlehem Baptist Church in Dallas. I teach adult Bible classes, lead the Greater Men ministry, and serve on the preaching team.  My wife and I serve together as the lead coordinators for the Greater Love Couples fellowship. At Greater Bethlehem, I am privileged to serve the body of Christ and the local community by meeting others’ practical needs. However, my highest honor is to minister to my family: my parents, my wife, and my children.

I also have the distinct privilege of serving as the newly appointed Dean of Students at Dallas Theological Seminary. My role as Dean of Students allows me to serve the body of Christ uniquely: by touching the lives of those preparing to touch others’ lives. My team and I have a lofty, yet attainable, goal. We want to encourage each DTS student to holistically and healthily integrate their social, cultural, spiritual, physical, and emotional spheres of life through their Christian leadership.

Almost daily, I am challenged to “teach truth and love well” when I consider how I interact with those closest to me, those who know me behind closed doors. Teaching truth to my daughters is more than sharing facts and information. I must live the truth so that they can see my actions in alignment with my words. My desire is for them to know and love God. I must teach them the truth about His grace, mercy, and everlasting love through study, but mostly through shared experiences. I also teach truth by being a trustworthy man that others can rely on. Additionally, I have been called to preach, proclaim, and expound the gospel message. I have been blessed to preach locally and globally, and the responsibility to teach truth is one I take very seriously. 

Loving well starts with acknowledging and embracing the way God loves me. His example provides a perfect model for how to love others. As one who is imperfect, I must intentionally choose to love. One of the best choices I ever made was loving my wife, Brandy. Together, we are known as “Team Baxter,” and her love for me makes it easy to love well. Our mission is to “reflect the radiance of God’s light while leading by example and nurturing agape love through prayer.” My foundation for loving others well rests upon God’s self-sacrificing love for me, Brandy’s God-honoring love, and prayerful intentionality. 

My time at DTS has been like a dream come true. After serving 26 years in the United States Air Force, I was accustomed to reserving conversations about my faith to Sunday morning or Wednesday night Bible study. From the moment I arrived on campus, my heart leaped with joy to be around others who were hungry to understand God’s Word. From the anointed preaching to inspirational teaching, I have been challenged and encouraged. I have had the pleasure of meeting and befriending people from various social and cultural backgrounds who all share a love for God and for ministering to His people. Conversations by the ‘Jesus foot washing’ statue are among my fondest, followed closely by encouraging chats at Hope coffee.

 A list of fond memories would not be complete if it did not include my time serving in Spiritual Formation and Internships. As an SF group leader and Fellow, I experienced the transforming power of the Holy Spirit in my life and others’ lives. I’ll never forget the intimate and faith-building conversations I shared with others. When I became the Associate Director of Ministry Formation Internships, I worked with students and a community of internship mentors to see God work in the intern’s life and those around. It has always been awe-inspiring to have a front-row seat at God’s handiwork in His people’s lives.

Dallas Theological Seminary contributed to my life before I set foot on the campus. During my formative years, my mother attended Bible college, and Dr. Walvoord and Dr. Pentecost wrote some of her books. I knew about DTS before I knew about Harvard or Princeton. During a turbulent time of my life, I would listen to Dr. Tony Evans on the radio, and his command of the Scriptures encouraged and taught me so much. When I learned that he was a graduate of DTS, I secretly dreamed of attending one day. When I retired from the military, the choice to attend DTS was an obvious one.

At DTS, I have interacted with world-renown faculty and staff. I have learned a scholarly study of the Bible and discipline in sermon preparation. I have had my traditions challenged and my faith strengthened. The DTS family has been instrumental in bolstering my confidence as a preacher, teacher, student, leader, husband, father, and friend. As Dean of Students, I look to the future with expectant joy for myself and others who’s journey includes a trek through DTS.

Editor’s note: Learn more about Bax on the DTS website.