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Waxahachie, TX

November 9, 2016 | Andrew Hurst

The Southwestern Missions Association (SMA) of Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) has committed to raising $8,000 for The Waxahachie Project to help restore Samaria Missionary Baptist Church .

The fundraising is a result of the SMA’s Giving Project . SMA is a student-led organization that provides a variety of student-led ministries including local ministries in Dallas and Waxahachie. In addition, every semester, SMA encourages the faculty, staff and students to help financially support a certain project, ministry or organization through the Giving Project. For this fall semester, SMA decided to focus on helping to restore the historic church in downtown Waxahachie.

Samaria Baptist Church

Pastor Henry Wyatt of Samaria Missionary Baptist Church believes that the church has responded well to the efforts of the SMA’s Giving Project and expressed his gratitude for the student-led organization.

“We all have to work together and we have accomplished quite a bit,” Pastor Wyatt said. “We are just excited.”

Rennae de Freitas, Missions Office Coordinator and Missionary-in-Residence, helps to coordinate the Giving Project along with other non-academic programs through the Missions Office. Freitas also serves on the Working Committee of The Waxahachie Project. Freitas said that she was made aware of the structural erosion of the church’s foundation when Mayor Kevin Strength approached the committee to see what could be done.

“We just really sensed that this would be a great project for SAGU,” Freitas said. “The history of the church is so significant that we want to take care of it.”

Recognized as a beacon in the town’s history, Samaria Missionary Baptist Church has been a part of the Waxahachie community for over 150 years.

With such strong roots in the town’s legacy, many SAGU students have recognized the church’s significance in the community and have joined together to help donate to the Giving Project.

Hannah Caballero, the Treasurer for SMA, is in charge of the association’s budget for all ministries and has been involved in the fundraising process and the vision for the Giving Project.

“The bigger picture of this project is unity,” Caballero said. “With different churches throughout Waxahachie coming together as one, it’s a way of breaking divisions and barriers. It’s ultimately about people and building relationships while also being able to help out by rebuilding the church.”

The Giving Project will be accepting donations until the very end of November. However, with such a positive response from students and a spike in the number of donations as compared to previous semesters, both Freitas and Caballero believe that SAGU will meet the financial goal of $8,000.

Construction on the church’s foundation is expected to be completed by the end of November. Freitas said that after the completion of the foundation, students can be a part of the “beautification process” of the church which includes painting and decorating.

If you would like to donate to the Giving Project, click here .

To learn more about The Waxahachie Project, click here.

Southwestern Assemblies of God University is a private, Christian university located 30 minutes south of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex in Waxahachie, Texas. The university was established in 1927, and now offers more than 70 associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees on campus or online. More information is available at

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