Harding Magazine Winter 2010

Connections

Tribute: Henry Farrar 1926-2010
Profile: Natalie Smeltzer 2003
Alma matters
Enhancing the mission

Film director throws winning pass

Mark Waters’ (’88) career has taken him from freelance production to television news to director of video production for Champs Sports.

When he moved to Colorado Springs eight years ago to work as executive producer of visual media for Focus on the Family, he had no idea that he would create the most talked-about Super Bowl commercial of 2010. The ad tells the story of Pam Tebow who, after contracting an illness while doing mission work in the Philippines, discovered she was pregnant and was encouraged by doctors to have an abortion. But, through perseverance and faith in God, she gave birth to a baby boy in 1987. Her son, Tim, grew up to play quarterback for the University of Florida Gators, leading his team to national football championships in 2006 and 2008, and winning the Heisman Trophy in 2007.

“In January of last year, I was reading an article that told the story of Pam’s difficult pregnancy,” says Waters. “I thought it would make a good commercial, so I drew up a storyboard, which then sat on my desk for nine months until the idea came up to produce the Super Bowl spot.”

Waters admits he was nervous having the country see his commercial — this year’s Super Bowl was the most-watched television program in history with more than 106 million viewers.

“That’s a lot of critics,” he jokes.

In addition, the ad drew intense media attention and criticism from pro-choice groups nationwide. But a Barna Research Group study indicates the commercial was a success. Six percent — five million people — of those polled said the ad gave them “cause to personally reconsider [their] opinion about abortion.”

“The reach of this project far exceeds anything I’ve ever been a part of,” says Waters. “Most of the attention came before anyone ever saw the commercial. God orchestrated and blessed this campaign in a way that none of us could take the credit for its success. But God has always operated that way.”

Waters says he developed a “love for visual media” after purchasing his first camera for Dr. Mike James’ photography class at the University. At Focus on the Family, he develops content strategies and directs various film and video projects. In addition to the Tebow ad, he has also directed “The Truth Project,” “True U” and “Essentials of Discipline” — just to name a few.

Waters says he enjoys the hands-on aspect of his job. “By far, the most creatively satisfying part of directing is when I see the final product on the screen, and I realize that it’s pretty much the way I saw it in my head back in the beginning.”

— Heather Williams

TRIBUTE: Henry Farrar | 1926-2010

Pioneering medical missionary
By H. Glenn Boyd (’52), president emeritus, IHCF – African Christian Hospitals

Dr. Henry Farrar (’48) practiced medicine 56 years after completing his M.D. degree at University of Tennessee. A diplomat of the American Board of Surgery, Harding awarded him the LL.D. in 1973.

He received many honors for his exceptional work as a physician, medical missionary and gospel preacher. He served with distinction as a board member of African Christian Hospitals Foundation from its inception in 1972 and was one of my greatest encouragers during my tenure as president. He received the Meritorious Service Award in 2004 for his tireless work as a physician at Carthage (Tenn.) General Hospital, where he was working the day he fell, resulting in his death Feb. 22.

Farrar and his wife, Grace, performed an outstanding and distinctive service during the 59 years of their marriage.

In the early 1960s, the missionaries teaching at the Bible Training College at Onicha Ngwa, Nigeria, issued an appeal to churches of Christ for medical assistance for the suffering people around them. The Farrars answered that challenge and moved to Nigeria in 1964 to begin Nigerian Christian Hospital with an outpatient clinic; today, it has 110 beds and serves approximately 30,000 patients yearly. In 1967 the hospital work was interrupted by the Biafran war, causing the Farrars and others to evacuate. Farrar went to Cameroon, West Africa, to help start the Christian Mobile Clinic. In 1969 the family moved to Searcy.

In 1970, even before the Biafran war was over, Farrar was sent by the Kaiser Foundation to Port Harcourt, about 60 miles south of Nigerian Christian Hospital. As soon as the war ended, Farrar began the re-establishment of the badly damaged hospital at Onicha Ngwa. In October 1971 his family joined him, and they served at the hospital until 1973 before returning to Searcy.

In addition to their work in Nigeria and Cameroon, the Farrars spent 1979-80 in Tanzania, East Africa, at the Chimala Mission Hospital. They spent 1982-83 in Shenyang, China, where Farrar was visiting professor of surgery at China Medical University.

Farrar started preaching when he was 17 years old and always took opportunities to preach the gospel, establishing a number of churches in Nigeria while practicing medicine.

I cannot estimate the number of people whose lives and souls have been saved through his efforts. On each trip to Nigeria, including their last trip in 2009, when news spread that they were coming, people flocked to the hospital to be treated by Farrar or to greet him and his wife. They spent about a month in Nigeria each year. Farrar spoke at hospital devotionals and then performed surgeries from early morning until dark, sometimes breaking out in song. Being at Nigerian Christian Hospital with his beloved staff and colleagues was one of the great joys of his life.

His happy spirit, wit and sense of humor will be missed.

Farrar, 83, served on the Board of Trustees from 1993 until his death. He is survived by his wife, Grace Johnson (’48); four sons, Paul (’73), David (’77), Henry “Hank” (’80) and Lee (’83); two daughters, Martha “Marty” Highfield (’75) and Samantha Hayner (’90); a sister, Lucretia Patterson; and seven grandchildren. (712 Spring Creek Road, Lebanon, TN 37087)

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PRIBUTE: Jim Bill McInteer | 1921-2010

Christ’s ambassador
By Betty Thornton Ulrey (’52), associate professor of English emeritus

Jim Bill McInteer (’42), beloved by Christians throughout the world, was certainly an ambassador for Christ. His parents were both in their 40s when the Lord sent him into the world. He could have been spoiled, but instead, he “grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.”

McInteer went to David Lipscomb College for two years and came to Harding in 1940 to finish a degree in social studies. He had not been on campus long when he spied a cute coed from Kansas named Betty Bergner, who became the love of his life. McInteer loved to tell the story of their romance, and that was probably one of the main reasons he also became an ambassador for Harding.

While a student, he was in Sub-T 16 social club, chorus, journalism, drama, and was voted “Class Favorite” both years he was here. His wittiness gained him the privilege of serving as Master of Ceremonies on many occasions, an activity that he continued throughout his life. A good ambassador is proud and excited about whom he represents. McInteer loved to preach from the time he was 18 years old. While at Harding, he seldom missed a Sunday going out to small congregations throughout the state in order to tell the good news of Christ. He continued preaching about 70 years, with 30 years at West End Church of Christ in Nashville, Tenn.

After graduation in 1942, McInteer moved to Pine Bluff, Ark., to work in the defense plant until August 1946. He was invited to preach at nearby Sheridan on the second and fourth Sundays of each month. This little church, which started with only nine people, was under the leadership of Raymond Thornton, who became one of McInteer’s mentors. During the time McInteer preached there, it grew to about 30 people and a small building was built, mostly by volunteers. He married his college sweetheart in 1943, and Betty was a valuable asset in his work there and everywhere.

After leaving Arkansas, they went first to Kansas for an extended visit and then took a trip recruiting students for Harding as they traveled from Canada to California telling the story of their beloved school. They settled in Simpson County, Ky., to run the family farm but decided they should move to Nashville where Betty could have better prenatal care. However, McInteer continued to oversee the farming operations until his death.

In Nashville, McInteer became involved with a small company called 20th Century Christian that had been started by M. Norvel Young and other church leaders. Soon he became editor and president of the monthly magazine, a position he held until his death. He was also publisher of the daily devotional “Power for Today” and Bible study materials.

In her later years, Betty suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, and McInteer took care of her with love and dignity as he took her with him to all of his appointments.

McInteer’s service to Harding was honored in 1994 when the new Bible building was named the McInteer Center. He served on Harding’s Board of Trustees for nearly 60 years, 25 of those years as secretary.

Even though cancer struck him in the last few years of his life, McInteer lived alone and stayed active until just a few weeks before his death March 8. His entire family was with him as he entered his new abiding place with the Lord.

As an ambassador for Christ and for the University, McInteer fulfilled his role as a messenger, an advocate, and a representative who enthusiastically appealed to his audiences to enjoy the good life as an heir to the Father.

McInteer, 88, was preceded in death by his wife, Betty Bergner (’43). He is survived by a son, Mark (’75); a daughter, MariLynn Canterbury (’72); five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

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ALMA MATTERS

We’re changing our seats

By Liz Howell, director of alumni relations

Liz Howell

If there is one place on campus that creates fond memories for alumni, it is George S. Benson Auditorium. Daily chapel service with inspiring moments of devotion was a special time for most alumni.

It was that unique part of the day when faculty and students joined together in praise and thanksgiving in an atmosphere unlike that of other college campuses. Most will not forget the singing or even those serious announcements that often took an unexpected hilarious turn. Many alumni recall the funny moments: impersonations by Craig Jones (’77), Monte Cox (’81) and Steve Awtrey (’82), and announcements by the Grumpy Old Men. Words and phrases stir many emotions and memories— Zambia, education for eternity, camaraderie. The infamous pronunciation of nachos as “nockos” by Dr. Joe Pryor is a favorite remembrance.

The number-one memory of alumni surveyed was the singing. “I always felt so close to God. I remember sitting back, closing my eyes, and just letting the music wash over me,” said Donna Pruett Mullins (’76). That auditorium so familiar to everyone will receive a long-awaited update this summer. Those seats, which have been occupied for three decades, will be reupholstered in black and gold, and new seating will be installed to increase capacity to nearly 3,800.

Seating in Benson Auditorium has not been refurbished since its construction in 1980. During that 30-year time span, the Benson has been used more than 230 days a year.

To refurbish and add seating to Benson Auditorium will cost approximately $380,000 or $100 per seat. Alumni and friends of Harding can help fund this project by purchasing a special seat with a gift of $100. You can buy a seat, several seats, or even your own row. Each gift will be recognized with a gold inscribed plaque. The first line can be inscribed with either “In memory of,” “In honor of,” or another sentiment of the donor’s choice up to 21 characters. Two additional lines will be available with up to 21 characters on the second line and up to 25 characters on the third line. The plaque will be affixed to the back of your seat. Purchasing a seat is a great way to honor and recognize special friends, alumni, faculty members, or your social or service club.

Ordering your seat is simple. Complete the attached form in the front of the magazine and mail it with a check payable to Harding University Special Seats to the address on the form. If you would like to purchase more than one, simply copy the form for each additional seat and send all of the forms together with your check.

With your help, future generations of Harding students can fill the Benson’s new seats with their own fond memories.

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Enhancing the mission

Moving vans or estate plans

By Ted Hackney, director of the Center for Charitable Estate Planning

Ted HackneyA cartoon depicts a hearse driving down a residential street with a huge moving van tailing behind. Two old men are watching from a porch. One says to the other, “Poor Harry. He still thinks he can take it with him.”

We smile because the scene is so absurd, yet we often live as though our belongings and wealth will somehow follow us to the grave. Harding’s Center for Charitable Estate Planning assists our friends and supporters as they prepare for the future by helping them allocate their possessions to individuals and causes they care about. Many people never get around to making a will because they “just don’t have the time.” They delay with good intentions, always expecting to plan their estate later. Because so many people procrastinate in this area, states have adopted rules to determine how a person’s property will be distributed at their death. In these situations, a probate judge ultimately determines who will receive your money and possessions.
Unfortunately, the rules are generic and don’t take into account your wishes. A parent with a minor child who dies without a will has missed the opportunity to say who they want to care for that child. Money to fund a grandchild’s college education can end up being used for other purposes by the grandchild’s parents. Ultimately, the court overseeing the distribution of your assets is not concerned with your priorities and values; it is only concerned with disposing of your estate as the law requires. You can avoid letting a court determine how your money and possessions are distributed.

We can help by sending you our wills kit that includes a variety of materials to assist you. We can also help you find a competent estate-planning attorney. Whether or not you choose to include a bequest for Harding in your will, we are eager to see you complete your plans for the sake of your loved ones and your own peace of mind. Request a free wills kit by calling call our toll-free number at 800-477-4213, option 3, or e-mail us at endowment@harding.edu

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