East Texas Baptist University President Dr. J. Blair Blackburn congratulates Tiger play-by-play broadcaster Mike Midkiff at halftime of the ETBU-McMurry football game last fall. Midkiff was presented the 2015 American Southwest Conference Media Service Award from ASC Commissioner Amy Carlton (far right). ETBU Athletic Director Kent Reeves is far left in the photo.  

PHOTO: ETBU/Brendon Sceroler

Longtime voice of ETBU Tigers says good-bye

ETBU Photos
ETBU Photos

By Becky Holland, editor@pineywoods.news

MARSHALL/HARLETON – After 13 years of giving play-by-play for ETBU sports, Mike Midkiff, director of public relations for East Texas Baptist University, will be giving a different type of ‘play-by-play’  as a full-time pastor.

June 9 will be Midkiff’s last day at ETBU as he heads to Quitman, Texas to take on the role as full-time pastor of Faith Baptist Church.

Of his time at ETBU, Midkiff said he and his family had been very blessed. One of his most notable memories of his work at ETBU was  “the win in the 2014 NCAA Division III Softball Super Regional on a walk-off three-run home run over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps to send the Tigers to the NCAA Division III Finals.”

“As the ETBU Tigers’ play-by-play announcer, I have been able to travel all over the state of Texas, and have gone to Wisconsin and Delaware … places I may never have had the opportunity to travel to otherwise,” Midkiff said.

A familiar face and name in the collegiate world of east Texas, and in the community of Marshall, Midkiff  first arrived in Marshall  in 1997 when he accepted the job as pastor of Friendship Baptist Church, where he served until 2003.

In the fall of 2003, Midkiff was offered the position of director of public relations at ETBU. During that time, he has served as a bi-vocational pastor of two churches in Harrison County –  Grange Hall Baptist Church in Marshall and Oak Grove Baptist Church in Harleton. Most recently, he has served as the interim pastor of Walnut Creek Baptist Church.

Faith Baptist Church came a calling, and Midkiff couldn’t turn down the offer. Though appreciative of the opportunities his role with ETBU, and previous media roles had given him, Midkiff had always felt in the back of his mind that full-time ministry is where he would like to be. The first time he felt as if ministry was his calling was during the 1990s. He was a director/editor with KLTV-TV in Tyler. A friend had invited him to attend revival at a church there. “It was then that I sensed God was calling me to become a minister.”

The 1980 graduate of Kilgore High School, Midkiff received his bachelor of fine arts with a specialization in radio/television/film from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, and his master of arts in religious education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth. Midkiff was licensed to ministry by Southern Oaks Baptist Church in Tyler, and as ordained by Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Tioga, Texas.

The Midkiff family from left to right, Mike, Andrew, Marianne and Ashton. ( PHOTO: Carol New)
The Midkiff family from left to right, Mike, Andrew, Marianne and Ashton. ( PHOTO: Carol New)

He has been married to his wife, Marianne, since 1987. Marianne Midkiff is an English teacher at Harleton High School. The couple have three children, Alison Jaye Cooley, who is married, and is a school teacher in Mount Enterprise ISD, Andrew, who is a senior business major at ETBU and Ashton who is a sophomore at Harleton High School.

While in Marshall, he served as the moderator of the Soda Lake Baptist Association from 1999-2001, and was an executive board member of the Baptist General Convention of Texas from 2000-2002.

He also blogged about East Texas Baptist University for the Marshall News Messenger, and received two Associated Press awards for his blog. In 2015, he was honored to receive the America Southwest Conference Outstanding Media Service Award.

That was one award that Midkiff was truly humbled by. “All of the sports information directors in the conference choose the honoree.”

He has been broadcasting ETBU athletic events for more than five years. During his time in the booth Midkiff has been the voice for several key sports memories for ETBU. Midkiff also traveled to Wisconsin for the 2015 NCAA tournament with the men’s basketball team.

Marshall, Midkiff said, “has been a great experience for my family and I, and we hate to leave.”

In his own writing, Midkiff said, “I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior at the age of seven, and since that time, I have believed that God has a plan for my life.”

“As I seek and follow God’s will in my life, that plan is being revealed to me. I surrendered to the ministry in 1990, and believe God has called me to be a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” he continued. “I love being with people and I care about what is happening in their lives. I am a ‘people person.'”

Midkiff concluded, “I love to tell people what Jesus has done for me, and to help them see what He can do in their lives.”

Mike Midkiff’s first official day as the full-time pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Quitman will be June 12.

East Texas Baptist University Director of Public Relations Mike Midkiff speaking in a Chapel service in 2011. PHOTO: ETBU/Jason Cowart
East Texas Baptist University Director of Public Relations Mike Midkiff speaking in a Chapel service in 2011. PHOTO: ETBU/Jason Cowart
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