WHEATLAND – Waco, Texas, boasts many fine and well-known entities such as the Baylor Bears and their National NCAA Championship men’s basketball program, Magnolia Farms and celebrities Chip and Joanna Gaines, but now also will host a former 2017 WHS graduate, Cody Cagle.
Cagle, known for his being a National Honor Society member, #77 on the Bulldog football team terrorizing opponent quarterbacks and also a member of the wrestling team is pursuing his M.Div. from Baylor University’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary.
Cagle who was finishing up his undergraduate work from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, applied for and won a full-ride scholarship to the seminary at Baylor. Cagle graduated from Ouachita in Christian studies with his emphasis in Biblical studies and ministry.
Cagle who was actually born in Gainesville, Texas, and moved to Wheatland with his family when he was 2 years old will be returning to his home state in August. The family moved to Wheatland where Craig Cagle was the senior pastor of Memorial Baptist Church until he retired in 2018.
Following in his father’s footsteps, Cagle said, “I want to be a pastor someday which is my end goal, but I know there is a long growing process between now and then. My dad was a pastor, so I know what I’m getting myself into.”
How he found his way to Baylor after graduation from Wheatland, by his own admission is a strange story.
“It wasn’t like an obvious choice for me,” Cagle said. “One of my professors went to Baylor but she didn’t go to the seminary. I always wanted to go to Baylor, I always thought it was a cool school. I didn’t even know there was a seminary there until my senior year a few months ago when I was kind of looking around at seminaries. My dad actually told me I should check it out.”
Cagle had considered many seminaries, but Truett was one of the only seminaries that required early application. He applied in September 2020 and found out that he was accepted in February 2021.
“There were pamphlets for Truett in our apartment’s lobby,” Cagle said. “So I just picked them up one day and was looking at them. The real deciding factor was the scholarship I got and also I had to have the application in last December whereas, like Denver Seminary didn’t even want the application until May of this this year. It was all done electronically and I found the email one day and it was really exciting.”
The deal was done when Cagle applied first and was accepted and granted the full ride.
“I applied to them first,” Cagle said. “I then received the scholarship first and at that point it was hard to turn it down even though I hadn’t pursued any other options. The award is based on academics, leadership potential and ministry experience.”
Cagle not only had an almost flawless academic record, but was a captain for his college wrestling team, president of his fraternity and had ministry experience for 18 months as an intern at Second Baptist in Arkadelphia.
“I had a lot of heart to hearts with God,” Cagle said. “I was like, OK I’ll go wherever you open the doors for me to go and that’s how it was with college too because I knew I wanted to go study the Bible but there’s not a lot of those places in Wyoming so I had to leave the state.”
Cagle said he prayed and was directed to Arkadelphia which in turn was the place he needed to be to find out about Truett.
He believes that his future has been determined by God and says that in the next three years he wants to earn his M.Div, work as an intern in youth ministry in one of the Waco churches and then possibly go on to get married before he finishes up his education with his doctorate degree.