April 24, 2020 (Jackson, Miss.) - The Belhaven University Board of Trustees has elected new members Rev. Scott Castleman, Tray Hairston, and J. Wilbourn Vise. The three board appointees bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the University's leadership team.
Rev. Scott Castleman '98 is the Senior Pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Ocean Springs, Miss. He graduated from Belhaven with a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies in 1998. He earned a Masters of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary and is completing his Doctorate of Ministry from Reformed Theological Seminary. Castleman is an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. He has served as the Senior Pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Ocean Springs, since 2009. He and his Rebecca have three children; a daughter, Tyler, and to sons, Ebenezer and Tate.
For Castleman, Belhaven had a profound impact on his life. He said, When I got to Belhaven in 1994, I was lost. However, it was the gospel centered environment of Belhaven that God used to bring me into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. As a student I was discipled by Belhaven faculty members, and the Biblical and Theological education I received prepared me well for my calling into pastoral ministry.
Castleman adds, Uncompromising commitments to the gospel of Jesus Christ and impact across a broad spectrum of academic disciplines is both needed and rare. To serve Belhaven as it continues this essential work is a great privilege. Soli Deo Gloria.
Tray Hairston is an attorney at law and member of Butler Snow LLP's Public Finance, Tax Incentives and Credit Markets Group. He concentrates his practice on public finance and economic development matters. Tray received his undergraduate degree from Tougaloo College, his MBA from Belhaven University and his Juris Doctor from the Mississippi College School of Law.
Prior to his legal career, Hairston served as counsel and economic development policy advisor to Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant. He was also a member of the Business Development Division at the Mississippi Development Authority.
Hairston said, As a board member, I hope to grow the Belhaven brand nationally and internationally as a thought leader in an ever-changing global economy where students can be fully prepared to participate in the marketplaceand be on top of the changes that are rapidly occurring throughout many of the employment sectors in the country.
He regularly publishes scholarly legal articles, with his most recently published paper titled The Future of Economic Development, (2017). Hairston has also served as a lecturer at the Trent Lott National Center for Excellence in Economic Development and Entrepreneurship at The University of Southern Mississippi in the school's Masters of Economic Development Program. He has also served as an adjunct law professor at the Mississippi College School of Law.
J. Wilbourn Vise, an attorney at law for Massey, Higginbotham, & Vise, P.A., has extensive litigation experience inbusiness and commercial disputes,bad-faith insurance law, insurance coverage and claims, contract disputes, personal injury claims, defective product claims, will contests and disputes, trust litigation, landowner liability, andchemical exposure claims.
While at Tulane University, he earned a Certificate in Environmental Law, served on the Environmental Law Journal, participated in the Environmental Law Clinic, and was a member of the Environmental Law Society. Vise is a member of the Hinds County Bar Association and the Mississippi Bar Association. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Inn Serve Corporation, a privately-owned Mississippi based hospitality company, and he also serves as President of Inn Serve's Florida and Alabama Division.
I look forward to the opportunity to serve Belhaven as the University continues on its mission to prepare students for a lifetime of serving our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus in their careers and in all aspects of their daily lives, said Vise. Belhaven's unique combination of academically rigorous curriculum in a Christian environment is of critical importance in higher education as it prepares the students for success in the workplace and for their role in the advancement of God's Kingdom.
Vise serves as a Deacon at First Presbyterian Church of Jackson. He has been active as an adult leader with the Boy Scouts of America, serves on the board of First Presbyterian Day School, and has served on the boards of other non-profit entities that serve the local community. Will and his wife, Heather, have three children, Jay, Campbell, and Healy.