BC High School Alumni Association to honor 2 Distinguished Alumni

 

Last updated 9/19/2023 at 7:59pm

The Bridge City High School Alumni Association has chosen two alumni as Distinguished Alumni for 2023. Danny Jaynes, a Bridge City High School graduate in 1971 along with Dr. Nina Scales Leifeste, a 1979 BCHS graduate. They will be honored during ceremonies prior to the homecoming game on Friday, September 22 and again at The Classic Cardinal Reunion on Saturday, September 23 at the BCHS cafeteria beginning at 5:00 p.m.

Danny Jaynes' parents, Turner, and Francis Jaynes, moved to Bridge City in 1958. After graduating from Bridge City High School in 1971, Danny Jaynes joined the US Air Force and married Harriot Sue Wilkinson of Orangefield. His first station was Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. From there Jaynes was sent to Takhli Air Base in central Thailand to train Thais on how to program a keypunch machine. After 80 days of his ninety temporary duty assignment, he was informed that the U.S. Air Force wanted him to extend his assignment for a total of one year. He called my wife, Sue, and she wanted to go to Thailand, so they were granted permission for her to stay with him nine more months. At the time, the 13th Air Force band out of Clark Airbase Philippines were doing a series of shows across SE Asia and were taking auditions at every base for future shows. Jaynes auditioned and was accepted to join the band for a tour of Taiwan. After that tour he returned to base in Thailand and received a request to join the band for a second tour of Subic Bay and northern Philippines. After that tour Jaynes was asked to stay on as a vocalist for the Air Force but declined and returned to finish his four-year commitment at Bergstrom Air Force Base in Austin. Texas. 

Jaynes entered the insurance business when he departed the military and after several years opened a brokerage house. Jaynes also joined a church and became a leader. In the mid-1980's his family joined a group of fellow Christians and began construction of an orphanage in Mexico in honor of the late Keith Green and his children. The seed for missions was planted in his heart during these visits. Jaynes' wife had felt called when she was 12 years old but did not tell anyone for fear that God would send her to Africa. They have now been serving in Africa 23 years. In 1997 Jaynes was asked to join two other missionaries and teach at a bible school in Moscow Russia. It was while teaching in Russia that he discovered his true passion for what he wanted to do the rest of his life.

After arriving home from Russia Jaynes' wife, Sue, went on another medical mission trip to Mexico and when she returned, they felt it was time to do full time missionaries. A missionary their church supported had a bible school in the capital of Ghana, West Africa. The missionary extended an invitation for the Jaynes' family to join his ministry and teach in his school, which they accepted. While teaching in the capital Jaynes attended a meeting with a group called Pioneers. They explained that over three million in the north of Ghana had never heard the gospel. The Jaynes felt it was time to leave the city and move further north. For 4-5 years they provided the English services for a church in the middle of the country that was made up of 85% converted Muslims. All their outings with teams took them 14 hours north to minister in remote villages where the people were still living in mud huts with grass roofs. After making this trip several times the Jaynes felt it was time they moved into the north and established a home base. They now live with the largest Muslim tribe in Ghana. 

According to Jaynes, "God has opened many doors for us to minister but the most effective was putting movies into the local languages, a skill I learned while in the insurance business. We also conduct kids' clubs for approximately four hundred children weekly which Sue develops the curriculum for. They also have provided water for neighboring villagers during drought conditions. Recently they were given the funds to purchase a new tractor. Living in a farming community this tool has opened tremendous doors for them. They now provide a vocational school for extremely poor girls. "Most of the girls' parents have died and the relatives they were left with see them only as a burden. These girls are flourishing," said Jaynes. They are about to start providing eye examinations and free glasses for remote villages which is a proven platform to share the gospel.

Jaynes and his wife, Sue, have three children and twelve grandchildren. They live in Brownswood, Texas and travel back and forth to Africia. The Jaynes children are Heather Jones, Lark Terry, and Micah Jaynes. Grandchildren are Faithe, Timothy, Braden, Hannah, Christopher, Liam, Keegan, Joel, Haylin, Ellie, Chole, and Jack. His three brothers are Mikel and Jerry who graduated BCHS in 1967 and Rodney Jaynes who graduated BCHS in 1971.

Dr. Nina Scales Leifeste, a 1979 Bridge City High School graduate, exemplifies someone with a lot of courage in the face of adversity, but she has also always found ways to live out her 'life scripture' Luke 12:48 "To whom much is given of him much is required".

After earning her bachelor's degree in biology from Lamar University Beaumont, Dr. Liefeste graduated with honors from the University of Texas Dental Branch in Houston with her Doctor of Dental Surgery. She then completed a General Practice Residency through Hermann Hospital. After dental college, Dr. Leifeste and her husband, Sam, settled in Bridge City and set up their dental practice in Orange and Beaumont. Sam's untimely death in 2003 left her to pick up the pieces as a single mother of two young children. She is a breast cancer survivor. Dr. Liefeste lost her home in Hurricane Ike in 2008. All the while she managed to keep her practice running while setting up free dental mission clinics in India and Honduras to the neediest of people.

Dr. Nina Scales Leifeste, a 1979 Bridge City High School graduate

Dr. Leifeste served on the Bridge City ISD school board for several years. Today she continues her practice and serves as Adjunct Professor for the University of Texas Dental School where once a week, senior dental students come to Orange to train with her in a mobile clinic that offers free service to low-income people in Orange. She teaches and shows what it means to give back. Something those students won't get in a normal classroom. According to her brother, Frank Scales, "Nina is a behind the scenes giver. She has helped countless people and countless causes." Dr. Liefeste likes to hunt, fish, and spend time with her family including her daughter Samantha and son Tyler and his wife. Her grandparents are Ausbon and Katy Scales, pioneers of early Prairie View-Bridge City and her parents Franklin, Sr. and Sarah Scales.

If anyone would like tickets to the Classic Cardinal Reunion, they can send $25 per person to BCHS Alumni Association, P.O. Box 1066, Bridge City, Texas 77611. Money must be received by September 15, 2023.

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