Board of Directors
The Board of Directors of the Miller Eccles Study Group Texas is comprised of Steve & Daryl Eccles, Cris & Janae Baird, and Adam & Gwen Miller.
Our organization is operated separately from the Miller Eccles Study Group in Southern California. To learn more about the MESG in Southern California, click here.
Steve & Daryl Eccles
We are both natives of Southern California; Steve was born in Los Angeles at what was called the French Hospital, and Daryl was born in Altadena. Our paths crossed in 1966 when Daryl’s stake put on a production of Oklahoma at the San Gabriel Mission Theater. Steve was in the cast and Daryl did his makeup. We wrote to each other while Steve was serving a mission in the New Zealand South Mission from 1967-69, and were married in June 1970. While Steve was in New Zealand, Daryl continued her schooling, eventually attending BYU for a year. We are the parents of six children, one residing in Virginia, three in California, and one in Texas. Our second oldest son died of a brain tumor in 2005.
Steve started attending the Mormon History Association after being invited to their meetings by Gary Smith. In 1981, Steve and Ron Miller started the Miller Eccles Study Group when they had Leonard Arrington come to talk to some friends they invited. The group met four times that year and has been meeting regularly ever since. Steve was the Membership Chairman for the Mormon History Association in 1989 and delivered his first MHA paper at the 2010 meeting in Kansas City.
We moved to the Dallas, Texas, area in 2002 and have resided there ever since. We started The Miller Eccles Study Group Texas in our home, and we plan on retiring to Eugene, Oregon, by the end of 2014.
Cris & Janae Baird
Cris and Janae met a week after he returned home from his full-time mission to Montevideo, Uruguay, in December, 1988. She was the ‘safe date.’ They were married seven months later. Janae then did her best to help Cris get through undergrad and law school at BYU. They moved to Texas in the spring of 1996 and have lived in Arlington since that time. They have five fantastic children.
Cris works as a commercial real estate transactions lawyer in the Dallas office of an international law firm. He is an avid collector of Mormon books and art. He was on the Board of Trustees of the Texas Boys Choir and its affiliated charter schools: The Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts and The Texas School of the Arts, from 2007 through 2013, and was a founding member of the Fort Worth Chapter of the BYU Management Society in 2007 where he served as Chairman of the Advisory Board for several years. He worked as in-house lawyer for a Fort Worth based commercial real estate firm for 14 years, the last 7 of which as Senior Vice President and General Counsel. In 2011, he was named a “Best Corporate Counsel” finalist by the Dallas Business Journal.
Adam & Gwen Miller
Gwen earned BA’s in Zoology and Psychology from BYU in 2000 and an MA in Zoology with an emphasis and cellular and molecular biology from BYU in 2001. She subsequently worked as a research specialist at the University of Pennsylvania. She has published a variety of articles in journals such as the Journal of Lipid Research and Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology. She’s currently employed as a professor of biology at Collin College and spends her free time perfecting her “mom eyes”.
Adam earned a BA in Comparative Literature from BYU in 2001 and an MA and PhD in Philosophy from Villanova University in 2005. He is a professor of philosophy at Collin College and the author of Badiou, Marion, and St Paul: Immanent Grace (Continuum, 2008), Rube Goldberg Machines: Essays in Mormon Theology (Kofford, 2012), Speculative Grace: Bruno Latour and Object-Oriented Theology (Fordham University Press, 2013), Letters to a Young Mormon (The Maxwell Institute, 2014), Grace is Not God’s Backup Plan: An Urgent Paraphrase of Paul’s Letter to the Romans (2015), Nothing New Under the Sun: A Blunt Paraphrase of Ecclesiastes (2016), The Gospel According to David Foster Wallace: Boredom and Addiction in an Age of Distraction (Bloomsbury, 2016), Future Mormon: Essays in Mormon Theology (Kofford Books, 2016), Letters to a Young Mormon, Second Edition (Deseret Book, 2017), and The Sun Has Burned My Skin: A Modest Paraphrase of Solomon’s Song of Songs (2017). He also serves as the director of the Mormon Theology Seminar. He is an acquisitions editor for and co-owner of Salt Press, was named “Best Mormon Essayist” in 2011 by the Association for Mormon Letters, and regularly blogs at Times and Seasons. More information about Adam’s books is available at his website.