Oklahoma Baptist University will observe its annual Founders’ Day celebration during chapel services Wednesday Feb. 7, at 10 a.m. The Founder’s Day event is held annually to commemorate the University’s incorporation in 1910. Founders’ Day is also dedicated to honoring those who have faithfully served as faculty and staff at OBU in the past.
Dr. Rebekah Naylor, surgeon, church planter, and retired missionary will deliver the message for the chapel service. A native of Fort Worth, Texas, Naylor earned a Bachelor of Arts in chemistry from Baylor University in 1964 and a Doctor of Medicine from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in 1968. She also attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Naylor became the first female resident in general surgery at Southwestern Medical Center and Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, Texas, completing her surgical training in 1973.
The International Mission Board (then the Foreign Mission Board) appointed Naylor as a missionary to India in April 1973. Arriving at the new Bangalore Baptist Hospital in early 1974, she launched a career that included busy clinical practice, administrative responsibility and teaching. She led major expansion of the facilities and services for the hospital. During the 1990s, she organized training programs in allied health disciplines, set up accredited residency training programs for doctors, initiated a training program for chaplains, and established the Rebekah Ann Naylor School of Nursing in 1996.
During her years in India, Naylor was involved in church planting and development in the state of Karnataka, working alongside Indian pastors and church planters. She served as strategy coordinator for the state from 1999 until 2009, when she retired from active IMB service. Through this medical ministry, approximately 900 churches have been started.
From 2002 to 2016, Naylor served at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas as a clinical assistant professor, director of student education, and clinical associate professor in the department of surgery and as a mentor and volunteer clinical faculty. She currently serves as an adjunct professor of missions at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
She became connected with OBU by serving as a founding member of the advisory group for OBU's Avery T. Willis Center for Global Outreach. She also served as a guest speaker during chapel services on campus and was involved with launching the partnership between OBU and India's Kai people group.