University Honors Founders’ Day Speaker with Honorary Doctorate

February 7, 2018

Dr. Rebekah Naylor, surgeon, church planter, and retired missionary, delivered the chapel address during Oklahoma Baptist University’s annual Founders’ Day celebration Wednesday, Feb. 7. The Founder’s Day event is held annually to commemorate the University’s incorporation in 1910.

Naylor used her personal testimony to illustrate the importance of using one’s education and experiences for the glory of God. The service was held in Raley Chapel’s Potter Auditorium on OBU’s campus in Shawnee.

Dr. David W. Whitlock, OBU president, introduced Naylor and presented her with an honorary Doctor of Missiology.

Naylor encouraged listeners to integrate their faith with all areas of life.

“As you study, as you work, you share your faith in Jesus Christ with other people,” Naylor said. “Share your hope. Share your joy. Share the fact that the Lord is the strength of your life.”

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.

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.