Former IMB missionary receives national award for surgical service

WASHINGTON, D.C. Long-time medical missionary and Fort Worth resident, Dr. Rebekah Naylor, was honored recently by the nation’s surgical community for her career of service to people lacking adequate medical care overseas, as well as in Texas. 

Naylor was presented by the American College of Surgeons with the Pfizer Surgical Humanitarian Award Oct. 18 in Washington, D.C., at a reception hosted by the Board of Governors at the Clinical Congress 2016.

The annual award is given to surgeons who dedicate their careers to providing surgical care to underserved populations.

“I am very humbled by this recognition by the American College of Surgeons, a professional secular organization,” Naylor said.  “I am so amazed that I would be considered for the award recognizing a career in missionary service. I feel that God has so blessed me in this, and I want to be a good steward of the opportunity to give witness before them of my faith in Jesus Christ.”

Naylor completed her surgical training at Southwestern Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas in 1973, and went on to begin her medical career serving with the International Mission Board at the Bangalore Baptist Hospital in Karnataka, India. 

During more than three decades of serving in India, Naylor expanded patient care at the Bangalore Baptist Hospital, set up training programs for physicians, and established a nursing school there. In addition to her medical service, Naylor also dedicated much of her time to growing the local church in the state of Karnataka, where she was involved in establishing 900 churches.

“In its earlier years, I tried to lead the hospital setting standards of professional excellence and bold witness for Jesus, leading to many churches. I pray that the hospital will continue to be a place of physical healing and a place of spiritual healing as people hear about Jesus and choose to follow him,” Naylor said. 

Naylor returned to Texas in 2002, where she taught at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas until retiring in 2010. The following year, she led the founding of Mercy Clinic in south Fort Worth, which treats the underserved and uninsured. Today, Naylor serves as the global health care consultant for Baptist Global Response and continues to travel to India, where she remains involved in the ministry there.  

Click here to read a Q&A interview with Dr. Naylor and IMB writer Eliza Thomas.

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