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Release date: November 25

Fort Worth resident honored during Wayland homecoming chapel

The Association of Former Students at Wayland Baptist University presented the Distinguished Service Alumni award to Dr. Robert Mathis of Fort Worth during homecoming chapel on Nov. 22.

Honorees are recognized for their service and support of the university, accomplishments in their chosen fields and for dedication to Christian principles, according to Director of Alumni Services Joe Provence. Other honorees for 2002 included pastor Kyle Reese of San Angelo, Judge Roland Saul of Hereford, former missionary Dr. Jim McKinley of Kentucky and Lucian Morehead, a retired attorney from Plainview.

Dr. Robert Mathis A native of Eunice, N.M., Mathis earned his bachelor's degree from Wayland in 1969. After completing his Bachelor of Arts degree in history in 1969, he taught school in Hale Center for a year before becoming a graduate fellow at Texas A&M University. His educational pursuits were interrupted by a stint in the U.S. Army. Mathis accepted a position as minister of education at Mountain View Baptist Church in El Paso in 1974, and while serving in this position, he enrolled at the University of Texas at El Paso, completing his Master of Education degree in 1976. In 1977, he moved to Fort Worth to assume a similar position at Ridglea Baptist Church. While in Ft. Worth, he completed his Master of Religious Education degree at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and in 1981, he began a five-year tenure as the Associate Pastor of First Baptist Church in Santa Fe, N.M.

In 1984, Mathis completed his Ph.D. at Southwestern Seminary with majors in Administration and Educational Foundations, and in 1986, Dr. Mathis began his career in theological education at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. After earning a second doctorate in Higher Education Administration at the University of Southern Mississippi, he accepted a position as the Director of Institutional Research and Assessment and Professor of Administration at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1998.

Dr. Mathis is in demand as a denominational consultant, and has served on accreditation teams for Clemson University and Mid America Baptist Theological Seminary. He is Vice President of the Southern Baptist Research Fellowship, is a member of the Baptist Religious Education Association of the Southwest and Religious Research Association. A prolific writer, Mathis is also an author for the Baptist Sunday School Board and The Theological Educator. He and wife Odene have a daughter, Karissa.